Note: Longer post.

There’s a playlist listing at the bottom.

Having finished the Metatron’s Army Reboot project and with two new novels tied to the series in play I am turning my attention to other projects.

I am going to let the MA novels season a bit.  For a good reason.

I’ve come to see that I have a rhythm to writing.  I will work to get something to first draft then set it aside knowing that time away will be of benefit for later when I come back with fresh eyes.

In the case of the recent MA project it validated the feasibility of continuing on the path I imagined when I finished Adjudication.

Part of the rhythm is any up front preparation.

Decide on

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Setting

The plot and setting are more or less a no-brainer since they are tied together.  Characters can be a bit more work relative.

Decide on

  • Name
  • Age
  • Backstory

This is more time consuming but easy enough to sketch out.

Write it down and put it in file folder dedicated to the  novel in question.

One of the more time consuming aspects of preparation is research.

  • Plot
  • Character
  • Setting
  • Other


In general, research involved with a plot amounts to any knowledge or expertise needed either for the storyline or the characters themselves.

In cases where I don’t have the expertise or experience and there isn’t a Youtube video or paper I can draw from, I will interview those with the experience and/or expertise I need.


For character research it often depends on whether or not the character is part of a series.  

I may need to reread previous books in the series to ensure I’m being true to the character(s) in question.


If I’ve lived in or traveled to a place that will appear in a story it’s less work than if I’ve never been there.  Even if I have traveled to a place I will hesitate to use it as a primary location since I know from experience you don’t really know a place until you’ve lived there.

Online research can only go so far.  Especially when those contributing may be biased.

Choosing a location totally made up is completely different than basing it in a real place.

For Dragon Core it was suggested I consider New Orleans as a setting.  As I hadn’t lived there in decades, I didn’t feel I could do it justice.  After considering a number of West Coast cities I decided on Seattle with San Francisco and Portland elements.

Warehouse Square is based on Jackson Square in San Francisco with Portland’s Old Town Chinatown and Seattle’s Pioneer Square as well as a handful of other locations including SF’s SOMA pieced in.


Can’t forget the music!

At the start of any new project I create an iTunes playlist, filling it with songs that support 

  • Plot
  • Character
  • Setting

I will also include songs that may not be related to the story but are nonetheless inspiring.

The Verix playlist – created during the writing of Diagonals: Book 10 in the series continues to be one of the more inspiring for writing.

I will often listen to it while in the shower trying to solve a writing challenge.

I’m sorry to say that I do not have a good feel – yet – for what will go into the current project’s playlist.

I’m writing 2 Dragon Core novels back to back as one sets up for the other.

A good part of the problem, I believe, is that I’ve been away from the main character for too long.

Messenger of the gods, Jake McLachlan.

In order to reacquaint myself I have copied passages from other books in the series that exemplify – in my opinion – who he is.

Hopefully, this will give ideas for that playlist.

In the meantime, I will share what’s in the playlist that has served to soothe and inspire for years.


Note:  The first song is mapped to the scene in Diagonals where Christine and her team are rescuing Time Refugees.

It turns out to be a trap.

I totally crank it at the part – when – 4:40 in -(excerpt commentary from Diagonals)

“Your man going to be okay?”

Which one?  She let out a breath.  “We got him stabilized and they took him to the hospital.”  She shrugged.  “He isn’t – his physiology isn’t like ours.  He took an emitter hit point blank.”  Didn’t have one of the protective suits on, damn him!

She shook her head, blinked to keep tears from spilling.  “He wasn’t even supposed to be there!  He disobeyed a direct order, damn him!  Thinks I’m a helpless -.”

“No, no, that’s not it.”

She stared.

“I saw you.  He saw you.  You were incredible. He was so proud of you, rolling across the floor like that, shooting as you went.”

She trained for over a year on that move.

Reader – Can you feel it in your blood?

Assuming you actually bothered to listen to the song and forward to that time frame.

The follow-on songs map what happens after.

Without further ado

Verix Playlist

  • Sea of Tranquility (Sir Nigel Stanford)
  • Do You Realize? (Ursine Vulpine)
  • Wicked Game (feat Annaca)
  • Ark Ascending (Ursine Vulpine)
  • Arcanine (Ursine Vulpine)
  • One Last Monent of You (Ursine Vulpine)
  • Never Let Me Go (Ursine Vulpine)
  • Endymion (Ursine Vulpine)

The following songs by Hi-Finesse were added much later and do not apply to the MA story but nonetheless serve to inspire, helping to make Verix one of the best playlists I’ve created.

Dragon Core Prime would likely be second but that’s another story.

I also added Sam Tinnesz.  Again, not part of the original but amazing for inspiration.


  • Skydream (a particular fav)
  • Dystopia
  • Odyssey
  • Event Horizon
  • Equivalence (a particular fav)
  • Spectra
  • Radius (a particular fav)
  • Rebirth (a particular fav)
  • Slowly into the Light
  • The Wolf
  • Laid to Rest
  • Destructo (a particular fav)

Sam Tinnesz

  • Legends are Made
  • Ready Set Let’s Go
  • Man or Monster ( a particular fav)
  • Play with Fire (a particular fav)
  • Sound of the Sirens
  • Even if if Hurts


Post Note: A lot of Depeche Mode is going into the first of the 2 Dragon Core book playlists.


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