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Monthly Archives: August 2014

We’ve Moved!

For new content from Joan Albright, including the all-new Steampunk serial Silas Merryweather and the Bottomless Sky, please visit joanalbright.net. See you there!

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

WIP Check-In – Mid-August 2014

Felt like doing this a little early given that school starts next week and my productivity is likely to drop after that. I also feel like I’ve just been cruising through these edits this month, so let’s take a look.

WIP Title: Pegasus Chained

Last Check-in:
137K words.
52K archived.
Total words added (in 30 days): 26K.
63 chapters.
3rd draft: Ch. 43.
4th draft: Ch. 17.
5th draft: Ch. 3.

Current Wordcount/Chapter Count:
143K words.
61K archived.
Total words added (in 11 days): 15K.
64 chapters.
3rd draft: Ch. 47.
4th draft: Ch. 17.
5th draft: Ch. 5.

WIP Issues since last check-in:
It’s all pretty much fresh rewrites here. I glance at the old draft occasionally, steal bits of dialogue here and there, but so much has changed continuity wise, there’s a whole slew of extra characters, so much more depth of characterization, that almost none of the actual prose is relevant. Once I near the end I might be able to use more of the previous draft again, but I fully expect to have as much in the archives as I do in the final draft.

What I learned in writing:
As I mentioned last time, sometimes I’ve had to throw out a lot of junk before I find a character’s true personality. I did that with another minor character (who becomes major in the sequel, so it was important to get him right) in this last round of rewrites. Fixing most of it is a job for the 4th draft, but I’ll get there eventually.

What distracted me while writing:
School might not have started yet, but all my children’s school books arrived. They’re pretty much ready to dive right in, and I’ve indulged them a little bit. It takes away from my writing time, but more importantly it saps my creative energy, leaving me with less to spend on writing.

Last 200 words:

Wes jogged back up the trail, scuffed and sore, until Victor came to get him. The Krasiviian’s hover set down precariously on a wide part of the trail and Wes hopped in. Shipley was already inside.

“What happened?” Victor demanded, taking them up but holding position. “Aaron said he heard gunfire.”

Wes avoided meeting Victor’s gaze. “I missed,” he said. “She got away.” He didn’t know what was wrong with him, letting his aim slip like that. He’d head-shotted Tesaad in his combat sim from farther away than that.

Victor breathed a sigh of relief and turned them back toward the mountain.

“Aren’t we going after her?” Wes asked. “She’ll give away our position!”

“It is too late for that,” Victor told him. “Word just came in from Raven; Olympus has been compromised. These mountains will be crawling with soldiers by morning.”

Wes chewed his cheek and turned his gaze westward, though he couldn’t see anything through the back wall of the hover. The ominous feeling was related to the NDF’s approach; of that he was sure. But why did he feel nothing at letting Walker escape?

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

WIP Check-In #6

WIP Title: Pegasus Chained

Last Check-in:
131K words.
32K archived.
64 chapters.
3rd draft: Ch. 39.
4th draft: Ch. 19.

Current Wordcount/Chapter Count:
137K words.
52K archived.
Total words written this month: 26K. (That’s half of NaNoWriMo!)
63 chapters. (Lost 2, added 1, need to split another.)
3rd draft: Ch. 43.
4th draft: Ch. 17. (Merged some early chapters, and my critique partner is on hiatus.)
5th draft: Ch. 3.

WIP Issues this month:
Deletions, deletions, deletions. I archived that entire section of text I posted last month. Replaced it with a high-paced action scene from someone else’s perspective, so lots of win.

What I learned this month in writing:
I finally got a handle on Major Daniels’ personality. I’ve been kind of struggling with this character this month, which is a good thing. Up until now I’d been afraid to do much with him because my husband wrote the original version, but I finally had to quit relying upon that foundation and make him my own. I made a lot of mistakes with his chapters, and those are all in the archive now, but now that I’m through that I know who he is again.

My main character also did some … growing is the wrong word. In the sample words below, we see Daniels kind of opening up again after spending years closed off. Unfortunately for Rosa, she did a bit of the opposite. By far the hardest part of characterization for her and for Wes, her counterpart, is how they deal with the trauma of war. Post-traumatic stress disorder something I’ve never personally experienced, but getting into character for some of those scenes can take me to the very edge of a panic attack. If I don’t make sure to exercise and eat properly, I can end the day pretty bad off.

What distracted me this month while writing:
Not exercising properly. I had a few off days and a couple lazy days, and they all ended up being part of the same bad week. Also a bit of depression which I cleared up by confronting the source head on.

Good things, too. I participated in the very first FantasyCon ever, as part of the live entertainment (the Belegarth MCS battle games). If I ever need to write about being a gladiator, I now have some firsthand experience.

Last 200 words:

“A sparrow?” Daniels asked. For Reynolds to launch and control a sparrow while bathed in the sensory backwash of a malfunctioning TAG must have required tremendous mental fortitude. “What did you see?”

“Not much, sir, but the hover parked right next to her. She’s alive, and the rebels mean to keep her that way, if they can. They loaded her onto that hover and launched it, straight as an arrow, east by twenty-two degrees north.”

“You’re sure she was alive?” A tiny flame of hope kindled inside of Daniels. The rebels didn’t take prisoners. But they’d made an exception for Walker. She was the first person in a very long time to surprise him. Could she do it again?

“I swear it on my life, sir.”

There was a crack in Daniels’ armor. In the wall he’d built to keep out the pain of loss, of death and ruin, that he’d suffered in the long war against the Tesaad. Somehow Walker had planted a seed in that crack, and it was growing, widening the gap. Daniels couldn’t bring himself to pull it out and let it die.

“I’ll find her,” he said roughly, gripping Reynolds’ bicep tightly enough that the stalwart captain would feel it even through the layer of dead nerve endings. “And I’ll give them hell for you.”

Reynolds fumbled to place a hand over his, gripping weakly. “Thank you, sir.”

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized