Introspect in Retrospect

Today I rewrote a paragraph from two days ago. I do not plan on doing this again. The paragraph deals with a character’s thoughts on an issue. Two days ago, it sounded fine; maybe a little awkward; another draft would sort that out. Today I saw that the thoughts didn’t suit the character; further, they burnt a thread that I wanted to explore. So although I set rules for myself about editing, today I had to make an exception.

The start of a chapter is always slow going. There’s a period of reorientation, even if one knows the characters and the general direction that the story is headed. As the chapter goes on, the flow widens and widens until pages start to appear fully formed. Right now I’m still building momentum. The pieces are there; it just takes some scrutiny to find their trajectories and a gentle nudge to set them in motion. In a few pages I will reach a checkpoint where several elements cross. From there the chemistry should propel them through to the next juncture.

Since my last update the contributions have piled up! I have three more people to thank: a fairly new associate yet long recipient of my respect, Orb designer and With Earth In Mind author Mr. Joshua Turcotte; a long associate of my wife who shall be known as The Turtle; and — well, my own mother. Thanks to you all for your support. I hope you continue to follow the project to its completion.

And again, thanks to all other readers for your time and interest in this project. I am amazed at the positive response we have received already.

Dancing Landmarks

The second chapter continues to yank me in unexpected directions, all for the best. Nearly done now, and on the cusp of 10,000 words. In page terms this is an arbitrary number; at an average of 250 words per printed page, that comes to 40 pages. Still a good chunk of pulp, but it’s not even a round figure. Ten thousand, now that sounds like a nice milestone. And I’m nearly there.

I might have written even more tonight, except that research ate up way more time than I intended. Any time you write about New York, you really need to know your background — and sometimes the details can get kind of crazy.

Both my wife and I are touched by your continued support. The most recent donation comes from my very old friend Lan, which makes two contributors in a row in need of special cookie recipes. Dietary minefields are all part of the challenge.

If anyone has been putting off a sizable donation out of concern for gluten or sugar content, don’t you worry about it; whatever your needs, my wife can work around them. She’s clever that way.

How to Support, and What it Gets You

Welcome all new visitors, and welcome back to all old. Click here for a refresher on just what we’re doing and what The Under-Kings is all about.

For this novel to reach completion on or near schedule, it will need a constant stream of support. My wife and I have worked through the logistics, and as alluded in the previous post we have a donation scheme that should work for everyone and delight many.

Right out of the box, we have nine reward levels. For each tier we introduce a new reward, as a thank you to our loyal members and fans. The fun part is, the rewards cascade. So if you choose the Cadmium level, you also receive all of the benefits of Aluminum through Zinc. The reward levels are as follows:

  1. Aluminum ($5.00) – Our eternal gratitude
  2. Copper ($10.00) – A public shout-out — here, on Twitter, on Facebook
  3. Zinc ($25.00) – A printed thank-you in the book’s foreword
  4. Cadmium ($50.00) – A .PDF copy of The Under-Kings, delivered upon the novel’s completion
  5. Tin ($75.00) – A box of selected inspirational material
  6. Mercury ($100.00) – A selection of apocrypha, production materials, sketches, and photos
  7. Lead ($250.00) – A choice of either 12 chocolate chip cookies or 6 semi-sweet chocolate brownies, hand-baked by my wife
  8. Einsteinium ($500.00) – A name-check in a later chapter of The Under-Kings, plus a limited edition signed and bound hard copy of the novel
  9. Nobelium ($1,000.00) – A custom-written 5-10 page short story involving the above character with your name

For those who prefer to go rogue, you can always skip the reward structure and Paypal your preferred amount to novel (at) tairne (dot) com. Or if you wish to sidestep the whole Paypal thing, e-mail us at the same address to ask about hard contact info.

Member or not, I will continue to update this blog for you all as the writing develops. Later on, you can also expect some fun contests and activities. My hope is that everyone feels involved in the process.

Your enthusiasm is contribution enough. Though if you want to see the novel any time soon, I point you toward that Paypal button.

Rocket Pops

Thanks to the enthusiasm of several parties, including my dear wife and a fey little man named Brandon Sheffield, the writing is underway.

I have had three false starts over the last year or so; this one is for real. As of this post I have completed one chapter, begun a second, and roughly mapped out the book’s structure. It gets hazier the further back it goes, but that just leaves room for improvisation. Proximity brings clarity, and as long as you know where you’re going you know what signs to watch for.

The big question at present, now that I have begun this support project, is what to call the darned thing. My wife and I, she in the role of editor, have been rolling around several big, tawdry B-movie titles. Brain Freeze! Jumped! Cooler!

Right now I’m working with The Under-Kings. I think this may be the one. We’ll see if the writing presents me anything better. It’s usually a mistake to pretend that one is in control of a creative project. Anything of value is in total control of you.

As for you, dear reader: if I am to complete this book in any reasonable time, I will need your help. I work freelance; I get paid when I get published — or more probably, several months later. If I’m going to support my family, I need to keep working. If I’m going to write this book, I need to focus on it to the exclusion of all other work. So I prevail upon you, the enthusiastic.

I am going to set up various donation schemes, associated with some wild thank-you gifts. I want you all to feel a part of the process. This novel is going to be funny, scary, confusing, and quite probably good. I can say this because I have read it — both on paper and in my own head.

For now, there’s a PayPal button over to the left. Have at it, if you are inclined! With our next update, we will outline a greater scheme for you all.

You can read more about this project on the about page.