Progress report, December

I’m very nearly done with Part 4 of No Way Home. Actually, I’m up to 1600 words or so and I might have to begin Part 5 with the one little thing that I haven’t written into Part 4 yet. It’s not a big deal, in fact the start of a new part is a good place to do a scene change.

The reason for this is that well, I tend to have three or four parts per chapter, and a rough average of 1500 words per part. It is by no means a hard and fast rule, but it’s nice to have some sort of a guideline to stick to.

Also, I normally have a scene break (and the appropriate spacing) at the start of each part. What this means is that when the story parts are rolled into chapters, I don’t have to manually add scene breaks, because they’re already there.

The part that I wrote tonight has Caroline being introspective. It’s good to get inside a character’s head and work some things out. And it fits very well.

And I managed to finish that despite having Transformers 2 distracting me for a few hours. 🙂

Anyway, here’s a little preview of Part 4:

Erica rejoined Caroline in the cockpit a couple of minutes later, her uniform jacket still unfastened.

“In a hurry to get back to work?” Caroline asked.

“I was thinking of catching a meal, actually.” Erica raked a hand through her hair and took the co-pilot’s seat again. “And then maybe a half hour of rest.”

“You and me both.”

The shuttle ceased forward motion as they finally reached the Orion. Caroline frowned. “That’s odd. The bay doors aren’t opening.”

“I can see that,” Erica remarked dryly, looking ahead of them.

Not the introspective part, because that is all kinds of spoilery.

Assuming that I either finish up Part 4 or make a start on Part 5, I can put this part in the buffer and post the fifth part of The Maw of Despair. I haven’t actually looked at the calendar to see how often I’ve added new stuff, but it seems that it’s becoming regular, which can only be good for those hoping for more story.


End of November update

I’m doing better.  A couple of nights ago I worked on the fifth part of The Maw of Despair (that’s Part 4 of The Rescue).  Damn near finished it in one sitting.

Still haven’t finished the challenge I set for myself.  Who knew that it would be so difficult to find a place to use the word ‘snapped’ in a story?  I suppose that as long as I’m writing, that’s the main thing.

What with feeling tired all the time, there hasn’t been a lot of writing going on.  Still, I need to make time for it, like I did on Thursday there.  Every now and then I need to close down the browser, shut down my e-mail, and just work.  I can do it if I put my mind to it.

I need to work on an outline for The Maw of Despair, as well.  I’m not doing too badly by winging it, it would be nice to have an outline to prompt me when I get stuck.

Also, in case you missed it, I posted Part 3 of No Way Home, here and on Wattpad.

Here’s hoping you have a great December, folks! 🙂

No Way Home

So I finished up No Way Home Part 2. It’s a bit shorter than expected, at just under 1000 words.  Have a read of it if you like!

I haven’t actually finished up the challenge that I set myself.  Still got to find a way to work the word ‘snapped’ into the next part.  I don’t think it’ll be a problem, though.

Progress is progress

So today’s gone reasonably well.  I got some writing done.  What’s more, I got it done as today’s challenge over at the Erotic Writer’s Group.  It puts me at 261 words for the month. 🙂

Also, as I mentioned on Twitter earlier, I gave my mum a copy of Servant of the Siphen today.  She finished it quite quickly and seems interested to see where it goes.  Well, that’s a load of pressure off my mind. 🙂

So I’ve been thinking.  Would any of you like a copy of the story in the ePUB format, for ease of reading, and to also check that the formatting works on a variety of devices?  If so, send me a tweet or something and I’ll direct message you a link.

Of outlines and minimaps

So earlier tonight I made a new page to contain my outline for No Way Home.  This functions much like a minimap in Minecraft, helps me to see where I’m going, what’s ahead, without getting into much of the fine detail.

If at some point I need to zoom in and break up the bullet points into smaller points, then I can do that easily.

Um, of course you guys can only see Part 1, which is already posted, so it doesn’t matter about spoilers unless you haven’t read it.  Parts 2 to 4 are hidden away.  I’m getting to be good at that.  Hiding things away, I mean.

Anyway, with eleven days left in the month, I’m going to alternate between writing and outlining, and hopefully that will kick off some serious progress.  It would have been good to do that last month, but I guess this is a learning experience, right?

