2013-06-24

06-24-13: Writing update

I've managed to balance my fence project with writing. My fence is falling apart (I obviously didn't build it) and needs to be replaced. Several weeks ago I had wood delivered and ever since I've been working on getting the untreated wood prepared for installation as a fence. It's been a long project because I've had to treat all 100 2x4's as well as the 356 8x1 6-ft long pickets by hand--with a brush. The pickets were originally 12-ft long boards which I had to cut in half--all 180 of them. I have completed the 2x4s and I'm about 73% done with the pickets.

In the meantime, I've managed to get some serious editing done on Peacekeeper. As of right now, I am ready to begin editing what Scrivener shows as chapter 39.2. Well, that's what it's called anyway. It's actually more like the end of chapter 42. To bring this into perspective, it's the next to the last chapter of what has already been written and it is the start of a major battle scene that will require extensive modifications based on the changes I've made to earlier sections of the book. The wonderful thing about Scrivener is that I don't have to worry about what the chapters are labeled as it does all the labeling for me. All I have to do is to supply the breaks and keep on writing.

Here is an interesting piece of writing information: I seem to do some of my best scene creation while I'm in the shower. I was a little stuck on the ending. Although I had a good one in mind, it just wasn't exactly right. I wanted it to be better but could not come up with anything that would work. A couple days ago, the answer popped into my head while in the shower. I've been refining it while staining pickets. Now I'm ready to write it. If all goes well the book will be complete in about 2 or 3 weeks and then I will be ready to run through it one more time for a final editing pass before sending it to my wife for her proofing.

2013-06-16

06-16-2013: Peacekeeper update

I've actually had quite a bit of time to work on Peacekeeper this last week. I've made it to what is labeled as chapter 30 but is most likely actually chapter 32. The difference is because I've added so much new stuff during this editing pass (as well as making some major changes elsewhere) that I've had to split chapters. If I had been using Word, doing this would have been difficult. But with Scrivener, it's a snap. I've also moved a couple of chapters around - again, easy with Scrivener. My editing efforts puts me at about 80% complete. But, I still need to write the ending.

I am working on a MAJOR project at the house which will occupy my time anytime it's not raining outside. I have 250 linear feet of aging fence that must be rebuilt picket by picket. My wife and I are not a fan of treated wood because of the chemicals used and you still have to weatherproof the wood. So I bought 100 ten-foot long 2x4s and 180 twelve-foot long 1x8 #2 pine boards. I've already weatherproofed and stained the 2x4s and yesterday I cut up the 1x8s to make pickets. Now I have 360 pickets to stain and weatherproof - all before the week of July 4th. The weather, however, is not cooperating with rain scheduled for most of those days. It rained last night but today looks like it will be clear. However, I am so sore from cutting wood yesterday that I think it would be a wise idea for me to take a break.

I am hoping to have my first edit pass complete and the final few chapters written by the time I head for Launchpad on July 14th. During that week, if all goes well, I will complete the final draft and ready it for my wife's review. She is my proofreader. She is not a science fiction fan so it usually takes her a couple weeks to proof the book. Once that's done, I put in her changes and then generate the final output for upload.

If you are interested in more timely updates than is available in this blog you can follow me on Twitter. My username is: author_farren.

Time to get editing!

2013-06-01

06-01-2013: Thoughts of a tri-sexual species

To my knowledge, no organism on Earth is tri-sexual--meaning it takes three to reproduce. It's easy to see why this is a bad idea but can there be such a life-form? While creating descriptions of alien life for the Galactic Alliance I've often wondered about this. So much so, that one of the cultures I've created is indeed a tri-sexual species. Here's my idea of how it would work and why.

Shiltans are an intelligent species vaguely resembling spiders. They have six legs, two of which double as arms. They are also a tri-sexual species. Like most other species in the Alliance, they are divided into males and females. There is a third partner that most other species refer to as the mother. A newly paired couple must create their own mother. When the female becomes pregnant the growing child is always a mother. Mothers are smaller than the parents and rapidly develop into an adult mother. They are less intelligent and are built specifically for rearing children. Their entire mentality is focused on the care of newborns.

When the Shiltan female becomes pregnant again, she will carry the infant for 3 months. After that time, she must transfer the unborn infant to the mother or another mother will be born 3 months later. After the infant is transferred to the mother, it will continue to develop and grow into a full male or female. This arrangement is an evolutionary trick to increase the Shiltan's survival rate. Mothers can remain sheltered, caring for the young until they are old enough to escape from predators on their own. The male and female can continue to hunt and provide food and protection for the mother and their family. A couple can have more than one mother.

As brutal as it may seem, the life of a mother is not protected under Shiltan law. If a couple no longer desires to have children the mother is killed after she is no longer needed to care for any children. They are also killed if either of the mating pair of Shiltan's passes away or the couple separates (a rarity in Shiltan society).

Thoughts anyone?

The editing of Peacekeeper is going quite well. I've added a lot of new material and changed quite a bit of what was already written. All for the better of the book. I am about 30% through the manuscript and the book now stands at 92,491 words. If you recall, I have not written the last couple of chapters. So, it's beginning to look like this is going to be a 100K book. So, instead of writing here, I'm going back to editing.

Until next time.