Another excerpt from Jay Lake collab “Recontact” for #WIPpet Wednesday

This round of words, I’d been intending to get some new words written every day, but it hasn’t happened, or at least only rarely. Instead, I’ve been spending most of my time editing: first, Chameleon in a Mirror; then “An Airship for Elise”; and now, the novella with Jay Lake, Recontact. But for the time being, I am happy to say that Recontact is finished. I’ve sent copies off to Jay and my daughter, who will be helping me make the cover.

I also continue to make consistent progress on the translation. Less than 100 pages to go now! I may actually be able to finish it before the end of the round, as I wanted.

Now On to WIPpet Wednesday. Since Recontact is what I’ve been working on this week, that is what you get again. My math for today, 2/26, goes like this: here is an excerpt of 26 lines from Chapter 2. Sharan and Nowrie are watching a scene on a beach that will become very important for Sharan’s future actions:

A handful of Adyanii followed the crew into the pale sunlight, officers of the Partenos legion. She’d learned to recognize the uniforms. Someone in the original colony must have had a library of ancient Greek and Roman militaria, because these guys could have marched right out of history.
They strode up to the blue-clad crew and surrounded them with hands on swords. What were they to the Adyanii soldiers? Prisoners? Informers? Collaborators? If Becca truly was one of them, Sharan couldn’t imagine that she was helping the Adyanii.
Then Arnoldson walked out of the tent. There was no mistaking his forward-leaning stride or lank blonde hair.
At Sharan’s sharp intake of breath, Nowrie glared, shaking her head, one finger raised to her lips.
Sharan mimed a pistol with her index finger and thumb. “Him,” she said, voiceless as night air.
They had no captured offworld weapons — Arnoldson seemed to have kept that much of the Smith-Ayapurtam expedition’s protocols intact, even in the wake of his enthusiastic outburst of king-making. The range was several hundred meters. Nothing the Edarans had could reach that with the remotest accuracy. Besides which, Nowrie would not betray their position.
Oh gods, Sharan thought, what I wouldn’t give for a good rifle right now.
She used to be so dismissive of violence as a clumsy and hurtful solution to life’s problems. Once Arnoldson had spaced Mistress Ayapurtam, along with seven other undesirables — including two of Sharan’s closest friends from the Planetary Sciences section — she’d found her views rapidly changing.
Now the bastard had aligned himself with the roughest bunch of bully boys down here dirtside. Talk about reigning in hell instead of serving in heaven.
An accusing female voice rang out over the sands of the beach to their hiding place. Sharan couldn’t pick out the words, but she recognized the timbre and tone. It was Becca. She clenched her hands together, feeling helpless and afraid.
Arnoldson argued with the crew for a few minutes, then turned to look out over the water. He gave a single, sharp nod. The swords stabbed downward and blood flowed dark as sin in sunlight.
Nowrie clapped her hand over Sharan’s mouth and wrapped her in her arms as she was wracked by soundless sobs.

That’s it for now from Recontact — next week I’ll be back to A Wasted Land. But if you want to find out what happens, I’m looking for beta readers! As stands, the novella is just under 30,000 words; the RTF file has about 100 pages.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂

23 thoughts on “Another excerpt from Jay Lake collab “Recontact” for #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. I liked that:) I
    If you want an inexperienced beta reader I’ll offer – trying out my first with Beth’s 2nd book – no editing mistakes (hopless at puctuation spelling etc, but on how the book flows etc could give it a go if you like:)

  2. Powerful scene–I liked how Sharan is starting to feel her attitude toward violence changing as her situation changes. I’m guessing that her evolving perspective on that front will play a key role later on.

    Good luck with your goals, Ruth! Happy writing. 🙂

  3. I like to see how people’s staunchly held views change, and what makes that come about. That last line is very powerful.

    I’d be willing to Beta read for you. I tend to not sugar-coat, and don’t pull my punches, though I do try to be tactful and not entirely brutal. 😀 Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    1. Cool, thanks, Kathi! I’ve been writing for a very long time, and I’ve developed the necessary thick skin to survive in this business and take whatever’s thrown at me. Honest feedback is the least of it. 🙂

      I will be happy to return the favor — of course in kind. *evil grin*

      1. Excellent. *sharpens claws* I love a good, thick hide to shred…um…I love providing well thought out and helpful feedback. Yeah, that, too. 🙂

  4. I’d offer to do a beta, Ruth, but having just finished two recently… I may be a bit harsher (ie. frustrated) that I should be. Ever do a beta for someone then get yelled at for it? *sighs*

    This scene from Recontact hurt. I just wanted to hug Sharan by the end. Though, that said, I did feel a bit as if the explanation of her evolving views, while good here in this snippet where we would have no backstory, was distracting from the overall intensity of the scene you were setting.

    1. Thanks, Eden! I have a pretty thick skin — and I’m also quite capable of ignoring feedback that doesn’t fit with my vision of a story. *g* But yelling? Never!

      But if several people object to the same thing, I do address their concerns, even if it’s not in the way they suggested. 🙂

      1. That method makes sense to me. All our reactions are personal, even when we try to follow standard forms/rules. In taking a bit of a consensus though, you can hopefully get a sense of how elements will work for a larger audience.

        But yeah, yelling… I’m obviously an idiot who wanted to stop him from writing because he “was going to make people wake up and take notice of the danger they were in” (from their electronic devices) and who didn’t know what the reader “needed”.

        So, if you don’t mind that kind of a beta reader, I’d love to read A Wasted Land 😉

      2. I hope you don’t mind me saying that your friend’s reaction to a critique sounds very unprofessional to me. Although I guess if the subject is something he feels so strongly about, it’s harder to step back from it and accept criticism gracefully.

        It will still be a while before I’m ready for beta readers for A Wasted Land. (Right now I’m looking for Recontact.) But I will definitely keep you in mind for that one! 🙂

      3. Feeling… yep. It was definitely a feeling issue. And no, this person wasn’t a friend, just someone I was matched to in a critique group because I write futuristic stories with a tech-bent. He didn’t know me; I didn’t know him… somewhere wires or signals or something crossed or didn’t relay things well. Thing is, he could have always said “Thank you, I’ll consider it” while deleting everything I sent him…. :-

        Sounds like a plan.

  5. Glad you are making progress this round, even if it wasn’t the progress you intended.

    That snippet was a very powerful scene and I could see how it could shape future actions of a character. Very awesome. 🙂

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