Week of 26 February to 04 March

At last, chapter seven is finished. It took longer than I wanted, despite being a shorter chapter, but I think it turned out well (and if it didn’t, well, that’s what revisions are for). I wanted to strike a balance between making it clear to readers that what happens in this chapter is significant for the story, and also making it seem like it’s just another, relatively normal event for the characters that they will only think significant in retrospect – I think I managed to pull that off, but I’ll be interested to see what feedback I get on it.

With chapter seven finished, we move onto chapter eight (I’m about two thousand words into it so far), which is…also an important chapter. The first six chapters, arguably, were exposition, character development, and moving pieces into place so that chapters seven and eight would work the way I want them to work. I know that’s a slow build, but I think this pacing is important to the story. With a bit of effort, I should be able to finish chapter eight and move onto chapter nine by next week’s update. Chapter eight is going quickly so far, much faster than chapter seven, which is a relief.

I submitted Ship in a Bottle to Elegant Literature‘s February contest ‘Behind the Veil.’ The story turned out well enough, although I worry that it’s not the most unique. Not in the sense that it’s copied, but in the sense that it’s a story about an alien spacecraft landing on Earth and being hidden because of the knowledge it could unleash. In that sense, it’s mostly driven by the characters, the philosophy, and the tension build by the prelude. Whether it eventually appears in Elegant Literature or here, I’ll post an author’s note where we can talk about it in more detail.

March’s Elegant Literature theme is ‘Gambler’s Grief,’ and I actually think I might eke out two stories for this one. Almost as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve had the idea for a magic system in which characters can store luck and then expend it in bursts when needed, which seems perfectly suited to a gambling-themed story. I’m about twelve hundred words into that story and should have it done by the next update post. My other idea is for a quantum physics-based story, because probability plays such a huge role in that field. Plus, the key word for the month is ‘charm,’ and I could work in charm quarks…now I just need a plot. And characters. And a world. Believe it or not, this is actually how most of my story ideas go. I start with some concept and have to come up with an interesting story to tell around it.

As you can see, it was a busy week. I’m getting behind on my Tuesday blog post writing, so I need to get back to doing that and crank out at least one or two posts this week (by behind, I mean that I’m only scheduled out until the end of May). If you have any topics or ideas you’d like to see me cover in a Tuesday post, feel free to send them my way. This week’s is discussing educational techniques, and on Thursday we’ll be reviewing Stalin. For now, I’m going to get back to writing stories, but I’ll be back next week with another weekly writing update.

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