My oh my… & Lessons learned

Well, well, well. How things change. A few months ago, I was determined to re-write nearly all of my story. I had these new ideas. And I wanted to get away from the “Romeo & Juliet”-ishness of Jonas and Llewella that I had set up. In fact, I was pleased when I came up with a plan that made the story work without that.

However, I also really like Jonas having an angry streak in him. It’s what makes him special (along with all those other angry heroes out there). Gelding him just wasn’t doing it for me. He needs the whole package.

So, I do apologise to those who have been reading this version… I have reinstated some old writing. But I am going to tell you where it is to help.

OK, first up, I realised that I had left out a big chunk of Chapter 3 without even intending to – so the beginning of Chapter 3 is back in place – it’s not super exciting, but its nice to be there.

I have reinstated the original version of Jonas’s Point-of-View section in Chapter 4. It probably needs a little work to be awesome, but it gives better insight into his reaction to Llewella’s condition.

Chapter 5, when they are talking with Aris, Aris now says:

"Jonas and an Aenuk together in one room. And the Aenuk still breathing."

That’s more like my original version of this scene.

So, what have I learned? I really need to trust myself. And I have also learned how I work best. I have read many writing advice pages, and I know that some people need to plan out a novel before writing it, and some people need to just start writing and worry about tidying it up later. Well, I am clearly in the later group. I do much better just letting my characters do things and react their way… I can sort out the why later! I mean, I always had a bit of an idea of why Jonas would hate Llewella’s race, but I just didn’t have the details. I went through a phase of thinking that if I couldn’t resolve the details that it would be better to move away from that plan. However, it just took a bit of time and some real “What? Where? How? Why? Who?” thinking.

Advice for young writers (and older ones picking it up): Write your way. You’ll get it sorted.

Writing Progress

I am currently working on chapter 7. It is a bit different to the old Chapter 7, so there is plenty of work to do on it. Unfortunately it is not always easy to get much writing done when you have a baby to look after. However, I have come up with a little dialogue today – always good, in my opinion. Dialogue can be the hardest part to write – it’s the bit that relies on creative juices flowing.

I have finished a first draft of Chapter 6. However, since it is a bit of a ‘breather’ chapter, I won’t put it up until I have Chapter 7 to put up, too… gotta leave you with a hunger for more! And then the next couple of chapters won’t need too much work, so they should be able to be put up soon after. And then it will be on with the hard work. From about Chapter 9 I will have to discard nearly everything I have written previously. But I am OK with that.

Bed time soon. Maybe in a half doze I will hear a little more dialogue… that’s usually when it happens.

Happy reading!

Writing Music: Jonas’s Song

Ever since I started writing this story I have considered The Deftone’s song “Knife Party” to be ‘Jonas’s Song’. I am inspired by music, and find that listening to a certain selection of it helps to inspire my writing. I want to write an action story packed with emotion. So I love that this song is so emotionally powerful and, of course, mentions a knife.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 has made its re-appearance on the Interwebs (yes, I have once had this online before).

Now there are a few tweaks that I need to make to Chapter 5 now that I have more knowledge of my own characters – some stuff is hard to come up with during the character design at the beginning and you just have to WRITE to find it out. But it should be up soon, too.

Chapter 4 is one of my personal favourites.

New Chapters

A new version of Chapter 1, plus Chapters 2 and 3 now added.

Apologies that there is a lot of reading, but that is the nature of a novel. Ebook, print and podcast versions will come later. Eventually I do hope to liven things up with some sketches, though!

Decisions, decisions…

Right! After a couple of weeks of total inactivity as far as writing goes, I am planning to get back in to it with gusto. I had hoped to today, but it is easier said than done with a young one!

However, I have made some decisions, and I think that will mean that overall progress will be achieved at a greater rate than what could have been.

I have re-done Chapter 1 back to 3rd-person perspective, as I am planning to do the rest of the story in that POV. I had considered making Chapter 1 a Prologue in 1st-person, and writing the rest in 3rd-person… but we’ll stick with this for now.

I have decided to stick with my original historical timing for the story. I was considering moving it into a more Wild-West, pre-American Civil War kind of time, with six-shooters and such. But I found that planning scenes with the inclusion of guns spoiled some opportunities for closer contact between adversaries. So, I am returning to the more medieval stylings of bow/arrow/sword, etc… I am still planning to keep slightly more modern attitudes and dress, compared to the classic fantasy novel. If I need to review these things, I will do so at, or nearer the end of writing.

With sticking to my original plan, I will be able to post several more chapters, since I don’t need to change them (woohoo!). There are a few changes that I will need to make, but they won’t be until about Chapter 5 or so. Although, there is potentially an extra chapter I would like to stick in between Chapters 2 & 3. I will work on that later, however. At the moment, I think I need to be in the “Forge ahead” mode. And I will post up some first draft chapters as I go. Feel free to comment.

Progress Report & Lessons Learned

Today I made progress on Chapter 2. Not a lot, and I can’t tell you an exact word count as I did a lot of copying and pasting between versions. I’m having a little bit of an issue changing a few details in my story, which is affecting some key scenes – particularly in Chapter 2. So, having a bit of a headache.

Lesson learned:

Plan plot and time period setting before writing too much.

However, this is my first novel attempt, and when I first started it was just meant to be a way to spend time while I was working a job that failed to keep me occupied full time. So, when I began writing I had no intention of anything of this scale (Lesson #2: Writing is addictive). Now that things have really started to solidify I need to just rewrite the whole thing… but it is natural to get attached to a few scenes. So, I am attached. However, if I can’t get it to work, I can be ruthless… I used to be attached to my opening line. But that has now gone. Cut.