Works in progress, September edition

Posted by Shannon Haddock on September 19, 2014 in No More Lies, Writing process |

Welcome to the first installment of a new regularish feature where I will share info on my works in progress.  I used to do this regularly, but then my blog had a readership of me, so it was pointless.  Now I have a slightly bigger readership than that, so it’s not pointless.

Also, I like lists way more than is sane and this is an excuse to make a list.

And I just have to mention that Zemanta is currently suggesting as a related article something about some Bollywood actress‘s cleavage.  I think whatever it uses to determine related articles is a bit screwy.

1)  No More Lies — if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ve heard of this one.  It’s my first novel, and I’m just about to start revising it.  It’s about Bobby Kavaliro, a spy posing as an assassin for a dictatorship who finds true love on vacation . . . around the same time the dictatorship starts suspecting he’s a spy. It’s the tale of him learning to be an adult without someone giving him orders all the time, learning how to keep his temper so as not to lose the woman he loves, dealing with the fallout from running away from home ten years before, and dealing with all the changes time has wrought in his friends and family.  Oh, and trying to manage his first real relationship in years.  It’s a space opera/coming-of-age/romance with some action-adventure stuff in it.

2)  Second “Kavaliro Cousins” book — this exists in two incompatible partial drafts on my hard drive.  Yay.  I got what I thought was a pretty good distance into it, then suddenly realized I’d started the story about 10,000 words too early.  For a novella, that’s a terrible, terrible mistake.  Then I got an idea for a completely different approach.  What I know it will feature:  Lyndsey showing off her mad fighter pilot skills, Renata (her mother) showing off her mad swordwoman skills, and a bit more space opera-y-ness in general.

3)  Loving Her (title not final) — this is a space opera romance that’s heavier on the romance.  So far.  It’s about the contrast in the way two of Renata’s lovers experience her recovery from a traumatic injury, mostly.  So far.  I’m not very far in, really.

4)  Jake’s Early Years (title very not final) — this is a prequel to Jake’s Last Mission that tells the story of how he went from a ranch hand on a middle-of-nowhere world to . . . well, I’m not sure whether it’ll end with him joining the Sweytzian Defense Force or him getting commissioned.  I made a serious error and switched which person I was writing this in somehow, so I’ve got to fix that before I can go any further.

5)  Magi (title not final) — this is not a Universal Nexus story.  It’s a fantasy, that I’m not sure I’m going to discuss much on here as I’m considering publishing it under a pseudonym.  It’s got a newly minted wizard, his warrior girlfriend, a quirky elderly gnome wizard, and and evil wizard who’s plotting against the new wizard because of something his grandfather did.  I’m not very far in and I probably need to do some serious world-building before I write myself into a corner, but I’m having fun doing something totally different.

6)  Bobby’s Daughter (my working titles are awesome, aren’t they?  Yeah, this one’s not final either) — Twenty something years later, the main character from No More Lies answers a knock on his door to find someone claiming to be his daughter, conceived days before No More Lies started.  Then I’ve got a couple of different ways things can go and haven’t decided which to go with yet.  I’m further in this than the last two, but still not very far.

7)  Sequel to “Once A Hero, Always A Hero” — Lance and the Tezarin find out what was going on with Lerexit and kick ass.  This is more of a concept so far than an actual story.  I think I have a page written, maybe?

8)  Vik and Ren love story — I actually have an old short story version of this one, about how Renata and Viktor met and fell in love, but it’s only about 3000 words, so it really doesn’t do justice to the story.  I’m going to be fleshing it out.  Eventually.  Right now, I’ve got a paragraph.

9)  Giant Space Spider (again with the title that is very much not what I want to be stuck with) — this is a space opera, but not Universal Nexus.  It’s more an old school, pulpish, there are ruins in our solar system, sort of thing.  It was inspired by a picture of a nebula that looks like a spider.  It’s very slow going because I have to be in the right kind of mood to work on something like that.

10)  Lyn, Rek, Ana, and Bobby Have an Adventure (totally not the final title) — well, the title kinda explains it, but since you don’t know who Rek is, I’ll go ahead and explain things a bit more.  Lyn and Ana, who was also a Dagger at the time, are infiltrating a building where bad stuff is going down.  Bobby and his best friend Rek, who are members of the Sweytzian Defense Force Special Forces, are infiltrating the same building for a different reason.  Neither team knows the other is there.  Lyn shoots Rek because his disguise is a bit too effective, and it’s downhill from there.  I’ve written myself into a corner, but think I know how to fix it and then this should go smoothly as I have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen.  This one is a blast to write because the characters play off each other so nicely.

11)  Viktor’s Life Story (probably not the final title) — I’ll give you the in-universe blurb for the story within a story in this one first:  Viktor Blue, the Slayer of Drochslem, has been the subject of many books since that fateful day so many years ago.  But who is he, really?  How did he become the man who killed the warlord most thought unstoppable?  Why did he leave the warrior’s life behind after that?  For the first time, he answers these questions within.

The not-in-universe version:  Vik’s one of my favorite characters.  He’s . . . cross Ned Stark, Kvothe, and Duncan MacLeod and you wouldn’t be far off.  I’ve made innumerable attempts at writing his life story, and . . . what’s greater than innumerable? . . . at specifically writing about him killing Drochslem.  I think, courtesy of pretty much ripping off The Kingkiller ChroniclesI’ve finally found a way to do it that will work.  I think this is what I’m going to be focusing on for a while because I’ve enjoyed it so far and already know large chunks of the story.  I just realized that this probably means #8 will be incorporated into this instead of a separate book.  I bet this gets really long.

12)  Various short, short stories — I really need to get back in the habit of posting these somewhere.  And editing them.  I’ve got lots of little things that zoom in on just one moment in people’s lives — frequently Vik’s brother Vinnie, lately — that I’m pretty proud of.  I’ve just been letting them sit on my hard drive for a while, since no one was reading them on the main site.  My rule of thumb is that if the story is under 2000 words, it goes on the website instead of asking people to pay for it.

13)  Superhero story — I started this as a reaction to City of Heroes closing.  I have a villain, I have a good guy group.  I have an event to kickstart it.  I don’t, however, have any idea what’s really going on yet.  Also not Universal Nexus.

14)  Richie story — I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to continue this, start it over, or what.  It’s a story about Lyndsey’s younger brother and his family and was an attempt to write a purely slice-of-life story in a space opera setting.  Richie may have been a bad choice for that since he’s an up-and-coming rock star and his wife is a reasonably well-known archaeologist.  I might write one about a different brother, Kayden, who is a househusband married to an apprentice jeweler.  I think he might be a better vehicle for the “this is what ordinary life is like in this cool, futuristic setting” thing I want to do.  Basically, there’d be references to what his more . . . ambitious isn’t quite the right word . . . adventurous, maybe? . . . siblings are doing, contrasted with his boring and safe life.

So, any of these that sound particularly good to you?  Any that sound really bad?  Suggestions for which of these should be my Nanowrimo project this year?  Any title suggestions?


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