Uoc/Epsilon update for July 19

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Progress on Epsilon book 1 continues to go very well, despite a few concerns over the past few evenings regarding whether or not a reader might feel “cheated” based on a particular occurrence during chapter 13.  I’ve been assured by a few people that it should work out (thanks, Brandon and Krinny) so I should worry a little less.  As of this writing, I’ve gotten no new critiques of Chapter 1 at Critique Circle.  Chapter 2 is due to go up tomorrow and I’ll get the first half of Chapter 3 queued up to go after that.

In the process of writing this draft of Epsilon, I’ve ended up killing off a lot of “darlings” (thanks again, Krinny).  They were things that, in hindsight, didn’t do nearly as much as I thought to progress the story.  Then again, the addition of some new characters in this draft has eliminated the need for some of the old darlings (ie, I used to need a way to get Caren and Aaron out of the Borderworlds and back home to Varice; later I’ll need them to go to Epsilon.  Lucas Ross provides a fantastic reason for that to happen).  Of course, the decision to chop the originally planned novel (which would have been incredibly huge) into several smaller chunks means that some of the metaplots won’t actually be resolved until much later on in the narrative (Aaron’s relationship with his father comes to mind, though that is and will remain the most important metaplot in the whole Epsilon arc).  Either way, it’s going to be a very interesting ride.

 

In other news (but in the same universe), my short story Falling Stars has been appropriately chopped and sent off to the person organizing the anthology.  The good news is that it’s done.  The bad news is that the anthology is really looking like it might fall through, though that’s through no fault of his or mine.  If that ends up being the case, I’ll probably collect Falling Stars with a few other UoC shorts and release them as a low-cost ebook as a precursor or companion to the release of Epsilon book 1.  I don’t have any ideas on when these will be released at this point, but stay tuned for updates.

After all, I still need a name for Epsilon book 1 that isn’t simply “Epsilon, Book 1.”

Epsilon Part 2 started, random restaurant checked out

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I started writing Epsilon Part 2 today, which is taking a bit of a different direction than the last drafts, interestingly enough.  It probably has a great deal to do with the addition of Lucas Ross as a character to the cast and the establishment of a relationship between Caren and Sam well before I’d originally planned for it (but it works in this context and then makes more sense for what happens later on).  I may or may not write a little more before I sleep tonight, considering sleep is trying to come on very, very hard right now and I need to get up and take pictures in the morning of the lakefront before there are any humans in sight and before it gets hot like it did today.

 

We checked out a new restaurant tonight, six miles outside of Elkhart Lake in the town of Keil, WI.  It was a place recommended by one of our favorite bartenders at Lola’s, and is run by someone she went to high school with.

Koehring’s was freaking amazing.  The food was phenomenal, the prices were reasonable, and did I mention the food was phenomenal?  The decor is a little overwhelming, but the food more than made up for it.  I had a filet mignon that I thought was going to kill me, it was so good.  If it had killed me, I’d have died happy.

If you’re ever in the area, definitely check this place out.

Epsilon draft 3.5.1 Part 1 – COMPLETE

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It’s official, part 1 of Epsilon draft 3.5.1 is complete as of early this afternoon.  I’ve even started Part 2, but the word count above only reflects the work done on Part 1 (which is all I have typed).

At this point, I am under the influence of some lovely Irish whiskey, and I think that I will be collapsing onto my cot here at this lovely resort and turning into a nice, gelatinous pile of goo for a few hours before I get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

I love being pool-minder in the morning.  I really do.  I get tons of work done and it’s quiet and peaceful.  Until the small children start showing up.  Hopefully, there will be far, far fewer of those tomorrow.  Hopefully.

Maybe.

 

Current favorite Epsilon line (which probably won’t make the final cut, because it’s probably a little too shocking):

“And you’re not having hours of ‘I’m so glad you’re alive’ sex why?”

Like I said.  Kind of shocking, especially because that comes out of General Hunter’s mouth.  Gotta love it when your commanding officer shocks the hell out of you, right?

Well…at least something’s getting worked on…

 

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In between binge-reading Caitlin Kittredge‘s Nocturne City books (as lovely and dysfuctional as Luna Wilder is, she still doesn’t hold a candle to Pete and Jack from Black London, if you ask me) and blankly staring at very obnoxious children (thank god most of them are going home tomorrow so the pool will be a quieter place) I actually got some work down by the pool today.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t The Last Colony.  Brendan, Lindsay, and the rest aren’t very talkative right now.  No, it was Epsilon, and good progress, too–progress I’ll probably continue tomorrow.  I finished off Chapter 10 and moved on to the last chapter for Part 1, which is Chapter 11 of the first book.  I’m still not sure how long it’s going to end up being–it might end up being two parts, it might end up being three.  It depends on how long Part 2 ends up being.

For the moment, Aaron’s angst is delicious.

It’s good to have goals…

 

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I’ve already posted it on Facebook and I might as well make it official by posting it here, too. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit the past month or two, and I’ve decided.

