Bricklaying: slow start to a new novel (Ship’s Heart)

Some writing is like flying: an exhilarating natural process that nonetheless feels like pure magic.

Some writing proceeds at walking pace, like a conversation.

And some writing is work: writing down one sentence after another, like laying bricks. It’s not so much that any individual piece is that heavy; what tires one is the repeated effort.

The next novel is well-launched now. In the last few days, I have written almost 4200 words for this month’s novel project, Ship’s Heart. My Tuesday write-in with Becca Patterson is helping the process along. Nothing like Positive Peer Pressure to make you do the work and not slack off even if allergies are making you feel less than motivated.

Here’s the current opening:

Mattei Light-foot had passed his adulthood rites and been selected for the draft to the Academy at Karis, when he died of a skull fracture in one of the maintenance corridors abutting the ill-fated Dome Seven, only a week before the supply ship arrived.

Ill-luck, all the adults said. Jehen listened, less than elbow-high as she was, as the conversation went on over her head. No, the funeral would take place with all good form, and the festival for the arriving ship likewise.

After all, it wasn’t the first time that point of protocol had been tested.

They had lost one and gained another. A Ship’s Captain was coming home to them, forty-seven years after she left for the Academy in the youth-draft.

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