Worldbuilding Wednesday #39: Building A Story (Part 7)

Welcome back to another Worldbuilding Wednesday! I’m doing something different with these posts. I decided to write a story and blog how I do the worldbuilding as I go. Once I’ve finished the first draft, I’ll edit and proofread it and then publish it as normal for people to read. Onwards to the story!
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Whoot!

Finished the revisions to my latest story–it went from 14K to 19.6K words. I added two new chapters to it, a bunch of details and then reworked the chapters before and after the additions to make sure it all worked together.

Tomorrow I’ll read it all over again, proof it and then it’ll be time to see if I can get it published before Sakuracon.

Logic says nope. I don’t neccessarily listen to logic though. ;)

Now the question is what book do I start writing for my goal for this year?

I’ve got two partially complete that I could fire on, my cozy mystery and the story I’m putting up for Worldbuilding Wednesday.

I could also continue on with the Mouse and Snake verse but I think I want a couple more short stories before I do that book.

And then I could grab any of the other series and do them. *groans*

Any opinions on what you’d like to see me write first? The options are:

1) Shadow of the Tormal ‘verse

2) Mages of Tindiere ‘verse (with the sequel to Artifacts of Awareness)

3) Matriarchies of Muirin (probably Gavin’s love story)

4) Debts to Recover (which promises BDSM, gay sex and terrorism all in one tidy package, possibly with bonus prostitution)

5) Eight Factors verse

6) Mouse and Snake ‘verse

7) Second Chances (my cozy mystery in the mythical town of Ebey Island located about twenty minutes drive from my house)

Throw some opinions my way. No guarantee that I’ll follow them but I do write much more enthusiastically when I know people are interested in something in particular. :)

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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 12

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

12: Rooftop Battle

“Where are the guards?” Rani shouted as they ran up the stairs.

“Dead, paid off or fucking hiding,” Kennet snapped at her.

He caught Prince Telamon when he slipped and nearly fell on a bloody patch on the stairs. Ruy had Prince Didymos’ wrist in one hand, dragging him up the stairs as if he was a child. Kennet leaped over a dead body as they made it to the balcony, glancing quickly down the connecting hallways to see which way they should go.

“Fucking hell, they sent an army!” Kennet yelled and wasn’t at all ashamed of the way his voice came out higher than normal.
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About Free Ficton Fridays

Free Fiction Fridays are, as of right now, something that will happen now and then instead of (relatively) regularly.

You see, over the last year I’ve been working very hard to publish something every single week. Most weeks that was a short story. Sometimes, a handful, it was a novel. And ever five to six weeks or so it was a collection of short stories. That meant that more often than not I had a new short story that I could share. It usually went up the week after I put it up for sale, stayed up for one (maybe two) weeks and then I took it back down.

Simple.

But my goal this year, starting this week, is to write a novel in all of my universes. That’s seven to eight novels (as I have a 1/3 done mystery novel I want to finish and that’s a new verse) to write in the next 12 months.

That’s a lot of writing.

I know I can do it. Or, more accurately, I know I can get pretty close to it even if I don’t actually hit the goal by the 365th day.

But I can’t do it if I’m writing short stories every week. I have to choose.

I’m choosing novels this year.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t be writing short stories. I need breaks now and then from the novels so I will be writing some short stories. It just won’t be regular, predictable. When I do write a short story I’ll put it up as I have been, first for sale and then a week or so later for free here. That will continue. I just don’t see how I can make predictions on when it happens.

I may post free snippets of the novel of the moment instead; whichever one I’m working on. I may repost stories that I previously put up for free, prequels or side stories to whichever novel I’m finishing off at the moment. I do still want to have something here on Friday for everyone. I’m just not sure at this moment what it’ll be.

Next week will be a ‘nothing on Friday’ week, though. I’m going to be off at a con so I don’t think I’ll have the time for anything. Maybe photos? *shrug* Don’t know yet. I’ll figure it out.

