Act Two – Scene Eight: Could I Get it in Writing, please?

I’ve got a list of things to do tonight the length of my arm. I’m not doing them. Instead, I’ve decided to take a little time to bake an apple crisp and work on Irith Queen, as I’m affectionately calling it for the time being. I’ve been stuck for a while now on a little episode in which Gail enters NaRasch and spends the night at an inn in Druden – simple I know. And therefore particularly hard. I’m looking for something to the effect of the rabbit trail that the prime minister of Vestrodge created, but so far the only thing getting off track is my attention. It doesn’t need to be much – just enough to replace the hole left by the deletion of the character “Gorren” (who the heck named that kid? Her parents must have… oh wait – that was me – never mind). My plan is to streamline the chapters which occur in NaRasch a little more, fleshing it out to discuss the pre-war climate before I move into the expanded politics of Gaeline and the history of the Stargazer and his son… There, I’m getting off track again. I guess I’ve got my evening planned out.

How bout some title-relevant news… Perhaps this is a bit reachy, but I’m thinking June 15th is a reasonable launch date for the paperback version of The Princess and the Paladin. Soon the uncultured masses of Hazelton will be able to read it! And well that’s all I’ve got to say about that. The printing and binding process promises to be entertaining, filled with adventure (yes, I’ve been reading Lord of the Rings again) and possibly a giant waste of time – only the last commodity will tell.


Act Two – Scene Seven: The Script

I haven’t tried the iOS WordPress app in a while, but since I’ve been through a recent upgrade (insert shameless plug for iphone5 here) I figured it was time to give it a try again – and may I just say it has come a long way. I’m not so wild about receiving notifications every time someone tries to spam my site, but that’s probably a setting I can turn off somewhere, so I won’t spite the app too much for it yet.

In other news, I seem to have finally found the motivation I need to get back to working on part 2 of The Fall of NaRasch. So far my latest concept art, which dubbed the book “Irith Queen” has stuck, and is in part responsible. It’s a little easer, when sitting down at my computer in the morning, to choose my word processor over facebook (and by the way, yes facebook is probably the greatest single enemy of my writing, and it’s not as if I’m even that active – I just sit and stare at the advertisements other people put up for hour after hour… wow, now I’ve made myself sad – anyway, back to the point) when the Irith Queen’s sitting there, staring me down.

And on a matter of writing, my course has taken an unusual turn. I suppose I should explain by saying that I always despised outlines. If a sixth grade ‘essay’ required an outline and a rough draft to be submitted, I would write my final draft first, letting it flow naturally from me, and then go back, filling it full of obvious spelling and omitting punctuation. Then as a last measure I would summarize my ‘essay’ and in doing so create my ‘outline’. It’s how my mind has worked as far back as I can remember.
This has created interesting challenges in writing because I naturally sit down and begin to write a story with no clear Idea of where I’m going. The story flows out of me (I hope) and as it progresses, I could say I discover it just as much as write it. For this reason my stories usually end up being very inconsistent and fragmented in the first draft, and often I’ll end up completely rewriting them. It’s really a very inefficient system, but it works for me – that is, it’s worked for me up until this point. I’m now dealing with a rewrite of a rewrite, and when it comes down to it I’ve realized that where ‘The Princess and the Paladin’ deviated from the previous version in minor areas, ‘Irith Queen is set to be a somewhat more major deviation, with something like 90% of the story rewritten. As such, I am faced with the harsh reality that I simply do not have the time necessary to subject this to another three drafts in order to figure out my storyline. This brings me to the harsh and startling realization that at long last I find myself in need of an outline.

It began as a rather rudimentary procedure, since I’ve already rewritten the first third, and I’m quite pleased with it. It was merely a matter of going back over what I’ve written and, line for line, summarizing it, much like I used to do in the sixth grade. But at last I ran out of the parts that had been rewritten and the parts that I was happy with, and I’ve been forced to get quite creative in my theories and schemes. I’ve at last finished (to some extent) my outline now, with only a few grey areas left to be filled in as I write. My hope in doing this is that I’ll be able to provide a greater level of continuity – which is trickier than you might think, since this time around I’m coming at it with so much more back story. I’ve got a lot of extra details now floating around in the back of my head which have to be included at the proper times, or at least considered while writing. It gets quite confusing, particularly where the Ancients and their children are concerned – ex. Gail doesn’t know it, but she’s fighting a war against her great-grandmother, and her grandfather, and then later her great-grandfather help her. The outline has been helping a lot to consolidate ideas, but It will remain to be seen how it will work turning it back into a book.

For the time being I’m working through the events in NaRasch with Gail and Leordon, trying to flesh out a bit more of the city’s culture, since in this new cut the last third of the book is liable to happen in NaRasch, rather than cooped up in a singe building like before. Needless to say, I’m quite excited about where this is going.