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.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 6 )

1) So that's Morgalen. Next chapter, she gets to start explaining what she's doing so far from home -- and why she was traveling with a binder, when binders tend to have a lot of trouble being out in the tainted lands -- which means the plot is finally about to get going.

2) I think I went slightly overboard compensating for my previous failure at physical description. Oh well. When I edit in December, I will do my best to put little verbal sketches of Zalir, Tir, and Sular into the earlier sections, and try harder to define Riam's appearance through indirect means. (I refuse to resort to a scene where he looks at himself in a mirror, because no. Just no.)

3) Hello, random world-building! So now you have a bit more information about the miasma -- both its effects and its origins. I will actually be resorting to a more traditional infodump during Morgalen's tale, if only because she has to explain her plan to fix the world, which requires her to be very precise about the details of what went wrong. You also have a bit of implicit information about Morgalen's home; again that will come clearer over time as she talks more about her past and her family.

4) You know, I have utterly failed to explain what was up with the two people chasing Morgalen and Gydra -- somebody ought to have asked about them, or made sure that they were X kind of people instead of Y kind of people, or commented that their clothes or weapons or mounts or whatever marked them as such-and-such. Anything other than a complete non-reaction. Oops. I'll have to fix that in December.

5) 1,700 words today, 8,500 total.


I'm feeling better than yesterday; sleep is remarkably good at shoving a mild cold back into the box of not-quite-sick.

Now I should go to bed in order to keep on the correct side of the line between illness and health. :-)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 5 )

1) Okay, so basically I lost Friday and Saturday to a combination of my mom visiting, my computer pitching screaming fits -- i.e., crashing a lot and refusing to restart properly -- and an incipient cold tipping over the edge into an actual cold (which, yes, means I am a bit stoned on NyQuil at the moment). Therefore, this is the sum total of my progress on both days and I am going back to bed, word count targets be damned.

2) 1,250 words today, 6,800 total.


Mom's visit went fairly well. I got off work shortly after 5pm on Friday, whereupon I walked home, finished tidying up a bit, and vacuumed my floors. Mom arrived shortly after 6pm, brought in some stuff, and fed and walked her dog. Then we went out to dinner at the East Shore Cafe, which was oddly underpatronized for a Friday night. Mom had penne pasta with chicken, bacon, and mushrooms in alfredo sauce. I had salmon with spinach and vegetables in wasabi sauce, plus mashed potatoes on the side. Both dishes were lovely.

Mom slept in my computer room on my inflatable air mattress. Today we got up between 7 and 8am, had breakfast at Friendly's, and went grocery shopping (I took shameless advantage to buy several heavy items that I usually ration out one or two per trip, because I only have so much arm strength). Then we went to the Farmer's Market, followed by a trip to GreenStar and lunch at New Delhi Diamond, the Indian restaurant kittycorner from the public library. Then we drove up the west side of the lake to Bellweather Cidery and Hosmer Winery, where we bought some alcoholic beverages. (We also bought some wine at the Farmer's Market, since we plan to do a blind tasting of three Rieslings at Thanksgiving; that has been fun in the past.)

We bought ice cream at Cayuga Creamery on our way back to Ithaca -- Mom had rum raisin and I had pistachio. They're way too far out of the way to visit on a whim, but as part of a vineyard trip? I definitely recommend them.

Mom left around 4pm and reached NJ safely. I, meanwhile, took a nap, and am now about to return to bed after dinner and a successful transcription of my handwritten NaNo progress.

That is all.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Ashes, part 4 )

1) So I still haven't gotten Morgalen on-page, but at least you've 'seen' her secondhand. The next scene (or at the very latest, the one after that) will introduce her properly. And then I will have all my main characters in place. \o/

2) With regard to the Jyavati Sea and other geographic mysteries: I really do need to draw a map at some point. Until then, let me just say that this world is composed of a Pangaea-like supercontinent, which reaches from the arctic circle in the north down to about, oh, 40 degrees south of the equator, at the far southeastern tip. The Jyavati Sea is a Mediterranean-like sea -- not quite landlocked, but very close to it -- that pushes in from the east just north of the equator. Zerlon is in the southwest, around 35 degrees south of the equator. It lies in a highland plateau between some coastal mountains in the west and a big-ass mountain range to the east and south, where a continental plate is driving the southeastern tip of the supercontinent (i.e., a peninsular subcontinent) into the rest of the landmass. The mountains and the land beyond them are the Great Waste; the miasma spread from there.

3) 1,325 words today, 5,550 total.


In offline news, my mother is coming up for a visit this weekend, since my dad is off at a conference somewhere. This will be a standard flying visit -- Friday evening to Saturday afternoon -- during which we will eat out two or three times, do some shopping, visit the Farmer's Market, a winery or two, and maybe do something explicitly touristy. Since Mom will be accompanied only by her dog, I will be putting her up on my air mattress in my computer room.

This means I will probably not get much writing done on Friday.

Oh well, whatever! I think seeing my mom is slightly more important. :-)


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

October 2017

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