So, wish me luck, and stuff. 🙂

When will more stories be posted on Wattpad?

I’ve decided to give No Way Home a shot on Wattpad tonight, just need to put together a cover for it.

Servant of the Siphen will be posted when it’s finished.  So after part 13 or 14 if I need one more part to round it off.

Pegasus and The Maw of Despair are already there and I’ll make new parts available whenever they’re done.

Part 13 of Servant of the Siphen

I’ve updated Part 13 on the site now.  It isn’t finished yet, but you can see it taking form. 🙂

Since yesterday I’ve been a bit more motivated to write.  I think that having a supportive talk with someone in person has made a big difference!

I’m going to need a beta or two to read Servant of the Siphen when it’s done.  So, volunteers would be nice.

I think it will be an enjoyable read with the last part added and the other minor changes.  There will be a cliffhanger, at least until the next part of the story is finished.  I’m not even sure what the title will be, but I think I’ll need to think of one.


Martin March 14, 7:30 UTC

So it’s been a while since I made a proper post.

I’ve been dealing with my depression.  I’ve started a new medication which seems to be working a bit better than the old one.

Still planning to do an A-Z of blog posts next month.  Should be exciting!

I’m also definitely going to start on this new chapter that I’ve been procrastinating over/researching.

From contrivance to reality

So it’s been a while since my last proper blog post.  I haven’t been doing much writing lately, more sort of plotting.

So tonight I’m going to tackle the issue of gender balance in my stories.

Initially my thinking was that I wanted to have female characters in roles that are traditionally filled by males.  But that’s a bit contrived.  It’s all very well to say that I wish there were more female ‘knights riding to the rescue’ but what am I actually trying to accomplish by this?

So for a while now I’ve been trying to explain why most of the cast of Servant of the Siphen and the rest of the series is female.  Years, really.

Then as I was walking home tonight I found the missing piece of the puzzle.

Human life, when you think about it, is quite fragile.  It doesn’t take much to threaten our existence.  Never mind the aliens armed with electric death rays though, it’s the smallest most microscopic enemies that we need to worry about.  That’s right – alien germs.

The irony is that in reaching out to the stars, ensuring that human colonies will exist and multiply for some time to come, we may unwittingly bring about changes in our very own nature that will force us to adapt or die.

So in the stories, the basic premise is that during the great expansion, something or someone caused widescale alterations in the development of unborn children.  Perhaps it was aliens seeking to curb the human infestation on their dorrsteps, or maybe it was an accidental result of alien fauna interacting with human physiology.  I’m not telling… spoilers!

Whatever the cause, the result is that some humans in the 25th century will require hormone treatment to begin puberty, and may be unable to conceive children without medical intervention.  Naturally-born males will account for less than a percent of births.  The balance between female and male genders is going to shift quite considerably, and possibly a quarter of human colonists or Earth-born may consider themselves to be transgender.

That sort of brings me back to my original idea, which is that human life is so fragile.  When faced with this realisation that the way things used to be may never be so for thousands of years if at all, humans would have to embrace their altered reality.  Never again can they look down on or discriminate against people who do not fit into one of the binary genders.  There will be billions of brilliant humans who are capable of something just as wondrous as their distant ancestors who landed on the moon, and they cannot be scorned because of their differences.  The continued existence of humanity is at stake.

I would like to think that this story does not begin when humans arrive on other planets.  It begins today, with people like you or me.  We are the mentors of those who come after us, passing on our values to the next generation, and the next and the next and so on.  If what we do and believe and how we act towards those who are different helps future generations to overcome adversity, then we are never forgotten.  They will tell tales of us, much as we imagine and relate to their perilous and arduous journey to distant worlds.

The greatest strength of humans is to communicate ideas and to share knowledge and experiences.  By doing these things, we create a future in which humans are prepared, if not forewarned of the dangers it may face.

So it’s quite possible that some of the crew of the Orion, though they take female names and look feminine, don’t necessarily identify as female.  I haven’t made distinctions yet because as I said, this came to me tonight and I’m still thinking about it.  Does it make a difference to you if one of these leading ladies is transgender?

I’m not looking to score points, mind.  I’m telling a story, and sometimes that means explaining why things are the way they are, or even what that is.  If as a result it improves the human condition for those future generations, I won’t have been forgotten.