Things are going well on some fronts, not so much on others. Here’s a progress report on my current story lines:
Eclipse of Shadows Progress
My primary focus is on the new novel, Eclipse of Shadows. The majority of my weekly word count goes to this apocalyptic tale as I set the stage and introduce both of the protagonists and their personal situations.
There have been a couple of surprises since the initial groundwork was laid out in this post.
- Rorie is a bit moodier than I’d initially thought. This shouldn’t be a surprise to me — every time I create a new set of characters, the first one is always the moodier, angrier, more broken of the pair. (Ask me about my first Dungeons & Dragons characters. Or my first Star Trek RPG characters. Or the first CyberPunk RPG characters. Or…)
- Chance was initially more of a victim during development, dealing with a domestic abuse situation. Not so much anymore. Oh, the domestic situation still exists, but she instigates as much as suffers from the abuse. It’s unfortunate that many women who are involved with these issues have some sense of being deserving of the incidents. Chance has reached the end of her rope, however. Her plans to bail haven’t quite gelled, but she’s stronger than I expected.
Kind of par for the course with me. The tough, no-nonsense power house is the one who’s emotionally more fragile than the tenderhearted and put-upon protagonist.
I’m over ten thousand words into an 80K document — ten scenes total — so plugging steadily along. Both characters have been introduced (Chapters 1 & 2,) and have enjoyed their first face-to-face meeting (Chapter 3.) Now it’s on to Chapter 4 — the beginning of the apocalypse.
Chained Destinies Progress
The mutant / superhero-ish tale languishes as it awaits editing. I pushed through the first sixteen thousand words (of a 93K document) but no farther. EoS has grabbed most of my attention.
I wrote Chained Destinies over the course of eighteen or more months. My expectations for edits are multiple disjointed scenes and repeated explanations of character motivations and emotions throughout the course of the novel.
Additionally, the prolonged and sporadic writing of this book probably left narrative and/or character progression gaps as I slogged through it. If I edit in the same manner (i.e., over the course of a couple of weeks,) I could miss these.
Repetition is great in speeches; not pleasant to read in novels. Hence the reason for putting first edits on hold. I want to focus my full attention on the manuscript to ensure I don’t miss any redundancies.
(And, in reference to my comment above regarding character development, the bad ass bounty hunter was the more fleshed out protagonist in the beginning. Newsflash: she suffers debilitating nightmares from her childhood. The second protagonist, the drifter, is more level-headed and wise…if somewhat misguided in her daydreams.)
Blade & Silk Progress
This tale is my current casualty.
As previously noted in this post, the story line of Blade & Silk will be an ongoing adventure series as we follow a warrior/paladin (Sutton of Nob Hill) and a currently amorphous sidekick who has worked as a consort in the past. The tale was developed as a solo Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and I placed it a few hundred years after my Darkstone/Pixie novels.
Even with an exciting first location, the Circle of Spears, I somehow got lost… I’ve only written fifteen hundred words in three sittings. The story has since languished for the last couple of weeks.
It wasn’t until I recently returned to watching episodes of Critical Role on YouTube that I figured out my issue.
When playing D&D, the dungeon master (DM) or game master (GM) describes the scene in which the players find themselves. The players then react to their surroundings dependent upon their morality, skills and talents. Dice are used by the characters for confrontations or investigations to allow for the randomness of reality to permeate the created situations.
In my solo game, Blade & Silk, I’m using the Deck of Worlds by The Story Engine Deck. I randomly chose a series of cards that gave me a descriptive location — the Circle of Spears.
“The scene is set: our warrior is ‘graduating’ from her training. It’s dark, the woods are close, the only light are from the torches of the military gathering at the Circle of Spears. There, she’ll go through a ritual to shed her adolescence and become a warrior for her people. Once the ceremony is over, she’ll say good bye to her parents and leave for the year-long walk about that all young adults are required to follow before taking up the mantle of adulthood in the clan.”
Then I didn’t write about the location.
I spent over fifteen hundred words creating a long slog as Sutton is kidnapped – possibly with her squad mates – and dragged through the night into potentially dangerous territory. Don’t get me wrong, I think the writing is good for a beginning. But it’s not the scene I created above. It’s travel. While blindfolded, no less.
Always open a novel (or series, or story) with action or emotion.
What does it say about the story line that even the writer is bored to tears, huh?
I’m debating whether or not to start from scratch; cut the current word count from Patreon and begin anew. That is the more attractive decision. Then, as readers become my Patrons, they’ll have a comprehensive beginning for the series rather than a mishmash.
Not to worry. Those words will remain in the ‘cut’ document of my Scrivener project. A writer never knows when those words can be used anew later in the manuscript. (Most of the Sanguire short stories posted on my website are deleted scenes from previous incarnations of the books. You can find them here.)
And that’s the current state of my writings on this lovely July day in 2023!
If you’re interested in following along:
- I publish two or more scenes a week on Patreon (currently Eclipse of Shadows.)
- I’m uploading weekly scenes from my Freya’s Tears sequel, Ginnungagap, if you’re interested in a space opera tale.
- Upper tier levels of Patrons include a signed copy of any novel I publish during the year you’ve subscribed.
Take care, everyone! I believe I’m going to spend the next three days getting those edits out of the way so I can focus on the new story adventures!