Monday, September 23, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 87

< Chapter 86                                                                                                   Chapter 88 >

David and his small force go in search of King Rat!


Following the map of the tunnels I'd recorded with my implant these last few days, I led the way toward the entrance to the tammar pit.  If King Rat wasn't there, I was pretty sure we'd find someone who knew where to find him.

He was trying to hide it, but Martin was on the edge of exhaustion. He'd lost a lot of blood and the fight we'd just finished had taken a lot of him.  Every other step, Martin's breath hissed quietly through clenched teeth.  He was in far more pain than his implant's analgesics could handle.  I had to get Martin back to Tristan for proper medical care.

Two men guarded the doors to the tammar pit.  When I came into sight, they readied their weapons.  One shouted, "He's-."

Then they saw the trogs padding along behind me.  Their eyes went wide and the talkative one screamed, "Trogs!"

The two guards bolted down another tunnel.  That made our entrance easier.

"Great One, have two of your warriors slam those doors open as I approach."

The big trog spoke and two trogs slipped past me to the doors.

"Callan, please walk at my left side and do that regal thing you do so well."  Callan came to my side, already assuming her court posture and countenance.  "Milo, please steady Martin.  It wouldn't do for him to collapse in the middle of our grand entrance!"

We resumed walking and, at my signal, the trogs threw open the doors.  The bang as the doors slammed open reverberated in the tammar pit.  Silence fell and all eyes turned our way.  The crossbowmen, my main worry, were lounging nearby, their weapons on the floor.

"King Rat!" I called.  "I challenge you to a duel to the death!"

Will King Rat accept the challenge?  After all he's been through, can David win?  Find out in Chapter 88, coming Wednesday!

Author's Note: I'm participating in a "blog hop" for authors writing young adult fiction.  While Scout's Honor and Scout's Oath weren't specifically written as YA literature, I think they are entirely appropriate for late elementary and middle school readers.  As part of the blog hop, each writer answers four questions about their work and then links to blogs from other YA authors.  Here are my answers.

What are you working on right now?  Scout's Oath, obviously, as well as rewrites of Scout's Honor.  In the rewrite, I abandon my self-imposed word limit for each chapter, expanding the test to better explain issues I could only touch on previously as well as introducing ideas I couldn't even consider with the word limit in place.  It's essentially the same story, just written more fully.  I also changed the ending quite a bit, so the novel no longer ends with a cliffhanger.  I'm also working on the rewrite for part 1 of Scout's Oath, which recycles a fair number of chapters dropped from the latest version of Scout's Honor.  I hope Scout's Honor will be out in ebook format within a few months.

How does Scout's Honor differ from other works in its genre?  It's a Sword & Planet / Planetary Romance story written in the 21st century yet also has language appropriate for younger readers and is free of sex scenes.

Why do you write what you do?  I have always loved Sword & Planet stories but they are out of vogue in the publishing world these days.  I've found a couple of recently published novels in the genre.  While I found the stories generally entertaining, they had language wildly inappropriate for younger readers and quite a lot of graphic sex.  In other words, I'm writing stories I would like to read.  If others enjoy my stories, all the better.  But I'm writing them for me.

How does your writing process work?  Writing process?  Wow, that probably would be a good thing to have!  Seriously, when I sit down to write a chapter I have a basic idea of what's going to happen.  If I have a better idea while writing the chapter, I head off in the new direction.  If I find myself unable to reach my expected chapter ending point within my self-imposed word count, I come up with a new cliffhanger ending, many times completely changing the direction of the action.  When I start the novel, I know where I am and where I want to be at the end.  I make the rest up as I go and get to be just as surprised as the readers as the story develops.

I'm supposed to link to three blogs at this point.  Unfortunately, I've only found two authors so far.  I'll add more links if I can find them.  Meanwhile, check out the links below!

Cedar Sanderson
Regina Doman