Breaking the Glass
Shelley Huntington was less than thrilled with Kailin University. It was an old, respected institution built on Earth before there were any other inhabited planets to talk about. Ostensibly, the sprawling campus of white stone buildings—likely laced with nanobots and other technology—still belonged in private hands, those of William Scheffer, heir to his grandfather however many times removed that had founded it. The buildings and grounds of manicured lawns and neatly cut road– and skyways likewise failed to impress Shelley. She was an Ybreteh girl. She liked her computers and small spacecraft Abi bought her for her sixteenth birthday and the higher-tech world she had been born on.
"Anywhere, anywhere but here," she muttered to herself under her breath. She had dumped off her things in the dorm room indicated by her room key, a tiny boxed-in affair occupied by three beds—more muttering ensued—and since then, taken to wandering disconsolately about the ridiculous maze of hallways (she didn't even know they still used drywall this extensively) in search of the vocational orientation auditorium marked deceptively on her campus map as just inside the building across from the dorms.
Due to a fear on my part of moving too slowly, I bumped up my initial City of Glass posting schedule to twice weekly. Due to the reality of my first thought being the better one, I'm bumping it back down to once weekly. The novel will now update on Thursdays only.
Hayley Lamar was defined by her teachers as a no-good, rebellious troublemaker—anything but a lady and certainly not a good student. Perhaps this should have bothered her. She was raised properly in the good southern Bible belt, after all, but truth was, the moniker didn't bother her at all.
So when her grades came through after secondary school and she saw just how much trouble she'd have hitting a regular college, she planned ahead and applied to every single Alliance priority one school on the world (there were twenty-four) and requested a scholarship. Officially, these schools went to the best of the best of the crop of young people coming up on Earth and, sometimes, throughout the entire twenty-two star systems. In reality, they went to the ones with the highest scores on aptitude tests, and Hayley knew how to score on one of those.
In the effort to meet my deadlines on City of Glass, I pounded out the middle of chapter one, working off of some previous work that worked pretty well—before I put it in a serial. I distinctly do not care for how chapter one turned out because it seems to have lost all the tension from the prologue and I'm pretty sure it's because I went with the outside POVs and am holding my real main characters at a distance. These are Hayley, Jena, and Shelley, who hasn't even shown up on screen yet because I dumped her remand scene.
Should I power ahead on chapter two or rewrite chapter one? Do you care?
"So what is your specialty?" Jena asked as she carefully unlatched her cases to begin unpacking. "You're vocational?" Her father had told her that only married students or students from the same program roomed together.
Jena's father had wanted her to do the standard program, as he had when he attended Kailin University, but Jena had little patience for the supplementary and core classes required of semester students. She had requested an interview with her mother, then her mother had requested leniency for vocational. He grimly relented.
Hayley's muffled "Yes" drew Jena's attention back to current details.
Some days I hate my writing. Today is one of those days and the reason I almost failed to update City of Glass, my current serialized science fiction novel, this morning. I hate the whole story. I want to throw it in a river to go and rot.
Every writer I have ever met has experienced this at one time or another. It's a side effect really of our pursuit of perfection. We need that pursuit. It's what brings you fully-developed wonderful literature instead of half-baked half-written stories that leave you wondering what we were doing when were supposed to be writing. It's important. Without that pursuit, we would be unable to create the works that inspire us and make us want to keep putting pen to paper day after day.
But there's thing called a commitment. I made a promise to not just put pen to paper, so to speak, but also to put paper to bed and send it out into the great wide world twice a week for readers to enjoy—or not. I really can't control that part. Commitment is important too, necessary to us artistic types who want every word we produce to be perfect. Without that commitment, we would never be able to stop writing, editing, revising, etc. and hand over our work to the reader. It would never get to you.
And then, there's resolve. It's that murky bridge in between the two. My resolve is what allows me to do what I need to do, even when I don't want to. I still hate City of Glass as it stands. I still hate the chapter I finally kicked out the door this morning. I still wish I had never, ever made that stubborn commitment to produce a novel that wasn't finished first so I could belabor it into perfection.
But I am resolved to fulfill my commitment. The new installment is up. I have done my duty and must wash my hands of perfection.
It was one of those things people did not talk about. Earth had been around before the Alliance and the Human Alliance Council. It was not only one of the original twelve worlds after Kippler's was discovered, it was the original world, and all the outsourcing for resources could not change the fact that Earth was still populous and only renewable to a point.
Jack did not talk about it much either. Ever since Kailin acquired its priority one status with the Alliance, there were speech requirements concerning what could and could not be said around the students. Undermining HAC was impermissible. Jack usually could not care less, but he tried to show at least a little restraint. Especially around green eyes glimmering with shrewd interest.
Comment to this post saying "FIVE!" and I will pick five things I would like you to talk about. They might make sense or be totally random.
Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself, hopefully for the rest of eternity!
From arliddian: Worldbuilding
What do we talk about when we talk about worldbuilding? How about we begin with the fact that I am a worldbuilder at heart, that I empathize with Tolkien's desire to write out stories to express the worldbuilding he had done and further, that the worldbuilding he had done was built around languages. Additionally, I was asked to write this post ages ago, but haven't, primarily because it's too big. I couldn't get my arms around it.
Worldbuilding is writing. No matter what time period you're in, what setting, what people, your story exists within a world, and the story builds that world within your reader's mind.
Jack Kiligree was simply minding his own business, wandering down Kailin University hallways towards the main section of garages and workshops, when he ran into his own version of vocational trouble.
Now, just to keep things straight, Jack was a bit of rough-it-out loner type, former militancy, and impatient with anything that kept a man from cutting to the bottom line. He could even empathize a bit with Dr. Clark Gabrin, muttering as they passed in the hallway. The good doc had probably heard about Scheffer's plan to require vocationals on the Gabrin Habitat Project. Vocationals were not like the other students who came to Kailin with their academic record of excellence and dreams on their mind. Vocationals were the test-ins. They had aptitude, and that was all that was required. Not social skills (unless they claimed aptitude for diplomacy), not a proper understanding of subordination, not any understanding of their place under those who had already passed through the ranks, and apparently, not a single shred of respect for personal space.
A computer made a soft pinging sound, and a petite (read tiny) girl with dark hair and a smattering of freckles across her pert nose removed said nose from where she had buried it in one of those dry and ancient tomes on the permissible style, forms, and terms of privateering charters and what technological and weaponry limitations were permissable and/or enforcable in pre-Alliance precedent and general Alliance practice. The girl's name was Shelley Huntington, a sufficiently English-world name to mask her Ybreteh breeding and interests. She perked up when she realized the alert was the one she had set to Elysium incident reports.
Tome dropped and thunking off the hardwood floor in her bedroom, small kosher dinner abandoned, Shelley eagerly settled in at her slim, top-of-the-line computer and set to work hacking.