Posted by: lordkyler | February 6, 2016

Short Story – Two Nations (Part One)

Since I’m currently in the thick of Lithra IV, content has been a touch sparse around here lately. With that in mind, I thought I would post something I’ve written previously to fill in the dead space while this book is in the works.

Two Nations is a short story – possibly a novella – set in the world of Lithra, written for release with the third book in the series. This is a story that took me a long time to write, and required multiple attempts. In the modern parlance, it was a b**** to write.

Clocking in at over 17k words, it’s longer than I’d planned on, but for some reason I felt it was important to do this story justice. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I ended up with something at least partially worthwhile, and I thought it would be nice to release it early here on Tales in Progress and give some commentary along with it. I’ll release a new segment each week until the conclusion. Let me know what you think, yeah?


Overview

As you may know, each Lithra book is accompanied by a collection of short stories set within the same “universe,” usually showcasing side characters or world-building events. This novella falls into the second category, detailing the first explorers to the lands where the main stories eventually take place.

Sometimes these stories have no real connection to the main book, but this one serves a very important and deliberate function, serving as a bridge between Book III, a prequel set in the southern deserts, and Book IV, which – spoilers! – deals with the Karod, the indigenous people of northern kingdoms. This gives it a link to Book III, gives some vital context to Book IV, and provides and interesting point of conflict between the two groups.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story before you experience it, so I’ll save the commentary about my further intentions until the relevant section has been posted.

And so, without further fanfare… Two Nations.


Sennius crouched low in the saddle and spurred his horse desperately, coaxing every dram of speed from the stallion. His pursuer rode close behind, a younger woman with long black hair streaming behind her, laughing manically as she closed in. She rode a pale courser with expert skill, and Sennius knew that she would not stop until she overcame him. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | February 2, 2016

Lithra IV/NaNo Update – 100k!

I’ve been writing 2,000 words a day for over a month. Now, there’s some disclaimers with that statement. I don’t write on Sundays, I missed one or two days due to unavoidable events, and the writing program I’m using counts words even after they’re deleted, so some days that count might be a little low. On the other hand, some days I’ve written extra, and even writing in the ballpark of 2k per day is nothing to sneeze at.

So, this update is to break the news that all this writing has brought me to the 100,00 word milestone. Play the trumpets of triumph! Lithra I was 56k words total, Lithra II was 112k (!), and Lithra III was back down to 58k, as it was a prequel and written entirely during NaNoWriMo. While I’m going to end up doing some trimming on Lithra IV, I think it’s safe to say it will be the longest yet.

I just finished the climax of the second “act,” going by my outline, and I’m now on the beginning of the third. If I can keep writing at this rate, I expect to be finished within this coming month. Expect another update when that happens. In the meantime, I’ll be posting something I’ve written previously, released in installments. Look for the first this Saturday.

Stay tuned and keep writing!

Posted by: lordkyler | January 16, 2016

GreenWyld Adventures: Volume One – The Foxfire Festival

If you’ve been following this site, you’ve probably come across my posts detailing role-playing adventures in the home-brewed steampunk setting of Radiance. While occasionally frustrating, I had a good experience overall, and I really enjoyed the world created there (even if the players barely managed to scratch the surface of it).

However, a few of our players have left, and I didn’t want to continue without them, thus leading to a possibly permanent hiatus. In the meanwhile, however, I have concocted a totally new RPG, using the same FUDGE system, but completely different in scope, tone, and playstyle. (A definite point to FUDGE for its flexibility, there.)

The world of the GreenWylds is heavily inspired by such works as Redwall or Mice and Mystics. It takes place on a formerly volcanic island that is now home to various species of small mammals, including roguish squirrels, valiant mice, and industrious moles, all living a quaint but vibrant life among the great trees.

Players can access powerful elemental magic, but only at the cost of their health, as they must pay sacrifice to the Gods of the Wood, powerful and enigmatic gods such as the Fox, Lynx, Otter, or Hawk. The many races, gods, and cultures of GreenWyld offer a near-endless variety of adventures to those that dare to dream small.

GreenWylds is designed for single-session gaming, so that players can easily drop in, drop out, or change players between sessions, thus eliminating the need to coordinate conflicting schedules, which was a major concern for Radiance.