And for those who are curious, for me a novel is a story that’s over 55,000 words. If it’s between about 35,000 and 55,000 I’d call it a long novella, personally. That’s my personal definition for this challenge. Write seven (or eight if I can) novels over 55,000 words in the next year, with one for each of my universes. Plus whatever short stories I manage to squeeze in. And blog posts. And Worldbuilding Wednesday. Which has it’s own novel that I’ll need to finish.

*laughs ruefully*

Gonna be a busy writing year. Just wanted everyone to know what’s coming up.

*goes back to writing*

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Free Fiction Friday: Scavenger

POD Scavenger Ebook Cover 07

Description:

Noa’s life revolved around scavenging for valuables left behind when global warming melted the ice caps and flooded Seattle. Her little nest in the Web was all she had other than her flipper and the precious cybernetic mods her Ma had gotten her. It was a hard life but all that Noa knew.

One day, a month or so after a drift-ship nearly ran into the Web’s support struts, Noa explored somewhere new. What she found threatened to either end her life or transform it forever. Unfortunately, the only person she could call on for help was War Tooth, military outcast cyborg orca from the local pod. Without his assistance Noa’s one chance at a better life might drift away before she had a chance to catch it.

Scavenger is an exciting cyberpunk story of survival, hope and the bonds that can form at the margins of society.

Scavenger

By Meyari McFarland

Noa licked her lips before peeking out of her nest’s door. Her mouth was sour with nerves but nothing, no one, looked back. She looked up towards the Web stretched overhead, to each side at the empty cables covered with sea spray and then scanned down towards the ocean below.

Still nothing.

The anchors of the Web looked clear as far as she could see. Every cable stretched up towards the gray, cloud-filled sky, though most of the sky was hidden by the dark masses of plants growing at the higher levels of the Web. Here, where her nest hung from a major support beam, it was as dark as dusk unless she looked out towards the emptiness of the open ocean beyond the Web.

Water dripped from above down into the slowly moving sea below. At her level nothing grew but barnacles and algae. And Noa. She lived here. Not much else could live here, but she survived. Even in the water there didn’t seem to be anything. Yeah, she could see fish and clams, oysters filtering the water as it flowed past them. But no orca with their cyborg arms or sharks with their flat-dead eyes. That rock might be one of the giant octopus that lived in the drowned city below but it might not.

Noa couldn’t tell for sure.

Her eye mods weren’t good enough for that. The gills were good, solid, best anyone could get outside of the military. Not the eyes. They were just enough to keep her eyes from freezing in the ice-cold water, just enough to let her see in the darkness of the deep where her work took her every day.

Work. That was a joke. Noa didn’t work. She scavenged, picked over the drowned buildings of what used to be Seattle for any scrap that might bring her some food or synth to make her nest stronger, dryer, safer. Ma had gotten her the gills, back when Noa was tiny, barely hip-high to her mother’s side. But then the Web had collapsed and they’d lost Noa’s Pa, her brothers so big and strong. Lost Ma not that long after that, to decompression sickness and nitrogen in the blood.

Ma’s gills hadn’t been good ones.

A quick check of her system showed no one else around. Granted, Noa didn’t know enough to tell if someone was watching shielded. But the coast looked clear. Nobody lived this low to the water if they could help it, much less so close to the edge of the Web where the wind and water lashed at your nest. Her nest was washed with waves every time a storm blew through.

“Find something good today,” Noa whispered as she pulled her warm suit hood up, slipped her grip-gloves on. “Get some good synth. Fix the leak. Maybe catch a fish t’eat.”

Something to eat would be good. Noa couldn’t remember the last time she’d had more than scraps to eat. Back before the storm, the one that brought the drift-ship in. And wasn’t that lovely? Even more people to scramble for what little existed under and in the web. Funny how strangers swept across the sea got more kindness than kids who’d been born here.

Noa pushed her bitterness away. No point in dwelling on that rot when she dove. It’d just distract her and that’s how sharks got you. Her flipper, precious high-tech flipper that her next oldest brother had bought from shore before the Web fell, slipped around Noa’s ankles. The straps were finally tight enough. At first she’d had to pad the toes so that the flipper wouldn’t fall off. Not anymore. She’d grown enough in ten years to be woman-high, though Noa would always be short and scrawny compared to the people who lived high on the web where the good food grew.

