A Ghastly Gillion Stars

This is for posts related to my novella A Ghastly Gillion Stars

Is this negligence or what?

So… It’s been over a month since I posted. Hrmm. I wouldn’t say that’s typical of me, but in all honesty, I can say it’s not entirely unexpected. I don’t think I’ve really expanded any effort on my current WIP during this time, either.

Since the last post, a few things have happened. I’ve decided to put my current WIP, A Ghastly Gillion Stars, aside. During the latest efforts to make something of it, I decided to take an entirely different course. The original antagonist, the malevolence preventing Kreek from establishing an anchor portal at the Edge of All, just wasn’t going to work in this version. Having that strange thing moved the conflict from between the Shiss and the Pheelm to the Shiss and… whatever. Just didn’t work. I wanted to keep the conflict down on the personal level I established early on. So the Malevolence is out. Which means I have to establish a new set of good guys and bad guys right from the start again. So… yeah. Let’s table the idea for a while.

Second, I done did gone to Russia! This vacation was a year in the planning. It finally came to pass. And I had a very good time. Coming home presented a set of problems. One still lingers in the form of a chest cold that’s more nuisance than anything, but a somewhat very irritating nuisance. Haven’t had a cold like this in a very long time. I’m pretty sure I caught it on one of my three flights home. A couple of other people who have taken long flights like mine recently also reported the crud. It’s been a good week since the flights and my cough sits right at the top of my trachea. Each deep breath is followed by a chest-rattling cough. Not pleasant, but I can deal. At least the sore throat that hit me Saturday morning is gone. Gargling with warm salt water cured that right up.

Finally, I am working on all the pics I took during my trip. Got a couple of good ones already looked at. I want ones I can hang on my walls. That was part of the reason I went- for pics to hang on the walls. As I progress through the days I’m sure I’ll find more. I need to see all of what I have before I really decide what to print at what size and hang where. But stuff for the walls is what I’m shooting for at this point. From what I’ve seen already, I’m encouraged. The weather cooperated, and most of the shots are outside, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Just don’t want too many of the same thing.

What this means is I should be posting a lot more, and with greater frequency. I’m going back to work tonight, and that’ll be as good a time as any to get the ball rolling. I’ve hooked Dreamweaver to my GoDaddy account, so now I can load true HTML pages, instead of the PHP pages used by WordPress. It’s nice to have the know-how to do all that. I don’t have pics for every day I was there, but I have enough to make this a couple-weeks-long project. I hope it’ll take me right up to August 1st. That’s when I intend to dive into my next work-in-progress, a fantasy novel about a young lady who may or may not be possessed by a powerful entity known as a devilq. This will be my first true original novel in a long time (my previous publications were revisions of stuff I’d written a few years ago).

Stay tuned!

Something Just Happened…

There I was, at work, writing away on my current work in progress, A Ghastly Gillion Stars. At the back of my mind, I felt something was off a little with the story, despite this being my second big draft. This new version was a bit different than the first draft. I dropped the focus to the two main characters, Kreek and Tybis. I wanted it to be more their story than anything. But in doing so, I trimmed, out of necessity, some of the initial big picture. And that had unexpected consequences, in that the main thrust of the story, the primary conflict, was lost until chapter four.

In looking at that, I realized that just couldn’t stand. I had to bring that big picture to the front. Had to introduce it right away. I’ve constructed it so billions of lives are at stake, as is the future of the entire Shiss race. And only the main character, Kreek, is fully aware of those stakes. It is her story, her conflict. Her decision to do what she thinks has to be done, even though billions of her fellow Shiss might very well die. I think I’ve built that part of the story well enough. Now, I have to make it the main focus.

So. I think my new chapter four may very well have to become the next chapter one. It introduces two of the main characters, Kreek and her friend Pench. It centers around Kreek and her illicit communications with another race, which Pench makes happen. It’s the result of that communication that starts the ball rolling. Adding Tybis into the mix after that process will have a much larger impact. Making it so that Kreek views Tybis as a tool, a thing that allows her to accomplish her goals, devastating as they may be, will only add to the central emotional wrangle. I think I’ve found the part of this story that’s been bugging me quite a bit, and after a night’s thought, I’ve also determined how best to fix it all. And I think this will work.

Now, do I put all these changes into effect immediately, or keep writing this second draft? I’m thinking change, myself. Because if what I envision right now works out, this will be a lot more fun to write. And it will make for a much stronger story. So, change it is. Meaning I’m on to what will amount to be the third big revision. I’ll keep you posted.

Redecorating!

Hello! I know it’s been a few days since I posted. I promise, I am keeping busy. Still working on A Ghastly Gillion Stars. Finished chapter 2 the other day. It hit the 5K word mark- not sure I want it to be that long. Have to stay aware of the word count, given that I plan for this to be a novella. My last ‘novella’ for this series, A Child of Byne, hit a high enough word count that it could almost be a fourth novel in the series. We’ll see how it goes in chapter 3, which I plan to start tonight at work. This one is going to be an entirely new chapter from the first draft. I’ve already made significant changes to the story from the first draft. This chapter 3 will continue that trend.

