Twenty One Scenes and Other Thoughts

That’s all I have left.

Approximately that is.

I always weird out when I start thinking about word counts and words per day.  2000 seems like a lot, but saying how many scenes I have to write doesn’t seem so bad.  In fact, it’s more organic to my mind to think in writing scenes over words.

Screw the count!  I just want to get full ideas out on the page.  From there I can work on them and see what’s what.  Some scenes I might figure out how to do faster or better.  Others might need to be dragged out and lingered over.

The point is, I don’t like stopping mid idea.  Mid story as it were.  Every chapter is pretty much one or two scenes to me, depending on how tightly related they are.  If I stop and come back later, they don’t fit together right, you know?  It’s like I have to re-break it and allow it to heal right.

No… that’s not the correct metaphor.

Or maybe it is.  I dunno.

So my goal was end of the month.  Last Thursday, I mapped it out and came up with 19 “new” scenes that needed to be put in to complete the finale of Book One of Reimarsoga.  I’ve gotta come up with a good sub title.  I mean I’m dealing with three layers of names here.

I’ve got “Akiniwazi”  The name of the land, or really the whole fictional universe.  Then I have this book series, which follows primarily my main character, Reimar.

Hence the name “Reimarsoga”.  If you’re going to steal (or do I mean research?) appropriate big or go home.  So I took the old Icelandic concept to this for dat extra flayvah.

And now, for Book One.  It needs a sub title.  I ain’t got one yet.  But maybe something will pop up by the end of the edit.  I’ll probably have a poll of a select few to work with.  That way when I publish, it will be “Reimarsoga:  Book One’s title replacement here  – An Akiniwazi Novel”.

Or something like that.

Good Lord don’t make me think about hiring an artist yet.  I’m not quite ready.  I think I’ll wait till after the beta readers return what they think are the most exciting scenes to use that as the inspiration of the cover image.

Sigh…. so much coming soon.

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Timeline of Akiniwazi: 1205-1266AD

A continuation of the alternate history timeline of the Land of Akiniwazi.  As always, these are letting you in to see my background notes of how the fantasy setting came to be.  That means they’re rough, probably with typos and not generally edited save for contradictions.  I hope you enjoy getting to see “behind the curtain of my setting” and share your discovery with others.

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1205AD – The Church of Akiniwazi or Kyrkja, is established in the new capital of Dyrrvatn Kastali. The new capital suffered under many disputes over who was to rule from this central point and many skirmishes and feuds were fought between the budding Aettir. The Kyrkja begins construction of a cathedral in the city.

1222AD – The new Cathedral and monastery of Dyrrvatn Kastali are christened and founded.

1225AD – The first census is taken. There are 2 million Nordics in Akiniwazi. The rich mineral reserves and rumors of the Garden of Eden draw people from all over the Norse lands. Most of them lived in ever growing ports on the Kisiina Sea. The Nordic Kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark grow very rich as more of their population push to resettle overseas. Threats come from other nations on keeping the route to Akiniwazi secret. The penalty for revealing the secret is death by torture of themselves and their entire families. Many captains and pilots develop false routes that increase time of passage but hide their routes. A sophisticated relay of partial routes are set up as well. With control over the points for resupply. Only those approved by the Nordic Monarchy and the Church are allowed passage over. The church, concerned with the degree of miraculous occurrences begins to hide the rumors and only send over their most devout and loyal priests and retainers. The strain for control over Akiniwazi puts the church and the Nordic Monarchy at odds with each other.

1229AD – To consolidate power officially, King Haakon decided to unify the fractious colonies of Akiniwazi by creating the Visekonge of Akiniwazi. He sent his youngest son, Svienn to rule there on behalf of his brother, Magnus VI.

1231AD – The Visekonge’s palace is completed in Dyrrvatn Kastali.

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1245AD – Den Hellige Avtale (The Holy Appointment). During a battle at the prosperous whaling port of Hvalrauga on the shores of the Kisiina Sea, a deadly new turn had happened as the Skaerslinger shamen were now calling forth supernatural beings of great power to slay the people and channeling the forces of nature through their bodies.

