An underwhelming week for word counts. My excuse is the exact opposite of my excuse for bad weeks last month. Last month, the flu and the aftereffects kept me in bed or sitting on the couch like a zombie. This week I was fully recovered and it meshed with amazing weather, with a string of warm, sunny days. I had missed my exercise mileage goals in January due to being ill, so I've been biking or taking long walks every day since Monday in an effort to make up my mileage deficit. My overall goal for the year is to log 2400 miles. I'll probably have some 300 mile months over the summer, so I wanted January and February to be 100 mile months. Falling short in January means I have to hustle!
The good news is that what I did write was nearly all Dragonsgate, as the confrontation between Burke and Hex spread across two chapters. This is the sort of fight that I most like writing. It's not a good guy versus a villain, nor a major character taking on some army of flunkies. It's two protagonists that have hopefully both earned some reader loyalty, who're on a collision course as they each pursue admirable goals. For Burke, he doesn't see any way for mankind to move forward unless the war against dragons continues until every last human in the kingdom is free. Mankind has been enslaved for centuries and the remaining dragons aren't just going to accept humans as equals and share the world fairly. The only path forward is violence and war. Hex, however, is doing all he can to prevent war. He thinks that reason and persuasion can bring humans and dragons together into a future where mutual self-interests will allow everyone to be free to pursue their own happiness. He doesn't want dragons to rule over men, but he also believes that Burke's true goal is for humans to rule over dragons, and he can't have that either.
As satisfying as their philosophical conflict is to write, once the actual fight breaks out it's awesome. It's Burke and his machines versus a sun-dragon with nearly invulnerable Atlantean armor and the battle that unfolds is one of the coolest action sequences I've written in a long time.
I'm now up to chapter 18, so I'm definitely on track to finish this up some time in March. After that, I'll switch to finishing Nobody Nowhere. Then I need to make some hard choices about whether to edit either of these works for a new release at Supercon in July, or work on yet another first draft for Smash or Squire. Part of me wants to get as many first drafts into existence as possible this year so that when I do switch back to editing and publishing mode I've got plenty of material to keep me busy.
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!