Wednesday, July 01, 2009

On to Rat Pirates

The end of June was far too busy for me! Vision, FM, DAZ stuff.... but I got it all done and up, and I'm happy with how the new look for FM turned out. It still needs a little bit of work here and there, but I can fix things as they come up.

I did well with writing last month, too. I did manage to finish one short story along with a lot of other stuff that came to a bit over 100k in words. So things are going very well in the rewriting world. Draw the Line is up to 90k and finally turning that corner towards the end. I even wrote out a few notes to start directing myself toward it. Still working at 500 words a day on it. If I ever do this kind of experiment again, it will not be with a novel. Short stories and maybe research -- but I need to run with novels and let them flow at the rate they want. The book is downright boring in some places, and it's going to be a lot of work to figure out the problems and rewrite it.

I've started the rewrite of Rat Pirates, a book that unites characters from two previous books -- Vita's Vengeance and Badlands. It's going well, in fact, so I'm happy. I'm also considering some experimentation with where this series of books go when I'm done with them. We'll see. I have time to think about it.

Here is a short passage from Rat Pirates where someone is explaining the politics of Caliente to a couple people :

"They don't want us here?" Page asked. Avrial thought there might be a hint of hope in his voice.

"They're divided on the question," Palman answered. "They're divvied on everything; it's nothing new. The altos -- they're the tech-trained elite -- decided policy for Caliente before the last war. Now the Rats demand their own say and are getting it. There are two main groups of Rats. Those who live in the Inner Pueblo, close to the church, are settled and conservative. The other sector, the gangs, are generally younger and radical. There are four gangs: Rojo, Cuchillo, Peligro and Calle. There was a fifth, but the floods virtually destroyed the Noche. That doesn't mean there won't be a Noche resurrection. The gangs fight each other and everyone else."

"These gangs are the trouble then?" Avrial asked.

"Sounds that way, doesn't it?" she said and shook her head. "Well, that's what most of the Altos and Inner Pueblo Rats want to believe. They are trouble, beyond a doubt. They have their own ways, and they can defend them really well. However, the Altos, my friends, are the real problem. They want control of Caliente again, and you are a threat to them. Don't be quick to judge the gangs. In fact, I'm hoping because of who you are and your own reputation, that you might come into this with an open mind.

"Who is the authority on this world? Whom do we deal with?" Page asked.

"There is a general Council, newly formed, with twelve members: six Altos, an Inner Pueblo Rat and one Rat from each gang. And Padre Julius -- he's the Rat's Catholic Priest. Put all twelve of them in the same room, and they won't agree on which way to set up the table. However, individually, they are all people of note."

"If this Council is so useless, how does anything get done?" Avrial asked, feeling more and more like this had to be a mistake.

"By necessity. The colony faced starvation until the Lindy brought in supplies three weeks ago. Everyone cooperated for distribution and getting food prepared. They cooperated to bury the dead after the flood when they faced the risk of serious epidemic. Now they're managing to get one of the grow domes up and functioning again."

"As long as they're faced with an emergency, they can cooperate," Avrial said. "What happens when the world goes back to normal?"

"The Altos retire up to the Spires, the Inner Pueblo Rats hide behind their walls, and the gangs have a go at each other and anything else that wanders their way. "
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