Archive for September, 2008


Act II

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Okay, I have let the dust settle a bit, and it’s time to start pulling the pieces together for Act II now. As currently planned, I have 13 chapters in this act. A little over half of the chapters are complete, though I am uncertain of their condition, i.e. I think the writing is a little weak and the tone may be subtly different because certain moods have changed in the reworking of the plotlines. I will touch them up a bit as I work, though it is my intention to save any real ‘polish’ phase until after I complete the entire draft.

I maintain a skeleton document that has pretty much the entire novel plot, sans niceties like phrasing, dialog, and descriptions, i.e. “Ahmed fights and kills several Elgies”, which could be several pages in the actual chapter. I use this to plan out chapters and track the flow, figure out how things fit together. Then, once I have it worked out, I actually write the chapter.

For act II, I still have some rough parts with the Skeleton, specifically with Sadrik. He is not only a retroactively added character, he is overwriting another, more boring character, and I have to absorb some events into him while maintaining his personality, so there are some challenges. I may end up just tossing some of the stuff the overwritten guy did, though it will mean losing some work. In the end, Sadrik will handle things his way. One has considerably less leeway than you might imagine at making characters behave in ways they don’t like. Yes, brute force works. But the characters grow sick if you do this, and they die.

I think, if I can just solidify the skeleton for Act II and Act III this week, I will count myself as having done very well. And for alpha readers, no, you can’t see the skeletons yet. The entire point of alpha readers is that you know nothing about the plot! I know what I have in the skeleton. The question is, “Did I actually communicate it properly?”, so I need to keep it to myself and see if certain things come through to the readers. After I have heard some feedback from a few folks on the Act I draft, I’ll give some thought to posting the skeletons.

Assuming, of course, I’ve got them where I want them.


Characters, Countersigns, and Cunning

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

You have no doubt noticed the change in the site’s appearance. Having finally received some of Joe’s  excellent character art , I now actually care enough about the looks to put some measure of work into it. Thus the new theme, and resulting surgery necessary to make it work sensibly.

Yes, that means it was not initially behaving sensibly. For some reason, the templates were a little screwy and were putting default category info on non-blog pages, very weird, but what does one expect for free? It is fortunate that in addition to being a writer, I am also a professional programmer, and was able to muddle through some of the vagaries of the php to get what I needed. Due to this sorcery, you can also now click the link with my handle at the top of any entry and send me mail.

This is an important feature. You most certainly do want to send me mail, at least if you want access to the work in progress. Then you’ll know all about the secret lab and the appropriate signs and countersigns.

Clever, I am. Very clever. Don’t forget it.



   Posted by: amrath    in Meta-Issues, Real Life, Out of Character, Etc.

Well, I did it. Last night, I sold the Z06, traded it for a more sensible vehicle, a red Magnum. There were lots of reasons. I couldn’t really justify spending the money on it anymore. I needed a back seat. I really don’t need a fast car to get myself killed in. All in all, it just made sense.

The Magnum is nice, for what it is. It’s roomy, and has nice pep. It’s not Corvette, but it works for now. I will miss the Z06. I had so much fun with it, and it has many a memory attached to it. But it was time to be more serious, at least for a while, time to be responsible and make certain my resources are not wasted on frivolous things, or that my life is not cut short by my own impulsive nature.

I got used to saying goodbye to things I loved long ago. These days, I know that everything passes out of your life at some point. You have to love while you can, and not hold back for fear of the inevitable. As long as you can tell yourself you did the best you could, it is the experience and memory that is the true value of any love.

That is the part of love that can never be torn from you. It is only when you foolishly throw those things aside that anything is ever really lost.

One’s soul is as emptied or filled by the bridges he burns or builds.


Act I is finished

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Well, it’s done. It’s still raw and needs polishing, but it’s complete. It’s shaping up to be a damned good tale, if I do say so myself. And on that note, I could use some alpha readers. If you’re interested, drop me a line.