The Pithea Series

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“Pithea”

This book introduces the island country of Pithea and its citizens’ dependency on Power, as well as their eternal struggle against the Madness. Our narrator, Drear, tells us about his friend Missy and his brother, Naolin, as they attempt to find their places in society, but are met with the harsh realities of life in a series of unlikely events, menacing villains, and both triumph and tragedy. (For a full synopsis, go here.)

Current status: Release date January 10!

Pithea cover, Kindle

“Outcast”

In this book, Drear introduces us to some people who are important to future events, and shows us how they are connected. Natos Morano has been a member of a band of mercenaries known as the Class of Morano since birth. He is faced with a personal crisis, as a woman he’s never met tells him that he is not meant for this life, and forces him to choose between the only family he’s ever known, and his true family that is long gone.

Remiel Azrael finds himself caught between family and his own morality as he attempts to help a woman who is in desperate need. But when her situation turns out to be more dangerous than he realized, he faces a crisis of his own, and is forced to face his demons.

Current status: New outline finished, second draft currently in progress

Outcast

“Pursuit of Power”

Drear introduces us to Alexander Surett, a driven man with a tendency toward obsession if given the right target. In this first book of the trilogy, Alexander’s drive to find out about questionable circumstances surrounding his dad’s death leads him to ignore some of the region’s highest laws, which regulate Power usage. In doing so, he attracts the attention of the leader of the Class of Morano, who wants to recruit him. When he refuses, she takes it personally, and he has to set aside his search for answers about his dad’s death to try to stop this madwoman. The result is all-out war.

Current status: Draft 3 completed, structural changes ahead

Pursuit of Power

“Unexpectedly” *

The small island nation of Pithea has been at peace with its neighbors for hundreds of years. However, when a destructive force rises up from within, the rest of the country has to decide whether to choose sides or remain neutral. What follows is a civil war with a high body count. In this book, Drear tells us about some of the men and women who fought in the battle, on both sides, and the effect the battle had on their lives afterward.

Current status: Outline finished, first draft pending

Unexpectedly

“The Seeger Book”

Jonathan has been given an amazing gift in the form of exclusive access to a highly desired instruction manual written by a master blade smith. When it comes to light that someone has been making copies of the priceless book, tensions rise between Jonathan and the friend who owns the book. The mystery deepens with the death of someone involves, and Jonathan becomes the prime suspect. Drear shares this tale of intrigue in which no one is who they seem to be, and years of trust will be shattered.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

The Seeger Book

“Vin”

There was a time when Missy was plagued by mysterious men who seemed to wish her harm. They spoke to her as if they knew her, and seemed to be connected in some way, but she had no idea how. In this culmination of smaller events from previous books, Drear tells us of the shocking events around the revelation of the mystery that these men created around themselves. He shares glimpses into the mind of a dark, twisted, lost soul, and the final outcome won’t be what anyone expected.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

Vin

“Protector” *

Drear takes us outside of Pithea and the union of nations it belongs to for the first time. Altmoor is a country that has never even heard of the Power, and certainly does not use it in any way. Altmoor and its king are entrenched in a centuries-long war with their northern neighbor, but suddenly learn that there is much more to fear than a mere border feud. When a single man wreaks havoc on the entire region with a sorcery that they cannot combat with swords and bows, it draws the attention of powerful people in Pithea who offer to help, but also open their eyes to a whole new world.

Current status: First draft done, at least first half will need rewritten (purpose of story changed by the end of the book)

Protector

“Ophaela”

The king of Altmoor has the daunting task of trying to bring peace to his region while rooting out the rogue faction that has kept the war going for hundreds of years. Even more difficult will be convincing his people–and himself–that their long-time enemy may not be the devils they always thought.

Current status: First draft finished

*All titles are subject to change up to publication, but this specifically a working title.

Daily Writing Check-in: January 18, 2019

Words/Time: 46 minutes minutes doing some early revision of “Pursuit of Power.”

I continued to read through more of the story, making broad changes. Today I only got through about 9 pages of 436, ending on page 189. However, approximately 4 pages (about 660 words) of that was writing a new scene that has been needed badly since the first draft.

When I wrote the first draft of this story, the first few lines of my outline basically just had the main character, Alexander, learning about and falling in love with Power while growing up a little. With no real details planned, I ended up spawning a new character, named Garend, almost immediately, someone who could be a childhood friend for Alexander (well, they were 15 when they met, but both in need of a friend).

But then by halfway through the book, when the story turns a lot more dangerous and serious, and Alexander and the secondary main character Leahna are in their twenties, Garend just…disappears.

After the first draft was finished, I realized this huge, gaping hole, and brainstormed some ideas for how to get Garend to exit more gracefully (and realistically), because I knew I couldn’t keep him as a close friend of Alexander’s later in the story, with how complicated things get.

The resulting story arc is one I am very happy with, because it fits very well in the long-term story that this is part of, but I still had to make it work. Today was the pivotal scene for that story arc, which is why it took a while to write. But I’m pretty content with it for now, and will be moving on to swifter revisions now.

Daily Writing Check-in: December 30, 2018

Words/Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes doing some early revision of “Pursuit of Power.”

Most of that time was spent working on an item in my second list of things to revise, the same item as yesterday. While trying to add some glimpses into the personal life of my secondary main character, I had to make a small edit to my timeline. I realized that she thought of the main character as too young for something he wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure he was really young enough. I tried to change his age, but that didn’t really work out.

In dealing with this issue, I realized that the secondary main character is too young, considering that she was younger than some of the side characters in “Pithea” that she’s definitely meant to be older and more experienced than. So I aged her a bit.

Then I added in one of the scenes I wrote as writing practice a few years ago, which I think is great for the story. Tomorrow, I’ll add another scene (and probably play with the timeline a bit more).

goal tracker 12-30

I doubled my goal of time spent working on writing this month!

