Monday, April 26, 2010

Productivity Update, With a Technological Twist

Here's the latest productivity update...

Chapter Five of "Escape from the Wastelands" went before the Lawrenceville group Sunday.  Not a whole lot of criticism, beyond some technical stuff involving the speed at which a company of soldiers can board an airship, something my friend Jamie (a major steampunk enthusiast) echoed.  They also pointed out the chapter is a bit info-dumpy, something that shouldn't take too long to tweak.

Nobody took issue with the fact the chapter was told from the POV of a character who arrived on the scene relatively late, which is something I feared based on comments from members of the Kennesaw group when I broached the topic.  Nor did it bother them that from this point on, the story would be told in the alternating points of view of Andrew Sutter (the protagonist) and Grendel Black (the antagonist, who first appeared in this chapter).

Although I did elicit some groans when I said Grendel's combat gear (which we'll see in the next chapter) makes him look like the Kurgan from Highlander, complete with a helmet fashioned out of a tiger's skull.  That image has been in my head since high school, so it's going to stay.

Now it's time for Chapter Six.  I might well split that chapter, since in its current form, it begins with Andrew and some other survivors contesting the Flesh-Eater entry into Carroll Town, has a middle section where Grendel oversees the interrogation of some other survivors about where they got "Old World" (pre-apocalyptic) weaponry, has an Andrew POV where he has the chance to shoot Grendel but, not knowing who he is, shoots a Flesh-Eater officer instead, and then has a Grendel POV where he restrains his Obsdian Guards (his personal troops) from chasing after Andrew en masse due to the fact the rest of the town is crawling with Flesh-Eater and other OGs and there's little chance Andrew could escape.

As a result of the increased attention I've been paying to "Escape" and my increasing efforts to hit the gym three times per week, my other projects haven't seen much work.  My "Revenge of the Fallen Reboot" (a Transformers fan-fiction) has not been updated in a couple of weeks and since I've been sending the writing groups "Escape" chapters, none of them have seen "Breeding Pair" (the story about the humans abducted for an alien breeding program that discusses the theological implications of Jesus appearing to a non-human culture).

"Coil Gun," "Picking Up Plans in Palma," and "Melon Heads" are all being considered by magazines so far.  I haven't heard back from any of them yet.  "Palma" was sent to Asimov's, whose response time is less than three months, so it's still in the acceptable range.  "Coil Gun" went to Tales of the Unanticipated and "Melon Heads" to GUD, and doesn't have their response times.

Now for the technological twist.  I have recently purchased my first audio book.  I initially sought Drakon by S.M. Stirling, but it wasn't available on iTunes.  Other, more recent audio-books, like Stirling's "Emberverse" and "Island in the Sea of Time" novels, were incredibly expensive.  I ended up settling for the abridged audio version of Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which I already own in print form.  Pretty cool so far.

I listened to around the first hour of the two-and-a-half hour presentation at the gym Friday afternoon.  I'll probably listen to the next hour tonight, with the remainder of the book being done Wednesday.

Off to the gym now!

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