I officially have a book. I passed 81k words this week and we’re still not close to the end, so those looking for a long book rejoice. I still plan on releasing Li’ve after Sarin’s War. You might be reading it before I’ve written the ending.
This weeks chapter moves the plot forward as the Angels plan their course of action. This sets up a coming naval battle. I don’t have much experience writing these kinds of fights and it’s tricky trying to tell it from Kita’s point of view as she won’t be directly involved. In the past, I think I’ve done a good job of making the bridge of a ship interesting. I hope I can continue.
Chapter 23 also introduces a new Angel. I know I was lamenting having a big cast last earlier, but she was planned from the beginning of the book. Her name is Jammer and is an electronic warfare specialist and fighter pilot. I didn’t have anything special picked out for her wings, so I made them violet and yellow. I’m open to suggestions if you have a color scheme you’d like to see. Besides being an EWS and pilot, Jammer is transgender, male to female. This is the first time I’ve tried writing such a character. I did my research, so I hope I got it right. Anyone interested in reading an excerpt please leave me a note in the comments.
There are times when Kita’s behavior paints me into a corner. It’s happened to me before. If you remember Unbalanced Kita gets upset with Kamikaze and goes on a rampage burning towns and villages. Cowboy has to go after Kita and drag her back so Re’drum could wipe Kita’s memory and let it be a lesson for Kamikaze.
This time around, Kita is feeling threatened by all the other gods being more powerful than she is. This feeling is mutual after Kita demonstrates a new power that she refuses to share with the others. Kita bullies many of the Valkyrie Angels to the point where they leave. She also gets into a drag down knockout fight with Sarin, putting her in the medical ward. Kita feels threatened by Sarin’s success and that she is a god.
I have a better vehicle for bringing Kita back in line this time around. Tina points out the behavior to Kita, but Kita denies it. It’s not until Kamikaze comes and tells Kita she’s leaving that Kita sees the error of her ways. Kita can’t convince Kamikaze to stay and this shakes Kita hard enough to make her realize she needs to change. Kita does change, returning more to the friendly loving person she usually is. She did get a new outfit out of it. See the image below.
I was reading an article about mistakes authors make. This wasn’t the usual list and I forget the second item because it wasn’t a problem. The first item was too many characters and looking at the cast at the moment, it could be a problem. There are like twenty Angels around. I think I’ve mentioned Hawke once this book. In defense, many of these characters have been featured in past books in the series so I expect the reader to already know them and care about them. For the Valkyries, I’ve made a point of trying to feature them so readers can either get to know them or remember them from the Irruption series. In this book, I have sent five Angels away to help lessen the number of Angels people have to keep track of. It’s a problem I have, but not one I see my way out of.
Some chapters write themselves and chapter 20 was so large I decided to divide it into two chapters. I’ll unbox that statement since it’s two thoughts in one.
Chapter 20 is now dedicated to the Angels dealing with the fallout of Kita and Kylee AND Kita’s ability to control a new force that can’t be detected in the equation and has the power to trap a god. Powerful stuff that puts the other gods on edge, especially since Kita doesn’t feel like sharing.
Chapter 21 is the triumphant return of Sarin and the cast of characters from Sarin’s War. Sarin’s group is a nice small mix of old and new characters that should slide in with the Angel’s with Kita. The problem for me is having to juggle nearly 20 Angels and not let the reader forget anyone. Which I’ve already done. I’ve forgotten about Tina for a large section of the book and when I go back and edit will have to add her back in. Her role in the series has been one to mediate between Kita and the elder gods and there hasn’t been a need for that lately, but she will later in the book.
When I write I don’t have an outline or notes, I let the story flow. I do have checkpoints that I keep in the back of my mind and the reunion of Sarin and Kita was a big one. Both have big personalities and as a writer I just let them bounce off each other. It was good for the first ten minutes when they reunited. Then it became a contest of will for control and power. In this series, Kita hasn’t been very nice to her lovers and it continued with Sarin. Unlike Cotton, who was a good person, Sarin, being evil, refused to put up with it. Sarin’s always stated that she’s as good or better than Kita. You can give me your opinions in the comments. And now that Sarin has become a god, she sees herself as Kita’s equal. Kita doesn’t think so and tells Sarin as much. This fight manifest’s itself as a fight about Kita’s other girlfriends. Sarin doesn’t like the idea, especially that the other girl is Defiance (if you remember from Rebirth Defiance talks about her and Sarin). Kita tells Sarin her girlfriends aren’t going anywhere. So we get a battle of wills, which Kita wins, but not before dying.
Death for Kita has always been a good vehicle for transforming her and allowing her to grow. I believe it was Omega that said it’s easier to work on the body when it’s dead. In chapter 21 we see Kita growing again and I’ve hinted a little bit at what she’s to become both here and in the book. For those looking for a spoiler here you go: There’s more beyond Infinity and Kita’s figured out how to tap into it. I’ll explain more as I get deeper into the book.
Even with the holidays, I was able to finish chapter nineteen this week, so I’m ahead of schedule. I know I’m a day late getting this out, sorry. For those counting, I’m 500 words short of 70,000 and Kita and crew just left for Earth, so it looks like we’ll have a full-length book.