Only after her nest door was sealed tight against the rain and intruders did Noa dive into the water below. It was only a dozen feet or so but hitting the water always made her flinch from the impact. People said hitting water was like hitting steel. Noa knew better but it still hurt to punch through the surface tension into the world below.

*Didn’t expect to see you,* War Tooth said.

Noa screamed the last of the air out of her lungs as War Tooth swam up underneath her. His mouth gaped open in silent amusement, tail jerking with the force of his laughter. She glared, not that War Tooth knew where her eyes were. He always looked at the light patches on her warm-suit’s shoulder, not her face.
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Worldbuilding Wednesday #38: Building A Story (Part 6)

Welcome back to another Worldbuilding Wednesday! I’m doing something different with these posts. I decided to write a story and blog how I do the worldbuilding as I go. Once I’ve finished the first draft, I’ll edit and proofread it and then publish it as normal for people to read. Onwards to the story!
Continue reading

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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 11

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

11: Assassination Attempt

Splinters of wood flew through the air as the assassins outside broke the door down. They were dressed in deep blue and black clothes that closely resembled the guards’ uniforms other than scarves tied over their mouths. Kennet’s heart pounded against his ribs as he realized that the movement he’d seen outside had to have been the assassins killing the guards. The boots of the guards were just visible beyond the doorway beyond the rushing movement of the on-coming assassins.

“Move!” Kennet shouted while shoving Prince Didymos in the direction of the door.
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Now Available: Scavenger!

POD Scavenger Ebook Cover 07
Description:
Noa’s life revolved around scavenging for valuables left behind when global warming melted the ice caps and flooded Seattle. Her little nest in the Web was all she had other than her flipper and the precious cybernetic mods her Ma had gotten her. It was a hard life but all that Noa knew.

One day, a month or so after a drift-ship nearly ran into the Web’s support struts, Noa explored somewhere new. What she found threatened to either end her life or transform it forever. Unfortunately, the only person she could call on for help was War Tooth, military outcast cyborg orca from the local pod. Without his assistance Noa’s one chance at a better life might drift away before she had a chance to catch it.

Scavenger is an exciting cyberpunk story of survival, hope and the bonds that can form at the margins of society.

Find this Story:

On Amazon $2.99 ebook
On Smashwords $2.99 ebook
On CreateSpace $10.99 5″ x 8″ TPB

Whoot! Got this one up sooner than I expected. :D

Second to last story until I’ve completed my weekly publishing goal, too. XD Hope you enjoy if you choose to read!

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Free Fiction Friday: The Web

POD The Web Ebook Cover 03

Description:

Ruby’s world, the artificial jungle suspended from a web of synthetic cables, threatened to collapse around her. A larger than normal storm had driven a drifting ship towards the support stanchions that held up the web.

She swam with War Tooth, the military outcast cyborg orca of the local pod, to secure it and save everyone she knew. But securing the ship was only the beginning of Ruby’s fight for survival. The seas and all the creatures living in it was a bigger threat to her survival than any wayward ship.

The Web is an exciting cyberpunk struggle to survive in a world that’s surrendered to global warming and rising seas that is sure to excite.

The Web

By Meyari McFarland

The web shifted under Ruby’s feet, synthetic proteins and spun fiberglass cables twisting and moving as she did. Around her the plants of the hanging garden grew and shifted towards the sun far overhead. Only dim grey-green light drifted down to her at this level of the web, filtered by layers of leaves and the crisscrossing web that supported all of their lives.

Ruby couldn’t see the sun but the plants knew it was there, hidden behind the ever-present storms that swept in from the Pacific Ocean to pour rain down over what used to be the Puget Sound.

Rain from the latest storm coming in pattered down through the web’s many levels of vegetation. The web was an artificial jungle that humanity had created as the sea rose up over Seattle, people’s desperate attempt to keep this plot of land despite the ravages of the rising sea. For all its flaws, Ruby loved it. The web was home, better than boats or land or leaving the Earth entirely to go live in space.

