Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I’m between projects this week, but still managing to be productive. As I wait for additional feedback on The Brynesmark that might lead into more editing, I’m reluctant to go full-gear into PRINCE OF STARS and finish it. I really dislike getting started on something and to have the momentum rolling… only to put the brakes on in mid stride to refocus on something else!
However, I then had a correspondence Saturday with my artist friend Kate. I’ve been working with her on cover and interior art for my ongoing story projects that I want to publish. She revealed herself as a Star Wars fan, and the mention of my space-fantasy that pulls a lot of inspiration from that work got her excited to do some commissioned illustrations for PRINCE OF STARS. Her excitement was contagious as I collected and wrote some material to aid her, and in doing so I really began to look forward to working on that piece again. :-)
Kate’s a really good artist and now I’m pumped to see the awesome character art she’ll surely create for my story!
Now definitely wanting to do more work on PRINCE over the weekend, I followed up on some feedback I had received from a fellow author’s critique of its opening chapters. Rather than finishing chapter three and starting on four, I found a good and satisfying compromise by writing additional opening material instead. It amounted to about five-hundred words, and I think it’s a stronger beginning that enhances the existing material it leads into. Beyond that, I did some minor editing tweaks here and there on the first two chapters… and the incomplete third.
Satisfied with my work on PRINCE, Sunday morning I began my long needed and expansive edit of A Contract in Azure and Indigo.
Contract was a benchmark and watershed story for me as a writer. It’s near and dear to my heart because was the first time that I wrote a character that felt rounded and whole, as if they existed outside of the narrative of the story.
That character was Ama: A tall, lanky and grey-haired peasant woman whose youth and freedom have been expended taking care of elderly parents. After their deaths, she has many fears and regrets trying to maintain the rough family farm alone. Yet with practically-minded grit she finds the resolve to intervene and aid Bean, a young man she has been mentoring, when the corrupt local exciseman seeks to force him into a dark mystical contract or face debtors prison. Ama’s choice to enter into the contract in Bean’s stead becomes the crux of the story.
Ama is far from a warrioress or other stock fantasy character, and that’s why I like her. She’s a peasant, and I aimed to paint her day-to-day pains and struggles with the pigments of historical realities before adding the magical elements.
I love Contract’s plot, and I’m proud of it still, but it was also my first working and complete story. My writing has come a long way since I penned it at the end of 2014… sometimes a shockingly long way when I review its clumsy dialogue and meandering walls of description. Oh boy… ;-) But my passion between the words still pushes the story forward despite numerous technical flaws and a poor voice.
I’ve felt for months that Contract deserves a better treatment now that I’ve honed my writing and gained a better voice. So on Sunday I started giving it a top-to-bottom writing overhaul as an “in-between projects”-project. Another motivator is wanting to prepare Contract for inclusion in my compilation of Burusian fantasy short-stories and novelettes, where it will need more than a round of polishing to pass muster in my eyes.
Slogging through that first chapter took a much longer time than I had anticipated! However, now that it’s revised and rewritten, I’m a third through the full story with a good feeling as I start on Contract’s middle act. :-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!