Goal-setting is good. Hopefully, I’ll manage to meet this goal (and if I don’t, it’s mostly me that gets hurt, which kind of means it’s the best kind of goal).

A while back, I was posting a lot about The Last Colony and the E-557 universe, which comprised my 2009 and 2010 Nanowrimo projects. The Last Colony is actually fairly close to being done, I just have to finish up another few chapters and polish it up (I probably underestimate how much work I’ve got to do) and then it’s done, I’m going to hand it over to some volunteer editors (probably two, one for spelling proofs and such, the other for continuity errors–I have two people in mind already, it’s mostly a matter of talking them into it). The reason for that is because I’m planning to release it as an ebook at some point in the near future.

Of course, this also means I’ll have to finish the second E-557 book, Ashes to Ashes (tentative title, honestly), and plot the third.

Plus finish at least the first book of the Epsilon saga, since I think that’s going to be more than one book (otherwise, it’d be one really, really long book that I’m not sure anyone would take the time to read), and manage three updates for Awakenings a week.

But it’s a goal, and it’s good to have goals. In reading about the future of publishing, it seems like Smashwords and e-publishing just might be a good direction to go in.

 

Wish me luck.

Musings on YA fiction and projects left unfinished

I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten years old–for fun, serious writing, not because I had to for school or any other reason.  Most of it has been crap.  Some of it’s been okay.  I haven’t reached a point where I have a manuscript ready to send off to agents or publishers…but that will come sooner rather than later, I’d suspect.

Today, in the midst of cleaning the house and weeding out in the garden, I came across a few of my writing magazines that I hadn’t finished reading–this happens often enough, that I’ll get one of them and not finish reading them to my satisfaction and then they get shuffled someplace in an effort to get my mother to stop complaining about how everyone’s stuff is everywhere cluttering up her house (not going to offer commentary on that one).  So, at some point today I sat down on the couch and thumbed through an article from the May/June 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest that had YA agents and editors talking about the category — how to break into it, what they’re looking for, that kind of thing.

It got me to thinking a bit.  I’ve always written younger protagonists (there are a few notable exceptions, including several of the major supporting cast members in Epsilon and The Last Colony–heck, Adam Windsor is a PoV character in The Last Colony and he’s in his fifties–as well as characters in Fate and Second Chances and its untitled sequel…though I’m not entirely sure elves and dragons count as “older protagonists”), characters ranging from their late teens through their twenties.  In some ways, my characters have aged with me and in others, they certainly have not.

Paranormal and speculative fiction have become huge in young adult fiction, and that subsegement of the genre have yielded works that have transcended the age category (see: Harry Potter and as much as I hate to mention it, Twilight–Vampires do not sparkle thank you very much!).  To carry this even further and away from the article I read, manga, Japanese graphic novels, tend to have speculative, paranormal, and fantastic elements to them as a matter of course.  Manga is extremely popular in the United States–and growing in popularity all the time.

Which brings me to what really got me thinking–the untitled sequel to my D&D-inspired Fate and Second Chances already has two very strong teenage protagonists in it–Alysta Riverden and Kaelen Verrel–and could quite possibly be transformed into a YA novel.  It’s something I’ll have to think about, because the story as it stands right now (in its very early stages–there’s only about 23500 words of ramble to it) is planned to be about as much about Alysta’s father, Talasin, as it is about Lysta and Kael.

But it’s entirely possible, and could be fun.  I’ll just have to do some homework on it, and some thinking.  But maybe.  Just maybe…

…after all, high adventure does well, too.

Post-vacation update #1

Back from Wisconsin, and what a glorious trip without worrying about work calling me it was.  I got a bit of writing done, both WoWFic–including starting a new story, “Family Ties“–and work on Epsilon (Jen mentioned last night after her perusal that there was a marked shift between Sam Cooper’s attitude toward Aaron in one scene and her reaction to him the next morning.  I promised her it’d make sense later).

I’m still working in part on the revitalization efforts for Sentinels (US) — the RP community has suffered since the opening of Wyrmrest Accord and everyone has seen a sharp decline in numbers.  But at the same time as it’s brought out the lazy in some folks, it’s brought out the best in others.  One of the new blogs on the blogroll is one of those “bests” — Ravine of Lichbane has started a new blog with fiction and discussion of RP issues that I plan to be following closely myself.

Other recent addition to the blogroll is Erik’s blog.  I’ve known Erik and gamed with him for a long time (back since the days when I was almost exclusively doing things ISRP).  Lately, he’s been getting his campaign setting ready to hopefully query more gaming companies with.  I’ve seen bits and fragments of it, and while 4E is Greek to me, the flavor bits and pieces (which I think he really wanted me to pay attention to) are looking pretty good.

Also poked at Aurora Force with a stick, got set up for Michael Bullian’s tragic death at the Battle of Ithor.  I probably need to start drafting how that’s going to happen so I have it together and ready to go when we get that far.  If we ever get that far.

All in all, considering I spent several hours by a pool every day I was away, it was a pretty productive trip!  I’ll have to post pictures up here soon.