Reviews by Peter: Guest Post Crosslink

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Dis r nawt hao it gose.  Wai u upseid down?

A few weeks back I met Peter Younghusband on the Realm Makers Forum on Facebook.  We had a few jolly discussions and he invited me to do a guest post for his blog.  Due to a technical glitch, it posted WAY early, much to his embarrassment.  Sorry Peter, It’s a cute story.  So… as I like to say… SURPRISE GUEST POST!

Everything in His timing, I guess.  So with that happening, here’s a link over to the guest post.

Reviews By Peter: Guest Post – Michael Boncher

I would like to point out that he has a pile o pixels devoted to his passion for reading Christian Fiction.  You can spend hours going through book reviews, author commentary on their own work and lots of other goodies for the budding bibliophile in you.

Check him out and give him some love too.

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Sometimes You Must Go Back To Go Forward

After a great meeting with my editor, I realized that I had to restore a subplot I cut out of the book.  I figured it was going to end up being in book 3 instead, before I realized that its original intent was going to work.  So… 5 new (old) chapters were put back in the book near the beginning.  In fact, one of them is now the new first chapter.

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But as for moving forward, I had gotten stuck on several points on my last chapter, and it just… blech!  It wasn’t working.  Too overwrought and loaded down with purple prose that was muddying even my understanding of what was going on.  The good news is that now that I have worked through a serious scientific problem, I can also see that this book is living up to my hopes and has the potential to being a real awesome adventure when I discussed my plans with my editor.  She was so good at just letting me vent ideas.  Still not sure on a few simple points, but mmmm boy…. this ending, thanks to the solution brought back by the restored subplot got so much better.

It was a sub-plot that originated from characters from A Light Rises in a Dark World, so some favorites are returning and having an impact on what’s going on.  This also will end up creating more of a tie-in to book 3 that I hoped.

I also have the timeline more squared away.  Having to start writing chapters that will be inserted earlier into the book because I’m writing this chronologically forces that issue.

I’m seeing the ending far more clearly, now, and that makes me happy.  But I have to start thinking of what to title this thing.  Even a working title would be good.

Stats

Pages 407
Words 135970

As you can see, a significant jump in word count too.

New (Restored chapters and locations)

1. The Hunt

3. A Desire For Home

5. Confession & Revelation

7. An Interrupted Meal

8. Breaking Bread With New Friends

And the new chapters since last with their new position:

57: Rewards, Conundrums & Disappointments

58: The Drowned Forest

59: The Valley That Drives Away Evil With Light

60: Temple To An Unknown God

61: The Weight of Sin

I guess it has been a while since I’ve given you a chapter update.  So as a mea culpa and désolé, here’s an excerpt from the new opening chapter

 

The Hunt

 

The beast had come across the ice that winter.  Tracks left in the snowpack frozen by spray from a storm haunted Aske’s mind.  The prints were startling along the beach of Neinnvanbjarg as it had wandered along for a short while, looking for evidence of food, found it, then went into the trees and vanished. Perhaps the beast would just pass on to another island looking for better fare, but that was not to be.  A week later, an team of oxen were killed.  Their kusk escaped with his life by the grace of God.  Something needed to be done now for this beast was there to feast.

Early March had created a world without horizon.  For days on end, the air was warm and thick with fog.  Heavy coats were laid aside, and most timberjacks went about with only light oilskins normally for rain over their autumn clothing.  Aske and his men slogged through the mud and wet snow of the spring melt.  Near the beaches the crunch and hiss of ice shoves were a disquieting din as the winds and waves pushed floes and bergs all the way to the treeline.  Sometimes the piles reached over forty feet high.  But among the trees the sound of dripping water and sighing boughs was all that could be heard.  The birds refused to sing, not even the chickadees or cardinals, for they knew a killer lurked among the pillars of nature’s cathedral.  The beast made it easy to follow by dragging the dead oxen back to its cave in the rotted limestone cliffs that made the northeastern end of the island. Ten of them came with Aske while the rest protected the woodyard and the logging camp.  The track may have been there, but it might be still on the prowl.  None the less, Aske’s knowledge of nature told him to expect a full it  inside.

