WIP-it Wednesday: January 20th, 2016


Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

It’s been another productive week! Thanks to the kindness and hard work of both of my alpha readers, I received their feedback on The Brynesmark throughout the weekend, and I spent it working in edits and revisions. My alphas were very excited with this one, and I finished a clean second draft of the story Sunday night. I feel that this is some of my best work to date, and I’m currently awaiting more feedback from a second batch of readers.

I was in such a good mood about it that I created the nifty animated graphic at the top of this blog to accompany the story when I release it on Aethereal Engines in the near future! With six chapters, The Brynesmark will make a nice weekly serial for a modest run… And it will also provide ongoing content while I work on finishing PRINCE OF STARS for its own serial release thereafter. :-)

With the second draft of The Brynesmark complete and awaiting more feedback, Monday and Tuesday have been focused on other projects. I’ve been messaging back and forth with a good friend and fellow writer as she has been giving me critique on PRINCE OF STARS. She’s has some good ideas to help the piece with a few minor tweaks and additions. I’m really grateful for her input, and I’m looking forward to taking action on her suggestions!

Right now, the third part of PRINCE OF STARS is sitting at about fifteen hundred words from done… I’m holding off on jumping right back in while I wait for feedback on Brynesmark. I want to finish that first, and leave myself time for any additional editing on that before I start on PRINCE again. But when I do, I’m finishing the current chapter and then adding two or three more to wrap-up the story as another novelette!

Monday also found me looking back at a story of mine from last year, A Hymnal upon the Wind. I’ve been thinking about revisiting the piece and giving it a fresh edit, possibly expanding on it so that it could fit into my planed book of collected Burusian fantasy short stories and novelettes. I really like the main character of the story, Aile, a tough lady knight-errant.

The story was my first attempt at a lot of action and it worked, but I think I could make it work better now that I have more writing skill. I had always intended to do a series of stories about Aile’s journey to the forgettable village of Kam at the southernmost tip of the Hernspine Mountains… But hadn’t thought of a way to work her into the “theme” of the compilation book. However, now I have an idea that might make her story fit in.

By chance or fate, I stumbled into a writing exercise to describe a weapon.  Over the course of the day on Monday, and with Aile in mind, I expanded on my notes for the sword she wields, creating its backstory and granting it a name: Swain

The Solanic knight-errant Aile possesses a one-handed arming sword that once belonged to her father and his father before him. The graceful double-edged weapon was famous long before Aile’s father died wielding it in battle amid a score of felled Urlthmen.

The sword’s origin began when her great-grandfather, Rolst, rescued the alchemist Cydham at great risk from the clutches of Urtz the Undying. The alchemist’s daughter Awren, a renowned artisan and enchantress, found herself quickly enamored of the knight. But knowing he was honor-bound by a betrothal arranged in Rolst’s childhood, Awren kept her devoted love a secret. Unable to be at his side, she spent a year and a day crafting Swain; a beautiful and potent weapon that would stand unwavering at her knight’s side where she could not.

Rolst wielded the blade throughout the climax of the Second War of Urtz, and the retreat of that tyrant into shadow. No sooner had the war ended than he stood to wed a princess of Yales as a great hero during the high summer feast of Solan. Watched by a grateful king and a tearful Awren, it was with Swain that Rolst severed the handfasting cord binding him to his sovereign’s daughter… and offered it instead to Awren.

Thus began Aile’s family line, and with the birth of her grandfather, her surname: Awrenborn.

Swain’s blade is constructed of an unknown and lost alchemical alloy that has a sheen and color more akin to polished silver than steel. But its clean lines and reflective surface belie a metal many times the strength of ordinary arms. Paired with an enchanted edge and balance, Swain has sundered the hilt, haft and armor of many an unworthy foe.

The sword’s cross guard is formed in the shape of an intricately detailed metal swan with open wings. The bird’s outstretched head lies along the fuller of the blade above the guard, pointing toward the weapon’s tip far above it. Although highly decorative, Awren’s enchantments have ensured a resilience within the swan guard even greater than that of the blade: It bares not a single scar from any battle it has seen since it was forged a hundred years ago.

Beneath the guard, Swain’s grip is wrapped with black leather in a tight, overlapping spiral leading to the weapon’s pommel. This is crafted into a splayed swan’s foot of the same alloy as the blade, and the protrusion has been used more than once to launch a surprise strike or gouge in riposte.

Writing the above got many ideas churning in my head! What do you think?

One on those branching ideas involved composing a very short poem to serve as the Oath of the Solanic Knights in my setting of Burus. The Solanic Knights are a religious order of warriors that serve the Temple of Solan, a popular Sun-God within the polytheistic religions of the Burusian continent.

Although the order’s primary mission is to protect their Temple, its clergy, followers and even the temples of allied deities… They also act as a small but elite company of knights that serve the Kingdom of Yales in times of war.

The select members of the Solanic knight-errant, to which Aile belongs, are few in number but renowned. These knights may act as the most trusted agents of the Temple, but they usually do so under their own autonomy. Questing across the land, these paladins have pledged themselves to search for injustice, for wrongs to right, and for people in need of aid.

As you can guess, it’s a very dangerous vocation to hold.

I crafted their oath inspired by the timbre of the famous Green Lantern Oath, four lines of prose that always have stuck with me and never fail to sound epic in my ears. I wanted to honor its style with my own oath for the knights, and after a day of work I think it stands on its own without being a rip-off:

Come brilliant day, or pitch-black night,
I pledge my honor, and my fight,
A guarding shield, a guiding light,
Against the fiends of Evil’s plight!

– Oath of the Solanic Knights

Yowza! I feel pumped just reading that again… even after a thousand tweaks to it yesterday! ;-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!


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