Wednesday, July 05, 2006


The beast, it is slain! After a thousand words written last night, the Chapter from Hell is over and done with. It took me almost two weeks to write the thing--including the time lost due to Armadillocon and prepping for the Peter Beagle interview--and it fought me every step of the way. I'm now almost exactly a week behind on my production schedule, and I don't know if that's deficit I'll be able to make up. The good news is that I shouldn't have nearly as much difficulty with this thing for the next half dozen chapters or so. Knock wood.
A full week after reaching the first road fort, Ctibor reined the coach to a halt in late afternoon. Snow fell steadily, as if it were determined to not let up until spring. The constant wind whipped it around into a pale fog. It was shin deep on the ground, but still light and powdery, easily passed through.

"What's wrong, Ctibor?" asked Vondra, opening the coach door.

"Nothing, Excellency," he answered, jumping down from the driver's seat. His boots left deep impressions in the snow. "I wanted the boys to see this."

Radek came out of the coach behind Vondra. Jachym and Gauthier--watching each other warily--climbed down from opposite sides.

"What do you see, boys? Tell me what you see out there."

Jachym peered into the distance. At first, all he saw was more of the irregular, white landscape he'd seen for the past few days. Then he realized part of it was darker than the rest. A wall--close, too. Less than a stone's throw ahead of them. It wasn't much--maybe the height of a man--but it stretched out of site in either direction, broken only by a gap directly ahead for the road to pass through.

"It's a wall."

"That it is," Ctibor said. "And do any of you know what's on the other side of it?"

Jachym, Radek and Gauthier looked at each other in bafflement, more concerned with keeping their feet moving to stay warm than the other side of a wall.

"You shouldn't try to be dramatic, Ctibor. You're not good at it. And definitely not in this kind of weather," Vondra said. "That's a wall of boundary, boys. On the other side is the Rokanyky basin. We've made it."

When I wrap this novel up--late September is still my target date--there's going to he a whole heck of a lot of rewriting and revisioning left to do before Wetsilver is in anything close to coherent form. And chapter 9 is at the top of my list for wholesale slash-and-burn editing. When the whole thing is finished, I'm pretty sure I'll have a better overall vision of the story and a clear idea of how to make trouble spots like chapter 9 contribute more effectively to the overall narrative. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
29,000 / 90,000

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