Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work I Go

My medical leave is over and it’s time to be pounding the keyboard…

First, the new title of the short –  Buffalo Falls –  which has nothing to do with the city of Buffalo NY, or waterfalls or anything else you might probably imagine. It does have something to do with the prologue/epilogue of the short, that used to be part of Poison Blood, but I’m not going into the meaning….you’ll have to read the short to find out. (Yes, I am pretty lame at promotion, but I sure do try…)

Got just over two thousand words done on the prologue today, and I imagine that will be about half of it. Maybe a hair under half. I’m digging it. Mainly because this is much of the stuff that I planned for the first or second chapter of Poison Blood (depending on how I decided to structure it) some eleven and a half years ago. It’s been rattling around inside my head since then, and it’s nice to see it finally on paper.

Of course, the characters at that point didn’t have names –  when I’m working out plotlines, actually naming the characters is one of the last things I do. Sometimes right up to the moment that I have to type the name. I think I’ve talked about that in the past –  decide the character’s national origin, ethnicity, whatever, and then do some research into names that match those factors till I find one that’s pleasing to me.

Now I know the names of the two characters in the prologue, and the three major characters in the epilogue. I’ve at least mentioned them all (and as I said the other day, readers have met all but one in the first three Night and Day books), so that eliminates one piece of on-the-fly research.

There have been others today –  a name, a type of weapon, some historical stuff –  but it hasn’t really slowed me down. I’m pretty good at research.

That’s not to say this is Poison Blood 2.0. The original mental draft of Poison Blood had a prologue of its own, which set the stage for what I’m writing now. A prologue to a prologue would be ridiculous, so that had to go. Anyway, I plan to cover the high points of that in the second part of the prologue. Yes, telling, instead of showing, which is a writing no-no, but some exposition is necessary in Buffalo Falls.

Why?

Because Buffalo Falls can be read after reading the first three Night and Day books, or before. It works both ways.

Since the core of it is the days before No Name City’s fall to the vampires, and the days before the human population was released from internment, it can be a good introduction to the series. Which means that if you haven’t read any of the books, reading this will give you background as well as introduce you to characters you’re going to meet in the series. If you’ve already read one or all of the first three Night and Day books, it will fill in the blanks, show you some characters you know as you haven’t seen them before, and give some answers that have been only hinted at in the books.

The writing has been interesting as well. The Night and Day books are, of course, written from a first-person perspective. That was a conscious decision on my part, based on the story and characters. The before and after material in Buffalo Falls will also be written from Charlie Welles’s first-person perspective, just like the books. But the prologue and epilogue will be written in third person, as Poison Blood was intended to be written.

It’s been a while since I wrote seriously in third person. Since before the original draft of Night and Day eleven and a half years ago. It’s not a problem for me –  I can go back and forth pretty easily, even when it makes an agent crazy, makes him suggest a change, and in the process makes the book unsaleable. (See this post for further details –  and yes, I’m still bitter…) But it is different, and I’ve written close to 400,000 words of first person perspective since the last time I did it.

The trick has been to keep it in my style, my voice, and get it on the page. Dialogue is dialogue, so that’s not a problem. The stuff between the dialogue is what’s different, and it hasn’t been quite as smooth as writing first person.

But that’s the way it goes.

I did stick to my “don’t burnout” plan. Hit a good stopping point and stopped. It’s not going anywhere. It’ll be there tomorrow morning when I fire up Word Perfect once more. So no stress. No “gotta finish this tonight”. I should finish up the prologue tomorrow and still have my evening to myself.

Which I’m about to begin right now…

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