Monday, June 09, 2008

Well, I’m getting ready to start chapter 4 of what I’m now calling Wraith of Talera, which I decided was more indicative of what was going to happen in the book than “ghost.” I’ve been writing fairly slowly, but making progress. So far I’m at 20 something pages and roughly 8,000 words. A long way to go, for sure, but these books have been running between 70,000 and 75,000 words so it’s not as far away as it might seem. Today while I’m out and about on a bunch of errands I plan to do some plotting. It’s needed, believe me, although I’ve created two new characters that I’m growing fond of, a young man named Munt and a woman warrior named Shai.

So far the chapters are entitled:
Chapter 1. Echoes of War
Chapter 2. No Victory Without Loss
Chapter 3. Of the Dead and the Living
Chapter 4. The Awakening

I don’t plan to run this book, or even large sections of it, on my blog as I write it, but here’s a little flavor. This piece features Jask, who had an important role in Swords of Talera. The “I” in the following is Ruenn Maclang, of course.


Strange as it sounds, a visit from a group of Klar provided a welcome distraction. At the group’s head stalked Jask, my old friend, with his blood-red targe slung over his back and the pommel of a well used broadsword beneath his hand. I strode to meet him and we clasped arms. He smiled, and meant it. Though few of his people either express or seem to truly understand human emotions, Jask was an exception. I did not know why. Nor did I ask. The one time I had mentioned it to him he claimed to be insulted.

“I should renegotiate our agreement,” Jask said. “You failed to deliver on your promises.”

“Oh?” I asked. “What promises were those?”

“You claimed there’d be a fight and then went ahead and had all the fun yourselves. We scarcely got our ships into battle before the krutt-lovers surrendered.”

“I guess we got carried away,” I replied. “But if you’d like there’s still the remainder of the Ubain empire. We could always invade and conquer them.”

He laughed and slapped me on the shoulder. “Humph. I’ve got enough hassle trying to govern my own people. I’d never want to rule a bunch of troublesome humans. Especially not if there were any more like you among them.”

"There are no more quite like him,” Rannon said as she came up beside me. “Of course, he is from another world.”

“A world where the delicate flower of the Klar race never took root,” I added.

Jask shook his head. “A sad little place where there are no Klar,” he said, before sketching a bow to Rannon. “But you, Milady. Your khi was surely once housed in Klar form.”

“I think you’ve just been insulted,” I said to my wife, grinning. “Maybe I should take this Klar outside and teach him some manners.”

“Oh, ho,” Jask said. “And still I’d not have the fight you promised.”


cs harris said...

Danielle has just finished SWORDS and is starting WINGS. You have a new fan!

Charles Gramlich said...

Candy, cool! I'm glad she enjoyed "Swords." Looking forward to the writing group this evening.

Sarai said...

I love to see the writing process in action. 8k is a great start. It is always hard for me to get started but once I take off and have the plot under control it seems as if I can't stop...
Good luck with the plotting!

laughingwolf said...

hooked me charles, gotta find your books when i get downtown again....

ivan said...

Well Charles, I have been accused of having a minimalist style.

You go:
"Strange as it sounds,a visit from a group of Klar provided a welcome distraction.
At the group's head stalked Jask, my old friend with his blood-red targe sung over his back and the pommel of a well-sed broadsword beneath his hand..."

I think I would have gone:

An unexpected visit from a Klar group! Leading the pack was Jask, my old friend, with his blood-red targe slung over his back and the pommel of a well used broadsword beneath his hand. I strode to meet him and we clasped arms.

I'd have to read the story and get a feel of the circumstances, but a more active, indicative approach would work better. It's copyeditig, yes, and I know you will "steam clean" the chapters afterwards for redundancy, but I have found in writing that one has to pretend there's a paper shortage and you have to steam every sentence for brevity.
A rugged realism, I suppose.

But what do I know about science fiction?

Just a newspaper hack.

Bernita said...

~beams at Charles with delight~
You're in fine form!

Lisa said...

I'm really excited to have the chance to peek over your shoulder at the start of a new book. I hope you'll continue to share bits and pieces of your progress. Understanding how a novel comes together and how the creative flow and the craft of plotting and structure merge is something I'm especially interested in. You've got a great start!

Charles Gramlich said...

Sarai, the next basic plot twist should take me a good ways into the book. I know what the ending will be, but not yet quite how I'm going to get there.

Laughingwolf, I hope you enjoy.

Ivan, oh there will be a lot of pruning of words before the final draft is done. If I'm going to keep it below 80 thou, which is in line with the other books, every word will have to count.

Bernita, thanks. :)

Lisa, thanks also. I'll definitely be making more notes on the process.

Steve Malley said...

Ah, it's nice to see the old gang again...

Looking forward to the final draft!

X. Dell said...

Jask strikes me as both funny and shrewed. Child-like, but tempored by experience. He wants his fight, but knows enough to pick the battles that are truly satisfying. To me, he is a fascinating character.

Travis Cody said...

Thanks for the snippet.

Wrath does evoke a different kind of anticipation than Ghost does.

Good luck with keeping up your steady progress.

Lana Gramlich said...

*LOL* Thanks for sharing. BTW, if you kill Jask off you're gonna GIT IT!

david mcmahon said...

