Sunday, July 13, 2008

Writing progress


Getting there, getting there. If I think of the target for the first draft as being 170,000 then the picometer looks like this which is even better:



However, I am taking a bit of a break for a few days, and going back to book one instead. There are a few minor mistakes in continuity and a bit of tweaking that needs to be done; besides, I need to check that I remember what happened in the first book...yeah, my memory is that bad!

Anyway, here's a bit of description from Book One, if you feel like a peek.

Davim the Drover, Sandmaster, sat on his pede at the top of the dune they called the Watergatherer. To the east and west, the red line of the dune humped away as far as he could see. To the north, it fell sharply to the plains. This, the front edge of the Watergatherer, was a wall of fine red dust unsullied by any plants or growth, a slope steep enough to have made walking difficult. Its top edge, towering a few hundred paces up, was as sharp as a sword cut. An occasional playful gust of wind tore grains away from the cut in flurries.

The back side of the dune was different. There were gullies and dips and hollows, but mostly it slipped gently down to the plain in a long slope of several miles. The red sand was dotted with vegetation: a prickly bush here, a sand-creeper there; a clump of smoke-bush behind that. Bare surface showed through, but the plants maintained a precarious existence, oblivious to the slow inching of the dune that carried them forward.

The red dunes of the quarter
were waves swallowing up the land in front only to discard it behind two or three decades later, leaving it lifeless, the skeletal remains of a masticated meal. The Red Quarter had sixteen such dunes, each spaced equidistant from the next, each on its inexorable slither northwards to extinction, death being a long slow demise as they eased themselves into the expanse of the Burning Sand-Sea, a desert so hot and vast that not even a pede ventured there.

They were birthed in the south, those dunes, perhaps by the eroded red rock of the Warthago Range, or the red earth of The Spindlings.
The plain they traversed was also red, although the earth was coarser and its vegetation sealed it tight against the depredations of the wind. It was covered with low bushes, rocks, the odd waterhole — until the next parallel hill line of sand ten or fifteen miles away.

Davim scanned the country carefully from his vantage point, watching for the man he expected. His fellow conspirator, he supposed, but he preferred to think of the man as the Traitor, for such he was to his own kind. Once Davim had respected him, though not now. Conspirators they might be, but Davim despised the treachery, useful as it was, that was bringing the Scarperman to him again.

9 comments:

2paw said...

I loved your synopsis (Blogger wouldn't let me comment yesterday) but this has excerpt really whetted my appetite!! It seems to me you have taken the current drought problem and extrapolated it into a great fantasy novel!!!

Satima Flavell said...

Come on Glenda, back to work! We want to read the whole thing asap!

Jo said...

Oh definitely back to work Glenda, can't wait. Trouble is it will take me a lot of effort to get hold of the books anyway if they are not published over here. However, I will get them one way or another. But you have to get them written and published first, so, no holidays, no breaks, not even a cuppa or whatever your choice of bevvie is unless someone brings it to you LOL

That sand made me nervous.

Glenda Larke said...

:-) - well, you all have to keep your fingers crossed that someone publishes the darn thing!!

Satima Flavell said...

I was v. disheartened to read this on the "Call my Agent" blog: "Fantasy (for adults and young adults) is not a big genre in Australian publishing - only Voyager (HarperCollins) and Orbit (Hachette Livre) have any kind of commitment to it. Accordingly, not many agents look at it - we have to run a business, and it doesn't make sense to specialise in a genre that not many publishers will publish. The agency I work for has recently made a decision to no longer look at fantasy (for adults or children) for this reason and also because, frankly, most of the books are too long - staring down a 200 000 word manuscript makes my spine go cold."

It seems to be getting harder and harder to find agents and publishers. And if someone as gifted and experienced as you, Glenda, is looking for a good home for such excellent work - well, what more can I say!

Jo said...

Maybe you should get testimonials from all of your readers telling the publishers just how much we want to read your newest books. I would be happy to supply a rave review any time.

glenda larke said...

Australian fantasy authors are now looking overseas for agents, Satima. One Voyager author I know could not interest an Oz agent - even with a good solid publishing contract in hand!

And it is not a good idea to have an agent who doesn't not like your genre - as the agent you quote obviously does not like fantasy. YOu have to have an agent who believes in you, as I do. And in the end, it paid off for us both.

In the end, you know, for an already published writer, it is often not good writing that sells the next book, but the sales figures of the last one. One dip in sales, and you are doomed. No one looks to see if the problem might be something that the writer has no control over, like the cover. Or the back cover blurb. Or even an unrelated thing like the fact that it came out the same month as the last Harry Potter book...

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, it's ahard business. If I didn't love it so much I'd just set it aside and take up bowls:-)

phillberrie said...

Hi Glenda,

Great excerpt. You are a tease.

Considering Satima's comments are you looking at other markets, or are you tied to HC?

Phill.