A Quiet Rebellion: Restitution – progress
I don’t usually post about my writing process or progress—there’s no reason it would be of great interest or use to anyone else. After all, I don’t post about my daily commute either! But A Quiet Rebellion: Posterity should be ready for publication in a couple of months, and I thought I’d share where I am with it.
I completed a first draft of AQR3 in June 2018. As you might expect, it was truly horrible. I don’t even call the initial writing a first draft, more like Draft Zero. At that stage it pains me to read it. And heck, I wrote the dratted thing! But to paraphrase much good writing advice: the purpose of a first draft is to exist. To use a cooking analogy, I’ve dumped a load of ingredients on the kitchen worktop that might work well together, and now I need to figure out how.
After tidying up the embryonic draft, I put it up for critique on Scribophile. I’m massively grateful to Philip, my first critiquer, plus all the others who followed him. They identified issues such as narrative gaps that needed to be bridged, out-of-character behaviour, implausible (con)sequences and all the other things that an author might have difficulty seeing because they’re too close to the story.
I am now—I hope—at the polishing stage, concentrating more on the prose than wider issues. Soon it’ll be time to go over the full draft on a final editing pass, tightening up the prose further. And then it’ll be proofreading and formatting 3 different versions: two for digital distribution and one for print.
A few snippets
There might be light spoilers here, but I’m trying not to give away much plot, especially if you haven’t read A Quiet Rebellion: Guilt or A Quiet Rebellion: Restitution. AQR3 introduces a new point of view character in the form of Lester. He played a minor role in AQR1 and a larger role in AQR2. By the third book, he was demanding his own PoV, so I gave it to him. Not sure whether he regrets it or not!
In his first AQR3 appearance on page, he has a private audience with (Queen) Eleanor:
Really? It wasn’t often that someone trusted him. He inclined his head. “Happy to help, Your Majesty.”
“Please call me Eleanor. Though not in public. I think that might give a wrong impression.”
“Absolutely! That wouldn’t be good at all, Your—uh, Eleanor.”
A giggle escaped her before she coughed into her hand. “Sorry. I’m tired of stuffy formal titles, but that’s a trivial issue. I’m wasting your time with my rambling.”
Great, now the queen was laughing at him.
Although Lester’s never been out of the capital, Eleanor gives him an assignment which involves visiting the rural settlements by blimp. He goes to Maldon first and is greeted by the locals.
At the front of the group of townsfolk stood a thin man in gaudy red robes, a golden chain around his neck. Painted for sure, not real. Not even a decent attempt with paste.
Seems like he’s sized up the mayor pretty quickly.
Being a lad who enjoys his vittles, Lester finds the quality of local food a pleasant surprise:
When the door creaked open, he straightened.
A sweet scent wafted past Giselle while she dried her hands on a small towel. “Good morning, Captain Black.”
Lester’s stomach rumbled. “Wow, that smells wonderful.” Damn. Where had his manners gone? “Good morning, Giselle.”
“We’re making pancakes. Have you eaten? Would you like some breakfast?”
“No. I mean, yes, I’d love some breakfast. Please.” His mouth watered.
This will be my final novel in the world of Numoeath although I might take a character or two on a side trip with some short stories. It’s been a lot of fun setting them loose in the world and seeing what they do. I don’t have a set date for release, but it should be by July.
If you’re curious about the first two books, head over to my books page.