Anyway, I wasn’t really satisfied with the look of the blog. One good thing about WordPress is you can tinker and tool around with the appearance of your blog. So I decided to give this look a try. Took me forever to figure out how to change the original picture. Just good chance the colors in my image kinda match the colors of the theme. This one might stick around for a while. Now, I just need to figure out how to get the latest post to show in its entirety…

EDIT: A-ha! Figured out how to show the posts. But in looking at things, not entirely sure I want that. Ih, I’ll let it hang for a bit. Maybe someone will comment on it. Assuming of course anyone even reads my blog.

In other news, I paid off the balance of my planned trip to Moscow later this year. So, except for the Visa, everything looks to be all set. Got the drive down to Florida looming at the end of this month. Not looking forward to expense of that, as I’m trying to save some funds for the Russia trip, too. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as I fear. Took an extra week off at the tail end, just so I don’t have to rush home. It’ll be nice to see some friends. Got a small cluster of them down there, oddly enough.

Hope to post more on chapter 3 soon!

Now commencing with the second draft!

Got the first draft of my work in progress done did up. It came out all right. I can see where it needs improvement.

Already started the revisions. The first chapter doubled in size. Added a couple more characters and changed the setting from a monastery to an embassy compound. Added a couple of Shiss warders- which reminds me that I changed witches to warders, because in this time, the Witches Guild has not yet been established.

I also changed the revelations about one of the main characters, little Tybis. I felt that her fate should be revealed with Warder Kreek present, since it’s Kreek’s story, and Tybis’s situation will impact Kreek’s decisions. Those decisions are the driving force behind the story. Kreek sees a grave problem affecting her society and devotes her life to changing things. She doesn’t yet know the cost, to her and her society. I hope to raise the stakes and make this a one person standing against all kind of battle. Conflict drives stories, so I want a lot of conflict in this puppy now.

I’ve stopped my participation in www.theNextBigWriter.com. I did so for two reasons. First, I was devoting too much time figuring out who I owed critiques to and responding to reviews. Plus, I did not feel the reviews I was receiving were really worth all the effort I put into my reviews. And it took so many reviews to get the credits I needed to post my chapters, the process was draining me. Second, I decided with the free time I opened by quitting the site I would devote to my pet project, Medimations, LLC. I’ve been screwing around with that long enough. Time to get that ball rolling, and fast. I mean, I went through three years of college online to get the skills I needed to make my videos. And I accumulated the associated debt. The payoffs from the videos will come a lot sooner than any substantial payoff from my writing. I had to realign my priorities. And something had to give. That something was the critique site. I also flirted with a site called www.fanstory.com. I did not like the way that site was set up and quit it the same day.

I will continue to write. Hopefully I can recruit some beta readers to give me insights. But my writing will now be more for my own personal pleasure than anything else. And with my extra time, I plan to get my videos kick-started into high gear. They will take a lot of effort, but if I do it right, I see no reason why I can’t make it all work out for me monetarily. Got to pay off the student loans somehow.

A Ghastly Gillion Stars update

The first draft of my latest work in progress, A Ghastly Gillion Stars, is coming to a close. I have one final chapter to hammer out, then I can feel good about calling this draft done did up.

There’s room for improvement on this one. I started out without a real map in place in my mind. Sort of winged it. But now that I have this first go-through out on paper (so to speak) I know where I need to dial things up, add a chapter or two, and broaden the cast of characters.

I’m thinking big here. Big and bigger and biggerer. I see now how I can make the central conflict hit at a personal level between the two adversaries, and also at a societal level. I want to ratchet things up, make the stakes huge. So large that the society that loses this battle will have a whole lot of troubles in their future. I figure this will be my final story set in my Ux-Blood universe, so I might as well go for broke. I mean, I didn’t even mention witchblood, or what the ux was, or how it shouldn’t be the Witches Guild here, but its predecessor. And the predecessor of the League of Cells is around, too. I made the opening setting a monastery, but I think I will change that. Have to go back and re-read parts of Earth Cell where I explained some of the early Witches Guild and the League of Cells. I decided now those are going to be creations of the three overworlds after the Pheelm Chaos hits, and in this story I plan to reveal what happens to the Pheelm society that leads up to the Pheelm Chaos.

Also going to add a lot more description of the two primary species. A lot of reviewers who’ve gone through this first draft have made remarks about that lack of description. I know how I can slip it in, too, right in the opening paragraphs of the opening chapter. Should be an easy fix, really. Just have to get what the Pheelm look like squared away in my mind. (See? I told you I didn’t go into this one with things a bit more thought out!) Then I think I’ll be good to go, with this first draft as a pretty solid template on what I want to do.

I recently read a book by a successful literary agent about how to write the breakout novel. I read a whole slew of how-to-write books way back when, a couple of decades ago at least. Reading this new book reminded me of a lot of things I forgot over the years. Boo! But with all that fresh in my mind, I can see now how to punch things up for A Ghastly Gillion Stars. And this will be great practice for my next novel-length manuscript, Dew Drops. Originally I planned to save Dew Drops for January, but after reading that how-to book, I have ideas about that story that just won’t be quiet. I’m pretty sure that’s my mind telling me to get cracking on that novel. So, I’ll put aside the few shorter works I had planned (most of them novella length, truth be told) and throw myself into my next large project as soon as my current WIP is complete.

It’ll be a few more weeks yet with A Ghastly Gillion Stars. I may tinker with the cover idea I have in mind before diving into the revision. Let the finished first draft percolate a bit more in my mental juices. And given how much I can make this story better, I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll keep you posted!