Archive | November 2017

Bian’s Tale – The Right Path – first half

Here is the fourth episode of Bian’s Tale; the first half of Section 3 – The Right Path.

I think it’s fairly clear that Bian’s Tale is not really suitable for episodes, but I’m keeping it going to keep pressure on me to finish this first novel of the companion series.

In this episode, Ophélie/Bian see-saws between optimism and realizing how much the structure of Saigon works against her. It almost ends on a cliffhanger.  🙂

I’m going on a writer’s retreat at the end of this week, for a week. I will be on my own in an apartment in Madrid (the daughter arranged for a £35 return flight ticket!). My posting of the next couple of episodes may be a bit early or late.

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

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Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2 – second half

Here is the third episode of Bian’s Tale, and the remainder of Section 2 (Awakening).

It’s not a cliffhanger, but it does end with a twist as Bian starts to realize how much that has happened has not been what it appeared.

I’m way ahead, writing Section 5, where the dark underbelly of Saigon starts to show. Where friends seem not to be friends and progress may depend on others…

I still don’t know whether this is really for new readers or existing readers, and I’m not sure of the style. The amount of detail suggests this should be an epic. I started off trying to write something shorter than a Bite Back novel. Lol.

Blog post read volumes are interesting and strange. Bian’s Tale is gathering as many reads as I got during A Name Among The Stars, but almost no one (in comparison) is saying anything. Hint, hint. Are you enjoying it? Is it too slow? Do you like the glimpse of the different cultures? What have you liked/hated so far? Do you miss the precipitous cliffhangers? Ask me questions. Tell me what you feel.

Anyway… here is Episode 3, the second half of Section 2, Awakening.

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 1

Here is the second episode of Bian’s Tale. I will put episodes up at least until the 75% point, or where ever the episodes overtake the writing. Having the feeling that the episodes are catching me up should provide some necessary incentive for me to write faster. Bian’s Tale is supposed to be with my editor by Christmas.

The book is clearly not written to be issued in episodes, so you will find no major cliffhanger at the end. It’s merely about the right length (9k words or approximately half of Section 2). Episode 1 was an entire section (Section 1 – Innocence) dealing with Bian as a young child. We meet her again in Section 2 (Awakening) about 5 years later, a young woman caught between two worlds, trapped by the lies told when she was adopted and torn in loyalties between her Annamese birth family and her French adopting family. (I use the name Annamese instead of the more correct Annamite that the French of the time would have used – one of many decisions about language I’ve taken and will list in the novel).

Apart from the opening chapters, this part has changed a lot in the re-writes.

I also promised to explain in a bit more depth why I said that I’m not crystal clear who I’m writing this for. There are two obvious targets – readers who have not read anything of mine and readers who have read Bite Back and would enjoy the background tale of one of the major characters.

New readers need the complete introduction into the world of Athanate, Were and Adept. Existing readers could find that tedious. Concentrating on new readers would allow me to try to appeal to a younger demographic, but make it ‘Young Adult’ could turn existing readers off. A whole companion series simply to fill in Bian’s background would be excessive, and yet there’s such potential to tell a story that begins in a very different age.

And so on. Almost every aspect of the story should/could be different depending on which way I decided to write it. So I decided to write it for both and make everything much harder, and basically a compromise.

New readers attracted into a story about vampires, witches and werewolves are going to have to wait for them to turn up. Existing readers can entertain themselves by knowing that the paranormal is there, and wondering exactly how it’s going to manifest. Younger readers will be frustrated by Bian’s lack of power at this stage in her life, existing readers will know how she ends up and (I hope) enjoy the slow ratchet of abilities over several books until Bian emerges as the snarking, katana-wielding, predatory woman we enjoy in Bite Back.

Everyone needs to be swept along by the story while it happens. If the reader thinks about the story being slow or confusing, I’ve failed.

Anyway… here is Episode 2, the first half of Section 2, Awakening.

 

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

Bian’s Tale – Innocence

There has to be a slight interlude, before I get back onto writing the serial I recently promised.

However… I see many readers have visited the site, so I need to post something. I took the old first version of the first section of Bian’s Tale off the blog recently. It’s a bit of a cheat to post it again, but this book has been three years in the writing, and there may be readers who didn’t see this the first time around. It has also changed and some may be interested to see what it looks like now. This is the 4th version / major revision, and this section the least affected by rewrites.

Here’s the link to the original post, if you’re interested in the comments that were made when I first posted it: Comments from original posting

I’ve no single reason why this book has taken me so long. There are sub-reasons – the language, the research about Saigon in 1890, the growth of Bian’s character (including a gap ‘off-screen’ where she assimilates 19th C French culture), the difficulty of building a character in an Urban Fantasy book before the paranormal shows up, and so on. It does also get quite dark in the middle sections. One of the most fundamental problems has been that I’m not crystal clear who I’m writing this for. I think that sounds like crazy writer stuff, but if you want me to elaborate, ask and I will.

This section is 6k words long. If people want it, I will post the second and third sections (in parts – they are a bit long for single posts). I am approaching the end of the 5th, out of 6 sections in all. The sections are called Innocence, Awakening, The Right Path, Unraveling, Darkness Falls (or Shadowfall), and Revenge (tbc). Each section is represented by a Chinese ideogram, hence the uncertainty as I discuss the possible section names with a lady who can actually write the old-school, formal ideograms.

It will be published in full in 2018.

Enough…

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.