November and December generated a couple of rejections for both a short story of mine and my novel, the former which I took quite hard, actually. Why? Because the reasons they rejected the story were spot on. It's hard to hear you gave somebody a peek at your ugly baby...but fortunately, in this case, I have power to make that ugly baby a real looker, if I do it right. For this particular story, I had experimented in writing above my ability in an epic lore style, and little character-driven me just shouldn't write that way. At least not at this point in my journey.
So what am am doing about that? I'm attacking that short story, which I believe will be a novella by the time I'm through, to deepen the characters, add a more specific sense of wonder, and hopefully get the story up to snuff. It's the story of an immortal elven duchess, a king of the most powerful human civilization on the planet, and the trouble a dragon can interject into such scenarios. It starts out something like this:
A shofar’s shrill cry pierced through the din of steel upon steel. Desperation rang in its overtones.
And well it should. Major Telenius wrenched his sword free of the rebel soldier slumped over the blade. At the soldier’s final gurgling cry, Telenius winced. Perhaps he would never grow entirely accustomed to the gut-wrenching sounds of battle. Telenius’s combatant was only one of hundreds of Durik’s troops to utter a scream of despondency or death at the hands of the Vareinorean army this day.
The enemy trumpeter blew the blast again, and the major cast his glance around the valley where the battle raged. Fractured enemy lines scrabbled in a disorderly retreat, though such a choice of tactics seemed premature in Telenius’s view. True, the Vareinor had already dealt Durik’s troops some telling blows, but did they really have so weak a constitution for the conflict? Why instigate the engagement at all, simply to withdraw when there were men still fit to fight? Years of warfare under King Aeleronde’s banner had taught Telenius that the cornered man typically fought hardest.
The rebels that withdrew looked as one to the rise south of the battlefield. Their attention compelled Telenius to follow their gazes, and when he did, all the blood drained from his face.
Like a blood-red sun lifting its wrathful head over the horizon, a figure staggeringly loathsome, incomprehensibly profane, crested the ridge. Yard after yard of armored, crimson terror slithered into view.
Telenius’s heart thundered against his ribs.
The beast reared a reptilian head upon a lithe neck. His gold eyes gleamed with an impure appetite as he regarded the battlefield. Telenius’s hand fumbled to his hilt.
The beast stretched membranous wings wide, eclipsing the sun so the vein-riddled webbing between his bony pinions glowed like firelight. Vareinorean troops exchanged wide-eyed looks.
Of course, quite a bit of plot ensues from there.
What does one do with a fantasy novella? Well, in this day and age of ebooks, I'm thinking of doing a little experiment self publishing it, and seeing if I can't get some practice promoting and selling my own work. After all, promotion is largely a first time author's job these days, and quite frankly, I'd rather get the hang of it on something short. Stay tuned for more information on the possible release of Delquessa's Lament.
Beyond all this, I'm still submitting The Sword of the Patron to editors, hoping beyond hope I can find one that will touch a book that pushes 120,000 words before I mercilessly start amputating plot threads. It may also be destined for ACFW's Genesis contest this spring. We shall see what life's progression has in store.
So, even though I had no story for those of you who have read faithfully all this time...fret not. It's not because I have opted to sit around in a pink track suit watching reruns of old game shows. I won't even get into the illustration projects I've got in process now. More on that another time.
I pray the Lord richly blesses your Christmas with abounding joy! Stop back in around the New Year for whatever insists upon being posted here next.