The plan was simple.  They would go in as many men abreast as possible and when they came across across their quarry, pin it in place with the first rank of spears, then the second rank would stab the trapped creature till it stopped moving.  The hide might be ruined, but this was not about another fur, this was about survival.  Of all the choices for hunting the beast, this was the safest and fastest.

The cave was a small alcove set back a few dozen yards from the beach and elevated in the rock about the height of a man with talus of rotted rock scattered at its base.  The smell of feces came strong on the stirring breeze outside the mouth of the lair.  A deer’s ribcage poked out obscenely from the melting snow telling that the oxen were not this beast’s first kill.  Even in the full light of the foggy day, the shadows inside were deep enough that the men could not see more than a few feet into the short cave.

Aske took the middle of the first rank, was flanked by his two strongest men, and began entering the dark.  The cave was not too deep, maybe a hundred feet or less, but it took a bend to the left, which concealed the deeper chamber of the cave.  Behind him, a rank of men held torches high.  The flames sizzled in the spiderwebs and burned the rock lice.  Unstable slabs of loose rock clunked under their feet and the stink was overwhelming.  The torches were now their only light.  Ahead, soft breathing could be heard.  Would they be so fortunate as to catch their prey still sleeping?

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Feel free to comment and ciao for now!

A Huge Weekend Writing

I’m tired!  Whoooeee!

Four new chapters, 7,700 words in two days

And the craziest part, I now reached the point where I expected to start it in the first place!  I mean Jeez La Rue!  I cranked out so much of what I originally thought was only backstory and it’s a cracking good read.  And this is the beginning of the middle build!  So lots more to go.  I’m enjoying doing shorter chapters (most times).  Really keeps me focused better.  But now I have a firm deadline I want to keep, so push push push.

Latest chapters finished? (Working titles subject to change)

#27 “Conditions, Restrictions & Honor”

#28 “Out From The Depths”

#29 “Three Become Six

#30 “The Magnitude of Betrayal is Revealed”

Now, comes some crazy stuff.  I hope that I can get my mind bent around this in time for my next writing session starting Tuesday night… or at least Wednesday.

If not… I’ll work on my project that will be announced soon.  😉

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An image on things to come.

 

Rolling Forward

Just a quick update on Book 2.  We’re still not entertaining titles yet, so Book 2 it is.

The process of writing the first draft is often filled with lots of fun revelations as well as wandering down blind paths.  I had been caught in one for a week or two now, but have worked it out, cut out a minor character, and things started moving again.  Two more chapters have been added to the Beginning Hook, and I am almost to the climax of the beginning hook.  I can’t wait!

See, although I have an idea of where I’m going, I never see it till I get there.  That’s what makes it both fun and frustrating.  Sometimes you think you’re going in one direction, but when you sit down to write it, the characters or circumstances tell a different story and you are stuck being along for the ride.  On a positive note, the villains are all shaping up nicely.  The secondary characters are well established as well as the main characters.  Such fun.

I’ve made one of my alpha readers very happy with one chapter so, I hope it translates well to the rest of you all when the book comes out.

That said, I figure 3 maybe 4 scenes left before I pull the trigger on the Beginning Hook’s climax which I know how it must end up, but I still can’t see clearly how it will come about.

Hopefully I will have this built strong enough that the roller-coaster effect will kick in once the few following scenes are complete and I start melding all the subplots together.

But that’s all for now.

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Book Two Has Begun! (and other news)

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The first 1200 words in the first draft from Book 2 of the Akiniwazi Saga have been put down.  How much of this will remain at the end?  I don’t know because frankly I’m trying to feel this out still.  I know where I have to get to and what I want to accomplish in this scene, but, it must be worked out.  Some significant changes have already happened in the last 36 hours on what I want to write and how certain characters are going to be, but, hey… we shall see how it will go.

I expect writing to go kind of slow for a while, but I have a personal goal in mind.  I do expect this book to be longer than book 1 and possibly book 3, and it may cause some fun rewrites in book 3 (which the first draft is already done).

