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Archive for November, 2007

I’d like to apologize . . .

. . . for losing the war in Iraq.

Sorry.  My bad.

My favorite bit:

In warfare, the people’s will is an indispensable component of a nation’s warfighting “trinity” (that also includes the government and the military). It’s exceedingly difficult to prevail in a major war, if a leg of this triad is hobbled. By choosing not to mobilize the people’s will, by telling us to go about our normal lives as others were fighting and dying in our name [and, I might add, by using cherry-picked intelligence data to support a shaky, predetermined conclusion and representing that conclusion to the American people as irrefutable fact], the Bush administration actually hobbled its own long-term efforts. Now, they are getting ready to claim that it was all our fault. We were the ones who lost our patience and will to victory. This is rather like the boy who killed his father and mother, only to throw himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan.


Holiday Shopping Tip #542

Still not sure what to get that special someone for the holidays?  How about a volume of swell stories by such groovy, soon-to-be-household names as James Maxey, Cat Rambo, Ken Scholes, Tobias Buckell, and more?  Copies of Prime Codex are still available!

Ask for it at your local independent bookstore.  Also available from Amazon.

(Oh, and I have a story in there, too.  I’m just sayin’.)


Carry on.

Progress Report, in which I remember something forgotten

Managed to get through another fifty pages on the Petra rewrite, despite the colossal schedule disruptions collectively known as Thanksgiving.  Good thing I had all day Sunday to catch up.

One of my bigger challenges in this section was to work out a credibility issue my beta readers had rightly identified.  Though I could see the problem, I had no idea how to fix it.  I kept hoping that some brilliant solution would come to me when I needed it.  I came right up to the key moment and stopped.  I still didn’t have anything.  I quit for the night, and came at it fresh the next day.  Still nothing.  So I frowned and concentrated, and finally went with something simple–but possibly too subtle to be believed.  I dunno.  It’s gotta be better than what I had, though.

I’ve also been wrestling with some characterization questions.  None of my beta readers were particularly enamored of my protagonist, and I’m trying to fix that.  In every scene, I’ve been asking myself, “Is his characterization coming across?  Is he strong enough here?  Is he consistent?  Is there any reason people should care?”

Pondering these questions led to another, larger one:  “What do I like about this guy?”

And that stopped me short.  I realized I wasn’t sure anymore.

You see, I’m usually able to answer that question about my protagonists–even the ones who are difficult to like.  The hero of my previous novel, The Watermasters, was such a character, but I still like him, and I can tell you why.  But for some reason, I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer about my current protag.

I’ve worked it out now, I think.  Seems that in my bid to make him more internally conflicted, my original conception of him got a bit . . . muddied.  But now that I remember what I like about him, I can use that as a guidepost.  The revelation paid off in an unexpected way, too, giving me a great line for him at the climax of the story.

Still going through that “getting acquainted” process, I guess.

Write Club update:

Weird Tales bounced “Take This, and Eat” with a tier two rejection.  Response time, about six weeks.

Later daze . . .