Watchman for Daybreak Watch

Here's a round-up of writing-related stuff.Watchman for Daybreak is going well. I've revised most of the existing material to reflect my new understanding of Captain St. Cloude, and it appears that I'm going to have two viewpoint characters: the captain, and Fr. Consolmagno Higgins, the Prefect of the new colony. It's not clear to me yet whether Higgins has some serious conflicts of his own, or whether he's mostly a foil to the captain (in this book anyway). And I'm up to 7,400 words, … [Read more...]

Riding the Rigatoni Cycle

Not much to report on the Watchman for Daybreak front, though I'm proceeding along the lines I indicated last week, and it's working for me. John St. Cloude is going to be a much more interesting character this way.In the meantime, my first novel has been available on my personal website for the last ten years. It's called Through Darkest Zymurgia; it's a fantasy novel about a scientific expedition in a rather odd world. I make no great claims for it, but I enjoyed writing it, and I think … [Read more...]

Writing Flawed Characters

I only got about a thousand words written on Watchman for Daybreak this week, but I feel like I'm making great progress.First, it's interesting to work in such a different way than usual. Usually I start at the beginning and writing the story to find out what happens; this time, I know pretty much what's going to happen from one end of the story to the other, at least in its broad outlines. Consequently, I'm writing not to find out what happens, but to find out how and why it happens. In … [Read more...]

Watchman for Daybreak Watch

Writing continued on Watchman for Daybreak in a somewhat desultory fashion; I had the flu most of last week, and blogging takes precedence. But I've now got over 5,000 words written, and the last thousand of that is for a scene that's going to need a fair amount more work. In short, I'm moving onward with (modified) vigor. The earlier scenes probably need some more description as well, to give a better sense of place. Also, I wrote rough drafts of several posts on Aristotle, who is More … [Read more...]

Bleeding Delicately on the Page

Wonder of wonders, I actually got some fiction writing done this week. I've written the first draft of another scene for Watchman for Daybreak, the first story set in the S'Mary's World universe, adding another 1500 words. It's beginning to come together, plot-wise, though the eventual structure is still somewhat up for grabs.And then, I added a bit to "Jeeves and the Nameless Ichor"...but then came to the sad realization that to do it properly I'm going to need to immerse myself in Bertie … [Read more...]

Watchman for Daybreak Watch

The latest S'Mary's World news is that work on Watchman for Daybreak is proceeding. As I type this, I've got about 2,500 words written and a couple of scenes blocked out in my head. As I never talk about stories while they are in progress, though, I haven't much to say about it.I don't want to disappoint anyone, though, so why don't you go read Neil Gaiman on the importance of libraries and imagination?Oh, and if you're desperate for fiction you can give "Island of the … [Read more...]

Writing the Scene

I've got a character, John St. Cloude, captain of the freezer ship Our Lady of Loreto; a sequence of events, the voyage to S'Mary's World; I've even got a title, always an important point for me, Watchman for Daybreak; yet I can't seem to get started.Part of it is simply lack of time: we went away for President's Day weekend, sharing a rental unit with another family; being present to family and friends is not conducive to writing fiction. Saturday is usually good writing time, but today … [Read more...]

Why Not Fiction?

Kelly Sedinger has some pertinent commentary on my last week's post "Why Write Fiction", which might perhaps better have been titled, "Why I Write Fiction," or even "How I Write Fiction".It appears that he writes the way I usually do, by making up details as he goes along. I prefer that; it's fun, and open-ended. What I'm doing with S'Mary's World feels more like solving a system of simultaneous equations: because I've built the world already, there are lots of constraints on what I can … [Read more...]

Why Write Fiction?

Not panzer-schnauzers.  Panzer-schnauzers are tropical, and (except for the beard) have short coats.

I don't have a piece about S'Mary's World today because I'm at the point in the project where I need to stop world-building and start writing some actual stories. That's not so quick. I find it fairly easy to put together a brief encyclopedia article about some aspect of a fictional world, but writing full stories is harder, and takes a lot longer.As a consolation prize, here are some thoughts on writing fiction, and my reasons for doing it.Some folks, when asked, will say they wrote a … [Read more...]