Book III: The plot thickens

Posted on December 29, 2009 (Subscribe to Blog)

With Christmas over, I've been able to relax and concentrate more on Island of Fog: Book III (as yet still untitled). The plot is now so thick that I can stand a spoon upright in it. Things are falling nicely into place at last. A tip for anyone struggling with laying out the details of a plot: Just leave it alone and let your subconscious mind sort it out in its own good time.

I've always known exactly what happens in this third book. But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. There were a couple of fairly important WHYs rattling around at the back of my head, as well as a few WHATs, but suddenly these came together in a sudden light-bulb-flashing moment and now huge chunks of the plot are firmly in place. The biggest question in my mind right now is not what happens in Book III, but how much space it will take up. At the moment it feels like I have way too much going on, but it won't seem so much once I have it down on paper. In reality it's probably only enough to fill two thirds of the book! It's hard to judge just how many pages all the different scenes will span... although it turned out that I was fairly accurate with my chapter summary for Labyrinth of Fire, so perhaps I'll do as well with this new one.

The title still eludes me though. I've stopped thinking about it for now; maybe my subconscious will figure it out and I'll wake suddenly in the night.

I'm not about to start giving spoilers, but in Book III the children have two major problems to resolve as well as a few minor ones. Those who have read Labyrinth of Fire will probably guess what the two major problems are. There's something else though, and this is a subplot I'm still wrestling with. It's one of those things that's not essential but which I feel would round off everything very nicely – if I can make it work.

Before Christmas I delivered/dispatched a number of Labyrinth of Fire books, and some of them are only just now reaching their destinations (especially to those in Australia, who have been suffering postal strikes). And as I had done with Island of Fog, I sent a copy of Labyrinth of Fire to bestselling fantasy author Piers Anthony, and he kindly sent me a letter to say that he had received it and was hoping to read it very soon. Today, in response to an email I sent him about something entirely different, he mentioned that he had started reading the book as planned but had been delayed by "half a slew of pre-emptive chores" and that he would return it to shortly. No problem at all – I'm just pleased he's interested! In his letter, which arrived just after Christmas, he said, "I remember Island of Fog with pleasure, and look forward to seeing the continuation of the story."

Meanwhile I received my first reader review:

"Great new book! I absolutely loved the sequel and thought that it might even have been better than Island of Fog! I loved getting to know Darcy, Emily, Lauren, and Dewey way better. I have grown to find those characters way more likable now that I know more about them. Thanks for giving me a great new read!"Canaan

Anyone else out there who's finished it yet? Or is halfway through? I'd appreciate feedback, whether positive or negative, and once again I'd like to urge those who have something to say to post a review on Amazon if they can:

And if you haven't bought Labyrinth of Fire yet... what on earth is WRONG with you? :-)

by Keith Robinson
Available in paperback for $11.95
ISBN 978-0984390618
Buy the Book

Comment by CANAAN on Saturday, January 2, 2010...

As I was reading some previous posts, I thought I might like to brainstorm some names for the third book. In one of your posts, you listed some names people had suggested. Here are my suggestions:

City of Storms
Town of Tempests

I cannot wait for the next book, whatever you decide to call it!

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Saturday, January 2, 2010...

Thanks, Canaan! Oddly enough, in terms of storyline, City of Storms is VERY fitting and one that I thought of myself at some point. But as it happens, today I finally settled on a title, and (for better or worse) it fits the story perfectly. I'll post about it very soon, either tonight or tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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