I stumbled upon this picture on Unsplash and simply could not resist posting it. This is how Castle Stormhold should look from the shore, assuming the architecture of the castle itself is adjusted to fit my description and all the clouds are removed from the sky (it has been a drought there, so the air is extremely arid). Small details aside, the feel is, nevertheless, perfect.
Back to the title of this post, however (and trying to stay on-topic).
I could never figure out how to effectively challenge the cretinism of the question “please, rate your pain on a scale from zero to ten“.
Now, another six sessions of chemo later—although it has decreased in size (by about 30% in the esophagus and 50% in the stomach area)—it is still pretty much there. Small wonder I still cannot swallow without chewing everything but drinks to mash.
Nearing the completion of the first draft (I cannot believe I am actually saying this out loud, but, according to my calculations, I should be done in about two to four chapters—which, in all fairness, might take quite a while, considering my propensity to endless expansion), I decided to extend my web presence a little, while gaining some “credits”/”karma points” along the way, which would let me post excerpts of my own writing for critique, once I am actually finished with the first draft.
It also allows me to stall a little while pondering upon what I am to do with the next scene—whatever it is.
Unexpected treat: Ilya (A.K.A. iG.STUDiO), who is also my webmaster, just informed me that he managed to restore files he thought he had lost due to the hardships of switching to a new phone, resulting in the loss of data in his pocket composition tool (GarageBand for iPhone).
DISCLAIMER (I quote):
…these are NOT original compositions (I’m still working on the main theme, but it’s shaping up). These are merely mood sketches, created with heavy use of GB’s built-in “smart” instrument patterns in different combinations, designed to mock-up the “epic cinematic” score style. Don’t even get used to the chord sequences. They will definitely change, as the theme is developing to be quite different from these…
Here are little score sketches:
A romantic backdrop:
A little more energetic, but still playful—for Book One chiefly (loop):
A full-throttle heroic build-up for the score of the main conflict (loop):
Resolution, reminiscence, and out for the rolling credits >:-), assuming there are any (in the book trailer there might me some):
…so don’t judge the quality of the melody (there isn’t one). However, if you’re ever in need of Zurbahnian music, you know where to find me…
Pure fun. :-) And I am certainly going to take him up on his last offer…
After listening to the archives of the Writing Excuses blog for two days in a row, I am now almost convinced that I need to modify the beginning of the book. As of now, it starts (and always had been starting) with a lengthy encyclopedic pseudo-quote:
The Great White Desert, Heart Of Lands, or, simply, the Flats, is a vast territory of thinnest silt dust, baked by the Sun into an immense ceramic plane, that spreads for thousands of miles in the very center of the Circle of Known Lands*.
While treating myself to some more of The First Law Trilogy between scenes (taking time to get back into Venny’s state of mind), suddenly became worried about the name of Western Domain’s capital, Verlette, which strays a little from my self-imposed naming convention.
It now looks too French to me, probably because of the ‘ette‘. I am also not a fan of the ‘Ver‘ at the beginning, makes it look similar to Verra’s name, and for a dyslexic like myself, it’s a problem.
Leaves me with just an ‘l‘ in the middle, doesn’t it? Not much to work with.
Quite a pathetic tally for the month of November. Some people write novels during that time, and all I managed to bang out is twelve thousand words. On the other hand, some people simply stop shaving and think that it will help their cause. Still puzzles me.
What is making me so slow, is the necessity to choreograph quite a few things (seemingly unconnected), happening at the same time with different characters in different places. Being chiefly a discovery writer does not make that easier. Nope. Quite the opposite.
It does, however, have some bright moments, especially when the important plot points suddenly start to fit together as snugly as though you were planning it to happen from the very beginning. Trust me, I did not. When it happens, it comes as a nice surprise to me. I love it when the story writes itself.
It just takes much more time…
One scene away from finishing the chapter. One short scene. Or two. I can do it.
Perhaps, if I stop editing myself as I go? Nah. Feels like I already established my method (I better have, in all the time I’ve spent on this thing), going to stick to what works.
And as for the length of the thing… well, I might end up somewhere between Gone With the Wind and War and Peace (see below). We shall see.
A.T.T. The blog got a facelift—to match the main site. Something is progressing somewhere.
I am going to move most of the newly introduced made-up secondary world names from the very first “book excerpt” (about the Flats) into the footnotes, immediately following it, so people who do not care, can skip them and keep reading.
And those nerds who do care, can read footnotes!
I am a nerd, of course, but being hammered by a dozen made-up names of places on the first page seems a bit cruel…