She shivered. Ruby’s warm-suit had a tiny leak just below her shoulder blades that let the rain and cold seep in though it was just that one spot that felt cold. Ruby ignored it as best she could. Her hood protected her well enough despite the wet chill that never faded out on the web.

If it wasn’t rain from above dampening her skin, there was fog or waves from below. Why bother fighting the wet when it was a constant? It would be nice to get back to the nest for dinner, though. At least there she could get dry and warm though without food gathered from the garden there wouldn’t be much for dinner besides fish.

Ruby gathered tomatoes and peas, sampling a couple tart pea pods before slipping the rest into her harvest bag. Her elongated toes gripped well enough that Ruby didn’t even glance over when someone else bounded downwards, catching a strand of her web to slow their descent. It was probably just one of her cousins anyway. They never got as much work done as they should.

A second person bounded towards the waves and submerged buildings below. Then a third, a fourth, and then several at once. Ruby frowned, finally flicking on her comp system despite the irritating static from the storm’s lightning strikes over the sea.

A dozen warnings flashed on her retina’s, flickering so fast that Ruby barely managed to register that there was a ship drifting out of control towards the web. Her section of the web. Right underneath the nest that she shared with her parents, brother and young cousins.

Ruby spun and ran for the closest down-anchor that led to the farthest out sky scraper foundation for the web on Fourth and University, the site of the old Fairmont Hotel. Food could wait. It would wait. It had to. The last time debris had hit the web Ruby had been ten years old. A larger than normal storm surge had broken several old buildings loose from their submerged foundations, crashing a huge swathe of the web.

She’d been asleep, curled up in her sleeping net with her little brother Pike in her arms. The net had lurched, dropped and then swung so hard that Ruby’s back had smacked into a support strut. Ruby had screamed, broken ribs causing enough pain that she nearly dropped Pike.

Their nest had lurched again, then again, silencing both Ruby and Pike’s screams for a moment. Then the bottom of her world had dropped out from under her, free-falling Ruby and Pike down towards the ocean below as their section of the web collapsed entirely.

“I’m safe,” Ruby panted as she ran along web lines and dropped levels recklessly, risking dislocated shoulders with every leap and drop. “I’m safe. I’m safe. I’m safe.”

It got darker as she got closer to the sea, not that it mattered. Ruby could smell the salt that always crusted the support stanchions. Her eye implants automatically increased the amount of light they gathered, giving her night vision. The closer she got the more shouting she heard. People were arriving from all over the web. Most had as little as Ruby did, bags and comp systems and nothing more.

“It’s coming on a storm surge!” Pike bellowed up at the crowded web lines. “We need to get buoys out and a line onto it somehow. We’ve already got a winch system set up to tether it and ground it against the outer buildings. As long as we can hook the damn thing we can keep it from dropping the web.”

Ruby tapped the slender rings around her fingers together, shifting her retinal displays so that she could see infrared. The web disappeared, becoming pale grey lines clustered with hot red-yellow bodies. Beyond, Ruby could see the waves, ice blue-black mountains of water threatening them all. They were at the outer edge of the web, close to the wave generators and broken rooftops of the skyscrapers that had once been the heart of downtown Seattle.

The skyscrapers were barnacle-encrusted black skeletons of their former glory, nothing more than urban reefs for the sea life that Ruby, Pike and Father harvested. So far, she couldn’t see the ship but a flick of her fingers gave her the web scanner’s view of the ocean. The ship was approaching quickly. If it kept direction and speed the damage would be horrific. Given the storm surge coming in, it would crash directly into the main support stanchion Ruby perched on.

Ruby scanned the crowd, triggering her system to tell her who was there with another tap of her fingers. Father wasn’t. Mother wasn’t. They were probably working to evacuate people further into the web so that a repeat of the collapse, and the loss of life, wouldn’t happen.

“We need a good swimmer,” Pike shouted. He held up his broken arm, the one the shark had nearly bitten off a month ago. “I can’t go.”

“I will,” Ruby called.

