Writing Update

Hi there everyone, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. It has been a busy summer, but I haven’t had much to blog about.

For any of you that are in college or planning to go to college, you know that preparing for college is daunting, and that is what I’ve been doing this summer. Taking CLEP tests for college credit.

In addition, I and my two brothers have been bean-walking for a local organic farmer. Bean-walking is basically weeding the garden but on a massive scale.

Now, on to writing. I haven’t done as much writing this summer as last, but my two brothers are beta-reading Retreat and I’m inputing their suggestions.

Have a great last month or so month of summer, everybody!

Benton Barracks

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This is a post not on writing, or self-publishing, but on history I’ve dug up during research for my books.

Benton Barracks appears in my current WIP Retreat. These barracks were constructed out of boards at the beginning of the war in St. Louis, Mo.

As you can kind of see from the above drawing, Benton barracks was arranged in what one soldier said was a ” big oblong square”. Barely visible, on the side facing outward are cookhouses.

I believe that the center two-story building was the sort of “command center” of Benton Barracks.

The different quarters were all connected together, with frame partitions dividing up the different companies.

Unfortunately, none of this barracks currently remains.

One of the commanders of Benton Barracks was a general later to become famous or infamous, depending on your side, William T. Sherman.

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William T. Sherman

There was a controversy about paroled prisoners that took place at Benton Barracks. At times in the Civil War, prisoners from one side would be released on the promise that they would not fight against their captors until they were exchanged. After the battle of Shiloh or Pittsburgh Landing, some Union parolees were encamped at Benton Barracks.

The controversy erupted when a superior officer commanded them to stand guard duty. The troops thought doing guard duty was a violation of their parole and refused. Many were then promptly put in the guard house.

Some of those soldiers were from Iowa, my home state, and they sent a letter to the governor of Iowa, Samuel Kirkwood.

Necessity compels us, the undersigned, this Sabbath evening to state to you that we have orders this evening from General Schofield to be fully armed and equipped so that we can relieve the Twenty-third Missouri, now on duty. Guards to be detailed this evening to report at guard mounting tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock, and there is not a man who has signed this paper but would prefer to return to their Southern prisons before perjury.

The commander here has given orders for us to stand guard. This every one of us will not do even to a man, believing it to be a violation of our oath. Already forty of us are in the guard-house and the rest are ready to go at a moment’s notice to be tried by a court-martial. 

Their objection were overruled by Major-General Henry Halleck. He said that guard duty, policing of the camp, and fatigue duty were for the soldier’s own good.

I just thought that these little tidbits were interesting, if you want to learn more about Benton Barracks visit this site. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Sneak Peek into Retreat

Recently, I rewrote parts of an early chapter of my WIP Retreat. (Notice the hook sentence) This where I re-introduce readers to the MC, Ben, and introduce them to his interior conflict, as well as the setting.

Possible Retreat Cover Blurry Background With Words

Also, notice how much conflict there is.

I killed him. Ben glanced through the window at the swirling eddy of dead leaves. He stood, a twinge of pain darting up his leg. Fire spurted through his chest. He smacked the kitchen table with his open hand.

His mother turned from the stove. “Benjamin!” Her blue eyes widened. “What’s coming over you?”

Ben plopped into his chair and laid his head on the table, a headache blossoming in the back of his skull. If only he had been able to save Mr. Jim. He could have, he could have, but he had rescued Fred instead.

“Ben?”

“I’m sorry, Mother. I’ve just not been myself lately.”

Cool hands kneaded his shoulders. “You haven’t been the same, ever since you got back from the war two months ago. I thought it would get better once your leg healed but ….”

“If we’d just hear from him. Mr. Jim’s still missing. I … I don’t know if he’s still alive.”

She kissed his head. “Just have faith.”

Ben nodded, more out of habit than belief. Faith in a fallacy wasn’t faith, but denial. And the time for denial had to end. Maybe John would have some advice. He stood, grabbed his coat from the back of his chair, and plodded toward the door.