In other stuff…

I’m toying with what movie to review with The Breakers #4.  I just watched Suicide Squad and am personally desiring to break down that film… but I feel like I am going to be unfair to it because it got poisoned in my mind before I watched it, and honestly, I can’t say that the bad rap it got was unfair in some ways, but very unfair in others.  I dunno.  What I will probably do is wait till I purchase it (yes I will still purchase a Blu Ray version if I can get it for somewhere around 5 bucks) before I review it.  Which means I will probably do my first choice, my second favorite film of all time:

“Emperor of the North Pole”

Now a little teaser trivia here.  It was retitled “Emperor of the North” much to my indignation because… in the words of Pete from “Oh Brother!”, “That don’t make no sense!”

Emperor of the North Pole was an expression among hobos in the 1930’s to say someone was powerless, or ruled nothing.  It’s really a stunning “lost” movie most people never knew and…. well I talked myself into it.  Be watching for it soon.  Till then…

Restraint and Patience are Difficult

I received my first draft of the cover.

I’m a very happy boy!  I so want to share this right away, but I have to wait till we get some minor tuning things figured out.  I can tell you this much.  I chose well for the artist.  It hearkens back to the old school game book covers that I used to love like you’d find on the old AD&D hardcovers.  Very classic, but with a fresh modern edge that works extremely well.  May not be something a lot of proper Christians expect or like on the cover of one of their books, but, well, it is perfect for nerds into fantasy.

I can’t wait to show, and we may have it sooner than I had hoped, so… yippie!

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SURPRISE EXERPT!

You guys have been so good to me, so congrats, have a surprise excerpt from Chapter 2.  She’s still rough but getting better (There will probably be more polish in the final version but hey, a treat for you guys).  If you need a reminder, you can find the pre-beta first chapter sample here.

Enjoy and comment away.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

from: Brother Finn Arrives

“Mum, Why is Brother Finn here?” Reimar asked once inside their longhouse.

“Do not worry about that, Honeycomb,” she said. “The sun is gone to bed, and that means it is time for you to sleep as well.” Reimar heard something in his mother’s voice. It was almost… yes, something was wrong. Why would that be with a monk? They were going to have Mass, and then back to hunting and scavenging. That meant more apple picking he supposed. Reimar took off his kyrtill, tunic and trousers and put on his nightshirt from his clothes basket. He then climbed up to the low loft where his sister and one of his older brothers slept. His eldest brother Bjorn slept on the other end of the longhouse with his mother and father, farthest from the hearth.

Below, his father came in and dragged his fingers against the loft, tapping the wood in his usual good-night ritual. Reimar, Katrin and Erik scooted to the edge of the little loft and stuck their heads over.

“Ha hah!” Anton said playfully and stood up on his tip toes to give each of them a kiss goodnight, saving the noisiest one for Katrin. She giggled the unique sound of little girls amused by their father.

“Da?” Erik began to ask.

“No,”  Anton said in a voice that brooked no compromise.  “This is not for you,”

“But how-?” His face surprised that he knew what he was going to ask.

“Because I am your father, and I know the minds of curious boys. I promise you, tomorrow you will know more. Be patient till then. For now, you just have to sleep. That should not be so hard.”

“Jah, but I am thirteen! I am old enough to be a man and part of these things,” he protested weakly.

“You are not yet enough of a man to be part of this, Erik. Do not vex me.”

“Yes, Da,” he obeyed.

Reimar and the rest rolled over onto their clover tick mattresses. A few minutes later, Bjorn came in.

“Anton, come. They are waiting,” Anette said after taking the cauldron off the fire, and banked the coals for night.

“Bjorn, stay here,” Anton ordered, hooking a thumb up to the loft where the three younger children pretended to sleep.

“Jah, Father!” Bjorn said with a disappointed sigh.

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Planning, Plotting and Scheming

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As I mentioned last post… I think…  I dunno.  It’s been a long night.  I have realized that I need to satisfy my readers as much as myself.  And to that point, I need to give someone who has become almost a co-protagonist a far increased status in the second book or do something to incorporate him.

On the one hand, I can write several exciting storylines worthy of their own novel.  The problem is that the already written 2nd book of Reimarsoga would either need:

  1. A near complete rewrite (something I’m not willing to do because it’s gooooood!)
  2. Or the incorporation of the other storyline (which could bloat the book to an unwieldy 200k wordcount… oy my back!)
  3. Something I haven’t thought of yet.

