Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: writing (Page 1 of 2)

The latest score

Hey everyone, it’s been a while, eh? Sorry for the radio silence; the last few months have been A Lot and, well, *gestures at 2020 in general*

I thought it was worth doing a post to bring you the latest score on The Dragon House. Not everyone keeps up with my Twitter feed and I’m terrible at updating all my social media in a timely fashion, so here we go.

You will be pleased to know that things are chugging along and The Dragon House has reached the giddy heights (lengths?) of 158k. Gosh. Where will it end up? I’m not sure yet. I had a vague idea of 200k-ish, but there’s a lot of wheels in motion now and to bring them all to an orderly stop in the next 40k might be a big ask, unless I do what my husband jokingly suggests and type “Everybody died. The end.” Expect a chonky book, whatever happens. Whether it ends up as 225k or “Oh lawd he comin'” will depend on the final edit.

Picture of alarm clock

Image courtesy Graeme Weatherston at freedigitalphotos.net

I took a chance last week and re-organised the timeline again because the previous re-org, that I thought had finally fixed it, was falling apart in the third act. I’d arranged the book into four sections by character arc/region/objective, and whilst Parts I and II worked great, III was sketchy and IV was worse. Having one character several days ahead of the rest (if you’ve read The Raven’s Shadow, you know who I mean) and part of the action told on a plane of slow time with the rest in regular time was proving to be . . . you know what? I’m not even going to try to think of an appropriate metaphor. So I’ve put it all back into a straight chronological order, no cute stuff, and we’ll see how that goes.

It does mean the “things that happen to that character” part has had to cede some priority in the narrative to “the rest of the world catches up” part, which I am not happy about, but that’s the result of choices I made in the third book to get the ending I wanted so I have to live with that.  I’ve tried to handle the overlap in a way that maintains some tension, but at this point I have to just concentrate on getting the story told and see what my beta-reader then agent then editor makes of it all.

The re-org turned out to have been a useful exercise, though. Pulling the story apart and putting it back together showed me a couple of places where I need to set some things up in advance of later action, and at least one place where I had to cut. The manuscript is now scattered with digital sticky notes like confetti. I love that feature of my word processor almost as much as I love real sticky notes. At least the glue on the digital ones never gives up.

So that’s the latest. Things are moving along, progress is being made. Stay tuned for further developments!

New stuff on the website

Once upon a time, the common trappings of the fantasy novel included all kinds of end matter like a list of characters and a glossary of all the made-up words. These seem to have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but that doesn’t stop readers from asking for them.

Behold, a new section of my website, for just this sort of thing! A Guide to the World of the Wild Hunt can be found under Books in the main menu, with a handy little sub-menu for the different sections. Edit: It now has its own entry on the main menu – EC, 2023

Don’t worry, I haven’t sacrificed any writing time for this; I started maintaining a detailed glossary for the series right after Songs of the Earth was published. It was an amazingly useful document that’s helped me keep the spelling and usage consistent across all my conlang, geography and character names, without having to learn how to build a wiki. All I had to do was split it into sections and create pages for them.

Hope you enjoy!

Note: I haven’t included any pronunciation guides for character names. I’ve always tried to make the pronunciation intuitive from the spelling, but there’s no objective truth: however a name sounds in your head when you read it, that’s the way it should be said, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not going to be precious about it. But if enough folk ask for tips, I’ll update the pages accordingly.

Further note: There may be more content to come in this new section, when I get round to maps, cataloging my deleted scenes etc. Watch this space!

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