Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
It’s been a better week for my writing and health than last. With a cold in retreat and stiches removed, I received my first feedback on A Contract in Azure and Indigo from one of my alpha readers. Their initial comments point to a big improvement over the original. Yay! That was what I wanted to hear, and once I have their feedback on the remaining three chapters I’ll start in on suggested edits.
My major writing effort this week has been The Old Man of the Elder Trees. It’s a special Moderator’s Writing Challenge, a “Flipped Fairy Tale” prompt challenge between myself and two other co-moderators on the Reddit forum we run together.
Mostly, the story has been a lot of fun to craft and a good side/in-between project. I reached the story’s climax and then some on Monday, but five-hundred shy of its cap of five-thousand words I began to get displeased. The pacing and flow of the last quarter of the story felt like it was stumbling: It wasn’t where I wanted it to be, or weaving the tale the way I wanted to end it. I re-read the last seven-hundred words, shook my head, and highlighted it for rework. Unfortunately, I had no idea on what to do to fix it.
Flustered and tired, I put it away and went to bed. Then I took a step back and had a daydreaming break yesterday.
Daydreaming breaks are good. I go on them whenever I take walks alone, or when I’m driving long predictable stretches with music. Although I’m not grabbing toys and acting out the scenes I imagine as often as I did when I was little, the play is still essentially the same: It’s me having fun, envisioning cool things and building on ideas until I form a collection of them… a recipe that makes me say, “Now THAT could be a good story!”
Then I write.
I haven’t had enough of them lately, and yesterday’s was refreshing. It allowed me to come up with some new ideas and imagery, and now I’m feeling comfortable with how I might rework things.
I just need to sit down, revise, renovate… and write! :-)
The Brynesmark has had a very good week! Chapter Four was a big reveal, opening up a powder-keg of action as Hakbutt Bryne freed the son he didn’t know he had while cleaving into the climax with a cutlass! But fighting alone and with his son Eevin transformed into a panicked seagull, the tide seems to have turned against the pirate…
Twitch laughed as Hakbutt fought temporarily blinded. Grinning, he anticipated the moment when the pirate would be disarmed, lusting for the prestige that being the man who killed Hakbutt Bryne would bring. Watching Bryne slowly losing the fight, Lord-Captain Anise chanted arcana far behind Twitch’s fat shoulders.
Then the pirate’s glazed white eye lolled pupil-less to met Twitch’s murderous stare.
A pin-hole of green appeared on the milky surface of the eye. For a moment Twitch dismissed it as a reflection, but it grew and flicked like a flame as Hakbutt kept his weapon in rigging-worn fingers. Then the fire in Bryne’s white eye flared, and the seaman could see a wavering green skull laughing at him like a pupil within it. Twitch’s fist shook within the basket hilt of his cutlass, and he looked down to see Hakbutt’s unshielded, weapon holding hand burst into licking green flames.
Fire lapped against the big man’s arm as he stepped back with their blades still locked. Bryne’s hand became engulfed by emerald flame as they struggled back and forth, creating a basket hilt in the form of a ghostly, leering skull that taunted Twitch with every push and shove.
His good eye of blue now free of spit and blood, Hakbutt caught sight of the Lord-Captain completing his arcane spell far behind the burly sailor’s back. A wisp of smoke and bone rose from the aristocrat’s hand to form a disembodied maw of translucent shark teeth beside him.
The young man caught the pirate’s gaze and grinned. “Eaten by sharks, indeed!”
With a blade at his throat and a spell readied to tear him apart, Hakbutt’s fate seems all but sealed. But is it? Tune in Saturday on Aethereal Engines and find out in… Chapter Five: Fathers an’ Sons!
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!