Dead Time

An editor would probably tell me to lose this entire post below the fold.  Yet another reason I self-publish.

What will have to be radically reassigned it the last bit of my last post, the part that is first-person Gil.  There’s no way Nichole can ‘remember’ something from someone else; she’d run off at that point.  Still, I was drunk and saw it, so I wrote it down.  I’ll slip it in somewhere.

Which is something else I’m trying very hard to do:  keeping this first-person Nichole.  While my books have (few) good reviews on Amazon, there is particular criticism of how much I flick from character to character.  I realize it is – hopefully becoming was – a bad habit of mine:  as you all know, I ‘see’ these scene and write them down.  Many are from the perspective of other characters.  As in a film or animation, it would all be simple and obvious.  As a book?  My fault entirely.  So, I’m really trying to rein that tendency in and getting into the heads of other characters as few and far between as I can.

It is tough.  Especially once I’m into Part Three, when not just Nichole, but a host of other pivotal players in that Act.  Rhun, Tessmer, Bakke, the Mayor, Teresa, Nike… how can I get this bloodbath done by Halloween?

Continue reading “Dead Time”

Background;noise

Never really meant to go dark like that.  A few unrelated – that is, closely related – things happened at once I was left to manage them.

Firstly, the revised, re-edited, and re-covered edition of my first novel, “The Fourth Law,” is now loose in the wild!  I am once again thankful to my copyeditor for all her hard work.  In close relation to that…

At the suggestion of another writer, I am going to try serializing T4L on wattpad for a couple of weeks to see if it gets any traction.  So, if you’re too cheap to spring for the ninety-nine cents for the Kindle edition, and too lazy to post a review afterward, you can read along for free for at least another ten days.

While I was setting all that up, my copyeditor delivered the re-edit of “Echoes of Family Lost.”  I applied most of her recommendations – I’ll never say ‘Asian’ for ‘Oriental’! – and should have the physical proof copy of that in my hands tomorrow.  If all’s well, it shall be re-released by this weekend.

Not wanting her idle and, besides weekends, not having a day off since January, I made a four-day weekend out of this last.  I’ve been doing the work of 1.6 people since the end of December and I needed a tanjed break.  Besides sleeping until noon I also have nearly finished my editing pass of what was ‘Defiant’ and is now “The Saga of Nichole5:  Friend & Ally.”  I’ll need a cover for that so shall be setting up another campaign on 99designs in a couple of weeks.

Actual writing-wise, a year after I said I would I am finally typing out as much of the oral history of my father-in-law as I can recall, especially as regards his service in WWII and time in Hungary’s gulag.  Hopefully I can get all the basics complete in no more than three weeks… I still want to know more about Gary’s younger sister, Faustina.

So again, apologies.  I’ll try to do better in the coming days!

The Second Bridge, Coda, pt5 (end)

Short?  Sure it is.  Abrupt?  I don’t think so.  Lampshade hung?  I thought I did, both in the main story and this coda.

Consider:  the “short” story of ‘The Second Bridge’ came in at 11.4k words.  This “little” bonus ending is 4900 words.  Sometimes, no matter how interesting these people are, I need to walk away for other projects.

To wit:  my copyeditor has returned the 2nd edition of ‘Echoes of Family Lost.’  This weekend shall be spent implementing those changes.  I tell you:  no matter how you might prize your storytelling, when an editor hands back a manuscript – that you thought was fine – essentially bleeding red ink… it’s an incredibly humbling experience.

Thanks, everyone, for reading about Henge and her families.  I hope you love them all as much as I do.  After this weekend’s editing, we’ll be off again!

Continue reading “The Second Bridge, Coda, pt5 (end)”

MachCiv Dreams, A look back

This has been a fun and interesting forty days.  I’d no firm plan as to what I’d write, only that I would.  With a few exceptions of illness or exhaustion, I think I did not do too badly:

I began with the otherwise untitled MCD1:  a look at a minor character from “Cursed Hearts” and taking place just a few days after that book’s close.  Lots of interesting things going on, but I was, at the time, eager to move on.

MCD2 later became ‘Worlds Without End,’ so we’ll look to it later.

From my never-completed novel, “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” came what was essentially its first chapter.  Ironically, about three weeks later I’d write the last chapter in ‘Death Ship.’  I wonder if I’ll ever write the middle?

MCD4 was based on notes from a short I wrote last year.  It was my first time playing in another’s sandbox and later developed into the multi-part ‘Abandoned Factory.’

At this point I was hitting my stride and that stride was getting longer.  I let go any pretention of one-shots and turned to a episodic format.  The first of those was ‘Pine Bluff,’ so named for the town in Arkansas.  This was a chapter I cut from “Echoes of Family Lost” as it didn’t advance the plot, only giving some closure to an event from “The Fourth Law.”

