• Imagined Snippets

    The 200 we lost on the way

    “It’ll be a better life for us.”

    “You can’t know that! You’re risking everything for people who’ve been gone for 15 years. What about the people who are still here?”

    “Are the people who are still here worth the 200 we lost on the way?”

    “What about you son?”

    And this, at last, silences him. Because it won’t be a better life for his son. His son won’t exist.

  • Story Excerpts

    Overlapped ours just enough

    Of alternate realities and scenes that will never make it into my novel:

    <An experiment,I repeat, taken aback, <Based on what happened to you when you were a child. He wants you to try and make yourself disappear?

    <That’s right.

    <Is it safe?

    <He’s invented probes that should make the transition with me, allowing him to monitor me at all times.

    <Transition?

    <He thinks I phased myself into another dimension, one that overlapped ours just enough for me to see and hear everything.

    <So it’s not safe,I go back to the question he glossed over.

    <Well… There are definite risks.

    <Such as your getting stuck in whatever place you will yourself to,I state bluntly. <Why do you want to do this?

    <He thinks it may be related to what happened to the Lyril.

    I sit down, almost lurch down, into the chair. 

  • The Way of Attrition concept image
    Story Excerpts

    The Way of Attrition: Chapter Four

    Today I’m posting Chapter 4 of my novel. Other chapters are here:
    Chapter 1  
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3


    Chapter 4

    My alarm rouses me at 0530 for food duty. Rolling out of bed, I mentally probe the household and am relieved to discover Carson, his essence a rippling pool that is at once refreshing and tinged with grief.

    <Eyan?> he questions, fatigue etched into the two syllables of my name.

    <Sorry,> I apologize, <I should have noced. I wanted to make sure you were back. Didn’t mean to bug you.>

    <No, it’s okay. I didn’t mean to worry you.>

    <We have food duty today,> I inform him hesitantly. <We’re supposed to be in the kitchens at 0630.>

    A pause.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have told him. He’s new and I could go without him, say he’s mourning the loss of his amarid. No one would question it.

    <Okay,> he agrees simply.

    Zantia, the elderly woman in charge of food services, welcomes me back to Headquarters with a warm smile, shaking Carson’s hand when I introduce them. The first thing she asks of her fifty or so Tuesday helpers is that we divide ourselves into groups: chefs, assistants, and deliverers.

    I find myself explaining this to Carson proactively. <Chefs need no guidance, assistants are those who feel comfortable cooking under supervision, and deliverers, well…that’s pretty self-explanatory.>

    <I’d like to sign up for chef duty!> Carson exclaims with such exuberance that my chuckle is shared by several neighbors.

    Assistant is the role I typically

  • Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    Just part of it!

    I’ve spent a chunk of this evening trying to find a scene I remembered writing in relation to my novel. It was never meant to be in the novel itself – it was an exercise in solidifying the pre-novel lives of some of my secondary characters.

    All I can find it an outline of the scene and this piece of dialogue:

    “Davonte was a rascal. She got me to make my own first present from her.”

    “Just part of it!”

    What does it say about how long you’ve been working on a novel that you may have confused planning to write a scene with actually writing it?

  • Story Excerpts

    A subdued companion

    I’ve probably mentioned four million and two times that my novel has changed a lot (I may be exaggerating, but only a little). Here’s another example, back from when Davonte was Dante and a man:

    Dante’s anger used to be explosive, a force as large as his build. Now he carries it, a subdued companion that is always present but rarely speaks by itself.

  • Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    By 1035 I have a headache

    In my endeavor to show and not tell, the part of my novel that covers this is a lot longer now, even though Danielle’s been cut out entirely.

    At 0930 the jury unanimously decides to convict. At 1002, an APB is put out for Denielle’s arrest. At 1031 I learn about the WhoDidYouVoteFor project. By 1035 I have a headache.

    I’m conflicted by the idea that it’s better to “show” when, as a writer, every piece of fiction I write is a story I’m telling. I think one real mark of a talented writer is knowing what to show and what to tell.

  • Story Excerpts

    I break on the word

    Another in the long string of examples of my being mean to my characters:

    “She’s gone,” I break on the word. “They killed her. I tried, I tried to save her, but I wasn’t fast enough, and I barely got away myself. They shot me with one of their blasters. They killed her.” I’m shaking. I didn’t want to, didn’t mean to, but the tears burst through. Swaying, I realize my feet won’t hold me against this and lower myself to the floor, lean my head against the palm of my left hand and close my eyes.

  • Story Excerpts

    To do…something

    I have various tricks to help me not lose my flow when writing. If I’m going to reference a statistic that I haven’t looked up yet, if I can only think of a word sort of like the one I’m after, or I haven’t named a character yet, I put a descriptor of some sort in brackets. For example:

    The next days are an indistinct mass of noise. First there are the numbers. [521] dead. [23] missing and presumed dead. [314] wounded. Only [137] of us escaped unscathed. No, no. Physically unscathed. 

    Those numbers aren’t real world statistics I need to look up, I just need to double check that all the related numbers I mention throughout the novel make sense given the progression of events.

    Today, in looking back at a story I never finished, I found this and it made me laugh:

    We are going to [place] to do [something].

    In my defense, this is all the way at the end and is going to illustrate that my character has overcome the terrible things I inflicted on her and is ready for another adventure.