Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
Continuing and brutally cold weather didn’t stop me from completing my top-to-bottom rewrite of A Contract in Azure and Indigo this week! I was fortunate to have had some slow periods at work to sneak-in some writing on Thursday-Friday, because unexpected events requiring my attention Saturday kept me from writing until the evening. Everything worked out, however… and Sunday I handed a draft to my alpha-readers that is two-thousand words longer than the original fourteen-thousand word story.
I was slightly surprised at the growth of the word count; I had cut out a lot as I rewrote. But the added verbiage to the post-climax and falling action sections of the story really have made it much stronger and coherent. The interplay of the two principle characters now showcases them better, while their dialogue and actions have a natural flow. And that last chapter… OH MY! How I had rushed the last half of it! I filled in a lot of gaps there and the new draft, although longer, reads and feels less cumbersome to me.
I’m waiting on the feedback, but I’m confident that overall my instincts will be validated. :-)
Next-up on the schedule is my return to PRINCE OF STARS! I spent part of Sunday refining ideas on character equipment designs. Although that might sound over-nit-picky, it was actually a very productive little project that got me thinking and forced me to re-visualize some things for the better. I can thank artist Kate Whitmore for her simple request for more details to help her illustrate the “Ki Blades”… the signature energy-swords for some of the characters… with getting my imagination fired-up and crafting some ideas that will add shine to my space-fantasy story!
The last few days I’ve spent revising the existing chapters of PRINCE OF STARS on these points of detail, and writing a slightly different opening to the initial chapter. With that out of the way I’ll finish chapter three, which was almost done when I put it away in early January to focus more pressing projects. Then I’ll write the rest of it. I’ll have a novella with six or so chapters when it’s complete… And it’ll definitely be another novel-in-waiting like The Brynesmark that I’ll be returning to for expansion!
Have I mentioned that I’m feeling really productive lately with my writing momentum? ;-D
Speaking of The Brynesmark, chapter three of that serial, Kora’s Blessing, will be posted on Saturday morning on Aethereal Engines! I wish that I could say that the chapter will see poor Eevin’s lot improving… But as this preview excerpt of its first page will show, Lord-Captain Anise and his henchmen are being as black-hearted as ever towards the orphan:
There was the long ripping sound of tearing cloth as Eevin struggled face down in the boat under the pinning knee of the Boatswain.
“Stop ye squirming!” the old sailor growled grabbing the boy’s wrists with his deft hands. His calloused fingers turned the tightly twisted remains of the child’s yellowed linen shirt into a series of expert knots that bound the child’s hands behind his back.
“Please don’t drown me!” Eevin managed to blurt before a folded strip of torn linen was looped over his face and yanked backwards forming a gag between his teeth.
“Belay that blubbering,” the Boatswain said tightening the knots of the gag behind Eevin’s head while the boy tested the strength of the cloth binding his hands. He found the sailor’s knotwork like iron while he writhed and kicked.
The beady-eyed sailor grabbed Eevin by the hair and pulled him to his feet with a muscled forearm that bulged under the short sleeve of his striped shirt. Shoving the child back into Hollomon’s cold steel gauntlets, he looked to the amused face of Lord-Captain Anise.
“Beggin’ the Lord-Captain’s pardon, but do ye really think Bryne will bargain anythin’ in exchange for one of his old whorin’ mistakes? I mean my Lordship, he’s killed a hundred men or more in cold blood and—”
“—He will serve as a distraction if nothing more, Boatswain.”
“Aye, Lord-Captain… but to whom?”
The nobleman eyed the shirtless, gagged boy in the rolling fog. “If Bryne is as uncooperative with us as he was under the lash of the High Inquisitor himself, then I know a whispered arcana that will wrest whatever secrets we want from his corpse… Providing his progeny’s heart still beats as I cut it out of the whelp.”
Eevin grew still and pale as the aristocrat’s words sank in, and the old boatswain needed to look away from the child before he nodded. “Aye… Aye yer Lordship.”
Is there some glint of unexpected hope in the boy’s future? You can find out Saturday! ;-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!