This battle was lost if not for the appearance of an Angelic Host that destroyed the Skaerslinger and hauled away the demonic creatures in chains. This was done as the people of the town were driven into the storm charged surf on the shore in a small grotto, by the enemy. After the town’s remaining people were saved, the last angel, a magnificent Herald gave a proclamation to all who witnessed:

People of God!
You are the inheritors of This Land!
He has given over to you!
Go Forth, and bring it under dominion for His Greater Glory
Spread His Word to all that live in it.
Bring into His Fold those who accept Jesus as Lord.
This is the Lord’s will.

1246AD – The Sanaadian Order is founded by Saint Sanaa.

1251AD – The Ragnarites initiate their great crusade to conquer or destroy the Skaerslinger begins. Backed by many Jarls and permitted by Visekonge Svienn the I to be handled locally.

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1266-1269AD – The Great Cataclysm, “Den Lange Vinteren” and the Isolation Era.

Den Lange Vinteren will be the subject of the next Timeline of Akiniwazi as there is much that happens in a 2 year period.  I look forward to teasing you more with upcoming timelines on how Akiniwazi came to be the way it is!

As always the complete published timeline is being archived here.

Bonus Musings: A Craving to Edit

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I didn’t think this would happen.

After listening to a few podcasts from Rockin Self-publishing Podcast, I started seeing my work in a slightly different light. In an interview with Seeley Booth, I started realizing that I need to pay attention a little more to me grammar and composition.

Although Seeley Booth and The Rockin Self-publishing Podcast had inspired this, I was given also a fit of hubris. What I realized was I wanted to compare myself to other online self-published authors. I wanted to see if what I saw on my page that I had created compared with some of the best of the e-book Market. Pretty arrogance right? So I looked and I compared and I judged coming to the snotty believe that I could stand up with the best of them.

Then I saw that one of the authors I had taken a look at partnered with Clive Cussler. That he brought me a bunch of humility. Now I know what a real Pro can do in a few pages that I hope to get to soon in my life. Consider it a goal that I don’t know if I will ever reach. No, that’s not really true. I think that if I do push myself and I do try with all my heart, I could have that level of talent. Arrogant? Sure thing. But a goal that is worthy of having none the less.

Having my humility brought back into alignment with my confidence that had grown through the experience, I looked once again at my own words. They were far from what I wanted. When I took a look again at these passages, which I did not spend too much time in, but spent enough time to realize what it is he was talking about. I started grabbing a hold of sentences and throttling them like a kid grabbing a garter snake. Grabbing it behind the head and shaking it like a bobble doll. There was a certain amount of Glee that I gained from looking at my phrasing and going nope. I realized how weak some of my sentence structure and phraseology sounded in my head.

The earliest chapters of my book that I had finished left a lot to be desired.  I began having an experience looking at those words similar to Howard Roark fixing the design of the Cosmo Slotnik Building.  I could see what I needed to do under the crap and wanted to start dragging it out cleaning it and putting it all in its rightful place.

And throughout it all now, as this desire to edit, I keep hearing the song Midlife Crisis in my head.

“Go on dig your thumbs in, my head is like lettuce.”

That is what I want to do.  Dig my thumbs in and pull this thing apart and make something grand with the threads.

BTW, this blog is not edited much, sticking to stream of consciousness writing by dictation and the voice recognition and editing via my phone is well… rough to do.  That is part of its style and perhaps charm.

I hope that’s considered charm at least.

 

Alpha Readers & Whole Cloth

As I’ve mentioned, I use a few alpha readers to help me along with my second edit.  They’ve been a real Godsend.  This last week I sent off to them the middle build and have gotten some feedback so far that has been… well… overwhelmingly positive to say the least.  That’s a very hopeful sign in my book.

I keep mentioning that I’m too close to know if my work is any good, and its hard to be humble when you have a passionate desire for it to be fantastic and think maybe, just maybe it is.

