It’s the Christmas season. It’s about personification of love, grace, and forgiveness.



That eventually leads to a point about Book I of Tales of the Red Ranger. And yes, I did find a tenuous connection from Christmas to my writing.

The “bad guy” in the first draft isn’t a single, tangible bad guy. The draft is a bunch of bad situations that get out of control. And almost in control. And then way out of control.

While it fits my personal goal of gritty and detailed, it's not very good story telling. While I dislike omnipotent bad guys, they’re a necessary optimization that allows focus on the ways the good guys are blocked.

There are three major rewrites to the working draft of Book I:

  • Personify the Mage’s problems. For example, the mage tends to divide and compartmentalize. This makes it hard to see the real problem. And that means amplifying a bad situation into a tangible “bad guy” who can leverage divisiveness.

  • Cut some chapters. In The Debut Novel Problem I noted that at least two draft chapters need to be cut to narrow the story on

  • Include more of the mage’s motivation. Let’s not go too overboard here. This is a four-part series. Nuance is essential. The summary of the motivation is the subject of query letters. The story telling has to be stretched out beyond a facile summary.

The more I think about the Hero’s three-part journey, the more I realize that there are really two bad guys: one local and one remote. The quest is to tackle the remote bad guy. Returning from the quest, the hero tackles the local bad guy.