Monday, June 27, 2011

Ingredients of Magic

The ingredients of magic are:


-David Petersen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Well, I've lost my writing momentum. Due to a variety of things, I haven't done any writing for the last five days. It sucks, but...that's how it goes, I guess. What makes it strange is that I stopped writing right after having a period where tons of ideas were coming really quickly, so maybe I burned myself out for a little bit? Being sick didn't help, of course, but...five days. That's a lot of catching up to do.

I think I'm going to try. Later, when I'm off work and the dog's all exercised and chill.

Best and most difficult words of writerly advice:

"Writers write."

I just have to remember this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brief update.

Okay, I posted those two scenes by accident - thought I was posting on the 'Writing' blog, but I'm going to leave them there because one, I can't edit posts on this computer, and two, eh, why not.

Yesterday was pretty much a bust as far as writing is concerned - the dog's been getting into the trash again, so he's been sick, and it's been 100F or above for the past three days, so my brain was just fried. So we spent yesterday's writing time on planning, which was a really good move even though we didn't get a terrible amount done. We had a bit of a "Wait a second...OH NO" moment when we realized how much planning we had yet to do, considering that we're writing a goddamn epic fantasy.

Yeah. I hadn't realized. This story is...much bigger than I thought. Which is kind of overwhelming, but I think that once we get all of our characters really nailed down and we have a much better sense of the scope of our world, the writing is going to come much more easily.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more relieved I am. When we weren't working on it so much, The Story was kind of this vague, amorphous blob that sat in the back of my mind. It was like, Yeah, this is the big thing that I want to write. It's going to be finished someday. Of course it is. Yeah.

And then I'd go watch some TV or pick up another book and not work on it.

But now I have this relief because I'm not sitting on my ass anymore just waiting for a writing career to fall into my lap. I'm sitting on my ass working on my writing career.

And that is a good feeling.

Two scenes.

Okay, I'm just playing with this, but I had this idea that maybe the medium that Tarn and Lisanna went to is actually a siren in Ethri form, and she's doing a little bit of reconnaisance for them because the Caisharad have found ways to block the sirens from seeing what they're doing. I don't know. Obviously nothing is set in stone - I just wanted to get some writing done for the day, and this was what occurred to me, lol.

594 words.


Sisters, attend.

Soft hisses, echoing through the distance that separated them. A taste of a gentle wind over sea that made her ache for her home. But no awareness of her call, not yet.

Sisters, ATTEND.

Suddenly their presences were there in her mind, recognizable only by the flavors of their various annoyances at being called away from their own work.

Wwhhaaat issss it, sssister? Their many voices blended into one.

I have news. The Queen’s consort came to see me.

Sibilant laughter verging on dismissive. Wwhhaat did he want?

He brought a girl with him. She came from Tyrra, an escaped slave. He wanted me to channel her voice so he could know her story.

Now there was an undercurrent of fear and anger to their hisses. You did not comply. It was not a question.

She felt her own first stirrings of fear, and hesitated.

I did.

There was something melodious about even their screams of rage, though she flinched as their voices banded together once more. EXPLAIN YOURSSSELF.

She took a deep breath and reminded herself that she had had a reason for handling the consort the way she had. A good reason. Her sisters could tear her apart in this frail Ethri shell if they chose, but they would have to have their Queen’s approval to do it.

She just wasn’t sure how forthcoming that approval would be.

I channeled the girl’s voice, but had time to meld a small controlling spell into her trance.

She could feel her sisters’ disapproval all around her, tinged now with a slight flavor of curiosity.

She told the consort her story, but I was able to change a few of the more important details. It is my hope that he, in turn, will bring this story to his queen.

There were soft murmurings, with a few sharp hisses of dissent. The sounds of their discussions swirled around her, and she let herself drift, not interested in trying to focus on one argument or another. She had expected them to disagree on her actions; her sisters were all aggressively opinionated, and she had never seen them all reach the same conclusion on anything at the same time.

Finally, there was silence. She waited, not wanting to be the one to break it. Some decision had been made, and way the quiet stretched on made her tense.

Then one voice reached across the divide and gently touched her mind. She recognized it as belonging to one of her oldest sisters, one who had sung the tides for so long that her voice was now more wind and sand than siren.

We will speak to the Queen.


Elydra bolted upright in bed, gasping for breath and grabbing at the Queen’s Stone. It was like a burning coal in her hand, the surface so hot she was unable to touch it long enough to pull it away from her chest. The light that was coming from within it bathed the bed in a sickly, pulsing red glow. One more heartbeat and Tarn was also sitting up, his arm supporting her as she cried from the pain of the stone against her chest.

“Elydra? Elydra!”

She wanted to respond to the panic in his voice, but the pain was beating at both her body and her mind, distracting her while something else tried to suck her down into unconsciousness. So she did the only thing she could do: she ignored him while she tried desperately to remember her name-song and protect her mind.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tropes, Traditions, and What's Working So Far

Okay, one more post over here for today. Recently, I've been thinking about the structure of The Story so far, and while I don't have fun, catchy names for tropes the way they do on TV Tropes (you know, the best movie/tv/book deconstruction site evar - not "deconstruction" in the sense of, like, deconstructionism, but just...pulling things apart and looking at the bits), I do want to try to list the ones I've found so far.

We have:

An Ancient Evil

Some Traitors

A School for Magically-Gifted Youngsters

A Matriarchy

An Indolent Long-Lived Race

An Arranged Marriage

A Stubborn Queen

A Magical Blight

An Exile

There are more, but those are the really big ones I could think of right now. I think knowing what the big ones are will make turning some of them on their heads a bit easier, when we're going back and editing. Because while this is, in many ways, a very traditional fantasy story, we don't want it to be too traditional.

Writing Update

Well, the writing challenge is going well so far: We're five days in, and I'm supposed to be sitting at 2,500 words so far. Just tallied up my counts, and I'm at 3,102, which puts me 602 words ahead of schedule. None of these are particularly large amounts, but it's very heartening - I think I respond well to numbers, and writing amounts are very easy to track numerically, even if the quality of the writing can't really be tracked at all (at least, not at this point). We're still doing the spotty non-linear writing, which has been both really fun and really great for world-building.

I think today is going to be one of those busy days at work where it's just one thing happening after another, but for some reason, those days make me even more determined to get my writing done while I'm here. It's weird. We'll see how that goes today.