Word count: 50267 | Since last entry: 1888 | This month: 4760 Stuck at home due to snow for another day, and tomorrow isn’t looking much better. As long as I wasn’t doing anything else, I did more background reading on the Gateways story, then wrote up some brief character and situation sketches, which turned into a 1600-word prose outline. The 1888-word total above reflects the current contents of the file Gateway.doc, which is about 1300 words of story and 500 words of outline. I think the research is really paying off in atmosphere, detail, and character. At least, I can see and smell every scene in my mind’s eye… we’ll see what the readers think. The story may be moving too slowly to finish in less than 6000 words. On the other hand, it does take a while to set up the situation. If it’s too long, I can always chop it down after finishing the first draft. I have chosen to use names that are reminiscent of the actual Chinese names in my research without being exactly the same (examples: my god Kuan Shih Yin = the actual goddess Quan Yin; my general Chang Hua of the state of Li = Liu Pang of Qi; my Yao Ming of Tung = Hsiang Yu of Chu [a really nasty fellow]). This should give a story that sounds and feels authentic without getting me in too much trouble with real Sinologists.
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.