edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am not technically doing NaNo this year, but I am attempting to use the challenge framework as a source of outside motivation to work on the story I am writing for the upcoming Narnia Big Bang... which is, of course, the sequel to "Out of Season" that I rather spectacularly failed to write last year. This year, though, I have already written the prequel ("To Every Thing There Is a Season") and thus have a better understanding of Ilgamuth, his home and family, his relationship to Rabadash, and how Rabadash's companions work.

It is a lot easier to break something if you know the shape you are shattering. :-)

Anyway, "A Change of Season" is currently at 550 words. That's not very much, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, etcetera, etcetera.

And now to bed.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I spent yesterday attempting to outline my Narnia Big Bang fic -- mostly by way of bashing it into rough chapter-length sections rather than a proper scene-by-scene breakdown, because you have to walk before you can run. Tonight I started writing it... and realized I started at least two chapters before the start of my outline. Ooops. Oh well. If this is what the story wants, I am willing to play along... at least for a little while.

(In more detailed words, I seem to be starting with Ilgamuth getting roped into Rabadash's vengeful raid and ending at the Autumn Festival, instead of starting with Ilgamuth recovering at Anvard and continuing on past Rabadash's restoration to his human form. Apparently the back of my head thinks this arc is tidier or something. *shrug*)

And now I am going to bed, because I've been feeling a bit ragged the past three days and I need all the sleep I can get.

...

P.S. The working title is "A Change of Season," but that may not last. Only 250 words so far, but whatever, it's a start.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Confirming my general lack of sense (not that it needed confirming), I have signed up to write a story for the Narnia Big Bang. I am going to attempt a sequel to "Out of Season" rather than the LWW genderswap.

I wanted to write some variation on this story pretty much from the moment I finished "Out of Season," but I was leaning toward writing the genderswap just because that story, at least, I knew how to approach. This one was being recalcitrant. I had the damndest time trying to come up with a plot and theme for Shezan, mostly because she already resolved most of her issues in "Out of Season." That meant her perspective on the sequel events was just one thing after another with no real point or arc -- far too much like real life. *wry*

But! If I make Ilgamuth the POV character, things magically fall into place. His whole life turns upside-down after HHB, because while I will give him a get-out-of-death-free card courtesy of Lucy and her cordial, I won't give him a completely free ride. I have decided his opponent severed fingers from his hand, forcing him to drop his sword and leaving him open to take his "mortal" wound. As PC and Reepicheep prove, Lucy cannot regrow lost body parts. Therefore, Ilgamuth can't be a soldier anymore and is going to be forcibly shoved into politics in a way he never was before, particularly since a number of Rabadash's other close friends and supporters really did die at Anvard.

Anyway, I will be tackling that story as my NaNo project this year, since it will have to run longer than the 20,000 word Big Bang minimum just to fit in all the plot threads. I mean, I have Ilgamuth adjusting (often badly) to his new disability and position as Rabadash's de facto chief advisor and court representative, I have Ilgamuth and Shezan's ongoing romance, I have lots and lots and LOTS of court politics (...hey, you know, I can get some of Rabadash's siblings into this story! I couldn't shoehorn them into "Out of Season," but it would be beyond weird for at least Prince Ilragesh not to show up here), I have some kind of empire-wide politics to showcase how Rabadash cannot just ride out and quash people militarily anymore, and I have international politics with Narnia and Archenland to the north, various countries I've invented to the south and west, and maybe, if I run the timeframe long enough, the initial fallout of the Pevensies vanishing into thin air roughly a year after the Battle of Anvard. There is no way that can compress to anything under, say, 25,000 words, and I am pretty sure it will run longer. (I am trying to be honest with myself this time, you see.)

...

Of course, if that doesn't work out, there is always the chance of grabbing something else from the prompts post and writing 10,000 words for a Mini Bang. But hopefully I won't need to fall back on that.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 13 )

1) So that's Riam's secret -- I don't think it's as bad as he thinks it is, though he has cultural reasons for being hypersensitive, which will be revealed as I tell you more about the taint-house. I will tell you Zalir's secret later.

2) The long gap between updates? Partially due to lack of sleep, partially to the sudden presence of guests, and partially to getting halfway into this scene and suffering an attack of "oh god, my story is so stupid" insecurity... but mostly to computer troubles. *hates computer* I suspect it will fail again tomorrow, so goodness only knows when I will next get a chance to type up longhand sections and post them.

3) 1,150 words today, 17,700 total.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 12 )

1) Or maybe that should be the end of chapter one. I dunno -- I kind of like the abrupt "keep reading!" of the previous section's end, but this is a more natural transition point. Oh well, it's not like I have to decide right now at gunpoint.

2) Finally I got Zalir and Riam on-page for a private(-ish) conversation that wasn't all about Immediately Important Plot Developments (TM). Zalir is, to my annoyance, still the least developed of my three main characters, but she will be appearing more during the trip to the taint-house and during subsequent events. Also, in December I must remember to go back and flesh her out more in the opening scene.

3) So, the council. They exist because Tir ought to have a council, and they ought to be present to hear Morgalen's story, but they are totally unimportant to the plot, which is why they remain largely unnamed and also largely silent. Does that work, or should I either get rid of them or try to make that meeting a bit longer with some more dialogue?