A Monday Moment: Growing Closer

The following is the main character of “Pursuit of Power,” Alexander, musing about his relationship with Leahna, the secondary main character. The musing is directed at Drear Dark, the narrator of this series of books, years after the events in the book would have happened.


I’m not sure I could tell you when Leahna and I started to become closer. I know you’re looking for accuracy and details for these accounts you’re compiling, but I’m not sure I can be very specific on this one. I’d like to say that’s because our friendship just grew so smoothly it’s hard to find the point where we became as close as we were by the time I met you. But the truth is, it’s probably just because I was so wrapped up in my own stuff, I didn’t pay that much attention. In fact, for a while, it was almost as if we were both avoiding becoming friends at all.

When we first met, we both kept our relationship professional, almost to an extreme. I was only intent on practicing my Power use, and on not giving her a reason to decide she didn’t want to train with me any more. I was paranoid about that a lot, after some time of running through Clerics. If it hadn’t been for my mom, I’m not sure we would have ever started to feel more like friends than training partners.

I will say that I probably faked familiarity for a while. Not on purpose, really, but I think part of me felt that if I made her feel a sense of loyalty to me, out of friendship, then she would choose to continue training with me, despite being very busy at the time. When you write about this, make sure you include that I felt terrible later for the way I treated her. Pretending to be her friend, all the while lying to her.

In fact, when I finally told her the truth, that’s probably when things changed at least a little bit. Well, and because of what happened shortly after that. You know how tragedy can put things into perspective? We certainly had our share of that.

It was probably when she started calling me “Lex.” If you know Leahna at all, and I guess you do, you know that she is very polite, even formal. My mom’s the only one who ever called me “Lex,” but there was a point that I first noticed Leahna was referring to me by that nickname. It was while we were in the desert. I’m pretty sure she’d been using it for longer than when I first realized it. It felt natural, not weird like I would have expected it to, out of her mouth. So I guess that’s about it, the answer to your question–sometime between me telling her the truth and our time in the desert. That’s when we became best friends.

Daily Writing Check-in: January 20, 2016

Words/Time:  282 words of writing practice. Also 1.5 hours working on the rest of the timeline for “Pursuit of Power.” There are a lot of places in the story where I wrote vague amounts of time. Something lasted for “several months” or happened “after a few weeks.” Of course it’s much easier to do this while writing than to bother to come up with a specific amount of time. Creating a timeline off that is a little annoying though. I muddled through, and some entries can always be shortened or extended later as I fit other stories during or after this one. I use Aeon Timeline for my timelines, and it’s the most helpful writing software I’ve ever used.

I think my next step will be to plan out a sketchy idea of the events that will take place for Alexander, the main character in this story, after this book ends. From what I can tell from my timeline, the next story involving Alexander has to take place 4 years after this one ends. I think I can make that work

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 10, 2015

Words/Time: 48 minutes, half of which was revising “Pithea.” Missy and Leahna now wait to talk about Missy’s concerns until they have left the company of Alexander. And Missy is not quite as in the dark or naive as she was before about Leahna’s own part in Alexander’s questionable actions.

But I started my writing time doing some of the activities on the post I made today with NaNo prep activities. I have a partial outline for the story I have been planning to write for this year’s NaNo. It is another in the same world as “Pithea.” I’m still working on editing “Pithea” (though I’m actually seeing the light at the end of that tunnel), and then I have “Pursuit of Power” to start revising. It is not the most important thing right now for me to add another novel to that pile.

So I’m going to take some time out of my normal revising work over the next week or so and do some of the activities that I’m suggesting for others. I only got to two of them, and then realized how difficult it would be to make something up for the second image, since I know those people and what’s going on in that picture. Not impossible, but more time than I wanted to spend, since I still had normal revision work to get to.

And while I may still decide to write the story I’ve already outlined, maybe I’ll go with something I produce from these activities instead. There’s still a lot of time to decide.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 6, 2015

Words/Time: 70 minutes, revising “Pithea.” Most of it was rewriting, as a scene in which Missy, Leahna, and Alexander (latter two being main characters of “Pursuit of Power“) recover from an encounter was kind of flat before. The scene also included Alexander learning some important information for the very first time, but things were disjointed and disorderly. So I’m working on smoothing it out and giving it more emotion now.

Daily Challenge Check-in: July 20, 2015

Words/Time: 1497 words, revising “Pithea.” I have toned down a scene that was probably too much too soon, though only by a small amount. One sentence deleted was all that was required. And with today’s work, I have finished part 3 of 4 during this revision session, which will probably be the most intensive one I have to do. Part 4 is kind of a mess though. All four parts consist of somewhat stand-alone mini-plots while the main plot progresses. Part four has its own conflict, but first I spend several pages talking about things that happened between parts 3 and 4. I’m not sure how well that’s going to work yet.

NaNoWriMo Day 29, “The End”

The Words: 5442 written today and finished my novel! I was on such a roll last night that I just had to keep going. I put the final words in just before 5 a.m. I started with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, but the closer I got to the end, the more I just wanted to write and didn’t need the push of the word sprints. I am exhausted in so many ways right now. (I am writing this at 5 am, though I won’t post it until later this evening.)

I’m planning to write one more NaNoWriMo post before going back to posting about my revision work. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, I want to sum up my experiences with NaNo this month.

The Story: Lex decided to take matters into his own hands and try to stop the battle quickly. He succeeded, somewhat, but it wasn’t a clean end exactly. Still, the battle was over, and now Lex and Leahna have to deal with the aftermath. Then there was a muchly summarized epilogue in which Lex gets some clues to get him back on track to solving the mystery of his father’s death.

Final word count: 107,234

day 29