quote:Welcome to this week's Novel Support Group. Anyone can join. If you're new, tell us a bit about who you are and what project you are working on. Feel free to update the NSG Work in Progress thread with your current projects. Although we can report on any number of things, here is a list of suggestions (suggestions welcomed).
What were your goals last week and did you accomplish them? Describe what you worked on. Set goals for next week. Did you learn something during this week?
Here is a list of things that you can do each week as we work on our novels (suggestions welcomed).
Writing on a novel Characterization World Building Relevant research
As for me:
Last Week's Goals:
DUAL MAGICS SERIES: As time permits, go through the x-ray listings for the Dual Magics boxed set and THE BARD'S GIFT. This is here to remind me that eventually I need to get back to this.
BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING/BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM: Promote through social media. I now have two books on social media marketing. So . . . I need to schedule some time to read them. Nope.
MAGE STORM: Re-start the rewrite. Started. Haven't gotten very far, yet.
Last week I began documenting the creation process of a new novel. In tying to provide the greatest clarity I thought taking a narrative approach would be best. Turns out I was like a little kid running around a shallow pond; all I did was muddy the waters.
A new week, a new approach.
For every story I write I keep a Story Journal. It’s a little A5 notebook and I take it everywhere I go. Everywhere. Into this little journal goes every developed thought about that story. By this I don’t mean every random thought, that would be tedious and ridiculous. While I’m out and about a random thought, or at least a relatively random one, will pop into my head. I will spend the next few minutes to several hours developing this thought into something I can actually use within the context of where my story is at that point. Or at some dimly perceived point further along the story arc. Once I’m satisfied I’ve developed it enough, in she goes.
The thoughts which follow aren’t about chapters or scenes; I’m not anywhere near that stage yet. This is the earliest stage in the creation process--the narrative arc. A series of incidents and events which, when taken together, make a complete story--beginning, middle and end. This doesn’t mean I don’t imagine scenes in my head, it’s just too early to think about them in any great detail, let alone write and use them. Each incident is fitted into its place in my version of Gustav Freytag’s dramatic pyramid and, at the end, I hope I have a compelling story arc. As distinct from a dramatic character arc, and other types of arc as well.
Here we go--authorial comments are in italics.
Universal blood donor. Bloodhounds. Written on a postal tag.
Hierarchy and social structure around the collection, storage and distribution of blood.
A lexicon around the word for blood. Eg, ‘sang’ sanguine etc.
Plot--Find the boy, rescue him and get back home.
The following refers to a short mantra taught Susan for unarmed combat training given to her by her uncle (ex SAS). It’s tailored to suit a young girl.. 1. Quick and nimble wins the day. 2. No mind. Mushin, or, mushin no shin. A martial arts state of mind--open to everything, expecting nothing. 3. 3 out of 5 and you’re done. Refers to the five cardinal strike points in her combat training--eyes, nose, throat, groin and knees.
Was working seven hours a day outside in weather which was so cold and wet I couldn’t think until this point. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep.
There’s no hurry--prepare yourself. A week? A comment by Susan’s grandfather about rushing in to find Tommy.
That’s the advantage of living in an arty-crafty tourist village. A comment about what to wear in a strange land you know nothing about.
And why are you letting her do this? Her parents certainly wouldn’t. Tommy’s father.
While trying to steal some eggs an old peasant widow catches her and almost beats her into unconsciousness with the handle of a straw broom.
In exchange for labour, the old woman offers food and board and agrees to teach her the language.
The widow gives her the name Viavata--means Trouble. In Finnish. A placeholder at the moment but maybe used if I can think of a reason why these people would be speaking Finnish. My first choice was Icelandic but their character set has a substantial number of non-Latin symbols for spelling .
Susan stops a runaway horse with a young child in the saddle. In return, she is allowed to accompany them to the town she is headed to.
Two days from their destination they they are attacked in the middle of the night by outlaws. Susan kills the leader “with grace and poise” but is knocked out by a fleeing ruffian. She is standing there stunned by what she has just done. She is taken by surprise as she is mesmerised by the amount of blood all over her.
2nd Crucible Her first kill
Susan is asked who/what she is, “warrior or witch?” “Put her to the test!” An ancient African test: Placing a red hot knife blade on the accused’s tongue. If they are telling the truth their tongue will not be burned. Liars mouths are dry--a physiological fact (most of the time).
Later, a leading question: “Is there anything special about your friend?” There are a lot of ways this can go (including nowhere)--which ones do I choose?
How to climb the social hierarchy--bodyguard. This is suggested to her because she is beginning to gain a reputation she doesn’t want.
O-neg blood--use the ‘life-force’ of a ‘pure blood’ to make magic. The ‘donor’ might well (probably will) die. The sorcerer acts as conduit between ‘donor’ and effect. Can backfire and sorcerer is consumed as well.
As our society advanced, their opportunities to snatch O-neg became curtailed.
Need the actual blood for the rituals. The ‘donor’ is bled or, in extreme cases, may die from complete exsanguination.
The home of each clan is called a Clanheart.
They came out of the mists, they and their blood-sorcerers. They ravaged the land, slaughtered the people, threw down the old gods and brought ‘settlers’ with them by the 1,000’s.
Susan’s weapon of choice--a sling. A weapon fit for a hero? It is if you want to avoid fights in a society which is enamoured by the duel..
Each Clanheart maintains its own portal powered by the blood of peasants.
Albino. Isn’t this just sooooooo cliché?
These are the wizards--Who controls them, HOW and WHY?
Susan is immune to the effects of blood-magic. She cannot be touched or influenced. Not certain I want to do it this way. Too trite.
How to demonstrate this?
If you use magic you age quicker. The more magic, or the stronger the magical effect aimed for, the quicker you age.
This makes immortality impossible, or just simply extending your life. Unless there is a way around the limitation.
There is--use the life of another to prolong your life--they age--you don’t.
It can’t be hat simple--IT ISN’T!
How is this related to blood-magic?
“Blood washes out, ya know? What? What did I say, who’d I murder?” Can’t remember why I wrote this; Irish Mist is delicious--and moreish.
So, here we are, July 20. Everything up to here has been relatively easy; simply cataloguing the journey of a character as she tries to find her way in a strange world. You can’t just simply buttonhole the first local you come across and demand to know where your friend is. You need to know the lay of the land, how to speak the lingo and then find a way to find him.
But now I need to develop the society ‘Trouble’ has just found herself in. This isn’t such a simple process. Right this instance, I need a rest and some food. I will probably comment on the hurdles I’m facing (story-wise) soon enough.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to ask or say. Hope you find this interesting.