Feb 28 2015

WIP Update – 27 Feb 15

I wrapped up Mab and Akasame’s Chapter 1 and got most of the way through Urgill’s prologue in TTWC3. I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but originally the entire Trident War Chronicles was bundled together in a single massive volume (though it did have the individual “books” that were later made into volumes). I wrote the prologue and Chapter 1 for each character before going back to fill things in, so that’s why I have such a significant lead on TTWC3, though I’m rewriting most of it, so it mostly amounts to a starting point for my reworking. I’d like to get through everything I’ve previously written before switching over to another project. We’ll see how that goes. Stay tuned.

Feb 27 2015

WIP Update – 26 Feb 15

Although I said I was going to go back to TTWC2, it seems that I’ve committed myself to going through everything I’ve written on TTWC3 instead. I got Mab and Akasame’s prologues reworked and started in on rewriting Simona’s Chapter 3 and Mab’s Chapter 1. For the most part, I’m finding that scrapping my previous work and starting over is the better option. This is probably some of my most drastic reworking of the Trident War series yet, but I think the finished product will be better for it. Part of me is considering shifting from the current biweekly schedule to a weekly schedule, running two stories a week, closer to what I originally intended for the site. We’ll see, though. I’d burn through my buffer rather quickly that way and if work picks up, I won’t have the same time to devote to writing. Stay tuned.

Feb 26 2015

WIP Update – 25 Feb 15

On a whim, I decided to do a little writing on CeleKing3. I then went through reading over/editing/reworking/completing the prologue, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of both Rowland and Simona in TTWC3. I may continue to do the same for the chapters of TTWC3 I already have written before getting back to TTWC2 or I may mix a bit of the two. We’ll see.

Feb 25 2015

WIP Update – 24 Feb 15

I finished my read-through of TTWC1 and rounded out the appendices. When I do a read-through, I make a point to read aloud. While the written word isn’t always meant to be read aloud, I find that if you have difficulty saying it, it probably needs reworking. I like to think that this helps keep my prose flowing smoothly. Doing a read-through of an entire novel in two sittings is a little taxing on the throat, though. I’m lucky I didn’t lose my voice. I haven’t had to talk for my bread and butter in a while, so I’m a bit out of practice. Anyway, once the update is out the door, I can turn my attention to TTWC2 and make some progress there. Stay tuned.

Feb 24 2015

WIP Update – 23 Feb 15

The read-through of TTWC1 took up all the time that might otherwise be devoted to moving forward with my writing. There were a number of minor edits and a little more work on the appendices for whatever that’s worth. Ideally, I’ll have everything done and ready for the update by Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Feb 23 2015

WIP Update – 22 Feb 15

I managed to get Chapter 30 of Tico4 mostly finished and made a little progress on Chapter 31 as well. There was also a fair bit of work in the peripheral materials. Trying to detail over 170 years of military technology is no mean task and I still have a lot of gaps to fill.

Now I turn my attention to the Trident War series. I need to do a full read-through/edit of TTWC1 and finish the appendices in time for the update. Stay tuned.

Feb 23 2015

A Brief History of Powered Armor and the Earth Union Military

I was doing a lot of work in the peripheral materials about the Earth Union’s powered armor technology and thought I’d share some of that with you. As most of you know, powered exoskeletons have been in development for a while and we may well see field deployment in the next ten or twenty years. There are of course a number of issues to consider, but we’re not going to go too far in depth with that.

By the start of the Earth Union, the original LightSuit S saw limited deployment among heavy weapons operators, combat engineers, construction engineers and materiel transporters. For those of you who have seen Edge of Tomorrow, imagine the Jacket technology scaled down a bit and with a little more armor. Things like mobility and battery life were the primary concerns which kept them from being general issue for combat arms. Subsequent versions improved on the design with modest gains, but the version of the LightSuit without the exoskeletal frame became the standard even though that was not the original plan.

