It’s been several busy months since I’ve posted an update to my favorite space couple. Most of the new material needed to flesh out the front end of the novel is now complete and I can work towards weaving in existing material. This process has been slower than I’d like, but I confess to enjoying the summer weather (and new book releases) a bit too much to have proper motivation. All in all, here’s the lowdown on progress:
Originally written as a flash serial consisting of ten chapters of 2000-2500 words each, the novel now sits at just over 66K words and growing. Though I’m finishing up Chapter 19, the total word count include subsequent material that hasn’t been divided up. It’s coming along, slowly, but I’m writing words that I like and not just throwing stuff down.
For those who’ve read the original and want to get a feel for how much new material is getting added, this chapter ends at the Fathomless Pool, the tavern located on Kandaria, and taking a room for the night before the <previously written activity>. In the original short, this activity occurs just over the half-way mark of the story. As it sits now, it’s probably about a third of the way in.
Since I’ve missed every planned goal I’ve had for this since the rewrite began, I’m reluctant to put any kind of estimated end date on this. Washington’s weather needs to be a bit crappier so I can stay home and authors need to quit putting out good books.
As a reward, here’s a tiny snippet of new material, introducing another new character: Tivarah, a zespilaar or wasp woman from the swamp planet of Glanshyl.
“What web’z tangled yourself up this time?”
Grokhaar winced. Tivarah’s sibilants throbbed with a buzzing undercurrent. This was not good. Pissing off a Glanshylar swamp wasp was never a good idea. Agile and quick, with a sting that’d put the horned god himself on his arse. It was even worse when she was your contact in Kinstral’s black market district. Mess with her and she sent her smaller brethren after you…before she charged you triple for the honor of doing business with her. Agony and destitution in one adorable bundle of female. She’d focused on Petri the moment they walked into her shop and hadn’t stopped glaring since.
“No web, Tiva, m’love. I got lonely and picked up a companion. Name’s Pietro. Cute little bastage, ain’t he?” He flashed her his best smile. Her glare ramped up another notch, filled with daggers and swords and other pointy things. Minost’s nuts, he could’ve sworn he felt phantom blades sticking out his body.
“Don’t play the hedonist with me, Zzandria. I know yourself better than that.” Tivarah spread her wings and a stomach-churning buzz filled the shop. She hovered until they were eye to eye and poked him in the chest with a finger. “I’ve flown in the Diamond, hidden in yourself’s nest. He’s neither worker drone nor courtesan. He’s an assassin.”
Grokhaar opened his mouth to deny her claim, but one really good look had his jaws closing with a snap. Petri stood to the left of the door, his back to a shadowy corner of the small shop. He’d crossed his arms over his chest, fingers resting on the hilts of his throwing knives. He hid his expression behind the fall of his hair but couldn’t hide the faint glow of his eyes. The boy looked like an avenging angel or a demon sent from hell…and sexier than he had a right to be.
“He’s no danger to you and yours, Tivarah. This I swear.”