Kiliane’s Rage’s Antagonist and his place in the novel

Kiliane's Rage

The antagonist in Kiliane’s Rage, my work-in-progress, created an interesting problem for me. He is an egotistical individual with aspirations to greatness. The problem is how to introduce his backstory which is important to understanding his aspirations.

I considered writing his early story in a prologue. But I have read several craft writers who recommend against a prologue. They have varied reasons but the one I note most is that the prologue could be woven into the story proper. This seems valid but the pacing of a story might not allow for a timeout to do backstory. The places where the antagonist appears in the Kiliane’s Rage are forward moving appearances. His desire to relive prior experiences taunts me to slow the pace just to suit him. They would bring the storyline to a timeout. I did not include timeouts in the outline.

the muse

Another option I am exploring is to present the antagonist first and protagonist later. A delay in bringing the protagonist allows the antagonist the opportunity to establish his space in the story. The present story has the protagonist introduced in the first scene. The antagonist also makes an appearance in this scene but is seen through the protagonist’s eyes. Once story rolls, he has a problem finding a good time to tell me why he is not totally evil.

Writing this post has introduced a prospect that I had not explored. I mapped a story where the protagonist solves the plot problem and the antagonist is vanquished. The story is told from the protagonist’s point-of-view. Telling Kiliane’s Rage from the antagonist’s POV may have merits. He has the opportunity to show why he is destroying the world and create concern he will not be stopped. Is it mandated he be stopped? Maybe the world he lives in deserves to be destroyed.

Have you had a WIP where you changed the POV from protagonist to antagonist or other way? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the value of prologues. Use the follow to be informed of new posts. Comments also welcomed.








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Soccer and the Gym Floor

soccer ball

Soccer is a young person’s sport! A hard-learned fact, at least for me, is that I don’t heal as quickly as once did. Another hard-learned fact is that my body has more places to hurt than I remember.

I assist my son-in-law, Brad, coaching soccer. He is the coach…I am a student and his assistant. We were holding a practice last Thursday in a local school gym. We were sharing it with my grandson’s team. As Brad is wont to do, we arrived early.

We completed setup and I had time to kill. Trying to be funny, I tried to steal the soccer ball from my grandson. Note I have never played and he is quite an accomplished goalkeeper and field player. He shielded me away before sending the ball past me. He ducked around me to give chase. Not one to be outdone, I gave chase also.

soccer flop

He retrieved the ball while I slipped and went face first to the floor. A positive was my face did not contact the floor. I managed to absorb the impact with both forearms and both knees. Knowing the spectacle I made, I climbed to my feet and walked it off. The pain in one forearm and both knees went away quickly.  The other had a nice floor burn and bothered me the entire night.

For the hard-earned facts. The next day and every day since the burn has not been a problem except when it comes in contact with a surface. However, the left knee has a good size egg on it and made itself known when I scaled stairs on Friday. Additionally, it seems that I used muscles not used in some time for they are voicing their discontent with not being properly prepared for exercise. An ankle twinges now and then and the lower back groans as it requests stretching. It is Sunday and there has been progress but as I noted, healing is slower when you are well past 60 years.

If there is a lesson, what would it be? Should old men challenge your kids in sporting activities? No! Maybe, old men shouldn’t fall face first onto a gym floor? Yes! The lesson really is that one should be aware of their capabilities and strive to remain within them. I am an active senior who refuses to let age deny me activities I enjoy. I do accept that I cannot do them as I did years ago. Well, most of the time that is. Sometimes I forget and have to go through a long healing stint.

What hard-learned things have you learned? Do they involve gym floors? Tell me about them.


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Kiliane’s Rage Update



Kiliane’s Rage is my work-in-progress written during NaNoWriMo. I rarely visited it during the holidays. In mid-January, I brought the draft out and began working with it again.

I joined a critique group about the time I took Kiliane’s Rage out of hiding. I quickly learned a critique group can affect your morale or self-esteem if you are sensitive to criticism. It is frustrating to read the critical comments that point out shortcomings to story delivery on a work you think you have aced. I read and reread the comments on my first scene with disappointment. Then I bucked up, accepted the input but did not rush to make changes.

