Archive for April, 2009

Inherent Editing

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2009 by Jaym Gates

83,000 words! I didn’t realize I’d added that much, and I’m not really sure WHEN I added all that. But, certainly not complaining.

Working through Abadinur, fleshing it out. May I just say, it is extraordinarily awesome to not have the headache I had with Red Sun of looking at it going “what the hell was I thinking?”? Inherent actually has some cohesion and I’m not having to tweak the plot much. Yippee!

Stage 3

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Stage 1: Plot and build the framework of a novel
Stage 2: Build around the frame to write a rough draft
Stage 3: Start the aesthetic touches of the rough project
Stage 4: Refining
Stage 5: Polishing

As you can guess from the title, Stages 1 and 2 are done. Today marks the start of Stage 3. This includes everything from expanding sub-plots to adding depth to characters and writing songs or “inner” stories. The rough draft is the easiest, as there are solid goals. 1000 words a day, 800 words a day. Finish by this time, have this many words. Have these certain concepts done.

Now I have to draft a deadline, but there’s so little structure to put into it that it’s hard to keep honest. While I can weed out a LOT of the mistakes I made on RED SUN, there’s always something that slips in. Fortunately, the draft for INHERENT is about a thousand times more clear and cohesive than Red Sun’s.

In other news, DragonCon this fall! I’ll be doing a series of articles, Tweets, interviews and reports on it, as well as something fun to do with Firefly. Yay Con-madness.

INHERENT: Of Witches, Dragons and Children

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 by Jaym Gates

The rough draft is a wrap! 80,200 words in just under 5 months, with significant downtime here and there.

I am giving myself a week off. During this time, I’ll go through and update the encyclopedia for Inherent, finish the draft for Saints and Virgins, and get life back on track. Then, May 1, I’ll start editing. The deadline for a solid second draft of 130,000 (-ish) words is August 1.

One of THOSE days

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2009 by Jaym Gates

1) I have no idea of life when I wake up. This is a confusion beyond words. It wasn’t “I don’t know where I am”, it was “Why the hell have I been asleep?”. I call this the Rip Van Winkle morning.

2) Leeeeeet’s just say I didn’t have butterfingers this morning… But everyone else did.

3) Let’s also say I had butternails. Rather, the box I was carrying had butter nails. Get my drift? Breakage.

4) Have you ever been pretty happy with life, but someone else is SO excited to be somewhere, that it makes you all jealous and somewhat homesick? Yeah. Me too.

5) No fun emails to occupy me. Enough said.

6) WAY too much work.

7) Since I have WAY too much work, I shall now exit and continue said work!

One Week from A Milestone

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2009 by Jaym Gates

INHERENT stands at 70,000 words. I will be devoting this week to getting it to the rough draft target of 80,000 words by Tuesday. Monday I’ve written off, going to be gone all day!

Wrote a new opening for the story, an excerpt of which follows.

~Once upon a time, I told you the story of the brave knight rescuing his beautiful princess. You said that night you wanted your own happily ever after. Well, here you go sweetheart. Here’s your happily ever after. Enjoy it bitch, because you’ve bought it at the price of hell for everyone else.
The old woman, her face and form more fair than the finest young human maiden, sees them both. Her granddaughter, and her pawn. Her family, long gone, but never forgotten, forming a protective circle around her granddaughter. Her champion, in the hands of her pawn. Her Beast, the weapon her master had destroyed himself upon, holding the child who was to have given her life back. All these things, she saw in a moment, and knew herself doomed. There is nothing left now but to play her final cards. The course of the battle hangs on her decision now.
Glory, or destruction. Logrozana.~

This new opening will introduce the three protagonist women. It also brings a good hint at the nature of Kadaraita, Logrozana and Abadinur, three concepts integral to the story. The cycles of Change, the challenge of Glory, and the necessity of duty above personal feelings.

INHERENT: Progress

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2009 by Jaym Gates

2000 words today, a new forum opening, and I finally finished the archives for the magazine. Yay!

I’ve also focused on a particular character recently, deepening a formerly minor character to add layers. Rivareyt, pawn of Txikia and queen of Ilgaro is a young woman who doesn’t know her own name, but not for any normal reasons. Her memories of her time with Txikia were erased, over-written by the spirit of a spoiled princess being sent to Erotheri to be his wife and a plant. Only her personality remains, judged far more useful than the spoiled brat. With Erotheri’s support, she becomes the one truly good thing to come out of the wars.

And she plays a huge, surprising part in the ending! It will be fun to see how she comes together, because if I write her well, I’d love to have her make a “top 10 female characters” list, even over Sviera.


Posted in Uncategorized on April 10, 2009 by Jaym Gates

INHERENT stands at 66,000 words. I have a goal to reach 70,000 by Tuesday. Which means that, if I behave and work my butt off, the 80,000 rough draft will be finished by the next Tuesday. 😀

I was looking at the stats on this achievement. First book: Rewrites, frustrations, title changes every other week, lack of focus and knowledge of the story. Rough draft completed after: roughly 18 months.

