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

My writing was interrupted by a Saturday that included a half-day of yardwork and a lawnmower that died on me. However, my inspiration never faltered. Even with an abbreviated amount of time to write this weekend, I had added 2,500 words to new chapter five of Vivian’s Last Cigarette by Sunday night.

Monday ended up being one of those rare weekdays where other projects didn’t crowd out my time to write on the novel. With my motivation in high gear by the time I got home from the day-job, a stiff dose of caffeine helped me add a thousand words to complete the chapter before midnight.

The first draft totals a little more than 4,100 words, and I got to end it on a great cliffhanger that wasn’t entirely dissimilar to this:

Overall, the chapter is quite character focused. Viv and Gronk get to have some fun at the start, a nice change of pace given events up to here, and the readers get to see their friendship develop a little more. Minor character Mike, introduced in the previous chapter, gets a touch of development too… although this is the last chapter he’s physically present in.

The big challenge for our protagonists this chapter comes in the form of a new character, Bri (Brian) Kane. He’s a local Hammerfist thug and member of the same gang that attacked Gronk and got the action rolling in chapter one. Although he wasn’t present in the inciting incident of the story, he’s fully aware of the event and serves a role to fill the reader in on how gang has reacted to it.

In monomythic terms, Bri is absolutely playing the archetype role of a Herald (specifically, of the Shadow) and the Trickster in this bit. Although not a physical threat to the orcs, he’s a crap-talking loud-mouth who is trying to taunt and goad them to violence with his anti-changeling vitriol. It’s a test that Gronk passes, but a trial that Viv fails. Her failure has several repercussions, one of which is very immediate and stinging for Gronk.

But, tested as they are, the pair’s bond strengthens for it. I got to illustrate that with some short, well-timed dialogue I’m rather proud of towards the end… And then the sh*t hits the fan.

I’ll be giving the chapter a read through and editing brush-up before handing it over to my first reader for feedback. Hopefully it will be in a second draft state by Friday or sooner so I can send it –along with the second draft of chapter four– over to reader two ahead of the long Memorial holiday weekend here in the United States.

I’m also going to crack my knuckles and try my hardest to write as much of chapter six as I can over the holiday. I have no other firm commitments, and it would be great to finish that draft and enter June on such a high note! But even if I don’t, the more work I can get done on the novel before I temporarily shift focus to finishing (and start crunch-time on) the RPG sessions for PortCon, the better. :-)

I’m really excited to start writing chapter six, too. I’ve been inspired to open it right where five leaves off: With a dozen or more skinheads hot on the heels of our intrepid (and fleeing) orcs. ;-) I’ve got this great idea for madcap chase that leads into the other scenes I have planned… And it all climaxes with the appearance of a majestic, one-horned animal that will tie the new chapters into the rest of the established book. Huzzah!

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

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