She snorted at his automatic head-shake, passing off the harvest bag to old Mrs. Morishita. Logically, Ruby should go. She had the eye mods to be able to see underwater, even in this darkness. More importantly, she had the gills and lung mods for swimming deep. None of the others perched on the web had the mods necessary to survive the swim out to the farther skyscrapers. More importantly, even if her warm-suit had a slow leak, it would still keep her alive in the chilly waters below.

“No one else is available, Pike,” Ruby said as she clambered down to his side. “I need a jet. Do we have a strong one?”

They should. Hopefully. Given the storm, the other fishers had probably taken their jets further into the web, hauling them up and out of the range of the storm surge so that they weren’t swept away. But not everyone had the luxury of getting higher. Some fishers lived low and waterproofed their homes. One of them might have a jet she could use.

“No,” Pike sighed. “But we do have an orca that’s willing to help.”

“Orca?” Ruby gasped. “Pike!”

“They don’t want the web to fall,” Pike explained. “They’ll get tangled even worse than they do already if the web falls. You know they hunt under here.”

He waved towards the portion of the web that used to be their home. Tumbled stanchions, broken and worn by a decade’s worth of waves, stuck up out of the surging waves. The web tangled under the water, a few cables drifting across the surface deceptively like seaweed. Seaweed wouldn’t cut you in half if you got tangled in it, though.

An orca, military barcode vividly white against its black eye patch surfaced a few yards from Ruby’s perch. It cleared its blowhole impatiently before slapping its tail against the surface. Ruby winced as she recognized the jagged edge of its dorsal fin.

“War Tooth?” Ruby demanded.

Find The Rest Of This Story:

On Amazon $2.99 ebook or $10.99 5″ x 8″ TPB

On Smashwords $2.99 ebook

On CreateSpace $10.99 5″ x 8″ TPB

If you can’t afford to buy the story, please consider leaving a donation. All money received goes toward keeping me writing and posting these stories. Thank you very much!

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:D

I have figured out my goal for the next year! *cheers*

And yes, it’s just as nuts as the one I did over the last year.

Instead of publishing something every week (short story, novella, novel or collection) as I did in 2013, my goal for 2014 will be to write a novel for each of my verses. That’s seven novels in one year.

*dies a little*

Which series?

1) Matriarchies of Muirin – this will probably Gavin’s novel, the one where he meets his future wife, is wooed by two separate women and eventually chooses. Romance and sweet teenage antics and men in petticoats FTW!

2) Mages of Tindiere – this one will have to be the sequel to Artifacts of Awareness, where Kennet settles in as the ruler of the desert and deals with every mage on the continent deciding to challenge him. Plus man-eating rabbits. XD

3) Under the Tormal Shadow – Not sure on this one but maybe I’ll do the Tormal Wars story I have started where everyone dies. Maybe. Really not sure about that because writing Everybody Dies stories are so hard for me.

4) Debts to Recover – I’d really like to rewrite Debts to Recover itself. That’s the next logical story in that verse. :D

5) Eight Factors – Obviously, I need to write the book I’ve been building up to in this verse, the one where Marikellian becomes Public Enemy #1 and Corey finally choses his path in life: Super-villian.

6) Mouse and Snake – XD This is easy. It will be the novel expansion of the unpublished short story version of Mouse and Snake, which should be a ton of fun.

7) Second Chances – this is the cozy mystery I’ve had on the back burner. I really do need to get this one done, finished and out there. Because I know I’m going to write several more novels in this verse.

I’ll be writing random short stories as well, because they’re fun to write and a nice change when I’m writing something long. But that’s my goal. Seven novels over the next 12 months. Maybe in 2015 I’ll up it to nine or 12 novels. We’ll see.

*grin* This is one of the fun things about publishing my own writing. I can do it and put it out there and there’s no one to tell me I’m writing too fast.

Back to work for me!

Posted in Debts to Recover, Eight Factors, Mages of Tindiere, Matriarchies of Muirin, Mouse and Snake Verse, Rambling, Self Publishing, Shadow of the Tormal, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment