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Dear reader(s),

As usual, I am blogging as I write. I’m actually about two chapters ahead right now, meaning I’m starting Chapter 6 and I’ve just passed 31,000 words. (My target, as usual, is 90,000.) In my experience (and “experience is how you recognize a mistake when you make it again”) this is about the point where I start to figure out how I should have written something two or three chapters earlier. And guess what.

I just posted the end of Chapter Two. At that point, Clay and Rachel and the rest of Alpha and Beta wings have arrived in the outskirts of the Fyaa home system, Fyatskaab. It, like Earth, is being taken apart by the Ngugma, who, as on Earth, have done everything they could to eliminate the inhabitants. The rest of the human, Primoid and Fyaa fleet is about to arrive. With hindsight from Chapter Five, I realized that I hadn’t done a thing to sell the reader on the horrors the Ngugma have inflicted on Fyatskaab. I can hear old Mr. Behn, by creative writing teacher when I was a senior in high school (this was just prior to the Hundred Years War), saying:

SHOW DON’T TELL!

The last section of Chapter Two was on the long side anyway, so I did the logical thing: I split it into two sections, and began the second section with a (hopefully) coolly worded description of the way the banally evil Ngugma dealt with the daring and proud five-species civilization of the Fyaa. I’m going to post that new section tonight, and go back and edit down the previous section, so that what’s on the blog agrees with what I have in my Word file.

Of course, in any case, the blog is just the first draft. The second draft gets posted as chapter pages, and if you come to Friends of the Sky late, you should start by reading those.

And comment, and like (if you do), and link if you want.

—Paul

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