In my various novel meanderings of the weekend, I came across an important interlude that’s never made it into the novel. It’s important backstory so I’d like to work it in somehow.
<It’s not that simple. The Lyril developed telepathy naturally and relatively quickly. But not shielding. Their world is several times bigger than Earth, with wide open spaces.>
<I understand the words you’re saying…>
<By the time different tribes were coming into conflict, they could speak silently and feel what other people felt. But they didn’t know how to shield yet. You can’t believe someone isn’t as much a person as you are when they feel things the same way you do.>
<Yeah. You have a point.>
Carson looks surprised.
<But what does it change? We can’t change how humans evolved.>
<But we can keep it in mind.>
In reference to yesterday’s post, sometimes days in general don’t go the way you plan (though of course it’s fun to point at Mondays). I’ve done a lot of thinking about my novel today, and some brainstorming, but no actual outlining. I do have – as a general idea – a fix for the issue in question, but there are all the scene-by-scene details to figure out. Thirty three scenes, to be exact.
I got another idea for a short story this week. When I’m done with this novel I’m going to have so many things to choose from for my next project. Here’s my first attempt at a First Sentence for this potential future short story:
I follow her through history before I follow her through the night. It’s harder than it normally is. She treads more lightly than most of her kind. From what I can determine, she’s between 125 and 150 years old and hasn’t often strayed out of the United States. She’s never joined a pack and is most reliably found in the journals of witch covens.
I probably never would have discovered her if she hadn’t spent the last twenty years living in one city – the same city I’ve called home for the better part of a decade. She’s averaging one disappearance per month. It’s an unexpectedly low body count but I still have to stop her, and to do that, I need to learn everything I can about her habits. That’s why
I’m determined to figure out how to fix the trickiest issue left in my novel this weekend. Not necessarily to actually get done the fixing, but to outline exactly what I will be doing when I embark on my next (and last) set of (somewhat) significant changes.
There will be at least two outlines to complete when it comes to figuring out how to fix this issue – an outline of how things would play out if I fixed it using option 1 and an outline of how things would play out if I fixed it using option 2. Neither option is unflawed but the process of outlining will help me think of new ideas that I will in turn outline the ramifications of.
I’ve done a lot of reviewing of all my novel-related material recently. This is how an idea for a short story set in the same universe presented itself to me on 10/26/2017:
When the police come to arrest me, I expect them. I didn’t set out to break international telepathy law, but sometimes Mondays don’t go the way you plan.
Relatively speaking, I don’t have a lot left to fix in my novel. It’ll still take a chunk of time and work but the bulk of the labor is done.
I think just one of the items is going to be tricky, and I’m going to have to do a lot of brainstorming to figure out the best way to handle it. All the options I’ve considered so far don’t entirely fit; it’ll be fun to find one that does.
This is a First Sentence from 10/22/2017:
Anything can be a weapon if you believe it is. Not like people believe in god. Like people believe in pain. If you know the object leaving your hand will explode on impact, it will, even if it’s only a rock. It’s the one advantage we have, things that aren’t all that dangerous on their own become weapons forged by our will.
I finished the compressed, silent readthrough of my novel. I have a really good idea of the remaining issues that need to be fixed and I’m looking forward to working through them.
Today I am contemplating my novel’s gender neutral pronouns. They’re something I’m still not sure about, because most of the characters don’t use them and I’m not sure they’re used enough to make sense. They make their first appearance in Chapter 2.
Yi / he / she
Yil / him / her
Yils / his / hers
Yilself / hisself / herself
I didn’t quite make it all the way through the rest of Part Three. I was going strong and then a friend dropped by for an unexpected visit. We had a lovely time. I have one chapter and the epilogue left to read tomorrow. If it’s raining in the morning, I’ll even do it before work instead of going running. That’s probably not going to happen though. I’m rained out of running a lot less often than I might expect.
Here’s a paragraph I wrote for this novel but never actually used in any version of it (so far):
Davonte, Atthya, and I aren’t meeting today. I tell myself I won’t use this as an excuse, that I’ll get up and be productive. I tell myself this but it’s after 1400 and if it weren’t for worrying Carson, I’d stay here all day.
I read half of Part Three today. I’ll read the second half tomorrow, and then it will be time to jump into a round of serious fixes. I’m determined to get this novel in shape and published.
A lot has changed in this story, especially in the last year. Here’s a paragraph I liked but had to half get rid of:
Days pass. Then a week. Then two, three, four. We breathe more easily, tension I wasn’t entirely conscious of making itself known by its absence. No one saw. Carson is safe, and we’re left to tiptoe around each other instead of the world.
I read all of Part Two today. I didn’t have time to read Part Three, but reading the entirety of my novel in a single weekend was a very optimistic goal. I could have managed it without having to meal prep and take care of other chores, but, alas, I have no staff to handle those tasks for me.
Part Three is the shortest of the parts so I hope to get through it over the next couple evenings. I can say for sure that it’s Part Two that needs the most work. At worst, some scenes need to be trimmed from Part One, and some need to be fleshed out for Part Three, but Part Two has some jarring flow issues. I’m going to have to do a lot of brainstorming to figure out the best way to solve them.
Here’s a paragraph from Part Two:
On Lyril there were Lounges in every city. Like a cafe but without the food and drink. A set of interconnected rooms with comfortable chairs, tables, and public computer terminals. Professionals would go there to work, students to study, and those needing solitude of thought but not of company would take comfort in the presence of others. Here the two most similar places I’ve discovered are Starbucks and libraries, but neither fills the spot I imagine when I read about Lounges in the Filument’s vast archive of Lyril texts.
I read the entirety of Part One of my novel today. I’m hoping to read the rest of it tomorrow (all of Parts Two and Three). We’ll see. I got a late start from sleeping in today, and was so unusually sleepy this afternoon that I took a nap – something I almost never do.
I also forgot until this evening that it’s the first of the month and I’m supposed to post a short story or chapter today. I don’t have the time to divert from my novel, not if I hope to read it all this weekend, so I’m posting Chapter 2 of the Way of Attrition.
You can read Chapter 1 here, and I definitely recommend it prior to tackling Chapter 2. Last time I had issues getting all of the text into the blog (it was dropping sentences). I haven’t noticed that issue this time but if stuff appears to be missing, please let me know.
I wake to warmth bathing my face, my chest, my arms. My eyelids are heavy with sleep. I open them to blurred vision, blink several times. It’s bright. Sunlight streams through open blinds that hang horizontally across a window in neat parallel lines. Slivers of the public garden beyond greet me.
I’m at home. This my bedroom.
A smile takes hold of me, easily rearranging my muscles in way I’m unaccustomed to after being so long among enemies. I look around, reacquainting myself with the