Fast as a noun and fast as an adjective.
Much like how I started writing “A Light Rises in a Dark World”, Book 2 is now being written during a fast. I have sworn off gaming for the next month and a half to focus exclusively on book 2. There is a good chance I’m over half done, and if I can keep up this pace of a chapter every writing day (which is on average 3.5 days a week, plus a week’s vacation this and next month), and an output between 1500-3000 words, I will be done before Christmas. It’s getting thrilling, let me tell you that, despite being a lot bigger and harder to produce, it’s been worth it.
What’s also been thrilling is seeing how book 3 which now I’d call 60% written, thanks to how it came into being the first time is going to be much stronger thanks to all of what I learned about my own setting. The mystery and mystique of the setting has grown. The complications and politics have really taken on vast new dimensions and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
The last month of writing has been a real struggle, even after a month and a half writer’s block. I’m so happy to be moving forward and listening to the story the characters have to tell me, which helps when you start trusting your creations. But I’m past it now, and hopefully nothing but smooth sailing to come.
To help myself when I’ve been feeling stuck I’ve been going to other comfort writers and listening to classic literature on my phone. “Around the World in 80 Days,” “The Count of Monte Cristo”, I tried to get into the “Gulag Archepelago”, but nope… not there yet. I’ve also been looking at good fantasy… aka seeing how JRR did things in “The Hobbit”, because some of the concepts bear some similarity of a travel adventure. I also like to refer to “On Basilisk Station” by David Weber, because I really enjoy how he handles larger casts and for the most part has an excellent narrative style. So the two have taught me a few things here and there. Mostly though I want to stick to reading books that are over 50 years… if not 200 years old because it is more toward the voice I enjoy and gives my writing more of a feeling of timeless feeling.
So maybe I’m deluding myself, I dunno, but I’m having fun doing it so… thppt.
Anyhoo… this is what’s been happening. The new chapters with current names go as follows:
40. Oaths, Threats & Honor
41. A Racket in the Treetops
42. Placing a Bit in the Mouth of the Wild (Its new location which fixes a timeline issue)
43. Quid Pro Quo
Chapter 38 has been re-titled to “Fracturing the Keystone”.
I think this is going to break 450 pages and 150k words. But we shall see.
Oh… by the way…
And in another case of guilt inspired “you haven’t been posting much lately” fun, here’s another teaser from the chapter 18. “Missing Passengers”. Enjoy! (As always, it’s the first draft so… don’t worry. This is like a construction site, and you’re seeing the foundation and rough framing laid. Beware of random nails. ;c)
“Solveig? Mirjam?” she called softly. “Are you awake?”
No answer came.
She knocked again, louder.
The door to her stateroom opened and the Minister of the Wardrobe peaked out.
“Ah! Have you seen the Kronadottirs?” the Visedronning asked.
“No, my Tign. I have not seen them.”
“Did you check their stateroom when you came on board?”
“Jah, my Tign, directly after making sure everything was in order for yours. No one was there.”
“Perhaps they arrived after you did.”
“It is possible, but unlikely for I arrived very shortly before you did and did not see them on the pier nor in my inspection of the ship, my Tign.”
The Visedronning frowned, and opened the door to her daughter’s stateroom while knocking.
The room was empty. In fact, there was no evidence that they had ever been there. The beds were empty and still made. She opened the wardrobe and found their clothing still there.
“The wardrobe was empty when I arrived, so I had the servants quickly fill it with any appropriate changes they might need for the cruise, my Tign,” the minister replied before she could even ask the question. The concern was quickly rising.
“I watched them go to the ship, so they must be on board. “Oh this must be Mirjam’s idea of a joke,” she said her brow furrowing as the words left her mouth. It would be just like that girl to play games on an important day like this, but why would Solveig agree to such a prank? She was never like this before.
“Search the ship. Quietly and report back to me here. Do not enlist anyone else.”
“Immediately, my Tign!” the Minister said and vanished. He did not run, but seemed to glide rapidly down the hall with a poise most women would be jealous of.
The Visedronning sat on the bed and looked around the room. For now, it was a rest from having to deal with drunken guests she must humor for the moment. Solveig did look ill after all. But why were they both missing? She rose and opened the dressing table’s jewelry box. Everything was there. But the cosmetics box was empty. That was odd. Her daughters always kept some minor essentials there in case of emergencies. All of it was gone, but the jewelry stayed behind.
A soft knock was heard on the door and it opened.
“The Minister said you were in here,” Gregor said as he entered in and closed the door without a sound.
“Jah, and I am taking a moment to get away from the throng.”
“I was able to do the same thanks to the message you sent.”
“I did not send one.”
“Then he must have seen the look on my face and provided me an excuse to get away from that sweaty pack of panderers. I wonder what it is like to have a friend that does not expect to get something from you?” The Visekonge wondered out loud. His wife smiled and walked over to him, draped her arms around his shoulders and gave him a quick intimate kiss.
“Well, I want nothing more from you, so you always have me.”
“Ahhh…” Gregor smiled at her. “A sated wife is a blessing indeed.” He embraced her lovingly.
“Why are we in here other than to escape that herd of steaming social animals?”
“Mirjam is playing one of her tricks again. I swear to you, my Tign, she will be the death of me some day.”
“But where is Solveig then?”
“I have not the faintest. Dare I even suspect Mirjam finally started enlisting her help in her pranks?”
“Marianne, you know she loves it when you react so strongly. This time, let us try to ignore what plot she has in mind and make the best of it. She will come out sooner or later and expect a big fuss over her jest. If we give it to her, she will have succeeded.” Gregor soothed. Mirjam’s pranks were something that always tickled his fancy, but had to keep secret lest his marriage became a lot more combative and his willful daughter turn her cleverness on him and drive him to distraction too.
Marianne sighed at the wisdom of her husband, but inside, she roiled at not punishing her daughter with something appropriate.
“I will try, my love. Particularly with the politics what they are.”
“That is my little sapphire,” he said and kissed her on the forehead making her smile.
A quickie glossary
Visedronning – The Vice Queen. Highest title for a woman in Akiniwazi. Married to the Visekonge (Vice King).
Kronadottirs – The Crown Daughters. Aka, princesses.
Tign – Honorific for the Crown Family only. Means roughly “Lord, Master, Sire”.