Archive for the ‘Current Projects’ Category

6
Jan

Honesty, Act III

   Posted by: amrath

Man, I am having a really hard time, here. I am right at the end, and I just can’t bring it together. I have been stalled for quite some time, like a month.  I need to sit down and do some serious rethinking about the finale, only I have had many other things on my radar during the holidays.

This is the freakin hard part. I can write the actual chapters anytime once this is done. I do a few pages a day, following this skeleton, and I can easily get a chapter or two a week in my spare time. But I need this skeleton finished.

I know why I stall. It’s because I have gone off track. I have made characters do things they don’t want to do, or not allowed them to do what they must. If I force them, I lose the feel of them, and they stop talking to me, or rather, maybe I am just not listening. Whatever the case, if I can’t feel and hear them, I can’t channel them, and I don’t know what to do. So I don’t do anything.

There is nothing I can do but fix it. I just need to actually do it. Sometime this week, I swear, I will back out the bad shit and make it right. I’d really like to move forward here. It’s just that life keeps me busy.

7
Oct

Act II Skeleton Done

   Posted by: amrath

I am still a little iffy with it, uncertain if I want to hold with certain events that happen, but it’s fairly solid for all that. It’s not written in stone, and I can change it later if it makes sense to do so. I kind of need to solidify things all the way through in order to feel really comfortable. I am wavering between possible futures, as it were, and so I am having trouble seeing very far down the road of any particular set of events.

I could begin writing the missing chapters for Act II, and clean up what I have. I think, however, that I will go straight on to the Act III skeleton and take the whole thing out to the end. That will let me write chapters with more confidence that things will be solid.

1
Oct

Honesty, Act II

   Posted by: amrath

Just a brief post to keep myself honest. I am indeed still working on the skeleton document. It is coming together in fits and starts, and is simply taking longer than I had hoped. Part of this is due to my agonizing over some of the things I mentioned before: keep certain interesting events and already written work, or toss them and let Sadrik be who he is? In the end, I want to keep Sadrik whole, and so I am using a seam ripper on the whole thing and trying to sew back together anything I can. Some of the old stuff will necessarily be lost. It will, when done, be better for the surgery. It’s just going to take longer.

New goal for the week: reworked skeleton for Act II.

23
Sep

Act II

   Posted by: amrath

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.

18
Sep

Characters, Countersigns, and Cunning

   Posted by: amrath

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.

1
Sep

Act I is finished

   Posted by: amrath

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.

25
Aug

Chapter Nine Almost Done

   Posted by: amrath

Well, it has taken some time, but I am damned near a draft level for Act I. One last scene needs to be written from scratch, but it’s quite an important scene. I think I can do it in an evening. I hope to do it THIS evening, but we’ll see.

From there, I will take the rest of the week doing a final combing pass on the chapters. By this weekend, I will make it available in some form or another to those with an interest.

18
Aug

Chapter 8 Done

   Posted by: amrath

Well, sort of. I did in fact decide to split it in two, so I am still not done with the first act, but I am incrementally closer. I expect to have it done this week, and then I’ll come up with a way where people can have a look at it if they so desire.

13
Aug

Chapter 8 Continues

   Posted by: amrath

Wow, this one is turning into an epic. It’s huge, and really should be two chapters. Yes, that means chapter 8 will be done faster, but then there will still be chapter 9 to do before act I is done. (sigh) Well, there is much work to do, and it is rewarding, even if it is also time consuming.

11
Aug

Chapter 8 Continues

   Posted by: amrath

Well, I got about 17 pages done this week, which isn’t very much, really, but it’s some progress. I am one half to one third done with it.  I will really need to apply myself to finish it this week, but it is doable. Just depends on how many other things get in the way.

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