Refusenik: Blog


Human Phoenix Sequel News

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Had a great summer and fall is already screaming by.

The Human Phoenix sequel, tentatively titled Human Man, will be my project for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) running the month of November.

The story is already plotted and outlined.

I'll use part of December to tie up loose ends and give my editor a chance to wield the red pen.

That's all for now.


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I've been enjoying my time off and have made great progress on my book pile. One the things I'm forcing myself to re-read is Human Phoenix.

It's painful.

There's so much I'd do differently. Resisting the urge to open Word and make changes has been a constant challenge. As a first novel, it's full of structural and narrative problems - but I like it.

I could go back and revise it. But, it would take months of work. Better to leave it as a record of my very first writing effort.

I do want to improve (develop really) my revision skills, but this is not the piece to do it on.

For the stateside readers -- be sure to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that you can enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Housekeeping, Lessons Learned, Future Plans

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I’ve sent various minor and major corrections to the queue.

In chapter 19 the space station name slipped from Pacifica to Oceania in a few places. The human brain is funny, or at least mine is. I mentioned Oceania, VA, in an email during the writing of that chapter and somehow…well, anyway it’s fixed.

Fixed an error where I conflated the Sun-Earth L4 and L5 with the Earth-Moon L4 and L5.

Also corrected a slip where I changed Marquesas to the French spelling Marquises, in two chapters.

So what I did I learn?

The vast majority of you liked it, which is always a relief. Not everyone did of course. That’s something you have to accept early on if you’re going to do this. I’m still working on that. The urge to fire back an email explaining why they’re wrong is tough to resist, but to quote an infamous American “Resist we much.”

I got more comfortable with changing POV. I know that can be irritating. Sometimes as a reader, if I don’t like the character, I’ll skip that character’s segments or chapters.

My goal for Island Mine was to write a tighter, shorter story than what I’d done with Human Phoenix. Cue more laughter. Specifically, my target was 125 thousand words. I was certain I’d come in under that, but actually exceeded it hitting 154,829 words by my count.

I wrote exactly the story I set out to write with the ending I envisioned. That’s a pretty good feeling when it’s all over and done with.

If I had it to do over again, and the beauty as a writer is that you always can, I’d tinker with chapter one by taking out the flashback review of Waylon’s life. Not sure how, or if, I’d drop all that information back in. I’d also start weaving in the POV changes earlier, maybe with a look at Captain Arnold working another problem long before Waylon and Freehold get on his radar.

A note about my editor, pcbondsman, he did an amazing amount of work and helped me steer clear of several plot holes and logical inconsistencies. He deserves a round of applause.

My writing plans

I’ve committed to writing the sequel to Human Phoenix. I am taking a summer writing course and am not sure how that’s going to play with my recreational writing. I don’t think I’ll combine the two.

In the fall, I want to try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That takes place in November.

What about a sequel to Island Mine?

I intended Island Mine to be a standalone story from the start. About halfway through I realized there was potential for more. It surprised me a little. The ending certainly leaves open that possibility. If I do pick it up again, it won’t be anytime soon.

Thanks for reading!

Actions have Consequences - 16 thru 19 to queue

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The END.

It is so nice to write those words.

No spoilers. My editor, who has put up with a lot, suggested I have a fire extinguisher handy.

I'll only say it's the story I wanted to write. I got the idea while writing Human Phoenix and the note I wrote then was exactly 12 words long. Looking back, I can say I wrote that exact story.

Chapters 16 through 19 have 39,222 words. Be happy and enjoy the read. I enjoyed the heck out of writing it.

I'll decompress for a day or two and then post a 'what I learned' kind of blog entry along with my thoughts on future stories.

Goodnight Cleveland!

You knew this was coming

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Friday, Friday, when I'll post the final four chapters, 16 ~ 19.

The last chapter still needs a little polishing.