Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nearing the One Year Mark-Part 4

This is the final intermission before I start the next story.

I still don't have a title for the next story. I hope to have one before next week. I have the first three parts written down in outline form, and by next week I expect to have the first part ready for posting. Parts two and three should be ready once the first concludes.

In the meantime, I'm collecting "Stalker" and reviewing it. Once I complete revising it, I will take the time to clean up the presentation before I reformat the manuscript into a form suitable for reading online and upload it to a suitable location for sharing; when I do that, I will post a link here.

A short post this week, as I see that most folks following just want more stories. Next week, readers, Year Two starts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nearing the One Year Mark-Part 3

The next story that I'm going to serialize here is a story that, as I mentioned last week, focuses itself on the experiences of a twice-orphaned boy as he travels the land reporting the news of his foster-father's death to those that knew him in life. Those same people tell the stories of their time with this now-deceased man, and the boy starts on his own path towards manhood using these stories to guide him because he gets caught up in the events that arise as the lawful consequence of his mentor's death.

This is an episodic serial, with unreliable narrators (because many of these people will omit details that make them look less than they would like), and temporal jumps all over the place (one story starts in the youth of the mentor, another when he's in his prime, still another when his hair's turning gray, etc.). Even the remaining enemies will have their say (and, as is expected, they aren't as impressed) in time, as they make moves long held in abeyance now that the one thing they knew to be able to stop them is gone.

It's easy to make this work as a structure to build short stories around, and the first few goes at this will work as such, but I won't want to do nothing but that for long. Tracking the boy's progress across the land will act as the pacing mechanism; the further from his former home he's gone, the greater the consequences will become due to the combination of speed of bad news and the alacrity of those receiving it. (At first, the boy can keep pace; soon, however, he falls behind the speed of the bad news and starts arriving at places where the circumstances he expected do not exist anymore, forcing him to act accordingly.) The more he sees the consequences, the more he must do to see his mission through and the closer he gets to his own catalyzing moment that pushes him fully on the path towards becoming a hero in his own right.

I lack a title--even a provisional one--so if you have a useful suggestion, leave it in the comments.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nearing the One Year Mark-Part 2

This week, I talk about things to come and how you're going to see them.

This review series of posts will run throughout May, which means that there will be no story posts until June. That doesn't mean that you should not be reading; you want to see what's coming for the Chronicles. In addition to previews of what I'm working on for this 'blog, I'll also go about how I'm going to expand what's been done so far into new avenues.

Let's start with the stories serialized here to date. While I'm going to revisit "Stalker" first, all of them will be revisited in due course and collected into single manuscripts. Once collected, they will be revised and eventually re-published as single books or booklets; I will post links here to where you can download them. That, however, is not the end of it; I want to put out illustrated books, comic versions, etc. that add value to the story but doing that requires resources and skills that I lack. I'll get into that in detail another time.

Now, as for the year to come, I'm going to change things up again. Start in the first week in June, and running through the end of the year, will be one story. This is going to be serialized at a rate of 1000 words (roughly) a week, so that by the end we've got a novella or novelette of about 32-33K words, and I won't write this like I did the others. I'm going to try a different method yet again, to see if this works better than previous approaches for my purposes. I'll take time next week to do a full and proper introduction.

I'm taking action to expand the reach of this 'blog now, facilitating ease of finding as well as following as best I am able at this time. In the weeks to come, I hope to see the fruits of these actions manifest.

Again: next week, a preview of the new story that will start in June. I may--but as yet can't promise--talk in depth of what I want to do to spread the stories serialized here to other avenues.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nearing the One Year Mark-Part 1

It's been almost a year since I launched the Chronicles. It's about time that I take a moment from serializing whatever story comes to mind and use it instead to take stock of things to date.

I am thankful that some of you read this blog regularly enough to make it worthwhile, in addition to the regular writing practice, to keep it going. You won't be disappointed; I fully intend to continue with the Chronicles as things go forward. However, starting in a few weeks, I will also begin collecting the stories published so far into complete manuscripts. What I intend to do with them is where you folks, those of you that read this blog regularly, can do more than just read if you like.

I intend to not just collect and republish these serialized stories, with the expected improvements to come from fixing errors previously missed, but to revise and rewrite each in turn to make them stronger. I've already chosen one of these for immediate attention, as there is a local convention in a few months and I want to be ready to pitch by then, but I want to know from you--the readers--which of the other stories that you want me to revise.

