Monday, February 24, 2014
The second draft does come slower, but I also know the characters better. I'm still feeling out where the plot is going but by this weekend I should have the end-game in mind and go toward that. Doing the second draft of this story is actually helping a lot with the second draft to Ghoulish Happenings, mostly in terms of figuring out how to decide what to keep and how best to keep it. I think I'll just go through the first draft of that again with a lighter and mark the passages that should survive in some form to the second draft, sketch out the plot a bit better and then discard everything else.
GH is going to need a few subplots added, since the one major one is being excised entirely. Since it was full of problematic issues and constant struggles to get it to make sense in the narrative, this is for the best. It also means the relationship between Bryce and Wray can be explored in different angles in that story and probably end up being a lot creepier. I hope.
As for this story: I'll probably be at the 15K mark before the actual antagonist shows up (by proxy, but even so), which does fit the story. Jonas isn't aware of what Qirjin is, or that the gifted exist at all among the masses of humanity. It also means that the characters have almost a week in novel-time just to become friends, get to know each other and have things be mostly normal before that all starts falling apart. Normal is good. It gives the characters some goal to strive toward, after all.
Now back to writing.....
Friday, February 21, 2014
I am running out of ways to-
to forget you
to forgive you
I am told
I should not do this
I am dreaming in quicksand.
In my own head it is not dark enough
is not cold enough and there
is a falling – Oh God, there is –
you took so much when you left from us
(you? god? I don’t know which
There is this –. I –. I –.)
There is something I don’t have words for
can’t feel the seeing of, inseeing
Sometimes, rare, I visit your grave.
I don’t know know who I am crying for.
I want to tell them, who offer happy drugs,
how much I hate you, that I forget
your eyes without photos, that
I don’t know what I am crying for.
I can’t forget how selfish you were &
I am here. (People survive this.)
And you are not. (People survive this.)
And I cant see how I am empty
to be so full. I loved you, and you
took your life like I wasn’t enough
and all that is left, my child, is my hate.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Other stuff exists, but in general people with said gifts (like Qirjin's family) have learned through bitter experience to hide themselves from the world at large. There are also some stuff that simply isn't real, such as ghosts and chatting with the dead, no matter what some people claim or think. There is a kind of magic in the world, but it is hard to use and not remotely replicable most of the time so people pretty much don't bother with it, and there are odd people with elemental affinities having a private war in a dream-world. No one, not even them, knows how this started or what the point of it is.
In essence, I hit the 30K mark of the story, sat back and went: I need to figure out this setting, since what was meant to be the main plot has fallen away in favour of Other Stuff that, while decent, is a bit too knock-on-head for what I wanted from the story. I also need to redo the first couple of paragraphs entirely since they have a more 'this story is being told from the future' vibe that the story loses further in, and it's not a good future-vibe anyway. I need to develop secondary characters a lot more and put more into the story without it being 'oh, look, a Bully!' and the like as characters because that's pretty dull. There are some scenes from the first draft I am keeping close-to verbatim, others I won't.
I could finish the draft of the story as it stands now, in 30-40K, but there would be too little to salvage for a second draft, so I figure it's better to make draft 2 over the next couple of weeks. Also, I realized sometime over the weekend that the story Kiln and Kin is telling is in some ways a reversal of Ghoulish Happenings, with the POV shifted to Bryce instead of Wray, if Bryce had no kind of magic and Wray was human rather than a ghoul, of course. It's not really that at all but some parallels are there if I go hunting for them. I figure it means I can write this and get certain plot-ideas out of my head and entirely away from the Ghoulish story.
What I want the story to accomplish is that it is about a kid on the cusp of high school who learns the world is weirder and stranger than most people ever known. It's about magic, and secrets that are blessings and burdens, sexuality, friendship and growing up. It's about who we trust and why, and the ways in which people can always surprise you by stepping out of the boxes we shove them into. I shall see how it goes.... tonight shall be character building, and tomorrow I will likely begin the second draft. As a saner pace than I did this one.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
It's much harder to write fantasy that avoids saving the world than it ought to be, and I think that's really worthy of consideration.To some extent, this exists in many novels in a not-explicit form (the 'world' the character saves doesn't have to be literal, after all, and can be as small as friends/family/relationships). The magician series of stories is a direct 'nope' to this. There have been towns saved, and creates from Outside the universe dealt with but I began it meaning it to be small, that the magician is, in effect, a kind of janitor who cleans up small problems. And that's it. There are magicians who protect whole cities, being tied to the place in exchange for power, and they tend to have limited impact on the city proper, mostly making sure things remain the same in the world.
I like reading 'save the world' series. I have no desire to write one, and that does seem to be where most series end up* if they run long enough. Stakes get raised, the existence of magic changes a world, and so on. Most novels I write that don't directly deal with that issue avoid it. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly. The magician series is going to get more explicit about that as it goes on, not that it's above the magician's pay grade but also above his power and what magic can do. The world outside the door in it is normal in the series. Most people have entirely normal lives. If magic could change the world, it would. It hasn't, but being a magician is still an important thing, perhaps because it helps stop the world from becoming the kind where magic has to save it or change it. The second novel in the series that is very, very embryonic in my head is going to be about this, at least a little.
Oddly, this isn't even a concern in the current YA novel I'm poking through (Kiln and Kith) nor has it been in any YA story I've done. (The eventual 'dogs of war' trilogy will, however, be about saving the world, among other things.) Some of that is because I refuse to make parents useless in the stories. If the world was at stake, they'd be saving it. Or at least instrumental in how the characters do it. I should probably get back to writing but it is always neat to see a giant trope and realize how often you've refused to use it, often without even knowing it.
* The first novel in the Ghoulish Series does claim one town can be used to destroy the world, but this is actually a giant red herring. Unfortunately, the person who made it didn't tell the people on his own side that, so they keep trying to get ahold of the power they think is hidden in the town, rather than another family just wasting power and resources to protect nothing. This will probably be more explicit in the second draft but was intended as a fun inversion.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
As a break from that, I started a new story today. Mostly because I don't want to just write the magician series stories; I need a bit of a breather from that world. So I started with a boy named Jonas, and what happens to him and his dad when a boy named Qirjin moves in down the hall with his mother. It's going to be a kind-of fairy tale about lives falling apart and coming together and how monsters are always monsters. I think.
I wrote three paragraphs for it, and realized that the last two of those actually were for a story I haven't added words to in over a year. I threw them into that file, tried to shove my brain back into gear for New. Wrote a few hundred more words. Watched the first three episodes of Gilligan's Island as research. (Really.) Read up on said show, lost myself in a small maze of internets. Surfaced. Added more words.
Surfaced to find I've written, rewritten and (semi)polished 1100 words over 9 hours. On the flip side, I have backstories of three of the four major characters in my he2ad, stuff on their personalities and how some may be broken and remade over the course of the story. I have no real plot yet. I don't even know how long this is going to be. It is also not in first person present tense. Which is a nice break from that as well, I think
How it starts....