The Butterfly Effect

You know what that is, right? With reference to chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Theoretically, if you go back and change even one thing in your past, the ramifications spread out like ripples on a pond, and not just for you. Right?

If you ever need a graphic example of just how true that is, try changing one event in the early stages of a manuscript that is very near completion.

That’s what I face with EoD. A certain scene suddenly was causing issues. Not in and of itself, because it made perfect sense when I wrote it. At least I thought it did. And it provided some great stuff between page 30 and page…oh…I don’t know…130. But then, the consequences of it were beginning to make me scratch my head and mutter such authorial phrases like, “Shit, he can’t be here.” Or “Damn, now what am I going to do?” and the penultimate, “This is just not working.”

All of which happens moments before said author runs screaming into traffic.

Thankfully, since I juggle POVs in EoD there are large chunks of it currently not affected by the above. That’s a relief. As for the rest…it’s going. I have to kill lots and lots of darlings and…*sniff* IT’S HARD!

In the times when I need a break, I’ve been subjecting myself to cruel and inhuman punishment. In the writer’s world that equates to crafting *cue announcer voice and echo effect* The Synopsis.

The reason CBC (for those new here, that’s Coinblade Chronicles: Bound In Shadows otherwise referred to as Driev’s tale) has been idling is because I’m still intent (who knows why?) to farm it to agents, and the top ones on my list (besides the two who already declined) require a synopsis.

That is an evil invention. I would say I curse the inventors of that even more than the inventor of the underwire bra. But that’s just me.

Anyhow, I’ve actually had a bit of a breakthrough thanks to two awesome author buds. Smiles, waves, and truckloads of virtual chocolate to Devin and Kate. And also to the book Rock Your Query. I hopefully will have that whipped into shape soon.

Other than that, I’ve been paying some attention to my artistic muse. One example of a recent personal completion is on my other blog. You can see it here if you’re interested. That drawing took a long time and a lot of tears, but now it’s complete and ready to be matted and framed this weekend.

Now, onto what you’re really here for. I don’t get to work seriously on The Adorned until EoD and CBC are nudged over on the plate, so I’m going to get skimpy with the offerings to stretch out what I have left. Today, I’m being mean. *cue maniacal laughter* I give you 30 words. 1+14+15. Funny how that works.

“Why me?” Roe asked, throwing her arms wide in a gesture meant to encompass all of the Unheld City. “Out of the multitude of people in this city, why me?”

And don’t we all want to know the answer to that?



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  1. What you’re experiencing sounds a great deal like “panster’s remorse.” Giving it a name doesn’t help, but at least you’ll know you’re not alone! The flip side, by the way, is “plotter’s plague,” wherein the scribbler realizes he/she doesn’t discover what the damned story is about until the end and knows–all too well–how much of the middle must get the ax.

  2. Yes, yes we do all want the answer to that. For her and for ourselves!

    Revising sucks, but I know you’ll power through to the end. You love the characters too much not to.

  3. you are mean! But, back to finishing EoD with you! 😉

  4. Short, sweet snippet, nice!

    Great portrait of your dearly departed too. *hugs*

    Good luck with the synopsis! One of the things that helped me (back when I still wrote them) was too leave out ALL the subplots and as many names as possible. Most characters besides Driev would only be mentioned by their function (a magician, a friendly thief, etc.) Too many names require too much explanation, and what you want is forward momentum.

    • I managed to whittle myself down to three names and just the single plot line. I may actually have something that might work. But boy, it HURT. There are so many nuances, so much that had to be omitted! Then again, listening to a podcast from one of the agents on my list, and she admitted she rarely even looks at the synopsis and it never makes or breaks a deal.

  5. Ooh you’re a cruel, hard woman Kathi! Great excerpt though.

    I do hope you can get EoD to where you want it soon. And I share you pain re synopses. They’re a right pain in the arse! I always have to check with other people that it’s OK before I go ahead with it. You’d think being a writer it’d be easy, wouldn’t you? But it’s SO hard!!

    Best of luck with it and I hope an agent snaps you up soon! 🙂

    • *bows* Why, thank you very much. 🙂

      I saw a hilarious synopsis graphic…should have pinned it…

      Ah…here! The Wizard of Oz boiled down to the bare bones: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers she meets to kill again.

  6. We’re all pulling for you on the agent front!!! Would love to hear some good news!

  7. Oh, that;s an easy question to answer, Roe. Your author is Kathi. Ta da! Throw knives at her or run and kiss her for giving you a fella like Fader to play with, but don’t stand around questioning it. It won’t get you anywhere. She’ll just sic her monkeys on you or have Fader hit you with a smouldering expression and eventually you’ll have to get to the ending she’s designed for you. (Of course, there’s no one to stop you from meandering in that direction along your own paths rather than keeping to the ones she’s neatly laid out for you.)

    Ditto on that butterfly effect thing, though i still prefer to think of it as a bug sneeze. (Bonus points if you know why.)

    Also, I, for one, am very grateful for underwire bras. The things may be uncomfortable torture devices, but at least my ladies aren’t running for my belly button just yet.

    • Stop trying to incite Roe to do things it would be wiser if she didn’t. And this, “have Fader hit you with a smouldering expression” — mwahahahahaha! Yeah.

      My ladies may point at my belly button, but they wouldn’t be able to reach–not even in their wildest dreams! LOL Which is probably why I lack the proper appreciation for such a contraption.

  8. That’s it? This is a loaded question! 😀 😀 😀

  9. I ran into a scene like yours recently too. Good luck. And the dog picture is fabulous! I can’t imagine having a writing and a painting muse.

    • Thank you. My artistic muse used to get a lot more attention. Like, most of my attention. She’s a bit peeved to be relegated to the back of the auditorium more often than not. I’m trying to let her out more often.

  10. What a question to leave us with? One that we all ask over and over. Wishing you all the best with your writing and revising.
    Loved the portrait. So detailed – and loving.

  11. I feel your pain! I’ve started working on the back cover copy for AMCF, and it’s causing me no end of trouble. (I’ll probably be whinging about it next Wednesday)

    Because you’re the main character, Roe! And I think Regi was also onto something. 😛

  12. Ha! “Why me?” is the ultimate question. I like that she’s just straight up asking it.

    I can relate to things that cause problems in the story’s narrative. I don’t write in a straight line, so this happens to me ALL THE TIME. I write something, leave it, go work on something later in the story, and…oops. Thing on page 10 doesn’t work anymore. Ah, well. I’ve learned to just embrace my brain’s wiring.

  13. Roe, my kids will tell you, in one word.


    If it would help with the poor darlings, I can let you give Trip and T’Pol a word for every 10K you DELETE, for a while…

    I can’t see the painting….I’m bummed.

  14. Ugh. That happened to me with my editor. She tugged at a thread and things started unraveling. It’s really stressful. And it’s not easy to figure out a fix. But you’ll get there. Stories are written to be rewritten or at least that’s what I tell myself to ease the pain of revisions. 🙂

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