Monday, July 02, 2007


The Day's Progress

A pretty good day today, especially considering I spent all morning doing interviews and other administrivia. Approaching the halfway point, which I'll probably hit in the next few days.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40,685 / 90,000

A short sample this time. I wrote two chapters today, one of which was mostly Bannerman Dea's backstory, explaining why he killed a man (and why he nearly killed another member of the team over a stolen wallet).
“I was born in Jiangsu province,” Dea began, “but grew up in Zhili in the outskirts of Northern Capital. My father was a bureaucrat with the Imperial Bureau of Armaments, and so was responsible not only for the manufacture of firearms, but also that of keys, locks, hammers, needles, screwdrivers, and scissors. When I was young, it was assumed that I would study for the imperial examinations and follow my father in joining the imperial bureaucracy. But I was of a more... romantic bent. Throughout childhood I had seen all manner of weaponry, whether brought home by my father, or during impromptu—and often unauthorized—tours of the manufactories of the Bureau of Armaments. I suppose you could say I was seduced by the romance of the gun. I haunted theaters showing dramas of Vinlander gunslingers in the wilds of Tejas, from the days when it was still a lawless frontier between the Commonwealth of Vinland and the Mexic Dominion. And every coin that passed through my hands I spent on yellow-backed tenth-tael terribles, and I read every one of those stories until the pages were falling away from the spines.

“I spent all of my free time at the gun ranges, practicing my skills with rifle and pistol. I suppose, in retrospect, that I was one of those incurable romantics who feel that there are no frontiers left on Earth, with all of the land divided neatly between the Dragon Throne on the one hand and the Mexic Dominion on the other. It seemed to me that only the red planet Fire Star offered the chance for a man to prove his mettle, to live by his wits and his skills with a pistol alone.

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