I just completed the new ending and some of the expansion scenes for Star Master Book 2. For more about the long, complicated evolution of this space opera novel, see here, here and here. Yes, I have been working on this book for a while, but I hope to have it out by the end of this year, especially since I have no plans to do NaNoWriMo.
For now, my plans are a short break to work up a presentation for day job, play mobile games, read Golden Age mysteries, watch Fringe and Don Matteo with family members, and brainstorm whatever comes after the Star Master duology.
Ularti, the owner of the tramp freighter Vanner, keeps Jetay and Khed in indentured servitude, and is one of the main antagonists in Shadow Captain. Jetay’s story arc, as previously told is that of the drifter Drafted Into a Good Cause, and frequently in that arc, there’s a character who the drifter used to work with, who represents the pull away from the Good Cause. I didn’t have a good sense of what that might be in this case, until I hit on the “Hansel and Gretel” framing for Jetay’s situation.
The White Knights are largely my response to the Jedi: a fallen order of psychic warriors formerly revered for their nobility of character, now hated and propagandized against. They were called Paladins, and the Red Knights were called Pioneers, until the early stages of editing Shadow Captain, when I decided these names would cause too much confusion with the Partisan faction in the same story. Akira Kurosawa, although certainly extremely gifted, didn’t have quite as much influence on me as Howard Pyle and the Story of King Arthur and his Knights, so that accounts for some of the differences between the White Knights and their inspiration, the more samurai-influenced Jedi.
So, NaNoWriMo2021…not a success in terms of wordcount. It looks like I will finish the month around or slightly under 18,000 words, the lowest results for any NaNo I have attempted. However, I did have a helpful insight yesterday in terms of what I was working on.
Doing something a bit different this year, trying to work on three projects at once:
–Star Master Book 2: I finished the rough draft of this sequel to Shadow Captain. I think it was a couple of weeks ago, but there are some missing scenes I’d like to add if I can.
–Star Master Book 3: I have the epilogue written and a general idea of what leads up to it, and another general idea of where the story starts. The middle is kind of fuzzy.
–ThornMaster: This is a prequel/side story about the parents of Shenti, a supporting character in the Star Master series, currently being serialized in Kindle Vella. I have three episodes published, and the climax written as well. There’s a few key moments plotted out.
I’m hoping having multiple choices for things to work on will help with the 12K, 15K, 30K, and 40K blahs. We will see.
My NaNoWriMo Word document this year is laid out a little differently from the usual. The last couple of years, I’ve been putting the day’s date in “Heading 1,” allowing me to autogenerate a linked table of contents that allows me to jump from the front of the document to whatever I was last working on.
This year, each of the projects above are in “Heading 1,” and the plot points I know about and want to work on are in “Heading 2,” under their respective projects, which makes them subheadings to those projects. The day’s date will be in “Heading 3,” under whatever plot point I am working on that day. (Let’s not think too hard about what happens if I work on multiple projects or plot points on the same day.)
And since no National Novel Writing Month is complete at Casa Jaglion Press without someone singing about having a long ways to go and a short time to get there:
And…it’s done. About 74K words, but there’s some places that need expanding, and the parents of one of the supporting characters showed up and decided to join in, so now I need to add them to the first three quarters or so of the story.
NaNoWriMo? In two weeks? Well, no, I don’t have a clear plan for that, beyond writing whatever I can of Star Master Book 3, the spinoff story Thorn Master, and missing scenes from Star Master Book 2. But it seems a shame to pass up a chance to get some writing done just when I’m getting the hang of it again.
Mauti and her brother Embo have had their memories damaged by an evil psychic. Now Embo is desperately traveling from planet to planet in search of his missing fiancee, and Mauti is trapped in a dead-end job working for a shady politician. The mysterious duelist Roukazor may be Mauti’s only chance of escape, but Embo thinks Roukazor is the one who attacked Mauti’s mind. Can they trust him? They may have no choice if they want to survive….
Vella is a new piece of the Amazon/Kindle family, geared towards serialized fiction. I’ve started a serial called Thorn Master, set in the Star Master universe. It deals with the adventures of Roukazor and Mauti, the parents of Shenti, the mysterious spy from the Star Master series. This takes place about 27-30 years before the events of the first Star Master book. You can read the first couple of episodes for free here. I am currently working simultaneously on Thorn Master and Star Master Book 2, and hope to have the first draft of Star Master Book 2 completed later this summer, with an eye towards publication somewhere between December 2021 and February 2022.