What do I have to say today? Not a lot besides an update regarding my burgeoning love affair with floor plans. I’m still on track to have this story finished before the end of the month, events have now started to come together and I hope, very soon, to introduce the big bad baddy for the series.
I was once focused purely on page and word counts, never thinking I would be content with anything that wasn’t a fairly large number, like 1,400 pages or 500,000 words, but I have had those preconceptions surgically removed. Writing this first draft has served, in a way, as a reality check with regards to my personal hopes and expectations. It’s not a case of working towards a desired goal, not for me at least, it is very much a case of letting the work dictate the length. I’m sure this is a relatively widespread notion.
It’s been quite a trip, watching my characters and story take on a life of their own. Before I started writing Long May Men Have Voices, a long time ago it seems, I was rich with anticipation as I imagined my heroes going about their daily lives, the bad guys going about their mischief, butchers, bakers and candle-stick makers, all waiting for the story to begin. Now it has, now my world is seeing true life for the first time. It’s a thoroughly rewarding experience.
I suppose I have not done a good job of posting things more frequently, at least not in the week since I made that promise. With what I approximate to be the final month of this first draft marathon, my thoughts have been somewhat distracted and preoccupied.
I’ve been to the library again today, digging out books about life as a Roman Legionnaire, the Crusades and a book about the inimitable Owain Glyndwr, all of which make it onto the pile of books I intend to read over the Christmas period before starting the redraft in the new year. I wonder which will be devoured first? Likely I will meet Owain, first. National pride and all that.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress, of course, and I still intend to upload a couple of scanned maps. When exactly I do this remains to be seen, and they will purely be works in progress but they definitely give an impression of what the world will look like. TTFN…
First off, I should apologise for leaving it ten days between posts. In the future, I’m going to try and get something posted a little more frequently.
As it happens, I’ve had a surprisingly busy ten days that have rather flown past. Looking back, I’ve not actually done a whole lot beyond going out occasionally on one errand or another, but I have been doing a fair bit of notes and organising. Not to mention the writing. That has taken up quite a few minutes, oddly enough. I’m trying not to get too carried away with my note-making, but I am operating under the Strict Adherence Stratagem which is something I’ve just made up. Basically, it means, make a plan and stick to it. My plan involves making notes, so notes I will make.
Finished another chapter today. I’m averaging one every three days, although a night of drinks and RE:6 slowed me down a bit yesterday. Still making solid progress, and for all those who have been promised a first draft read through, the time is almost upon us.
I am now officially 26 years of age. October 14th flew past with a heated vengeance, which wasn’t entirely a bad thing. October 15th was spent at a rather lovely Peckforton Castle and a 4* hotel with my agent/editor/girlfriend, who as always, managed to surpass my expectations. Not to mention gifting with a particularly surprising present. All in all, I had a very good weekend where the week before was littered with toothache, headache, heartache and soulache. But all that is done now and I’m back to discovering things about my world of wonders.
I don’t think it’s just me that enjoys getting new stationery, but I do all the same, largely because it complements my borderline OCD organisational traits. I have to say, even before I started writing this book, I was going through various ways to better organise my redraft. I’m quite looking forward to having a nice, thick pile of paper to play with. Even if I’m not exactly looking forward to the sheer volume of culture, character and story notes that will follow. But again, that’s something that I like to ponder in my downtime. I have this urge inside me, to establish the entire contents of King Thoice’s Royal Library, but let’s just say that is somewhat of a long shot.
I’ve noticed a few bits and bobs throughout that I have forgotten about, or pieces that need embellishing and elaborating, POV’s that need to be added or removed and character aspects that have a part to play and yet, have not been touched upon in some time. I wonder if Robert Jordan or Raymond E. Feist remembered every minute detail about their worlds, or whether they had notes as extensive as I imagine mine to be.
Whatever the case may be, I’m moving on and I’m making more progress than I ever have before. So I think it’s safe to say I’m on the right track.
Write, time to right.
So I’ve spent most of this weekend watching the Snooker on Eurosport. I used to like having it on whilst I wrote because it was a good source of background noise for a few hours, some nights. Perhaps I should have known that I would eventually become so invested in it that it would become a distraction. All the same, I did manage to get some pages done and also to flesh out some events in Agia’s history and the religion.
I watched an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles earlier, that I thought might honestly have been one of the best episodes I’ve seen in recent memory, from any show. The characterisation was surprisingly profound and helped me realise a couple of things about my writing and about the story in particular. I always used to think that if I couldn’t vocalise my own feelings, how could I convey those of my characters? As it turns out, I’ve learned, experienced and felt more things in my life than I had originally thought. Occasionally, I’ll be writing about a character or a scene and something new will surface. I’m learning to love that.