What I’m Writing Now

So I’ve started writing a new novel. It’s a Dragonkeeper novel. But it doesn’t follow on from Dragon Moon. It’s set about 400 years later.

This is my fifth Dragonkeeper book. I suppose I thought it might be a bit easier, fifth time round. It isn’t. I spent about two months last year working out the characters and the plot. I wrote a six or seven page synopsis, so I thought I had it all worked out. I didn’t. The story I am writing is changing as I write it. In the synopsis I’ve got “A meets B and together they do C.” But when I come to write it, I find that A and B can’t possibly meet because they are in different places, and, what’s more, D hasn’t happened yet, so they couldn’t do C anyway.

I have to reorganise events, rethink the characters’ motivation, and think of another way for them to do what I want them to do. Today I did a big plot diagram on my whiteboard and I think I made some progress. I’ll see tomorrow when I reread my ideas from today if I still think they work.

If not, it’ll be back to the whiteboard.

76 responses to “What I’m Writing Now

  1. Dear Ms. Wilkinson,
    I came across the first novel in your Dragon Keeper series two years ago while researching historical fiction for my 6th grade Humanities classes. In California, the 6th graders study Ancient China extensively and I wanted literature that was set in Anceint China. I read the book and was instantly in love. I ordered the rest of the series for myself and read them in a matter of days. I just wanted to thank you for this amazing series. I am reading the first book, The Dragon Keeper, out loud to my students and they are entranced by it! They beg me to keep reading it to them. They talk about the book at lunch. They ponder philisophical questions about the characters and analyze the plot and themes on their own! I love the fact that your novel has touched so many of my students and sparked their interest in historical fiction. They have now begged me to compelte the entire series of the Dragon Keeper for my classroom library and have proposed that I get rid of the book we read for Ancient Egypt so they can read the Ramose series instead. I have been slowly purchasing all of your books for my classroom library, despite the fact that some are hard to come by in the United States. Upon reading your post today, I am thrilled that you are continuting to write about this series. I look forward to sharing all your books with my students in the years to come!
    Kether Dooley
    6th Grade Humanities Teachers
    Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy
    Aspire Public Schools
    Stockton, CA. USA

  2. Kether,
    Thanks so much for your comment. It is wonderful to hear about your students, I am delighted that they are enjoying the book so much.
    It is fantastic that you are willing to purchase my ancient Egypt books.
    I do hope that the US publisher will be interested in the new Dragonkeeper book, as they didn’t publish the prequel I wrote.
    Thanks for your support.

  3. Found out I can purchase the books directly from the publisher’s website! I am thrilled! My students discovered the Dragon Companion and want me order that one next. I do hope the US publisher will indeed publish the new book. If not, I will find other means to purchase a copy. I look forward to reading it!

  4. Dear Ms Wilkinson

    My name is Teghan I am 10 years old and in year 5. I love your dragon keeper books. I’m up to Dragon Moon. I was so hoping that Ping and Liu Chi are ruling together. My Mum and I have a bet that they get together. I read the book every night to my whole family, my Dad used to but now after the first book I read it to them all. I have all the books and are looking forward to reading them. I will get more books later, hopfully. Thanks for reading.

  5. Hi Carole,
    My name is Roxy and I know this has absolutely nothing to do with your blog but I need this for my assignment. I have to do this reading assignment and we have to do an author study. I love your books so I am doing my one on YOU! well, I can’t actually seem to find this anywhere but when is your birthday and when did you start writing? I’m not sure if it is on Wikipedia or not but I’m trying to avoid that site for a bit!
    Well, I hope you answer my question! thnx

  6. Roxy,
    I’m glad to hear that you like my books, and am honoured that you have chosen me for your assignment.
    The reason my birthday isn’t to be found anywhere is because I removed it. I had a problem a while back with someone trying to steal my identity, so I removed a lot of personal detail.
    I don’t think you looked very far for the answer to the ‘when did you start writing?’ question.
    If you go to the About page on this website. That question is answered in the first line.