We’ve played some practice session of this in the past, but I was still adjusting the mechanics, making them as simple and robust as possible. I’m still tweaking details, but today we had enough of the basics laid out to hold our first “real” GreenWylds session, which I will recap below.

These summaries will not be as in depth as the Radiance ones were, nor will they be in character, but I hope they will be entertaining nonetheless.

This is a map of the GreenWyld Isle, a mountainous island with dense forest and several calderas.

This is a map of the GreenWyld Isle, a mountainous island with dense forest and several calderas. Most cities have a dominant race, but there are several with heavily blended populations. The geography and species of this island are a mix of American and European, although I have ideas for expansions into other regions.


 

GreenWylds Session #1

Date: 1-13-16

Players:

  • Joseph, age 15, playing Theoron, a ferret fighter.
  • Duncan, age 13, playing Emerald, a mole engineer
  • David, age 10, playing Leaper, a squirrel rogue

Location: Graycliff (lower left of map)

It is the summer solstice, the height of summer and longest day of the year. In cities around the island, worshippers of the Fox – god of fire and summer – are celebrating, and given their penchant for passion, they are joined by anyone seeking a good time. Food and drink are in abundance, bands are playing, speeches have been given, and as twilight crawls over the land, torches are lit in preparation for the revel. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | January 13, 2016

A Not-Exactly-NaNoWriMo Check-In

Tomorrow, I will hit 80,ooo words on Lithra IV, the project I started for NaNoWriMo 2015. That’s a lot of words. I have been very good about writing 2,000 words every day, with one exception last week. I think I may be roughly halfway through? Goodness. Lithra II, the longest in the series, came out to about 112k, and I think this one will be longer.

I am planning to make a hard go through this one, trimming some of the fat and mopping up some of the excess melodrama, but it’s still going to be pretty hefty. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it is a bit intimidating. I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself and slightly overwhelmed.

What’s coming next? Well, I have a bunch of short stories I need to complete. I’ve been neglecting this blog (although you will be getting a little surprise later this week,) and with my annual Short Story Week coming up, it’ll be good to jump into something that’s not Lithra for a little bit. Then I’ve got the short stories for Lithra IV, and I have a few other projects that need some love as well.

I don’t want to lose the discipline and momentum I’ve built from writing so prolifically, so I plan to jump straight from one thing to another, scarcely coming up for air in between. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the way I write requires a framework, which means I need outlines. I have a few right now, including Lithra V and Lex Animas, and a few more that are half-formed right now.

So there it is. I just wanted to let you know I’ve been very busy, and I plan to be for the near future. I hope you’re all able to find the same fire I’ve held lately. I also hope that fire won’t end up melting the wax from these wings and send me tumbling into the cold Aegean.

Mixed metaphors aside, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to write, and if even one of you is even slightly inspired by what I’m doing here, than I have no regrets spending the time to share. Thank you for reading, and keep writing!

Posted by: lordkyler | December 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo(s) – Christmas Update

Well, it’s been going pretty strong for the most part. Unfortunately, I have missed a few days this past week, due to a combination of illness, work schedule, and the holidays.

However, before this minor slump, I managed to hit a grand total of 50k, which is the official NaNoWriMo total. Ta-da! I’m nowhere near finished – maybe a third of the way through – but it’s a big milestone for sure.

I’m going to take the rest of this week to work on a couple of smaller projects, but next week I should be able to get back into the regular swing of it. I’ll post updates as the situation warrants. Have a great holiday, everybody!

Posted by: lordkyler | December 7, 2015

NaNoWriMo(s) – Holiday Cheer

Writing on Lithra IV continues! I have finished one week, writing every day except Sunday, which I have decided to not to write on for reasons of religion and sanity. However, I’ve been writing 2,000 words a day instead of the typical NaNoWriMo goal of 1,667 per day. It’s a lot of writing to do in a day, but I’ve made myself do it despite working at my day job as well.

