I am still writing, but it hasn't been as easy as I'd hoped. You'd think Book 14 would flow smoothly considering it's more of a romance story, which usually are easy for me. This is different, however. It isn't a complete romance from beginning to end but the culmination of romantic storylines over many books, so relationships have baggage that readers already know. It's not all fresh and new within one book. Events and characters have to be consistent with what's come before. That's the hard part of writing a long series like this, which I've mentioned before.
In some respects, it is easy to write, except that situations have to fit with the characters' personalities that have developed. I also have to be careful about returning to a place already mentioned, in this case, Ethal.
There are always details to keep consistent, which adds a new layer of difficulty. I have to refer back to Book 3 and my wiki file to be sure I don't change something. That was eleven books ago and three years ago for me, so it's not exactly fresh in my mind anymore.
The biggest part was that I could not quite pinpoint the place of tension for the plot. I had to be sure I could drop it into the first chapter without resorting to other tools, although I plan to use a technique like I did in Book 4 to open this book. The right scene from later would fit this story perfectly by introducing a portion right at the beginning and then starting the linear timeline.
You may have noticed that I don't always tell a story in perfect linear form in this series. I do what must be done to grab reader attention right away and then keep it. Plus, not every story can be told in a perfectly linear timeline fashion. Some require jumping around, such as Book 6, and you'll see something similar in Book 13. The plot of the story determines how the story is told. Also, with the Starfire, there can be stories within the story as the Starfire reveals some past experience to impart upon its present Keeper to provide guidance and wisdom. So, you see, these stories do get complicated, and putting those pieces in the right place is crucial, as with any story.
And then there's just plain storytelling. What makes sense for the plot without gaping holes? Nothing is perfect, but I do my best to make sure events are plausible for the series in which I'm working.
So, getting back to this book, making the romantic elements fit while inserting some action against a wedding setting with a high degree of security is proving to be a bigger challenge than I ever expected. I know what I want to happen and had it all outlined. How to make that happen without it being swiss cheese has been the issue. It took me some writing and deleting several times on some scenes that I wanted, but making them fit the overall picture and inserting them in a logical point in the story development has had me hung up. I have a good third of the story written, but some scenes need rearranging and reworking as I modify the plot slightly to add greater tension to it. I hope that once I finish rewriting some aspects of the beginning that the rest of the book will fall into place.
I'm sorry I can't say more. I've already given away enough--Nik and Ann's wedding on Ethal. Returning to Ethal alone is a matter unto itself to complicate the plotting. Now, imagine what would happen with them bringing one of the Issan to the wedding--former Issan... Readers of the series will understand the great potential for trouble in that, but I haven't released the two books prior to this event. Therefore, you don't yet have the full picture of where the series has gone and why this romantic plot is a difficult one versus any of my other books with romantic plotlines. Let's just say it's complicated.
I am making progress. I've been rewriting today as the strands have untangled for me. It just took some trial and error to see the picture more clearly.