Fifteen seconds later, the sensation of cinnamon filled her lungs… burning in every sensitive nerve cluster. It was all she could do not to howl in agony. "What… are you doing?"
The robot grated, "Scarlett is induratized to the effect of the antagonizer."
"Pseudorandom assaults provide a more effective display of distress."
She whined, "But I don't need help acting."
"Negative. If you did not you would have vetoed the use of demonstration parameters."
She steadied her breathing. The AI didn't really care, but it did interpret her correctly. This could be terrible. And would she ever be able to rescind the permission?
"Records indicate that it is forbidden to discuss the effectiveness of our violence tools with organic intelligence."
She shuddered. Her own words haunted her, as ever when employing AI. It might be until she hooked up with Caleb, or until she cured him–or it might be for all time.
For the first time in all her history, despite having exposed herself to the worst people to walk the globe of Larrikesh–and possibly any world–she began to understand oppression. To understand Caleb.
She had wilfully exposed herself. Even now, it had been intentional, if rash. Her own suffering did not compare, and she knew it. But it was the only thing she truly had–aside from the things she saw inside the minds of her fellows.
She's quite a bit resilient and self sufficient. She does have the ability to shake things off, to 'not need' the milk of human kindness. She's meant to thrive in situations that would destroy normal people. Not to mention the fact that her drive allows her to reach out and help people --which has been shown to provide these self-same benefits.
But all of that comes with a code that cuts us off not only from the resources we don't need, but also from those we DO need. And often those we do have or that are waiting for us, the moment we ask.
I hope that people become inspired by the solution she provides--being helped by helping others--and not the toxic independence she exemplifies.
So my heroine is like a Mary Poppins for evil people. EG when she quits them they think they need her 110% more than when they needed ehr most. And if she quits too early, they're still the kind of people who kill you for thinking about quitting.
She's also got a lot of backstory so wouldn't make sense without backstory.
I'd been doing a lot of throat clearing, mainly reminiscing about her last boss in the opening scene.
The cure was simple: show her dumping her last boss. Melihra does her proud by going for her gun, but not pulling it, and threatening her others then backing down. I also found out about Melihra's eye surgery. NEat!
Everything on my Port is a review requested.
(Even those which really should be hidden, as I am trying to forget their subject matter.)
(This happens because the subject, and/or the coauthor, has asked to be forgotten. Ouch!)
If you think it could be better I want to know. If you've an idea I'd love to know how. Even if it's entirely beyond my ability, I might be able to work around it. (I can't make Morgan love the boytoy she sacrifices her lifestyle for, but I did give her a reason to do it.)
And if by chance you were to review My Dearest Friend or Guiding Star, you would receive the cordial consideration and thanks that you deserve. And probably a haul of GP if you make it clear you read the thing and thought about it. Because, and I'll say it again:
Everything on MY PORT is a REVIEW REQUESTED.
Fabulous (GP) prizes to be won.
(And if you find either of those and want to, go ahead, as I am currently thinking about them anyhow.)
Good news and bad news on my latest work. Does anybody have this trouble?
2400 words in already after two days... maybe three counting talking about it.
It's a really great story potentially, in that it shows a way out of depression and back into a life of hope. It also reprises one of my favorite characters, Scarlett. (Scarlett is going to manipulate a man with terminal despondency into thinking she is more desperate than he is, despite being totally able to reset her emotions at will. In so doing he will have to access hope inside him--you can't even THINK about helping people like that without doing so. )
Of course Scarlett will dump him once he's OK (Like Mary Poppins, "You don't need me anymore.") But she'll leave him with something that requires his sense of purpose, probably the rebellion she turned her nose up at.
The bad news is I really need to distill all 2400 words into Once upon a time... Everything here is just "This is Scarlett, she's psychic, she likes to play D&S with actual slavers and worse, she is good at mind control and she thinks she's too important to worry about her target's victims" and none of the actual story.
So in other words, I can't get this thing out of Backstory and Narrative Infodumpiing. (Which is action that only serves to characterize but is not to goally.)
Well, the list of things that are surprising to me are growing.
And random thoughts organized into the right order for narrative can be shockingly dramatic. My dusty old blog is getting full of "rush writes" that at least initially to me seem worth reading. I mean, if this is what I get with no prep, and a barely practiced pattern, what will happen when I internalize it?
Check out my last two blog posts if you're curious. I'm sure it's crap, but it's still story. A lot more story than I could churn out with any reliability a month ago.
It is devilishly hard to reform what you've already written into a format you learned after you wrote. Seeing where you've clumped things together that belong in separate bits of the MRU for example. But if you simply visualize it and then pick out the bits of it, it works easier. You're like, OK, what does the POV observe? New paragraph. What is his automatic reaction? His physical reflex? This deliberate action? And does he say anything?
And what result does he observe?
Splitting up a mental video into these bits is relatively easy to madlib, but taking text and banging it out like that? It can be done, sometimes, but it requires a much better understanding.