  7. Teghan,
    Thanks for your enthusiasm about the Dragonkeeper books. Let me know when you’ve finished Dragon Moon and then we can discuss it. Don’t want to spoil the story for you.

  8. I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear this news! It’s been a while since I finished this series and long did I wish for another book in this series. I can’t wait for you to publish it when you are done!

  9. Johnathon,
    I’m not sure at this stage. The publisher would like it to come out about March next year, but that will depend on how the writing goes. Certainly no earlier than that.

  10. I really think that you should have Kai and ping meet again.
    If not I will be very sad 🙁

  11. I really think that you should have Kai and Ping meet again, or Kai meet Ping’s great great granddaughter, or something.
    If not I will be very sad 🙁

  12. Hi
    im doing a reading assignment so can you please let me know some of your personal details like your birthday and some other stuff please because it is due tommorow

    From Jade

  13. Jade,
    I think what you are asking me, is to do your homework for you. I am sorry but I’m not going to do that.
    I don’t know what “stuff” you want to know. You have found my website. You could easily go to my FAQs and the About page where you will find out quite a bit about me.
    As I have explained to others, I have taken my birth date off the internet as I believe someone was trying to steal my identity and I want to keep it private.
    The whole point of doing homework, is that it is your effort, your work.
    I’m sorry.

  14. Johnathon,
    I am not sure when it will come out. No earlier than next March. It depends how long it takes me to write it.

  15. Ella,OMG.I SOOOOO agree with you!!It’ll be so amazing if Ping and Kai meet again,huh?I practically squealed when I saw Ping’s great great granddaughter coz it sounds so cute<3
    Carole,OMG.Psyched that ur writing another(sorta)I still think that Ping and Liu Che would be tres cute together.Sad he's not a dragonkeeper too,huh?BTW,Im researching about Han Wudi(for fun)and I'd like to know if you stumbled on any info on his brother,Liu Rong?I've searched so many dozen websites about Liu Rong but can't find anything about him!!Its unfair,really.Coz Liu Che has one whole Wiki pg and Liu Rong only has a line.
    P.s,just realised Princess Pingyang is Yangxin:)
    P.P.S,I went out to buy Han Wu Da Di after reading the DK triology:)

  16. Ella,
    I’m sorry. You are going to be sad. I have to write what excites me otherwise I would never ever finish the book. Sorry again that you didn’t like the ending of Dragon Moon.

  17. Nikki,
    Glad you are pleased about the new book.
    Where does it say anything about Ping’s great great granddaughter????? I think you imagined that.
    Liu Che was a real person as you know. He did not marry a slave girl. I try not to change history when I write about real people.
    I know nothing about Liu Rong, and I thought that Yangxin was the name of his sister. I can’t remember where I got that from. When I was doing the research for the trilogy there was no Wikipedia entry for Wudi. In fact Wikipedia didn’t exist when I started the research.
    Perhaps its time you went to a library for information if you can’t find anything on the internet.
    What is Han Wu Da Di???

  18. Hey,

    I found the first book in my school library and I loved it but I read it kind of slow.When I finished it, I HAD to read the next book, and i read it faster. I finished it in about a day and, to me the ending left a lot more room for new adventure. Anyways I loved the series and I can hardly wait for the next book to be published.

  19. Matt,
    Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed the books. But remember the book I’m writing now continues after a gap of 400 years. So don’t expect any of the human characters to still be around.

  20. you know that email i sent you well i did look on your website and i did not ask you to do my homework otherwise i would have said ” Carole can you please do my homework” and i did not say that did i

  21. Jade,
    I apologise. You caught me at a bad moment when I had quite a few emails from people wanting personal information immediately. But that is no excuse for being impolite, so I am sorry.
    I try to put information on my website so that people can find out what they want to know. So I have written FAQs and the About page.
    I hope you found what you needed for your assignment.