INHERENT: no rewrites yet (and minimal ones to come, only the original ideas need smoothing!), minor frustrations, NO title changes (!!), decent focus, and pretty damn good knowledge of the story. Rough draft completed in: less than 4 months.

This is after several weeks of “oh, I suck, of the story sucks, oh I can’t write!” whining, which I thought would doom me.

The credit here goes largely to NEW NAME I believe. In that story, I felt success. I sat down with a damned good idea, wrote a damned good story in a month, and had it finished before the next month was out. Very little tweaking and fiddling. A good plot, a focus on the central characters, and a discovery of where my strengths lie made it FUN to write.

Once INHERENT is finished, I’ll be writing another myth. I don’t know which one yet, but I’d like to get about ten of those Myths put together for an anthology.

Desired title for said anthology: Dreamline, after the Australian Aboriginal term.


Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2009 by Jaym Gates

A letter from a low-ranking officer of Ilgaro to his mother on the eve of the civil war.

“We burned a village last night. A harmless, undefended village that had the misfortune of being in our path. The reason? They were citizens of Jastu.
“War fires flared within the first hour of dark, lighting mountain tops and, I have no doubt, telling of the atrocity. If the north was not united against us before, it is now. The soldiers took their women mother, and raped them, and then killed them. The men and boys were also killed, and the elderly. We slaughtered their animals for food and burned what remained that we did not loot.
“I have never been so ashamed in my life. I was fortunate, my unit was not in the front and so we did not have to participate, and I forbade the few men in my command from looting. Thankfully, they were as repulsed as I, for I was so angry I might have slaughtered them had they protested.
“The name of the village was Gendulain. Remember this name, for there is no one else who will, and I will sacrifice my life in protest of this. At dawn tomorrow, when I am sure the letter is well gone, I will go to Erotheri and protest the action and declare that I may no longer support him in good conscience. Obviously, this will result in my death, and that of my men, for they have pledged behind me.
“Goodbye mother. Kiss Kamarre goodbye for me, and remember that in the end, there were men who stood against the fall of Ilgaro from her glory. I love you, Faidu.”


Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2009 by Jaym Gates

…thy name is Mornara.

I got a new computer Friday, right? So I transfer all my stuff over. Now, being the proactive individual that I am, I had already done a run through of my files and figured out what did need to go and what didn’t. Put it all on my shiny new computer. Started working on INHERENT and my internship tasks there.

Wait, why is a document missing?

I KNOW it exists.

Oh. Shit.

I got my computer on Friday.

I backed up the files on Wednesday.

And worked on INHERENT the rest of the week.

On the old computer.

And forgot to update the flashdrive.

Then I got the new computer.

And started working on INHERENT.

From old files.

I have some 70,000 words that is now completely screwed up.

And since I’m in an editing stage, a LOT of that is going to be lost, because it would take longer to find each tweak than to do them over again.

I am royally stupid and deserving of a kick in the butt.

Apparently, this problem didn’t even occur to me until I just couldn’t find the document I wanted to work on. I don’t even know what all I’m missing. Being too busy finally caught up with me, and I just spent 30 minutes comparing documents and merging the biggest changes. I won’t even try to find the edits and tweaks, but I estimate I probably lost somewhere around 500 words.

That’ll teach me.

In other news, I’ve joined Critter’s Workshop, so I have another thing added to my plate. A a friend put it, I’ve got a plate with lots of little plates balancing on it, and more little plates balancing on those. I’ve got to start getting involved in the actual nitty-gritty of the writer’s community however, and since a conference is probably out of my budget this year… Critter’s works well.

Still waiting to hear back from Leading Edge about NEW NAME.

Oddly, my old computer, which is half dead, is getting signal from the wireless today. The new one is not. I do so love wind, but it plays havoc with my wireless.

The Plight of the Short Story

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6, 2009 by Jaym Gates

When I first sat and read through the manuscript of TO WRITE A NEW NAME, I knew I had a winner. Yes, it needed revision and polishing. But it was a damned good story told in a good voice. That’s a feeling of absolute promise.

But it’s somewhat crippled by its length. Too long to be a short story, too short to be a novel, it falls in the gray area between all those. The biggest problem with this is that there are maybe five magazines that take work that length. The writers conferences don’t want something that long. If it was the right length, I’d be submitting it in contests in a flash. But I can’t, because they want UNDER 3000 WORDS!!!

The deadline for the Southeastern Writers Conference submissions is April 15. I can’t write a new story by then, no way. It’s possible I could take RED SUN, but I have little confidence in that. INHERENT will be a second draft by then, almost feasible, but certainly not ready to submit now. I might be able to squeak SAINTS AND VIRGINS in under the wire… Maybe.

Shall I go for it? I like SAINTS AND VIRGINS, but I don’t know if it’s compelling enough. Or shall I pull out the stops and see if I can write an incredibly good story in one week?! (No. Not doing that…)