Oh, and there’s another complication… the timeline is already set, and neither of the two plotlines are really compatible with one another, so it’d be like alternating books, not intermixed chapterrrrrrrs, which then why botherrrrrrr, I may as well keep it separaaaaate…  I dunno.

So, here’s your chance to opine.  Seriously, comment below if you have an opinion on what kind of direction you think would work best for a book.  The most ambitious idea I am considering is releasing book 2 of Reimarsoga and then book 1 of the other character nearly simultaneously!  So you could pick up technically either one and read it then the other, but the order of which you read first would not matter, if I do it right.

OR should I smoosh the plotlines so you read book 1 which would focus on Reimar, and then book 2 which will focus on the other.

Or just release them as part of the same series but in chronological order, meaning Reimarsoga book 2 would become book 3 while I shove the other book inbetween and just rename the whole series something else.  Which probably is the easiest of the whole bunch.

I dunno.  I know I’m not saying much because, you know… no spoilers I hope.

Seriously, opinions wanted!  Now’s your chance to tell the world what you think!

A Muse Can Be a Fickle Mistress

So, as the last 8 days of my beta read come rolling in, and I am about at the half way mark of my NaNoWriMo project (Still just under 25k words, but that will start to change tomorrow again), I started thinking about the editing of Reimarsoga: Book 2.  And I skim it, breaking it up into Scrivener, because I’m going to try that thing out finally and I see some good things there.

Anyway…

…hmmmm how to talk about what’s to come without dropping a few major MAJOR spoilers.  Ugh!

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Make it staaahp!

 

Okay, let’s try it this way…

In the structural edit, I realized that continuity between book 1 and book 2 got broken.  I will have to write a whole separate book that will possibly become a stand alone (Or one of two books… I dunno), but related novel that involves characters from the first AND second books, bridging the gap between the two, AND build up the whole Akiniwazi world even more!  So, now, my brain’s on fire for recombining certain characters together, outside of Reimar, in a way that would then tie the first two books of Reimarsoga together.

Now… for complication #2.  Reimarsoga: Book 1 is written as more of an Epic Adventure with a flavor more found in say “Treasure Island” or “The Sea Wolf” or “Huckleberry Finn” (to some extent) or “The Deerslayer”.  As you can see my influences are were not necessarily fantasy directed.

Book 1.5, I shall call it for the time being… would be more of an Epic Conspiracy/cloak and dagger/thriller set in Akiniwazi.  Mind you this was part of the scenario whole for the series (and that’s not really a spoiler… there are hints in book 1… you’ll see)  But I am worried jumping the storytype will be offputting to many.  PLUS… this is going to be a related novel.  You wouldn’t have to read it to enjoy the Series, but it will add to the richness of the overall setting and plotline.  Sort of like “Rogue 1” is a related movie to the Star Wars “Nonology”  (yes that’s a series of 9).  It’s canon, but fills in the gap between the Prequels and A New Hope.  In actuality, it might end up having more in common with say “The Big Sleep”, “The Angel of Darkness”, “The Name of the Rose” and other detectivey kind of stuff.

…In a fantasy setting.  I know… I’m mad.

Oh… and before I forget.  I named my Character Brother Finn long before “The Force Awakens”.  6 years before to be precise!

So anyway.  Looks like I might be putting book 2 into cold storage while I then refocus onto the necessary book 1.5

Dear Lord, what has your inspiration done to me?????

Gloria in Excelsis

The First Five Days

Five days in, and binge writing is still the order of the day.

I discovered quickly I cannot dictate.  My mind just refuses… REBELS even… at speaking out in prose.  I need my fingers.  But I have decided to use Google Docs for a little, to see how well this will work.  And I’ve downloaded Scrivener to transfer my work to… ultimately.

So here’s how it sits:

2.4 chapters

5437 words

…and rising.  I’m not done for the day till I get closer to my goal of 10k.

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What I am finding odd is that since this is an adaptation, I’m going back pretty regularly to the source material to go over it as I write.  This is slowing me down a lot more than expected, but it’s nice to see it flow none the less.