Some days I’ve done it in one shot, other days I’ve done it in two sessions of a thousand words each. It depends on how I”m feeling. Some days it flows easily, and other days it’s an absolute chore. Welcome to writing! I usually manage to get into it by the end, and so some days I’ve actually gone up to 2,400 words. Oddly enough, it always seems to be 2,000 or 2,400 words. Perhaps its a quirk of my psyche, or a big coincidence.

In any case, I’m at about 13,200 for this month, and 32,000 overall, which is about a thousand words ahead of schedule for the week and more than half of the official NaNoWriMo total goal. Not too shabby.

Posted by: lordkyler | December 5, 2015

Radiance Part XIII: Soldiers of Fate

Previously, our heroes found themselves stranded after the Odessa mistakenly ran afoul of an Anarchist operation. They landed in the mountains for repairs, although they were not greeted kindly by the local wildlife. So, when Aria’s aunt Anata, an Anarchist, arrives with an offer, four members of the party agree to take on a mission in exchange for help and supplies.

The whirr of the engines fought against the blustering wind as the small skycraft pushed through the mountain winds. The rays of twilight slanted through the windows, coloring everything orange, like a photograph stained in dye.

Lady Anata Shanto sat at the helm of the craft, expertly steering through the crosswinds without apparent concern. Ian, Connor, Aria and Drake – the four that had elected to undertake this mission – sat facing her, awaiting her briefing. Drake and Ian sported fresh bandages where they had tended to their gryphon wounds. Ian was still surly about the encounter, but he held his tongue once Anata started talking.

“So, your mission involves a secret government outpost high in the mountains. It is not listed on any official documents, and its crew are not registered agents or soldiers. We believe it is being used for purposes that the government of Foundation cannot publicly acknowledge, most likely magical research or secret weapon tests. On occasion, it also operates as a safehouse or secure transit point.”

“So what’s the plan?” Connor asked. “Wreck the place?” Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | November 30, 2015

NaNoWriMo(s) 2015 – Round Two

Well, today is November 30th, the last day of NaNoWriMo. You know, the day when you type up the last few words of your thrilling conclusion and cap it off with that final THE END.

Or not.

I pulled it off last year, which was pretty nice, but as I’ve stated, this year I hit a delay that forced me to take an intermission, and this book is going to end up significantly longer than 50k words.

However, I do have some good news. As of today, I hit 20k words, which is a pretty decent start. My plan is to continue into December at NaNoWriMo rates, or close to it. At minimum, I want to reach 50k by the end of the month, and preferably add an additional 50k, bringing the total up to at least 70k.

There will be probably be a few snags due to the holidays and such, but I think I can do a nice chunk. On we go!

Posted by: lordkyler | November 28, 2015

Serendipity – Short Story

I wrote a silly thing during my spare time during my “intermission” from NaNoWriMo. Enjoy.


 

Roger slammed on his brakes and slid to a halt, cursing. This was the third time this had happened today. He had already been late to work and wasted most of his lunch hour in traffic. Everybody understood that these delays were bound to happen, of course, but he had been forced to stay late to finish his reports, and all he wanted to do now was get home to his TV dinner and commercial-ridden reruns. But then it had happened again.

He ground his teeth as a long procession of supermarket cashiers spun and leapt in perfect formation across the road. He could just hear the melody they sang, though it was muted by the roar of his air conditioning. Irritated, he flicked on the radio for just a second, knowing what he would hear, but trying it anyway. Tubas oomped and flutes trilled a lighthearted melody, perfectly in time with the coordinated chaos outside; a comedic yet triumphant piece. Someone was probably quitting their job to pursue a dream.

Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | November 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015: Here We Go Again

Okay. I’m back. Some things came up that required a lot of time and effort, which precluded from writing for a while. During the intermission, I did manage to squeeze in a little writing during this time, so you’ll be seeing a short story and Radiance part XIII over the next couple weeks.

Now that all that is out of the way, I can finally get back into writing. As I’ve said before, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. I plan to write between 1,000 and 2,000 words a day until it’s finished, although that may take a month or two.

I’m actually planning to keep up this or a similar pace after Lithra IV is finished, although I’m not sure what I’ll be working on next. So, while I may not have completed NaNoWriMo technically, I’ll still be completing it in spirit.

So there we go. I’m getting back into it, and I’m excited to do so. Updates as they are warranted.

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