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Friday, September 5, 2014

Writing, Again: Part II

I'm continuing my trek through the trilogy and I whipped through Book Two with a quickness.  Man, what an action-packed read.  (Yes, I know I wrote it.  I'm almost surprised that I wrote it, in some places.)

I did some minor rewriting.  Mostly word choices; a couple of instances of "telling, not showing."  There was only one chapter I removed but I immediately replaced it with something new.  Something that actually previews Book Five.  More on that in a second.

The revisions and additions, comparatively minor as they are, have been published at Smashwords.  The new version will filter out to other retailers (iTunes, B&N, etc.) in the coming weeks.  Click the banner to get it:

The chapter I removed and the chapter I added?  Both are after the JUMP.

Here's the chapter I removed.  At this point in the story, the war against the Draco is winding down and the gods are getting back to the business of helping the people.  I wanted to show some of the strife between those who supported the war and those who didn't; those who support Zeus' experiment and those who don't ...  The problem is, I followed this chapter up with two or three others that did the same thing (one that focuses on Apollo & Artemis, one on Athena and one on Zeus).  This one with Demeter and Poseidon just wasn't needed.

5,395 Years Before the Final Exodus

"The goddess seems about to reap a harvest of her own!" a citizen said.

Demeter laughed and continued to pass bowls of grain out to the people who gathered.  Poseidon chuckled and stepped beside her.  "See?  Everyone knows now."

She shook her head and continued to dip bowls into a bin.  "I still don't want the world to know about us."

"I see," Poseidon said.  He filled two bowls at a time and handed them over the table.  "Do you expect them to think you became pregnant on your own?"

"Why not?" she smiled.  "We're gods, right?"

He nodded.  "Indeed."  Poseidon handed the bowl of grain to an old woman who seemed about to fall apart before his eyes.  She clumsily took it and spilled some as she juggled it and her cane.  Poseidon stepped away from the table and took the woman's bowl and guided her toward a bench.  Her face beamed as the Lord set her down at a nearby table and the crowd took notice of the god's kindness.

"You're a softie," Demeter said.

"You expected me to let her tip over?"

"No."  She was quiet as she doled out more food for the people for a few minutes.  "How many other places are we supposed to go?"

Poseidon inhaled as he thought.   "One more today; three tomorrow."  Demeter sighed and Poseidon quickly interjected, "Their farmers, sons and husbands are off at war.  They need our help."

"I know," she said.  "I just wish it were over, you know?"

Poseidon said nothing.  He didn't move, except to hand over bowls.

"It's been fifteen years.  Can't it just stop?"

Poseidon's lip quivered and said in a deep rumble.  "No."


He turned toward her and started to speak.  He guarded his expression and his volume, so as to not alarm the citizens.  Demeter, though, sensed his rage.  "Prometheus killed Hades and I want every last piece of him torn from this world."

Demeter stopped breathing and she instinctively took a step back.  She was quiet and scooped some more grain.  Finally, she said in a hushed tone, "Prometheus has been dead for five years.  Most of Scythia has been destroyed.  What will you gain?"

Poseidon breathed deeply for several moments.  It seemed like an eternity to Demeter, but she sensed that he was regulating his emotions; preparing his words carefully.  Finally, he spoke, "He killed Leto.  He killed Hades.  He rallied millions of people against us.  They are zealots and they will not stop until we are destroyed."

Demeter was quiet.  She knew she could turn the "zealot" label back around and use it on the Olympians just as well, but she chose not to.  

And here's what I added in its place.  Like I said earlier, it's a preview, of sorts, for Book Five.  How?  Well, part of Book Five focuses on how the Messengers guide humanity and why they don't just force us to make the choices that ensure our survival.

5,398 Years Before the Final Exodus

The beings lit upon the crest of a hill overlooking the village of Gortyn.  One of the tenders took no guise and simply observed the forces of Olympus overwhelm the population.

"Failure," it said.  "Again, we seemed doomed to failure."

The other messenger imbued itself with the memories and spirit of Gortyn's elder, Aegle.  When she took form, she collapsed to her knees and wailed.

"So senseless!"  Her arms flopped into the grass and she crushed her eyes together.  "So much pain and death!"

The other being moved to be by her side.  "Why do you do this?  Why must you … become them when it is not required?"  It looked to the village and saw many branches of the tree come to their ends.  Parts of their responsibility, the growth of the tree, were blinking from existence.

Aegle stopped her sobbing and looked into the misty light of her partner.  Her face appeared wet with tears, but she spoke with even tones, "I want to feel.  It aids us in our work."

"It can."  The other messenger took form, as well.  He appeared as Lord General Ares and laid his hand on her shoulder.  "But you seem to wallow in it."

She looked to village again and felt a spear pierce a man's torso as clearly as if it were her own.  She lurched forward and grunted.  "These are our brothers and sisters in the service of God.  These are God's children …"  She cried out again.  "They're being killed by God's children, too."

Ares looked away and muttered, "I do not understand why you persist in couching our work in such a way."

Aegle inhaled deeply and grinned somewhat.  "It's worked before."

Working on Book Three now ...

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