Instead, I completed the second scene with the first reviewer’s comments in mind. The second set of critiques pointed out different things as concerns. Some contradicted the first set of critiques. The problem I decided was the second set was by different readers than the first. At this point, I decided to concentrate on a full read-through and revision without involving a critique group.

not good enough-rewrite

Let me confess to a fault. Yes, I have one that is likely shared by many writers. It is the “not good enough” fault. I spent several sessions reworking the first scene before I submitted it for critique. The first scene introduced the protagonist, the antagonist, and several secondary characters at a banquet. I worked with the draft from NaNo WIP. As I mentioned earlier, this scene went to the critique group. I wrestled with myself not to immediately incorporate their comments. I had the same issue with the second critique. Move on or the poor babies in the ninth scene would never enjoy my attention.

I stopped revising content to complete a read with a focus on plot. *Sometimes I do things out of sequence and have to do over. This should have been first!* I found plot holes that would take a dump truck full of asphalt to fill. No need to worry about adverbs, adjectives, or passive voice when there are gaps in the storyline.  Or how does backstory fit?  Does it get worked in or, most likely, excised.


That brings things up-to-date. Kiliane’s Rage draft is coming along and this version has a home on a Kindle. I recently learned how to get docx and epub books onto my kindle. For the longest time, years, I thought you could only read mobi files on a kindle. *Techie, that’s me!* This weekend I uploaded Kiliane’s Rage docx file and I am reading my story on my kindle. How different the same words read when the WIP comes up on an ereader vice in Word or Scrivener.

One day in the, hopefully, not distant future, Kiliane’s Rage will find a home on many ereaders.

Have you ever uploaded your WIP to an ereader? Did you find your WIP read differently?









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Clement Knott

The research on my family’s genealogy provides information on many interesting people. However, it does not span a great number of years when compared to some.

Clement Knott is my great-great-great-grandfather. He is the last person in the human chain of my paternal line. He is also a person of contention.Raphael Knott death certificate

Clement was born about 1794 in Maryland. The death certificate for Raphael Knott, his son, gives Maryland as the birthplace of his father. The 1860 census for Breckinridge, Kentucky lists a C. Knott living in the household of Mary Swink. Clement’s daughter, Mary, married Christian Swink and lived in Breckinridge. Mary’s children were born there. The 1870 census for Breckinridge County had Clement Knot, 77, living with Ruben Ford and Catherine. Amanda Swink, a daughter of Mary Swink, lived with them.

Mary Swink and C Knott

Several researchers have placed Clement, my relative, as being born about 1780, moving to Kentucky before going to Missouri. I disagree with this assessment because that Clement stayed in Missouri and is on church roles there. The roles indicated he had his children in Missouri and died there. The Perry County Genealogy Trails list Clement and Mary Quick at their 15y daughter’s marriage in 1830. Clement Knott of Breckinridge was fathering children with Nancy ‘Ann’ Hardesty in Kentucky between 1815 and 1832.

Family oral history, as related, told Clement married Nancy Hardesty.  I searched for years, before, for any reference to this marriage. I posted online to genealogy boards. One day I received an email that there was a Hardesty family history book that listed Ann Hardesty marrying John Riney who died within a year. She remarried to Clement Knott. The dates are appropriate for the age of the individuals and the children they parented.

Leave me a comment if you want additional information on Clement or Nancy. Or share with me your family history or family interest.


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Genealogy – a family tree



Genealogy and creating a family tree is challenging without the internet. Today, Ancestry has digitized so much information that one is likely to find something on a person born a generation or more ago. I began before the internet or

My family provided my first data. I collared my parents, uncles, and aunts whenever I could. I scribbled down what they told me and stored it until I purchased a genealogy program. On one of my old computers is the second version of Family Tree. The program was amazing. It allowed me to enter a name, vital statistics, and see a relationship to others in the database generated. Now I use Family Tree v2014.1.

