Monday, February 25, 2008

Hellstrom Voyage Chapter 4: Privateers

Chapter 4 of the Hellstrom Voyage has been posted.


Masada said...

I held off posting a few days as #1 I was busy, #2 I realized I might be spoiling. So...


Chapter 4:
Here we see the 2nd half of the first battle. Captain Hellstrom must organize the many talents of his new and complex crew to defend the ship against the two attacking vessels.

We again see the quick yet remarkably kind manner in the Constant's Captain. While he appears to have no qualms about punishing his 13 year old crew members with flogging, he still demonstrates patience and fairness.

The crew continues to surprise us with their unusual abilities. We see more of the "Windsman" affecting the weather and a new element in the Doctor (male) using something like alchemy in his healing arts.

The Constant is bloodied in her first combat. One opponent ship is severely crippled by Lady Med shaped as a leviathan. The other ship is out gunned, but the Captain chooses to chase after the injuried and animal-mad Lady Med as she races off in shapeshifted form.

At the very end of chapter 4 the Captain suspects a spy among the crew. One wonders what hints have been given about the introduced crew or will the spy turn out to be one as yet unmentioned.

If I had to guess, I bet on the Cartographer. He's the least likeable character so far and probably the only crew member to have inside knowledge of where they are going--and thus what they might discover.

Chuck said...

I continue to find these comments fascinating, both in the things you see that I wasn't intentionally putting in there, and in the questions you have about where the book is going.


Masada said...

Well you've painted a picture. But an artist has a tendency to only see the brush strokes with undue focus on mistakes. I'm trying to provide the impression that fresh eyes have with no inkling of what was really in your head as you crafted.

As a writer you have the advantage in changing a word or phrase here or there to completely alter the picture to your desire. But of course I'm just one guy bringing his own baggage of perceptions. Certainly other readers will have vastly different opinions.

Chuck said...

Yep, like I said, I am loving this outside perspective.

Doing this has been interesting for me, because it's been very different from how an RPG is written.

With an RPG, I start with a very detailed outline and then fill it in. There might be unforseen steps along the way, but the beginning, middle and end are always known to me.

With Hellstrom, there have been a lot of things come up in writing that I had no idea would matter.

Major Broughton was a name on the outline, that I had not a single word or action pre-planned for when writing began.

Now he's a character I can't imagine the story without.

He's gone from "well, Napoleonic sailing ships had sharpshooters so we need a Marine captain" to one of the more important characters in my plans going forward.

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