“Where are you going?”

Ben dropped his head. Of course she would ask that. “John’s.”

“Going to ask him to go with you to deliver Shelby’s letter?”

A sigh hissed from Ben’s lips. “No, I don’t think so.”

“You really should.”

Ben turned his head around glaring at her, hoping that she’d stop. “Go ….” Her eyebrows drew together. Angry or hurt, really didn’t matter. His chest ached. If only he could just mourn in silence, without hurting anybody else.

What do you guys think? Would you keep on reading? Do you feel for Ben or is he too much of a jerk 🙂 ?

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Stronger than the Sword Update

I am almost done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (With the first draft)

Right now I’m in the middle of a dilemma. I wrote the scene where my MC completes his character arc, except that I added in a huge explosion *maniacal laughter* and now I’m torn with letting my characters escape relatively easily or having one final climactic scene. One of the problems is that a scene that I envisioned putting into this book, doesn’t fit unless I keep on going, but if I keep on going, I run the risk of losing readers, since they might think that the main climax is over. Right now I’m planning on putting that scene in, finishing book, look at how everything reads, and possibly cut it during the editing process.

Before this book is ready for any type of reading, I must edit, severely. Several scenes will have parts cut off. Whether I just don’t like it, or I changed the direction of the story (did that at least once).

In case you’re wondering, I haven’t hit my goal of 80,oo0 words. Right now I’m a little below 72,500, so the chance of me reaching my goal is slim, unless of course I decide to keep the above controversial scene I was talking about and I may be short even then, but I’m just going to let the story finish itself out, even if it’s well below my goal.

Once the rough draft is finished, it’s on to editing, Retreat, my Civil War sequel. So, it’s going to be a long time until Stronger than the Sword is ready for publication, and it will take even longer since I am thinking about pitching the book to a traditional publisher.

When I started this Stronger than the Sword, I categorized it as a futuristic, medieval dystopian. Now it seems more a fantasy book, set in a futuristic medieval culture, with the oppressive government characteristic of dystopias.

One dystopian cliche I want to crush is the depressive series ending. In all fairness, I really have only read one secular dystopian series (The Hunger Games), but the last book in that series was terribly disappointing!

Recently, Stronger than the Sword has been a long slog, but the end is finally drawing near!

Keep on writing for His glory, everyone! Have a great Monday!

 

 

 

Quote from Retreat

Possible Retreat Cover Blurry Background With Words

 

I just wanted to share this brief quote I just ran, or I should say read across, from the book I’m currently editing, Retreat.

Within a couple of hours Fred was fast asleep, dreams of war in his head. Though, they were less dreams, and more nightmares.

Right now I’m taking a break from writing the rough draft of Stronger than the Sword and implementing the changes my editor (aka Mom) suggested, as well as what my writer instincts tell me to change.

I’m not for sure when this book’ll be coming out, as I want it to go through a much more rigorous editing process than my first book. Also, I may have to do some rewriting in order to set the stage for the next book in the series.

On another note, today I learned the winners of The Five Magic Spindles contest hosted by Rooglewood. My story did not make the cut, but eventually, once I can get to it, I’ll edit, and probably start a rewrite. I hope to someday publish it in some form, either on this blog or through Kindle.

Good luck writing!

NaNoWriMo Here I Come

Possible Retreat Cover Blurry Background With WordsLast Wednesday, the 28th of October, I finished the first edit of Retreat! Yay!!!!! Now my mom is going to have a look see at my work. I’m sure there will be problems, (spotted one before she started to read) but Retreat is now a step closer to publication.

Best of all, I can now focus my writing energies on Stronger than the Sword, my NaNoWriMo project, which I’m absolutely pumped about. I feel that I have a great message, but of course, there will probably be days where I doubt the manuscript and myself, then again, that’s normal.

November starts tomorrow and I finished the first edit just in time. NaNoWriMo, here I come!

Good luck everybody,

David B. Hunter