Chapter nineteen closes several chapters about inner Angel relationships. There’s been some major tension between some of the Valkyrie Angels and Kita about who’s in charge of who and Kita’s methods for handling situations. It’s even enough to put Kita and Pather at odds. Baby Doll does her best to mediate between the two groups, but she’s under suspicion as she is resumed her mantle of being Kita’s left hand. The situation hasn’t been resolved yet, but they’ve hit a low point after someone leaves. Unfortunately, Kita hasn’t been able to give the situation her full attention as she’s trying to plan on how to get to Earth. So, more to follow on that.
Kita and Defiance, Casey Bush, Princess of the UEE in case you forgot, grow closer and profess their love for each other. This relationship isn’t as pretentious as Kita’s previous relationship with Cotton. Defiance is much more down to Earth and willing to let Kita be Kita.
Kita also helps out Snowy and Sahara. Not sure I’ve mentioned Sahara, but she is a female Djinn. If you’re trying to remember if you’ve ever seen a female Djinn, you haven’t. They do appear earlier in Li’ve when the Angels crash a party. Normally the female Djinn are kept in harems and aren’t allowed out in public. When they are, they’re clad head to toe. Sahara has a father in a strong position and she never goes home to Djinn, so her father is able to protect her. She’s been a strong arm in projecting her father’s will until she ran into Baby Doll and was put in the medical ward.
The chapter closes with another space battle as Kita’s fleet must fight their way through a Diamock blockade of the Alicorn wormhole. The Diamock’s don’t have a lot of ships in the area, but a dreadnaught appears and hits Enterprise twice, causing some damage. To make her plan work, Kita must give up command to Sheppard so she can program the FTL computer, which upsets Kita. She want’s to stay and fight the battle. They do make a successful FTL jump.
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Today over lunch I caught the last few minutes of the movie The Golden Compass. So what does a noncompleted trilogy have to do with the Angels? Frostbane was inspired by the panserbjørn, armored bear, Iorek Byrnison. I’ve always liked watching bears, especially black bears, they’re just so funny and they seemed like a natural ally for the war cats. I am still unapologetic that there are no wolves in my story. I get a little embarrassed when I say I have vampires in my story. But mine do create zombies, so redemption.
I finished another chapter, yeah! And it’s extra long for all those who like longer chapters. This chapter mostly has to do with the fallout between Kita and Phoenix. People take sides, and Valentine is naturally upset. This split mostly just effects the Valkyrie Angels and not the Li’ve Angels, (Stormy, Sheppard, Valor, Defiance, Blitz, and Starlight) though they do get caught up in it. And I have to remember I need to include Blitz. The Valkyrie Angels have been without Kita’s influence for a long time and some find it hard to live with her. Tenshi, Panther, and Raptor are the biggest detractors, countered by Baby Doll and Aspen. Kamikaze lurks in the background, only letting her side be known when forced. Not that she would ever go against her mother, but she does have some wisdom to impart to the detractors. And someone does leave, deciding they prefer solitude to living under Kita. How this will effect Kita and Panther’s relationship has yet to be seen. At the moment, Kita is off brooding, letting those loyal to her clean up the mess.
The relationship between Stormy and Toxic got off to a good start, as soon as Toxic got out of her own way.
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I’ve reached 61k words and chapter eighteen. For those people, like me, who aren’t mathematically inclined that means the chapters are longer than normal. I’ve spent the last two to three chapters reestablishing the Angels, or the Valkyries, coming from the Irruption series.
For some Angels this is really easy. They slide back into the roles they had before. Valentine and Phoenix are always good for some relationship drama, and Valentine takes up position as Kita’s aide again. Her role is expanding some as she helps out with Enterprise’s Political Bureau office in developing hacking tools. Aspen is very easy, she’s an assassin to the core and helps out early in the book breaking into a mansion. Anthrax goes back to the medical ward where she’s found the different aliens interesting to study. Also since Sarin is gone, she’s the resident fashion expert and she helps out poor Toxic prepare for a date. Baby Doll is usually with Kita, when Kita’s not in the bedroom, saying what Kita doesn’t want to hear and getting away with it. Panther has also been hanging around with Kita in and out of the bedroom.
Other Angels are trickier. Raptor has had several instances to imbue her wisdom and help the others. She did get a chance to tell how she felt about losing Frostbane. Kamikaze and Tenshi are the hardest. Their isolationistic behavior means its hard to get them involved into anything. I did get a scene in where Valentine wants her sisters, so Tenshi and Panther come to her aid. How are they sisters? It’s not specifically spelled out in the Irruption series, but Re’drum, Ecit’suj, and Ra’w are all children of Ht’aed.
There’s a major surprise in these chapters revolving around Phoenix. Some might say its a long time coming. I’ll let you be the judge.
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This week has been a short one for me. I’ve only written 4k words, so a little over a chapter. I’ve moved on to Kita and Kylee. I did some serious planning with my brother, Alex, who I turn to when I need help developing plots and other ideas. Kylee is going to play a big part at the end of Li’ve. That’s all I’ll say about that. A few older Angels are getting worked into the book: Baby Doll, one of my favorites, Aspen, Valentine Raptor, and Panther is back as a love interest for Kita. There are a few more running around: Anthrax, Tina, Kamikaze, and Tenshi. If you’re interested in seeing a certain Angel let me know in the comments.
In other news, I won a few more awards. Birthright took home a 3rd place in the Blue Rose Awards and a 2nd place in the Rebel Awards. Rebirth is a finalist in the Paper Plane Awards. No first places…yet, but I’ll live. If you’re counting that’s nine awards for Birthright and five for Rebirth. I’m planning on submitting both Birthright and Rebirth to Angry Robot Publishing, so keep your fingers crossed.
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