I like the title, Charles - and you're right about the number of ideas and concepts that crop up when a writer is AWAY from the computer.

Barbara Martin said...

Thanks for the snippet. I'm off to Indigo tomorrow to get your first Talera book.

Good luck with the plotting.

Donnetta said...

LOVE scifi! Nice work. I'm still stumbling around with my children's book. But every writer out there is an inspiration to me. Keep up the great work!

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, it was fun writing about Jask again for sure.

X-Dell, he was certainly a big player in Swords of Talera and he really developed much more than I expected him too. I'm happy to bring him back.

Travis, yes, I like the sound and image of the new title.

Lana, no plans to kill him off right now. But you never know what crazy shit I can get up to.

David, I've started carrying a tape recorder with me on the road just for such ideas.

Barbara Martin. I hope you enjoy.

Donnetta, good luck with your own book. Keep on slogging and it'll come.

the walking man said...

Yes Charles fine form indeed! I was able to see the scene and keep apace with the nuances of the dialog. “But you, Milady. Your khi was surely once housed in Klar form.”

Liked this snippet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sneak preview. I read Swords last month and then ordered Wings and Witch together. The frustraing thing is that Witch arrived really quickly but I'm still wating for Wings, so I'm stuck :-/

My hobby is painting. I'm not a brilliant artist but I have sold a few pictures and it gives me a thrill to think that people I've never met are out there somewhere hanging them on their walls and enjoying them.

That must be even more true for a writer because your work gets spread so much further. It must be a great feeling to know that people all over the world are reading your stories.

Its almost as if characters like Ruenn, Rannon and Jask have been set free. They're not just your ideas any more, they're "out there" living in the minds of your readers and people are going to be discovering them for years to come. In fact they'll probably outlive us all.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Charles, when it comes to progress, I'll take what ever I can get--even if it's only a paragraph or two per day. I sure wish I had the summer off!

laughingwolf said...

went to 'bookmark' today after the eye clinic... no gramlich, but i did pick up an animation manual

have to order online, i guess....

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, thanks Mark. It took a couple of times through but Jask's character started to come back to me.

Jon, sorry to hear that Wings has been delayed. I hope you get it soon. Thanks for ordering them. I'm glad you liked "Swords." It is a great feeling when I hear about someone reading my book. It really is as if the characters have taken on a separate existence, because no one that reads about them is going to have exactly the same feeling about them that I do.

JR, I try to keep that in mind, that one paragraph a day still adds up over time. I wish everyone had the summer off. Not to rub it in, but it's heavenly. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, most of my books aren't regularly on the shelves at the big chain stores but you can uusally order through them. Or from Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, or Wildside. They used to stock 'em on the shelves around here but only because I reminded them.

laughingwolf said...

thx bro, i'll order asap :)

laughingwolf said...

ordered all four from amazon... we'll see how quickly they get here :)

Anndi said...

Now I really want to read the series.

I'm always in awe of writers. May the Muse continue to be kind to you!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Jask is terrific! What a great character! And what a great insight into the writer's brain! This was a great scene cause it really hooked me into his character.

steve on the slow train said...

Charles, I have yet to read any of the Talera series, but if this is any indication, it will be a great read. Wonderful and witty dialogue.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, wow, my friend. Thanks. I hope you enjoy them. Cold in the Light is a horror/thriller as opposed to a fantasy. Much more gory than the Taleran works but Lana likes it the best of my work. I appreciate your support.

Anndi, I used to be in awe of writers until I found out I'm still the same bumbling sort of fellow post publishing something as I was before. I only wish publishing had made me all cool and sauve, you know.

Ello, I had to go through this conversation twice before I recaptured the feel of Jask's character and the dialogue just fell into place.

Steve, thanks. I know I still have a long way to go to improve my dialogue further but I also give myself credit for having improved a lot from when I first started.

Sam said...

Great snippet - loved the banter.
It's hard finding titles for chapters. Actually, it's hard finding titles, period, lol.

Greg said...

nice excerpt! i like the dialogue and the way you use your own words for things, but it doesn't make the story incomprehensible.

i'm reading "in the company of ogres" right now (by a. lee martinez) and as soon as i finish i'm starting on "cold in the light."

laughingwolf said...

saw the blurb for it and was intrigued how your experience in arkansas changed you... really look forward to that, cuz of your personal involvement... even if the tale's fictional...

i'm sure to relish the taleran stories, too :)

Tyhitia Green said...

Goodie, Charles. I can't wait to read it in it's entirety. :*)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sam, good titles are definitely hard but I love them. I just get a kick out of reading through the titles of those old adventure novels. Good ones can be so evocative.

Greg Schwartz, I hope you enjoy it. You'll have to let me know how "A company of Ogres" is. I haven't read it.

Laughingwolf, I spent a lot of time in the woods growing up in Arkansas and that part at least I think I got right in "Cold."

Demon hunter, thankee. Much appreciated.

Miladysa said...

The title of the new book rocks!

I'm not going to read the excerpt.. no.. no.. no.. even though you tempted me with mention of Jask! lol

Wings of Talera was Fabulous! I am hoping to write a post about it as soon as I am able.