  22. Dear carole Wilkinson
    I am glad you are writing a book that is like the first second and third book. I just wanted yo know what happened to danzi and kaibut if they are in the next book do not tell me what happend.I LOVE your books they are very interesting.

    Bye courtney
    P.S: hope you have good luck writing all of your books.

  23. I love your books Carole. For the dragonkeeper series my year six teacher said that I should read bigger books so she suggested that I read Dragon Moon. I only realised at when I finished reading it that it was the last one. Because I was thinking who is Danzi and Hua and Kai.

  24. Courtney,
    I didn’t say it was going to be like the second and third books. It is going to be different, I hope. Kai will be in this book, but not Danzi. I leave it up to the readers to make up their own minds about what happened to Danzi.
    I had a better day today with the writing, thanks.

  25. Jade,
    Glad you came back to comment again. It’s great that your teacher encouraged you to read bigger books, and that you achieved that. Did you go back and read the first two books?
    I hope you have found other books to enjoy and are continuing to read.

  26. Carole,I was replying to Ella.Yangxin IS the name of his sister,though she is better known as PingYang.I have been researching about Liu Che(Emperor Wu)ever since P6(12)(im sec 2 now-14)and han dynasty.Got to say,he’s still my favourite:)I have been to soooo many libraries borrowing ancient china books but still no Liu Rong:(
    Han Wu Da Di is a show set in Han Dynas about Liu Che:)

  27. Carole
    I am on page 273 of dragon moon, untill recently i thought it was the only one, i have been reading dragon moon slowly, its one of the best book ive ever read . . . and i dont like books, is it true that you are using pings relative, or is it a boy and is kai in it?

  28. Billy,
    Yes Kai is in it, and yes there is a relative of Ping’s and it’s a boy.
    Are you going to go back and read the other two?

  29. i loved every book and i am really excited for the 5th one i hope you get through the troubles writing the book so everybody can read it

  30. Omg im done with dragon moon and now reading dragon keeper, it was an amazing ending! you’re the best writer ever.

    i always pictured dragons like midevil style, i mean hei lei reminded me of a black midevil dragon.
    its kinda weard looking at pic of them, it changes my look of them until i read again.

  31. Our class has just started reading dragon keeper. By the way, haven’t you already written dragon moon?
    Have a good time writing your new book and we give you all our best.
    Hope you finish the book soon. We’re looking forward to it.

  32. Hi Carole,
    I have read all the dragon keeper twice. And this term our class novel is Dragon Keeper!!!! I’m an enjoying although its my third time but still its great. You are such a awsome writer!!!!!!!! Also where do you get all the info about ancient China?

  33. hi carole our class have been reading dragon keeper(best book in the world) and I wanted to know where you got the inspiration to be a writer and what did you want to be besides a writer?

  34. Dear carole, i’m in year 5 at school our class is reading your book Dragon Keeper and it’s so addictive! I absoloutely can’t wait to see what happens next! Exiting story, LOVE LOVE LOVE! keep up the good work!

    can’t wait till’ the next book! 🙂

  35. sup,

    my class has just started reading your book dragon keeper and my 5/6 class are really enjoying it even though i’ve read the book before it still doesn’t get old. I’ve got one question,what do you do in your spare time.

    keep writing

  36. Emma,
    I’m way behind answering these comments. Sorry about that. Thanks for that. I’ve reached halfway now, so I’m feeling a bit better about it.

  37. Jessie, Kalei, Sonia,
    Hope you are enjoying the book.
    Yes I have written Dragon Moon. That was the end of the trilogy. Now I am writing another book that is set 400 years later.

  38. prakhar,
    I spend a lot of my spare time answering blog comments!
    I like reading and I also do family history.

  39. Sarah,
    glad you’re enjoying the book. You have a long way to go yet, I think. Then there are the other two books in the series!

  40. Ben,
    I don’t know where the inspiration to be a writer comes from. It’s just like wanting to be a football player or something else. It’s what you want to do down deep inside.
    Before I was a writer, I was a laboratory technician, but that was just a job I had. Being a writer is the only thing I’ve really wanted to be.