Following a day off, I let loose with ‘Abandoned Factory.’ This was just a little too much fun, playing in someone else’s place.  Had I not reined myself in, this would have been the rest of Lent.  The main character is one of the leads from “Cursed Hearts.” She had a moment of grace in the final scene of that book and so goes to Purgatory rather than placing herself into Hell.  A secondary character, Nike, has a mysterious role to place in my soon to released new novel, formerly known as “Defiant.”

It was Lent and supposedly being Catholic I wanted a bit more faith in the mix, so I decided to check in on Gary and Henge (from “Echoes of Family Lost”) but nine years after that book closes.  I was happy to find those two still in love and – now that Gary’s a teen and Henge ‘updates’ her form – them beginning to show that physically.  More interestingly was Faustina, Gary’s little sister.  A wonderfully headstrong but very flawed girl.  I know we’ll be seeing more of her in the future!  Also:  a guest appearance by Pope Pius XIII!

From almost ten years in my world’s future to just before the opening of “The Fourth Law:”  a story about creation.  Of Ai and her family.  A sense of wonder and potential suffuse this short story.

With pre-history on my mind, I moved from Tohsaka Corporation to Somi Company, in Osaka.  Just before leaving her homeland on a potentially one-way mission, Nichole 5 Clarke ditches her handler and wants to be a Tokyo Girl for a day!  She ends the night with a very special friend.

Hearkening back to MCD3 and “C&DC”‘s beginning.  I wrote what I saw about the end:  how Clive Barrett – with subtle help from Ai’s older brother – tries to clean up the awful mess he created that is The Extraordinary Commission for the Preservation of the Republic; also known as ExComm.

After that carnage, with the end of Lent in sight, I wanted to do something that, if not exactly ‘happy-fun!’ at least wasn’t dark and depressing.  I moved forward in time again… about three years after “Echoes…”  The government of the central European Empire wants to know more about Ai and her family.  They dispatch one of their men to central Texas to see who this Barrett woman is and why is she so important.  Told from his point of view, the last part of the final installment was a surprise to me, too:  I didn’t see what would happen to Lily at all.  They amaze me.

 

One thing I didn’t consciously do was to place every story in my future history of Machine Civilization; I don’t always:  ‘Pirate Twins,’ for instance.  As it turned out, I’ve created ten new windows into that world, making it broader and deeper.  Pulling up the word count, MC is broader and deeper by 36,023 words.  Wow.  I’d guesstimated at just over 22k.  Not bad, if I do say so, myself.

I hope y’all had at least as much reading them as I have making them! Glory to God in the highest!  Happy Easter, everyone!  He Is Risen!

Moar Haiku

As the end of Lent draws near, I’m not planning on abandoning daily writing and posting.  I guess like finally going to a gym and sticking with it for over a month it becomes a habit that feels good.  But I am going to restructure things.  This weekend is an example of that.

I’m still so tired from my day-job that I do need a little time to stare at the walls.  So whether they’re haiku or iambic pentameter, weekends will be fluff.  In the background, I’m still writing:  I put down 498 words just now on what will likely be another 3-4 day micro-story.  It’s an unpleasant character doing unpleasant things but I do believe in pushing myself.

The reedit of T4L & EFL continues.  I’m planning on creating my 99designs.com project for a new T4L cover tomorrow (early-bird warning to any illustrators who follow me!) and I need to format – and RENAME – ‘Defiant’ into 6″ x 9″ w/chapters format.  Boring!  But it must be done.

Here’s a poem.  Below the fold is a tiny personal message.

Spending all my time

In the world inside my mind

You’re older; soon gone!

Continue reading “Moar Haiku”

MCD – Abandoned Factory 1

Just finished editing what I wrote last night; very glad I waited as it was a mess.  Just as I did with my Pine Bluff short, I’m going to extend this story a little.  I won’t insult anyone this time by claiming that it’ll likely be “only 1200-1500 words!”  I’ve learned my lesson.  It will be what it will be.

Although I’m calling this Part One, the real start is here; I’ll edit that post and call it ‘Part 0.’

I’m honestly curious as to where this one will go!

Continue reading “MCD – Abandoned Factory 1”

Where away?

For Act 2.5 of Defiant, I’ve dealt a little with Mackenzie and now with Teresa.  They both have more to say, and I was planning on wrapping everything up about (two, three?) months hence with Joe’s diagnosis, say, two months before Nichole & Gil play out Act 3.

But… it seems too episodic:  here’s side character #1, here’s side character #2….  That may work in a seasonal show, but not so much in a novel.

I need a theme for this arc, and I’ve got nothing. I thought it might be family & loss (suggestive of a book title) what with Mac’s dead brother and Teresa’s missing, presumed dead, mother (and I know some of Nichole’s siblings were ‘failures’).  I might even find out more about Gil and Joe.  I did have one of them say or think, “everyone has lost someone in the Breakup.”

Episodic’s fine for blog posts; not a coherent novel.  I guess this is one of those retro times when I wish I had a traditional editor to tell me to get my shit together!  I am not writing one more word until I understand what they want me to say.

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Suggestions welcome.