The Sorcerer’s Widow: Progress Report Nine

Chapter Nine is now online.

The entire story, fourteen chapters in all, is now written and paid for — first draft, anyway. It’s a few hundred words short of novel length (i.e., 40,000 words), but I expect to add at least that much in the second draft, so it’s not a novel yet, but it almost certainly will be. I haven’t yet approached Wildside about a contract; June is one of their very busy months. They’ve expressed interest, though.

The last two chapters run nine pages each in the first-draft manuscript, and I require a ten-page minimum for a paid installment of the serial, so they’ll both be posted the same week, and should wrap up the serial on July 21st. It’ll all be done and out of the way before my birthday.

The ending is pretty low-key, but I like it, and I hope you will, too.

I’ll be accepting donations until the end of July. Some time in August I may take down chapters Three through Fourteen; depends what happens with Wildside.

I posted this chapter about twelve hours late; sorry about that. There were some distractions last night, and I simply forgot. I woke up today to the horrible realization that I hadn’t posted it.

Last night’s excitement, which contributed to forgetting to post, included a neighborhood party for the folks next door, who are moving to Houston. A thunderstorm hit during the party, and we came home to find a twenty-foot tulip poplar limb had fallen in our back yard, breaking several branches off the dogwood that we planted in April. Damn it, I liked that dogwood! As soon as I’m done online I’ll be out there with a saw, cutting up the fallen limb.

In other writing news, now that I’ve finished the first draft of The Sorcerer’s Widow I’m taking a short break from Ethshar before revising it, and have been dabbling in other projects. I’m making progress on getting the text of The Chromosomal Code ready for reprinting, and last night I plunged into a short story I thought up back in May, called “The Sacrifice.” I wrote about 90% of it last night, but it was late and I was tired, so I left the ending for another day.

Guess that’s everything for now, but after last night I may well be forgetting something.

10 thoughts on “The Sorcerer’s Widow: Progress Report Nine

  1. Yeah, that sounds like enough excitement for awhile… Good luck on the tree limb. Leastwise the only trees in a position to fall on my property are mine or might as well be: a native fan palm in the front yard and a magnolia out on the side parkstrip which technically belongs to the city but I’m the one it keeps costing money (the old roots in the sewer line trick, the occasional branch that tries to knock over the fence and dump leaves in the pool…) The city is too broke to trim trees NEARLY frequently enough.

    Sure nuff, it tried to fix the gizmo again. Amusing solution.

    It’s a nice reasonably quiet story, deserves a nice quiet ending. Ezak deserves… well from the sound of it he DOES get what he deserves from time to time and much good it does him. Maybe Dorma will find a way when/if she catches him, unless one of his stolen items eats him first.

  2. Gah prunes, I hate seeing a typo when I can no longer edit the comment. “Dorna” of course…

  3. I think I’ve put my finger on why I enjoy Ethshar so much.

    There’s a lot of bad fantasy out there, and a lot of it is bad precisely because the author gets so fixated on the fantasy elements that he forgets that a good story is, first and foremost, about people.

    It seems like you always start with the people, and the fantasy elements are simply a way to facilitate telling a story about those people–which leads to a much more interesting story, particularly when the people in question are far from perfect.

    Valder of Kadoret was a compelling hero, not because he had Wirikidor, but because he just wanted to be Valder despite having Wirikidor; Tabaea and Sarai were compelling characters because we knew enough about them as people to care about the struggle they were engaged in more than the Black Dagger itself.

    Likewise, Kel is an interesting character in and of himself–possessed both of admirable qualities and flaws, and engaged in the process of growing as a person. The talismans and magic seem secondary to Kel discovering what a lot of people have to discover in life: that the person he’s looked up to since childhood has flaws, too…and that he’s stronger and more able to stand on his own than he imagines.

    Tough realization; good story.

    Sorry to hear about your dogwood!

  4. I can edit your comment if you want, Kay, and then delete the second one, and this paragraph.

    The dogwood should be okay, actually, if not quite as lush as before; once we untangled everything and cleared away the wreckage, it had only lost three or four limbs.

    The limb that came down was very leafy, but clearly not healthy — cutting it up was easier than I expected as a result. It had woodpecker holes, and some of the heartwood was a sick shade of purple — not a well tree branch.

    We were lucky — that same storm blew off roofs, uprooted trees, and smashed cars the next county over (and we live just a couple of miles from the county line). About 8,000 people in the area still don’t have power; we had some small flickers (one of our two then-active computers crashed), but that’s all.

    The computer that shut down was the one I use for all the updates ‘n’ stuff, which may have contributed to the delay in posting — when I rebooted it, the reminders I’d had on the screen weren’t there anymore.

    You know what surprised me? When I did finally get back to the computer today, nobody had demanded to know where Chapter Nine was. I had expected questions and complaints. Hmm.

    Anyway, I do believe that stories should be about people, and not magic or quests or whatever, and this one’s a fairly drastic example of that.

  5. I know I didn’t complain about the chapter not being up because I assumed something had come up and it’d happen when it happened. You’ve done this a few times so there’s some trust there. You’re certainly more reliable than some webcomics. (The webcomic comparison has always been a strong parallel for other aspects of the serial experience.)

    As for stories being about people; thinking otherwise is like thinking good stew is about some particular spice that’s typically just a dashed seasoning. It’s the same reason the (in)famous “more cowbell” skit is so funny. Magic, quests, its are flavor and spice, that doesn’t mean you can make good stew without meat or veggies.

  6. Hadn’t missed the story, as I normally am looking for it on Saturday afternoon, rather then the “Stroke of midnight”. I came in from mowing the lawn (I beat the rain and hurricane Debbie) and there was the story, right where it is supposed to be.

    Meanwhile, I was riding a high from Friday evening. I got an e-mail from the train magazine – my double article was accepted for publishing. A national magazine and I will be getting paid, though publishing will be from 6-18 months from now.

  7. Congrats on the train piece!

    I know not everyone checks out each chapter as soon as it’s posted, but some people do, and I was surprised none of them spoke up.

  8. Mycroft, that is exactly what I did, amazing! Mowing then lunch and he story was there. I was trying to beat Debbie. I made it by 1 pm.

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