My database remained small for many years since new information came via interviewing relatives. Those opportunities came when home on leave from the Navy. When I married, my mother-in-law provided information on her immediate family and some ancestors.  I had 75 entries in my database when my wife and I attended her family’s reunion.

The reunion was in Oklahoma.  I brought a print out of my database and requested corrections or additions be noted. Those interested could use the blank family sheets I provided to give me their information. I added over 150 new persons to my database. Subsequent family reunions provided fewer additions and my interest in genealogy waned.

It revived when I found the internet. I discovered a college with a large collection of references including census, family bibles, family trees, and more. The college scanned the documents and made them available for download. The cost was not inconsequential to call and remain online searching. Long distance was billed by the minute. And I had blazing download speeds of 2400 bits/second. Yes, 2400. I bore the cost and downloaded many.  The internet now provides access to data from many sources and locations.

My database is over 3000 persons somehow related to me, my wife, or my children’s spouses. Some entries are just a name. Others have locations lived, occupations, and relationships to church and community. The joy in discovering a new ancestor is a treasure for one interested in his ancestors.

Does genealogy interest you? Do you have a family tree?




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Home again!

It is good to be home. The time in Las Vegas was a nice vacation but there is no place like home (cliché).

time to go home

I finished the competition Thursday morning and said goodbye to friends. There were many ‘see you next year’ said and heard. We had received a warning when we checked in with Southwest on Wednesday that our flight might be delayed. Delayed because of weather further west. Three snow storms were expected for the area around Vegas. As it turned out, our flight arrived on time and we had a smooth flight home. There were only a couple of bumps which is usual for this time of year.

We landed at BWI at midnight and got home an hour later. There is a special feeling returning to a place that you have lived for nearly 25 years. A feeling of serenity in the familiarity such a place provides. The house where our two children spent their high school years and lived between college semesters (sometimes). Yes, it was nice to be home.

This is the house we have lived in through the Clinton years, the G. W. Bush years, and the Obama years. We will see if we remain here through the Trump years. We hadn’t planned to be back for the inauguration. Normally, we fly the day after the team competition. This year I finished team event at 11 am which allowed us to arrange a late day flight. As mentioned, we landed as the clock expired on the last full day of the Obama presidency and Trump’s first day.

We are home and gradually getting back into our routine. A trip to the commissary to restock perishables on Friday and soccer games on Saturday. Wrap up the weekend with football while sitting in my recliner. Tomorrow, back to work but today is lazy Sunday in our warm, cozy home.

How are you spending your Sunday? In your cozy home or away?


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Bowling in Las Vegas

Hello from SUNNY Las Vegas, Nevada. Notice I did not say hot. It is warm though which is a contrast with the weather we, my wife and I, left behind us in Maryland. We flew yesterday when the weather forecast freezing rain and snow. You would be accurate if you guessed the weather was not as predicted. Instead of freezing rain, we had rain. No snow settle on the runways to prevent flights from taking off. Ours lifted off on-time.

Here we are suffering under the sun in balmy fifties. Perhaps you wonder what prompted us to make the trek to a gambling mecca when we live less than two miles from Casino Live. And there are three other casinos in Maryland.

las vegas bowling tournament

The reason for the trip? To participate in my eighteenth consecutive Military Bowling Championship Tournament.  Our team consists of bowlers, friends, from various areas of the country. My partner and I are from Maryland and our teammates are from Missouri, Minnesota, and Oregon. One reason for coming every year is to see friends and shipmates we served with in years past. A byproduct is meeting others who served in the military but were not stationed with us. It is a time to renew friendships and create new ones.

Don’t misunderstand, we also come for the competition. There are singles, doubles, team, and all-events categories. We are older and the competition stiffer but several of us remain competitive. This is an accomplishment as several of the team, myself included, as we have or are reaching the super senior milestone. (Curious what super senior is? Ask using the comment form.) None of us have won an event in several years but our names make the payout list often. Maybe, one day on any given day, anyone can win will allow one or more of us to show at the top of a winners list. Even if we never do, we will have enjoyed the effort.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Some come for all of the above and a shot at winning the big jackpot.

Ever visited Las Vegas? Was it what you expected? Let me hear about in comments.



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