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...]

S’Mary’s World: Magnus Albert

Magnus Albert is the name given to the mother house of the Albertine Order on S'Mary's World, also known as St. Mary's-without-the-Arm. To the Albertines the first colonists gave the task of preserving the Archives, the collected library of the colony ship Our Lady of Loreto, and disseminating its contents to the colonists as and when and in such measure as the colony was ready to make use of them. To this end Magnus Albert was built into the side of a mountain, Albertus Mons, into which … [Read more...]

The Von Neumann Survey

The so-called Von Neumann Survey was the foundation of the great wave of colonization that began in Old Earth's 24th Century. Begun in AD 2151, shortly after the discovery of the Harper Drive, the survey was conducted by a fleet of faster-than-light self-replicating robotic probes. The probes were simple in concept, if complicated in execution, consisting of a drive unit, a sensor package, and a robotic controller, and were far cheaper than any manned probes could possibly be. The African … [Read more...]

S’Mary’s World: The Wars of Irreligion


The first settlements on S'Mary's World were run along the lines of monastic communes: the people of the settlements, though not professed religious, lived, farmed, worked, and built their homes and infrastructure together, and held it all in common. The settlement's church was usually the first permanent structure, and, as many of the colonists were tertiaries of various orders, an abbreviated form of the divine office was usually sung or said each morning and each evening.As the second … [Read more...]

S’Mary’s World: The Knights Particular

The colony of S'Mary's World was originally established as a number of politically independent but economically interdependent settlements, all under the general guidance of the Prefecture. The system worked well in the earliest years of the Hard Times, when the colonists were reasonably united in purpose and the fight for survival necessarily took precedence over internecine squabbling. As agriculture was established and the next generation grew to maturity, eroding that unity, friction … [Read more...]