Back to writing Wren 5 – 2020 Writing Week 31

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

It’s been a quiet week in terms of editing/writing – I tinkered a little with books 1 and 2, whenever Su gave me some feedback. I got a couple of really great reviews from new readers on book 1.

This one is on the US store:

The story is a pulse-pounding tale where the protagonist’s external struggles are only slightly more harrowing than his internal ones. When I finally reached the epilogue I took the first breath I’d enjoyed in about 30 pages. Loss and triumph are carefully interwoven so that each heightens the other and the tension between them becomes nigh unbearable. I’ve grown too old for roller coasters so I’ll take a break before picking up my next Christopher Wren story, but there WILL be another. Many others, no doubt.

This is pretty great – I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking he read a more recent version of the book.

Here’s the UK review:

This is book one in the Christopher Wren series and what a brilliant start to the series. I would love to continue reading this series. Within the first few pages I was hooked, intrigued. It is a fast paced story with plenty going on to keep the readers attention.

Christopher is the main character… He’s clever, determined, brave and will not give up until hes finished the job and solved the case. Even if that means putting himself at risk. A page turner of a read. Brilliantly written. Full of action.

A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend. Perfect for fans of Lee Child. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Christopher in this series.

It’s 4-star but it reads like 5-star. What I love most is that the reader seems to like Wren. This really matters to me. In fact, I may have gone so far to making Wren likeable that I got a negative comment saying that Wren is nothing like Reacher – he leaves too many people alive!!

lol – you can’t please everyone…

Couple of tinkers I made:

  • There’s an extended series where he takes drugs, then plunges into a combat situation which ends with casualties on his side. I thought at the time of writing that Wren was sympathetic – he needs these drugs just to be able to function, since he’s in so much pain – but now I think it makes him unlikable. It’s massively irresponsible to get high before potential combat. So now he takes some ADHD type drugs – to make him more effective and focused – and goes into combat. It just looks better.
  • Other little bits, like removing all reference to the Foundation as a cult and Wren as a cult leader. It’s just too negatively charged a word. Call it an organization. This probably helps make Wren more likeable. The Foundation really exists to help the members, not to exalt Wren.

Has readthrough improved? It’s probably too early to tell. I’ve hired a beta reader for $50 to give me comments on this new version of book 1. Will be interesting if she comes back with anything. Readthrough is everything!!

New words on book 5

I wrote 3,000 new words this week. It was an effort to pull focus back after digging into book 1, but I’m on it now. 22,000 words. Not near to meeting goals, but things should speed up. Lots of research on actual special ops gear – grapnel guns, underwater scooters, autocannons, the like 😉

By next week

I should be 35,000 words on Wren 5 by this time next week. 40,000 would be great – halfway!

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