Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sunday Snippet

This week has been a little slow for me in terms of writing. Yes, I completed and sent in an open submission I was interested in, but Real Life and publishing stress got to me. Now that I have three days off and am relieved from certain distractions, I'm determined to get out of my slump. To do this, I plan on writing 25K in the next three days.

This seems like an obscene number, and to anyone who's unfamiliar with my writing speed, it is. But even if I miss the mark, I'll still achieve more goals before the week is over. One of those goals is to complete my current anthology submission for Clockwork Canada. I live in Western Canada, aka where all the oil is, so I thought I would integrate a short story about the tensions between solar power vs oil. A little ahead of its time, perhaps, but this is steampunk we're talking about, and it wouldn't be a genre I love if I weren't allowed to fudge the rules a little bit.

The story revolves around a reluctant spy/assassin named Wes who is sent to eliminate a solar energy designer. To do this, he integrates himself into their compound, only to learn that his real boss intends to steal the solar energy for himself– and make weapons out of it. In the snippet below, Wes has the unfortunate luck of crossing paths with a rival assassin who's been sent to wrap the job up. Wes' luck gets even worse when he's shot with one of the new guns his enemy has been equipped with.

All I saw before the round struck me was a flash of white light from the magazine. Then the pain robbed me of my senses.
Gideon was right. Even though it lasted a moment, the stick was nothing more than a bee sting compared to this.
            It was like a flare had been lit in my belly. Explosive, burning pain ripped through my gut with burning hands. The hands tightened and clenched, adding needles to the torture. The blaze crawled up to the bottom of my lungs, robbing me of breath.

Yup, Wes is in for some hard times. I've had my own hard times with the story, since I'm one of those writers who hates doing research. I like to go with the excuse, "It works because magic, duh!" Also, it's been a challenge for me since steampunk is a hard genre to narrow down in a few thousand words. Even when I was writing Lost Sky for Avast, Ye Airships! I was cutting down parts of the first Dark Sky novel. I've heard good responses from it, and the anthology editor loved it, but all I could think was, "but there's so much more!"

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm hoping this short story will be accepted, because it would be cool to be part of a collection revolving around my country. Though I admit the next short story I'm working on is going to be equally– if not more– fun to write. I won't give too much away, except this... Heads will roll. Stay tuned to see what that means, and don't forget to check out/comment on the work of other talented WeWriWa authors!




  1. Eek, this sounds stressful and painful, but fun to read!

    I should also write 25k words in the next three days. And yes, even falling short would mean a lot of words. ��

  2. Vivid excerpt - I could feel the character's pain definitely. Excellent snippet, best wishes!

  3. Nerve gun or a powerful Taser? Either way, ouch!

    I think "It works because Magic!" is perfectly reasonable. The average person thinks electricity is magic that comes out of the wall, and it kind of is, so why sweat the details? :D

  4. Set in the ol' oil patch, eh? As a (transplanted) Western Canadian, I heartily approve of your setting!

    1. Thank you! I thought it would be fun to write in a setting I know very, very well. ;)

  5. Good luck on the 25k!

    You've captured the pain and alien nature of the new weapon. Vivid and ominous (when you think about how that one gun can be developed into other forms of armament.)