  41. Kate,
    I’m glad to hear it isn’t boring you, reading it for the third time.
    I get my information about ancient China from books in the Melbourne University library and in the State Library.

  42. i started out reading you dragon keeper trilogy i started reading the first book it took me 2 months the second book took me 3 weeks the last one took me a week. I realy like the dragon keeper series and to hear you writing another one in the series is exsiting. Hope you can finish the book your writing.

  43. I Would Love A Dragon Keeper Movie, you should try to get it into a movie. Start from Dragon Dawn and proceed Through The Novels.

    P.S. Im Almost done with “Dragon Keeper” and im getting “Garden Of The Purple Dragon” Tomorrow.

  44. John,
    That’s terrific that you enjoyed the books, and that you read Dragon Moon quickly. I’m feeling better about the new book this week.

  45. it would send the book, and letters to different directors. you never know what you might findout
    good luck with ur writings!

  46. Carole,
    Im sorry I bothered with asking questions that I could have answered myself (apart from the ‘when is your birthday’ one)and thank you for telling me about your ‘About’ page. It was my first time on this site so I didn’t know what anything was but if I had seen the ‘About’ page on the top, I’m sure I would’ve gone there first. Thank you

  47. Carole,
    sorry I didn’t say this in my last message but the assignment turned out quite well. I was hoping for an ‘A’ but instead I got a ‘B+’. I was quite pleased for it. 🙂

  48. I made a book end in school with danzi and ping on it because we had to make a book end of our favorite book

  49. Carole,
    When do you you think the new Dragonkeeper book will be out????
    I am a big fan and read a book a day,i now already read every Dragonkeeper book at least 20 times and are waiting for the next book.

    P.S Today i did a prestation about aithors and you were my favorite author out of many other famous authors. 21/23 students in my class voted it is a good book

  50. You know,I dont get why many people want Dragonkeeper to be a movie.Sure,I mean I would love to see Danzi and Ping and Liu Che,even,on the big screen but I think it would be better to stay a book because the movie and the book would be,like,SOOOO different.
    For example,Harry Potter movie is different from the book.They left out parts that I enjoyed.Same goes for Narnia and Percy Jackson.Percy Jackson on the big screen was a PURE dissappointment.
    Ps,a suggestion for your blog:You could have,like,a writing competition every few months or so.I’am currently participating in a writing competition by one of my fave authors.Maybe,a theme could be about mythical creatures?

  51. Ziyin,
    I do not know when the new book will be out. I have to finish writing it. I hope it will be out sometime next year. It takes about a year for me to write a book.
    20 times is a lot of times to read a book! I am very pleased that you like it so much. I think four times is the most I have ever read a book.

  52. Nikki C,
    I agree. I am in no hurry to have a movie made. First I have to find the right people to do it. You have to leave parts out when you turn a book into a movie otherwise it would be 20 hours long. That is the skill, knowing what to leave out and what to leave in.
    Thanks for the suggestion. It’s a good idea, but at the moment I don’t have time to organise it as I am busy writing and preparing for writing festivals etc. I would have to read all the stories, and even if only a few people entered that would take some time. I have to concentrate on writing at the moment. Maybe later in the year.

  53. Hi Carole,
    im so excited to hear your writing another part to the sereis, even though its new characters i know it will be amazing! I loved to dragon keeper and the other 3 books. I’ve always love dragons and there mystical powers and have been reading about them for 3 years now in acient chinese stories, (so interesting). My 2 questions to you are: When Did You Start Loving Dragons And What Inspired You?

  54. Richie,
    I started my interest in dragons in about 1989, when I wrote a telemovie about a dragon. That’s what inspired me. It was my husband’s idea. I started to do research about dragon mythology, and I have never stopped.

  55. Alliyah,
    I like to write historical fiction. I was interested in ancient Egypt and in dragons. So I decided to write stories set in ancient Egypt, and about dragons. I write about things that interest me.

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