Mini State of Writing: All Flames Cast is done!

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As many of you know, especially if you follow the Dcafwriting Facebook page, I finished the first* completed draft of All Flames Cast last Thursday. I spent Saturday evening meeting with my alpha readers and having a little discussion, but on the whole I’m taking a big step back from AFC and Chronicle of the Sons in general. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is obvious: I need to give the manuscript some breathing room before I go into revisions. I want to have a fresher perspective on the story and the characters, and come in with some distance from the text. I just spent about ten months breathing, bleeding, and writing this book—it’s tough to separate myself from it at this point in time.

On top of that, these past couple of weeks have been draining. Now, I’m not the fastest writer in the world. I’m not one of those people who can sit down and write 20,000 words in a day. A solid week for me is somewhere around 2500-3000 words a day, for maybe three days out of the week. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Off to the Alpha Readers

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It’s a scary thing. All Flames Cast is nearing completion. Technically, I suppose, this is the first draft. In a day or two, I will have checked off every plot point and checkpoint on my outline. I’ll have a word count and a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

On the other hand, this really isn’t a first draft. All Flames Cast is in its third incarnation. It started out, as some of you may remember, as Seeds of Doubt back in 2012. I got pretty far into the first draft of that book, working off the same outline document that I’ve had open on my computer for the past month straight. But, as first drafts tend to go, it was really, really flawed. I had to throw out about 40,000 words and basically start over. And then, this spring, I took two months off to revisit the outline and a bunch of the chapters I’d already written, giving it a once (or twice)-over and working out some of the kinks.

And now, with three short chapters left to finish, I’m working with my alpha readers.

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All Flames Cast – Tymun III

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Under bright white flames, burning in small bunches at the corners of the ceiling, Tymun waited. He stood straight, his hands clasped behind his back, and fought to keep his face smooth despite the discontent that burned within him. Meto stood in a similar posture next to him, while Artius cooled his heels somewhat separate from them. His hands were folded over his orange robes, resting on his still-prodigious belly. Neither Tymun nor Meto deigned to glance at him. The only sound in the large room was the low murmur of discussion between Selonius and General Amaren, commander of the Letaalese Home Legion. They sat behind a wide table ten paces in front of the waiting men, their heads together in earnest but low debate.

Tymun fumed. It had already been most of an hour since the time of their appointment, and yet they were still to even be addressed. The quartet of Phoenix Guards behind the table were still as stone, but he found himself unable to mimic their composure. He shifted his feet; he scratched at an itch behind his ear. Idly, he reminded himself that it was again time to shave his head clean. Continue reading

All Flames Cast – Tymun II

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“So I handed the idiot his shirt, but only after he let her throw half a dozen darts at him,” Tymun said, laughing with those gathered around and listening. “She hit the board on four—better than I expected, let me tell you—but she stuck him good with the other two. In the chaos, I don’t think he remembered to make good on her offer of a kiss.”

Meto chuckled affably next to him, well into his sixth beer. Tymun himself had moved on from the expensive whiskey, opting instead for the more manageable house ale. They were hardly the only ones the worse for drink; the two Phoenix Guards, who introduced themselves as Emmis and Ariella, had met them drink for drink. Continue reading

All Flames Cast – Tymun I

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The doors closed behind them, and Tymun grimaced. Meto, next to him, grunted.

“Am I the only one less than satisfied with what that was?”

“That? That was a farce,” Tymun growled. He ignored the small whimper that came from Artius, behind them. “We will never get answers. Or restitution.”

Meto snorted, shrugging his wide shoulders. “We’re soldiers. When do we ever get what we want?”

“When? Right burning now, that’s when,” Tymun responded, moving with long strides down the hall, hoping to leave the building as soon as possible. “I want a drink, and I intend to get one. We didn’t get to celebrate last night, and that needs to be remedied.”

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