The inner critic jumped right in at the idea level on this story. I suppose it had to happen, but still…

The idea came from a Science Channel commercial for “Mysteries of the Volcano Temple” (it’s in Rome) Volcano Temple was seriously cool. Perfect place for an action story in my sword and sorceress series.

I even decided before I was going to write the story that it would be called Volcano Temple.

That should have been a sign of the problem. I’ve been calling these “Story 14,” “Story 15,” etc. until I’m almost done. That way I don’t invite the inner critic in for a stay.

Yeah, well.

I started on the first scene. It wasn’t until I was trying to describe a statue of the volcano god and figure out what to name him that I realized the rabbit hole I headed down. The whole purpose of the S&S stories to get a monster. Describing and naming the god wasn’t going to help any of that. Restarted the story, changed the POV, and concentrated more on the treasure hunt aspect of finding a lost temple.

This time, I focused on adding more details. I’m not detail-oriented, so this is a weak area for me, though I was doing better than I thought I was. Things like “he sat back in his chair” became “The applewood chair creaked as he settled his spine against the backrest.” (And gets the detail, sound, and touch.)

A lot of on the spot research for little details like that. I’m going to be working on a book on research for fiction writers in 2021, because there really isn’t anything except superficial blog posts or ones that advocate spending a year researching before you start writing. A lot of shortcuts can be done without spending years mirred in research.

The story is sword and sorcery, called “Temple Terror,” and weighed in at 3,000. Only 22 uses of was, so my effort last week seems to have made a difference.