Friday, September 30, 2011

Productivity Update

Current Projects

*"Needs Must."  The second Andrew Patel short story slated for my Kennesaw writing group's "Southern Superheroes" anthology.

*Battle for the Wastelands-What will be my first finished novel using my own worlds/characters (i.e. not fan fiction).

Last Sunday, I was up until around midnight writing Chapter 19 of Battle for the Wastelands.  I'd already finished Chapter 20 and Chapter 22, so finishing this chapter helped fill a major gap.  The concept for Chapter 21 I came up with at DragonCon and I plugged in the chapter between what became Chapter 22 and the unfinished Chapter 20.

This chapter was harder to write, since it isn't based on my strengths (world-building, fight scenes)--instead, it's purely dialogue/character development.  Still, a woman from my Lawrenceville writing group liked it, even though I realized after I submitted it that I left out some very pertinent information.

In this one, cowgirl Alyssa Carson flirts with protagonist Andrew Sutter some more, but he isn't interested, remembering his girl from his doomed hometown.  She ends up flirting with his jerkish squad-mate Will, which makes Andrew jealous.  I don't have a whole lot of experience with this kind of drama, so writing it realistically is going to be tricky.

Now to finish Chapter 21, which features the villain Grendel's son Falki ending up in a rather sticky situation...

I've got 20 continuous chapters completed and when I finish 21, that'll be 22 continuous chapters.  Nine to 10 more left, with bits and pieces of material already written.  Got to finish by Veterans' Day...

However, I'm also committed to have two stories completed by either Nov. 1 or Nov. 15 for my Kennesaw writing group's "Southern Superheroes" project.  I've completed and revised the first story "Ubermensch," which was first titled "Andrew Patel's Crisis of Conscience."  The second story is entitled "Needs Must" and features an awkward team-up between the villain Andrew Patel and the heroic Silverbolt.

I've got 4,148 words on that one completed.  Hopefully I'll be able to get it done by Monday or Tuesday and submit it to my Kennesaw writing group for our Oct. 8 meeting.  That'll jeopardize my timetable for finishing Battle, but this whole situation was my idea in the first place, so I really can't complain.

Earlier this month, I also wrote 1,200 words on a short story entitled "A New World To Conquer," which is set in a new science-fiction universe I devised at DragonCon.  I was in a panel that was getting a bit dull, so I started doodling in my notebook.  I drew a roughly man-sized pterodactyl in powered armor accompanied by a human in the same gear.  My mind started whirling--what kind of story would produce this?

I ended up with the basic plots of eight novels and several short stories set in universe where humanity is part of a decaying empire ruled by alien pterodactyl-analogues.  When "A New World" is done, which will probably be after both of my Andrew Patel stories and possibly even after the first draft of Battle for the Wastelands, I intend to send it to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  I haven't sent them anything in quite awhile, since most of the short fiction I've been sending out has been revised older material they've already rejected.  If they don't want it, I suspect by that time, Digital Science Fiction would have reopened for submissions and "A New World" would be a good fit for them.

Of course, I'll run it once through each of my writing groups to make sure it's in the best possible shape...


  1. Consider by interest piqued for the New World story.

  2. Thanks. Right now, I need an explanation for why the pterodactyls have American-style military organization--in "New World," the military unit is essentially a U.S. Army company commanded by a pterodactyl (with some other pterodactyls as specialists) with the lieutenants, NCOs, and rankers being humans.

    I'm thinking that the pterodactyls have their own unit structure for pterodactyl-dominated units, with the American model for units with large numbers of human soldiers. Since the POV character is a human, we'd mostly see human units, with the all-pterodactyl units only there sometimes.

  3. How would you define American-style military structure? With me being a veteran, anything I can do to help?

  4. Well, there's a company commander who's a pterodactyl and two platoons under him, each commanded by a human lieutenant.

    The issue is, why would an alien empire adopt a human rank/organization structure? It's easier to write and for readers to understand, but it's difficult story-wise.