I picked the first one, "Stalker", in large part due to the protagonist. Ken has a strong iconic power that I think has a great deal of potential, and the milieu is one that allows for a lot of stories to be told. The combination is the strongest of the stories so far, and that means that it has the best chance right now to break through.

That leaves "Dawn of the Dragonsworn" and "Paladin" (which I intend to re-title, as I want to use that title for another, very different work). These two stories are where I played with length-per-post as well as length-per-story, shortening both. I want to know what works for you readers so I can make reading these serials more fun for you, so please, please tell me! I can't give you want you want unless and until you tell me what it is that you want.

The eventual goal is to take these stories and transform them into something worthy of publishing as a book or pamphlet. That means--in addition to rewriting them into far, far better stories--adding artwork and seeking additional outlets for both publishing as well as other ways to enjoy what you find here. This is where the process begins, but far from its end point; what you, my fans and readers enjoy, will play a part in what becomes a book, a comic, merchandise you can buy, etc.- so tell me what you want.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dawn of the Dragonsworn-Part 13

The desperate bid for time went on. The Dragon order hordes of lizardmen sent in wave after wave, all ad hoc and with increasing incoherence as the escape portal still had not finished stabilizing. Prototype behemoths, drug-crazed suicide troops, heavy weaponry--what was left--and more got thrown at Homsar, Zuzu and the Dark Spear marines. None of it worked.

Meanwhile, the Dragonsworn--boxed in now with their master--found that the Patrol ship in orbit had achieved supremacy when the last of their assets got blasted to pieces by its potent primary projectors. With a silent nod, the Dragonsworm donned their battle attire and arrayed themselves before their master. Moments later, Homsar arrived with Zuzu and the Dark Spears right behind him.

No words, no gestures, nothing signaled engagement. Both sides just started shooting, and both sides saw their initial barrage fail to pierce the other's defense screens; in a mad minute of massive fire, both sides dumped all of their firepower upon their foes in an attempt to focus and overload the screens of those foes. This too failed, and thus it again collapsed into a murderous melee. No thought of surrender entered either sides' minds; both committed completely to the butchering of their enemies, but now--at last--parity of power prevailed.

Axes rose and fell. Shields shuddered and splintered. Screens scintillated and shorted. The Dragonsworn women unleashed, by means barely understood by those same women, elemental assaults of fire, ice and raw solar power as if they were sorceresses from some old dime novel. Time attenuated, with seconds seeming like minutes and minutes like hours, but this last ditch defense held its cohesion even as it lost ground.

As the bombardment from orbit began to reverberate around the chamber wherein the two sides sought to slay one another, The Dragon suddenly reared himself up on his hand legs and turned about to face Homsar and the Marines. Behind his foes, and beyond the legs of the beast, Homsar spotted the open portal- one expanding in size to allow The Dragon to escape.

"Not this time, Agent of Civilization!"

Homsar smiled. He'd seen this scenario play out so many times since his youth, so he played a hunch and telepathically activated his boat as well as his ship in orbit to come to his location. Just then, both blasted through the stone walls and rained fire upon The Dragon. Personal screens, though very impressive, cannot repel firepower of that magnitude and in a single volley one of the few remaining Algolian war criminals vaporized where he stood. The violent power behind those blasts washed over the others and if not for their own screens they too would've been flash-fried into ashes- but most of it got spent slaying their master. Homsar and his allies hunkered down, avoiding the worst and letting their own screens take the rest, leaving them unharmed and with their wits about them.

All of the Dragonsworn soon found themselves on the floor, disarmed--literally so in the case of Brilliant Shield and the Blessed Lord--and with an axe blade at the throat.

"I am Homsar Delgana, Agent-At-Large for the Galactic Republic. I arrest you all on charges of desertion, treason and piracy. You shall stand trial on Terra for your crimes, after which I expect that you shall all be swiftly sent to the lethal chambers."

As he said that, Homsar invaded their minds without pretense of any sort and ransacked their memories for any useful intelligence. In so doing, he discovered others--like them, and their minions--already out in the galaxy elsewhere establishing more bases and launching more operations against the Republic.

"Admiral." Homsar said, telepathically, "This group's done, and The Dragon is dead, but this Dragonsworn cult is far from wiped out. We've got a bigger problem on our hands. I'll brief you as soon as the marines and I get these prisoners to the brig."

"Understood, Homsar. Happy now?"

"As a clam, Admiral. As a clam. Finishing unfinished business always makes me happy."

The End