The name LightSuit came from the fact that it was a much lighter and less bulky design than competitors, but there were always plans for larger scale units, but this did not gain much traction (or funding) until the government saw a spike in research funding in the 80s. This research would prove fortuitous because a number of the projects that went into development would prove invaluable in the arms race that kicked off with the start of the Sheol War.

The MediSuit was designed to be self-contained and deployable in all environments. The Mark 15 Heavy Duty EVA Suit developed in the wake of the Lunar Revolt represented the basic template, only the MediSuit was designed specifically for combat roles. One of the first assignments of a young Donovan Graves (future Commandant of the Marine Corps and Hero of the Union) was to serve as a test operator for the MediSuit prototype. The successes of the Mark 0 prototype let to the development of the Mark 1 production model, which began service in April of 100, less than a year after the official declaration of war by the Sheol Empire. The first MEU to fully integrate Mobile Armor saw action the following year with then-Colonel Graves as its commander.

As with the LightSuit before it, the MediSuit’s design went back and forth between the competing goals of strength and mobility. Low-gravity environments made weight less of a concern, but the heavier the armor, the less the mobility in more closed environments. The Mark 3 unit fielded in 108 was the lightest version ever made, but that light armor when added to its glitchy sensors left it widely reviled. The Mark 5 that followed was perhaps an overcompensation, but there were a number of Marines who favored its thick shell and improved load-bearing capacity. The Mark 6 is what you’ll recognize from the story. The 41st MEU on the Ticonderoga was the first unit to use them. Though they had significantly lighter armor than the Mark 5, this was offset by the built-in shield projectors, though their use had to be limited or else the power cells would be used up much more quickly.

The HeavySuit doesn’t show up in the main storyline until late in Tico4. The reason for this is that the things are too big to be practical in most applications. They are more than twice the size of a MediSuit, so they can’t fit in ships or inside buildings. They did, however, prove useful as force multipliers on orbital defense platforms. The ground operations in Mars provided another opportunity for HeavySuits to shine, but for the most part, they’re seen as a waste of money, mostly useful for propaganda and PSYOPS purposes.

We’ll stop here because I don’t want to get too much into the postwar years until I start in on the War of the Colonies Cycle. Hopefully you’ve found this illuminating. Maybe I’ll get into superlight doctrine next time. Stay tuned.

Feb 22 2015

WIP Update – 21 Feb 15

I made some good progress on Chapter 30 of Tico4, but it took me spending a fair bit of time in the peripheral materials beefing up the history of powered armor in the Earth Union military to get it done, all so I’d know which version of the HeavySuit the bad guy would be in. (It’s a Mark 5 prototype, in case you were wondering. Spoiler alert.) I suppose I’ll spend one more day on Tico4. I need to get everything ready for the TTWC1 finale this week. Stay tuned.

Feb 21 2015

WIP Update – 20 Feb 15

I made some good progress on Chapter 31 of Tico4. You might be wondering why I jump around like I do. I’m of the opinion that if progress slows on one front, move in on another. It’s only when I have no other choice that I push forward with gritted teeth. I suppose you could say that I eliminate the parts where inspiration comes easy so that my mind doesn’t have anywhere left to wander. Whether this is a particularly good strategy or not is a question I leave to the scholars.

I suppose I’ll stick with Tico4 another couple days before switching back over to TTWC2. Stay tuned.

Feb 20 2015

WIP Update – 19 Feb 15

I did some work on Chapter 30 of Tico4. At this point, it’s looking like the book will clock in under 70K, which is rather light, but it doesn’t seem particularly less dense than previous entries. I guess there are a number of rather short chapter and I suppose all that adds up, or in this case, doesn’t add up. Well, as I’ve said in my post on wordcount, I don’t really need to worry about it that much under the current model. Just need to write the book as long as it needs to be to hold the story. A solid week of work and I may be done. Stay tuned.