Work in Progress: Untrue Names

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/19/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/19/14

Pages added 7/19/14: 1

Current page count: 4

Estimated final page count: Probably about 300. Maybe more.

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: I didn’t even remember that I’d ever started this! I remembered the outline, but nothing beyond that. But there it was, and here it is.

Erevar has found that Lord Querien has been trying out some sort of magic on Erevar’s niece Dara. Erevar has just taken the sleeping child back to her own bed.

Last time I posted about this I said, “So far, the named provinces are Kerdery, in the northwest; Aulix, in the north; Lithrayn, in the east; and Mellinise, just southwest of the Imperial capital, Orz. I think there are about sixteen provinces in all.”

The imperial capital is named Lume now. The rest is still correct.

Word count: A mere 736.

Work in Progress: Elfshot

Progress report:Flora of Middle Earth

Last time looked at: 8/17/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/17/17

Pages added, 8/17/17: 1

Current page count: 3

Estimated final page count: 300? I don’t really have any idea.

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: On Twitter, Kurt Busiek talked about seeing the book Flora of Middle Earth and thinking it looked like a Tolkienian cozy murder mystery. He and several of his followers expressed interest in reading such a book, so I offered to write one.

That’s now Elfshot, though the title may change. It’s not set in Middle Earth, since I can’t get the rights, so I’ve had to create my own world for it — yes, yet another. The Folk are small humanoids, about two-thirds human size, who live in a place called the Vale and have as little contact as possible with humans, elves, delvers, or the not-yet-definitely-named forest spirits who live in the surrounding areas. Hyacinth Undercliff is one of the Folk — the town librarian and historian — who lives with her ill grandfather, and she winds up trying to figure out who killed a young scavenger named Mulberry Thicket.

In this first three pages, Mulberry’s girlfriend Lily has discovered the body and led Hyacinth to it.

I had originally opened the story differently, so today’s work also involved major rewrite of the first two pages.

Work in Progress: Charming Sharra

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 8/16/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/16/17

Pages added, 8/16/17: 2

Current page count: 31

Estimated final page count: 300? I don’t really have any idea.

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: I’m still absorbing the plot twist in Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians and I think I may have made a mistake in setting up part of Elfshot the way I did, so while those stew I worked on Charming Sharra a little. Poldrian is getting ready to perform the spell Sharra wants, even though he has reservations about her ability to pay for it.

Word-count is 7,470.

Work in Progress: The Turners

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/19/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/19/14

Pages added 7/19/14: 1

Current page count: 16

Estimated final page count: 250-300

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: Aunt Lucy is telling Steve what happened to his biological parents.

Yes, I’m dredging up even more old projects. In fact, I’m planning to go through everything I have progress reports on and see what’s what.

Word count: 4,092

Work in Progress: Pentagram Squadron

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/19/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/19/14

Pages added, 7/19/14: 1

Current page count: 5

Estimated final page count: Damned if I know. 300, maybe?

Deadline: None.

Comments: Dug this out — I’m seeing just what I have in the way of unfinished stories, and this came up. I added half a page, really, not one, and the page-count didn’t go up because of a format change.

Jason’s lost contact with the airfield, and is just trying to ride out the storm.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress Report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 8/15/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/15/17

Pages added, 8/15/17: 2

Current page count: 60

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 15,062

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Went back and re-read and revised pieces to make sure my unplanned plot twist didn’t contradict anything prior. Added an all-new page as well as enough scattered earlier bits to extend what had gone before by a page.

Tom, Betsy, and Peter Cartwright are making plans.

Work in Progress: The Dragon’s Price

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/17/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/17/14

Pages added 7/17/14: 5

Current page count: 73

Estimated final page count: Probably about 400.

Deadline: None, not under contract.

Comments: Malborn and his companions have realized they were inadequately prepared for the trip to Dawnport, but are making the best of the situation.

When I dug out old files I discovered that ten pages of Stone Unturned had vanished, so I was a bit worried, but this one was just where I’d left it. It’s oddly pleasant to get back to it.

Word count: 18,877

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress Report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 8/14/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/14/17

Pages added, 8/14/17: 3

Current page count: 58

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 14,752

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Got back to work on this partly so as not to focus entirely on Elfshot. (You haven’t yet seen any progress reports on that one.) I’ve been busily working out plot and background and characters for Elfshot, but I don’t want to get obsessed with it and neglect other stuff.

I went back through all of Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians, did some minor revisions (largely to get Peter Cartwright’s voice more consistent, but also to get the timeline straight and match what was really happening in 1884), then finally got past where I’d been stalled for months.

And I surprised the hell out of myself with a heretofore-unplanned plot twist. I think that somewhere in the back of my head I knew this was coming, which is why I was stuck on page 55 for so long, waiting for this to emerge. Peter Cartwright, originally intended to be a very minor character, looks as if he’ll be taking on a much larger role.

Good to be moving forward again!

(And by the way, I assume everyone reading this knows that Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror is out.)

Work in Progress: My Neighbor Fred

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/14/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/14/14

Pages added 7/14/14: 2

Current page count: 6

Estimated final page count: 400?

Deadline: None.

Comments: Good grief — four and a half years since I actually added a page? (‘d tinkered with it a couple of times since then.)

Wayne and Fred are working out how to report a problem without involving Fred.

Work in Progress: Assassin in Waiting

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/11/14

Last actual wordage added: 7/11/14

Pages added 7/11/14: 4

Current page count: 30

Final page count: Maybe 350?

Deadline: None. Speculative.

Comments: This is interesting; my comments last time said, “Burren has withdrawn from the Red Chamber, as matters of state such as are being discussed there are none of his concern. After refreshing himself, he has settled in the Falcon Parlor.”

That’s not in any surviving draft I’ve located so far. It also doesn’t match my memory. And the page-count doesn’t match — the progress report says I had 27 pages, but the file I’m working on had 26.

I’m not sure whether I lost a page, or threw some stuff out. Thinking about it, I’d guess I threw out a few pages; I have a vague recollection of stuff about eating that I decided wasn’t advancing the story and removed.

This is what comes of leaving stuff untouched for so long.

Anyway, I wrote four pages tonight. I had stopped on page 26 right after Dalvos and Orivan left the Red Chamber for a private discussion, and have now written a conversation where Sorden Garthis (who had appeared before but didn’t have a name until tonight) asks Burren a few friendly questions about his connections with the royal family.

This story seems determined to have lots of short chapters; I think I’m nearing the end of Chapter Four already. Chapter Five will be set a few days later.

Haven’t decided whether Aldir will make it in time for the funeral.

Word count: 7,643