4) 1,800 words today, 16,550 total.

---------------

And now, like my characters, I am off to bed.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 11 )

1) That would be the end of chapter one. \o/

2) I actually had this mostly written longhand as of Tuesday night -- I lost Sunday and Monday to continuing computer troubles and a recurrence of my on-again off-again cold -- but I couldn't get it typed and posted until tonight -- computer troubles again. Now I am off to write Morgalen's actual story and explanation, after which we move on to the next day, the proper introduction of the taint-house and Kivarunanga Gydra, and the plot gimmick that will force Riam and Zalir to join Morgalen's quest.

3) I am infodumping so badly in this section and the previous one. Sorry about that. I will smooth those passages out in December.

4) 900 words today, 14,750 total.

---------------

On an unrelated note, my digestive system hates me today. I cordially hate it back. Ow, ow, ow, and ick. Fortunately, the troubles did not kick in until this afternoon, several hours after I returned home from my dentist appointment. That would have been awkward.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 10 )

1) Right, so, next chapter I will -- using Morgalen as a mouthpiece -- explain the plot. But not tonight. Tonight I am going to review my life history via the lens of my identity as a Unitarian Universalist, in preparation for talking to the middle school group at church tomorrow morning. That will be more than enough thinking for me.

2) Geography, geology, and climatology are not my strongest points. If I'm being obviously stupid here, please tell me and I will do my best to fix things in December.

3) 1,025 words today, 13,850 total.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 9 )

1) ...I would say something intelligent about this section, but I am tired and kind of brain-dead right now. Oh well. Or no, wait -- this would be the part where I remembered that they're not just talking while eating (which I did make a token gesture or two toward acknowledging in the previous section), but that they're in a big room with lots of other people potentially listening in. In December, I must go back and take that into account earlier in the scene.

2) Apparently, Morgalen's people are devotees of Sun Tzu. Who knew?

3) I think this may be the first time that I said anything about what magicians are -- and how they get their power -- on page. More on that later. Also, note that while everyone in Zerlon says Morgalen is bound to fire, she says she's bound to the principle of heat. Her version is more accurate, though still not necessarily correct.

This world doesn't have the disciplines that we would call physics, chemistry, and so on, but before the Gate and the miasma, they were making some progress along those lines, and magicians, in particular, have made some further advances in the next two centuries. In other words, they do know a bit about matter, energy, elements, and the idea of natural laws, though the fact that their data mostly comes from contact with other universes where natural laws work a bit differently -- manipulation of those differences being the entire point of the magician's art -- means their results are understandably inconsistent, and also often kept secret.

4) I have been doing a bunch of writing for this story at work. I then come home and add more writing on the computer, after I've transfered the handwritten parts. Usually the handwritten stuff gets a bit augmented as I type it up -- I can't keep up with my thoughts via pen, whereas I can generally keep up with myself via typing, so I add in the little tidbits I know I left out. Sometimes, though, I go off on entirely different tangents. This section, for example, had only two handwritten paragraphs between Morgalen's statement that people will always fight and Riam's abrupt change of subject back to binding. You will note that there is a LOT MORE between those dialogue passages now.

5) 1,650 words today, 12,825 total.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 8 )

1) Well, that conversation went in a completely different direction from what I expected! I was trying to get Riam and Sular to explain the mechanics of binding in more detail, but instead we get cultural differences between Shani and Zerlon, plus backstory on Morgalen and Riam. Oh, whatever -- that information needed to come out sooner or later, and this works as well as anything, I suppose.

2) About the saltwater thing: I realized at some point that in order to make the world-building backstory work, the miasma needed to be deadly relatively quickly, in order to depopulate the south... but that would make travel between protected areas next to impossible. Hence the idea of low-tech gas masks, or the equivalent thereof. They must be damp to keep working, so travelers have to carry not just drinking water but also saltwater to keep refreshing their facemasks so they won't, you know, die of a combination of oxygen deprivation and miasma-poisoning. My handwave is that a few people in a seacoast town used to use that trick when dealing with, I dunno, the stink of gutted fish or a sulfur-heavy hot springs or something, and someone tried it as a desperate remedy against the miasma that turned out to actually work.

3) [livejournal.com profile] slowmercury pointed out that Riam told Morgalen that Sular was a binder, even though Tir had previously told him not to do that. Internal continuity error for the lose! (This is what happens when I write without editing. *headdesk*) Anyway, I decided to make Riam's slip a character point and see what happens.

4) 1,825 words today, 11,150 total. (That means I'm over 5,500 words behind on aiming for 50,000 words, but still on track for my more realistic goal of 30,000, which I will take as a conditional win. *wry*)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 7 )

1) Oh, the hell with it; I don't feel like writing today. I am going to go drink a glass of hard cider, read Nalini Singh's latest Psy-Changeling paranormal romance novel, and cheerfully turn my brain off for an hour or so until I go to bed.

2) Morgalen's story about Zerlon and the discovery of binding is more or less true, allowing for the omission of quite a lot of details.

3) 800 words today, 9,325 total.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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