So reread the scene so that you can watch it in your head. That alone will take out a lot of the 'telling' if you're visualizing it. Then, break it up into whatever paragraph pattern you're using. (I am partial to Swain (of "Techniques of the selling writer" fame)'s MRU.) Badly named though the parts are, they put your details into an order that is highly intelligible. 9/10 would recommend.
I'll call it meditation but I was mostly just doing a timed-breathing, breathing-and- smiling rest break.
And during that time I realized that it would have been possible to have spent the 20 years of work I'd suffered through dancing joyfully through it, lovingly deflecting all the customer dissatisfaction, holding boundaries neatly and solidly... I mean, there might have been sharp situations with the threatening felonies put against me, but, still maybe 1/100th the angst.
Now that I know that, the need to 'hit reset' and do it over is also at it's lowest. Because this doesn't feel like a theory or a hope.
I could handle all those challenges that shook me to my core. I mean I did. And I know I could handle them way better. And that the way I thought of was probably not even one tenth as good as I can conceive.
Oh, I'm not enlightened. Not like as a personality trait or a character trait, but as in I found a window open and got a peek.
It's enlightening, though.
Oh, and ... this should have been a blog post. And as my word, so shall it be.
If you don't mind, show the Blog some love (despite being a rare place for me to vent) at "Thoughts of a Mad Man"
And my more clearly Halloween themed works:
And the prequel showing how the Voltaire and Elisha got to be Halloween-themed:
"The Corpsebound Spellmasters"
And the most traditional horror--rebooted from a story written in my Poe phase in 4th grade
(Rewritten entirely from memory and updated.)
"A Girl like You"
Of course if it's all just the same four people seeing these posts, thank you for your politeness.
Apparently I did a boondoggle. After editing section 3 of my People of Glass I cut and pasted section 3 into the landing page... giving people who intended to get the whole piece only to get the modified version.
Although section three might be more focused on the story I want, as a standalone I suspect it needs something in the way of explanation.
"Section 3: The Change You Wish to See"
Based on one of my reader's inclinations, I'm suggesting reading section 3 as a potential standalone. Not sure if it will work so I'm offering 3000 down, 2000 gp for a credible review. Capping out at ten for an inspired review. (With other opportunities, such as being paid to read the first two. )
Qualified interested parties will get a review request upon querying by email. Should be easy to qualify.
So, guys, quick question.
I like to push the envelope on language and as a result leave people scratching their heads. I've come up with a turn of phrase that is quite sweet... but I need to know if it is any clearer than mud.
Background: the speaker is a little girl orphan looking for a job in a medieval tavern. The part I'm wondering if it makes sense is in place of a cliché. Can you tell me what it is, or what it means?
Why assume I'm a thief? I shook my head. "I'd really rather not."
"What's that, leave?" When he laughed, his whole belly jiggled. He threw down a tankard at a table. "I can see that, but this place belongs to somebody else. You ain't got one here."
"Um, steal, actually." I prefer death to theft, but best to cover my heraldry under my cloak, so to speak. "Maybe you can help with that—the not-stealing?"
"What do you want–to work here?" He came nose to nose with me. "Look around. These aren't the softest customers. You aren't a little afraid of them?"
That isn't the whole of it, but the most accessible. (e.g. there is a prewriting poem I'm proud of, "The Day my Soul Grew Fangs" which is appropriately creepy but kinda cryptic. It shouldn't be too hard to find, but I'm not really promoting it as it's not really for everyone.
And have at them as if you can improve them. I'm always up for that kind of feedback... if you can convince me it's worth a shot.
A cautionary tale in the spirit of the spooky season. Unlucky in love or lust? For those willing to ignore the red and black flags, Madame Enaile can help.
So I gave it a double check for racially insensitive language (regarding the 'fortune teller' garb of the crypt-keeper-like sorceress. Looks good as far as I got) Note there are some LGBTQ themes and the main characters are tragic, so their opinions are NOT endorsed by the author. Understood, perhaps, but NOT endorsed. In other words, DON'T try that at home.
Tragedy in my mind means that the bad guys win because the protagonists choose actions that deserve to be punished. Though not this harshly...
So I have migrated to Reedsy one draft of a novel.
The POV has betrayed his story goal, and given a villain's monologue to his female lead before slinking away to avoid seeing the damage he has done. He thinks it's a victory, but from her rational POV it's closer to paying a ransom...
Brannon hasn't figured out that, as a drafted soldier,he is far more damaged than the Scarlett. He hasn't figured out that he doesn't need to be brainwashed or use his governmen- issued pretending-drugs to function well. Haven't even hardly addressed the arc he is going to need to make to be victorious.
Have I written a book or a sixty + thousand word first chapter?
Also it was supposed to be an action adventure but this one is more about Brannon and Scarlettt and IF they get an HEA it won't be so much a romantic one as he's likely to be carrying around the frozen head of his true love looking to bring him back without triggering the erasure trap.
This despite the fact that he was literally designed for her.
Of course in one sense he has achieved a plot. He hit the planet of the week, assessed it, 'fixed' it's greatest social il, and left the population reeling and dominated by a doomsday cult that has a weird fascination with impersonating him.
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