The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated

Last Monday’s upper endoscopy showed that my tumor is NOT gone, as I was led to believe by my doctor earlier.

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.

Continue reading “The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated”

E.L.I.S.A.

The above abbreviation stands for Enforced Levity Increased Speed Authoring—which should be my new writing method—named after Elisa, Hans Christian Andersen‘s character from The Wild Swans.

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One well-documented downside of this method is a possibility that one of my eleven turned-swan brothers might still end up with a wing instead of an arm, no matter how swiftly I knit the magical nettle shirts.

A. K. A. Scenes.

Have to hurry up. My doctor finally caved in and gave me the deadline.

If chemo does not work, I have months. About three. If it does, I have… well… months, still, but waaay more. Maybe even a year. So…

E.L.I.S.A to the rescue. Or so I hope.

The whole band (Verra, Venny, Torvenn, Marque, Ngale, Dae) is only a couple of hours away from reassembling at Stormhold for the first stand-off, and, perhaps—a sighting? Can barely wait to tap-type my way there.

A. T. T. On an irrelevant note (or, perhaps, rather relevant one?), just Skyped with my father.

If I had some guilt about not talking to the man for decades, no more. In about five minutes in the conversation I asked permission to be polite. Given one, I hung up.

He called back.

I hung up again.

Done.

Life is too short to deal with jerks.

On Character Development, or What to Do, When They Refuse to Cooperate

Having been able to successfully avoid character development glitches for most of my journey through the first draft (which is not over yet), I first encountered this problem at, roughly, the 393,000 word mark, when Dae, instead of passing by Northhill during his morning run—as he normally would do—stopped and started talking. I was knocked out of the writing process for most of the day, because I had no idea why he would do that, and what he would say, and I am still not sure I handled it gracefully, for I had to invoke my right to resolve the situation externally, which I normally try not to resort to. In this particular case, my rescue came in the form of a scream of a very distressed damsel, which interrupted their conversation and saved me from the necessity to write more of the dialogue.

Now the plot thickens.

My main story delivery vessel, Verra, had evolved into such a stubborn (or determined, if you prefer) little creature, that I am now in need of a massive inciting incident for her, just to hammer her back into my (joke of an) outline—I have about five main events in the whole book, and this is the second major one of her arc—because the “I have to do what father said” approach, which I had initially planned, she has, unflinchingly, already dismissed.

The good thing about her decisiveness, is that she will have less problems making a choice.

The bad thing, is that she is leaning toward a choice I cannot afford for her to make.

My main concern is that another personal tragedy might not work, since she is already dealing with one—way too well, I fear—and I am reluctant to eliminate all of her household.

So, in an act of desperation, I have to kill someone in order to prevent Verra from making the wrong decision and buy myself more time to figure out what to do. I really do not want to start civil unrest in the City now (the time for that has not come yet!) just so she has no choice, but to change her mind.

Writing is hard. :-|

TTOW:

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More on Naming Convention

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.

So, if I get rid of the ‘Ver‘…

Ferlett, Ferlann, Fairlann, Ferlemm, Ferlepp, Farleaf, Farliff… hm.

The capital of Corealm and the whole Domain. Should be something stronger.

How about just Core? Or Lore? I like the latter.

Thoughts?

379,500. Inching to the main stand-off.

Four more scenes. Inching to the main stand-off. Why in the Void have I created so many characters who are in constant conflict with each other?

Unrelated note: just realized that Verra cannot see the sky over the Bridge Market from her washroom, so the passage of her noticing smoke when the corpse of the dog was burned has to go. It did not serve any real purpose, so I made the manuscript shorter by half-a-hundred words. What an achievement.

I am looking forward to the first revision to actually simmer the book down to a slimmer size, but I am rather sure it will never be reduced to paperback dimensions… oh, well.

As a reward for finishing the new scenes, treated myself with The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan. Easily my favorite of the Riyria Chronicles. Still wish I’d read the Chronicles before the Revelations, in chronological order (I am weird that way), but it is too late, besides, The Death of Dulgath was not yet written then…

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373,001. I am not joking.

Chapter Twenty—Things Considered, Chased, and Tracked—is finally finished. It might be missing a scene (I am still undecided; I wanted Verra to Heed some of Dae’s things in his absence, but I felt like it would stall the progress of the story, so for now it will do).

Now, to the next chapter… sadly, someone has to die. About time.

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371,000 going on 372,000

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.

 

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A.T.T. The blog got a facelift—to match the main site. Something is progressing somewhere.

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen: Things Unearthed and Announced is—rather suddenly—done. It was going to be longer, but I felt like I had reached a logical chapter break in the narration, and a scene break just would not do.
The word count is now 347,505. I remember the time, when 200,000 was a milestone. Hm.