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But now, with less than 2 weeks left in my self imposed deadline, I am writing new material again.  Creating from whole cloth, and it is stuff I do not want to write at the moment, or I keep feeling like I’m being sidetracked.  Its setting up what is to come and be the big finish of the 3 act structure.  All the guns drawn as of the first and second acts will ultimately go off or be explained or be set up for the next novel.  (Yes, next novel.  The way the story is progressing, I suspect it may be a 7 novel series I’m in for.)

I have whole characters I have to create too.  Earlier this week, I was not sure how this was going to happen, but a set of wild inspirations happened on the scene, and birthed a whole herd of notions.  I now know the set up I have for specific things, and how the key events will occur and even how, (after reversing course entirely on what I thought I was going to do and back to the original idea, but with a twist) they are going to get out of it.

What has me worried is that the two chapters I wrote today do not advance the story to my satisfaction.  Or rather it might be going down a bunny trail I should have left alone.  On the other hand, if I do not lay this groundwork, I cannot have a proper climactic battle with internal struggles, and the denouement becomes… well flaccid.  Come on now.  It’s a fantasy novel in the end!  You gotta have more fantasy to it, not this more common world building stuff and building up the backstory and motives.

“Cast Magic Missile and be done with it!” screams the emotional ‘get to the good stuff’ portion of my brain.

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“The times are past where you just lop off someone’s head and blame it on the Vikings.” the Blackadder rational mind part reminds me

“You can’t?” asks  the stupid prince part of my brain again.

“No.” Rationality says disapprovingly.

“Bollocks.  I am being asked to eat 10 raw pigs for breakfast.”

“Worse.  You’re writing.”

“Double bollocks with a side of bugger on top.”

So…

For now, I’m going to rest in the comfort given me from the early reviews back from the Alpha Readers that I’m doing something right, and using that to fuel my drive to finish this bad boy off so I can hire an editor, and cover artist and hopefully… Dear Lord help!  Publish by Christmastide.

Hope springs eternal.

 

 

20 Days Remaining

I had missed my previous deadline.

So, I imposed a new one, and that  is coming due. Needless to say, the itching sensation of its nearing presence is growing fast. That nervous vibration that dwells in my shoulders, and in my back, and in my neck that tells me that something of importance is looming. It isn’t that I had to do this to myself, but I seem to work best when I do impose such a limitation upon myself. It’s a trick that I gave myself many years ago when I wrote my first rather lousy novella. My friends at the time said I became unbearable as I wrote up to 20 pages a day. I was always cranky, and generally not someone they wanted to be around even when not writing for I focused so hard on my task. I guess, sometimes that’s what it takes to get the job done.

Why is it that I was having such difficulty these recent months in completing the edit? I have come to the conclusion it is because they could not see the ending of what I was doing. Sometimes the ideas need to just simmer on the back burner of the mond for long periods. Tonight, I came to the realization that for me writing is almost like driving in the fog. You can’t see too far ahead and even though you know where you’re going sometimes the story, like indistinct shapes looming in the fog, take time to come clear. Sometimes you can see things that are not really there. That is what my sense has been these recent weeks as I have been muddling through trying to learn what it is that I am writing. For really this and it has resulted in a lot new material to go in.

I had of course needed to change the whole voice over to third person, which is left me with some real interesting issues in how the story is told. The first person voice does not do a direct translation over to third person just by changing the pronouns. It leaves for some awkward grammar although it’s intriguing in other ways. It does give the book a lot more Personal Touch. Seeming more like it has been told by a narrator who was either a witness to the event or a biographer of some sort. Not that that is a bad thing, in fact I originally intended the whole series to be read like a set of Memoirs dictated to a biographer. I kept seeing the movie “Matthew” in my mind’s eye to some extent.

If you have not heard of the movie “Matthew”, it is a brilliant concept. A movie that takes the entire Book of Matthew and word for word tells it in a cinematic fashion just like if you were watching a memoir being dictated to a scribe. The flashing back and forth between the narration of the biblical Book of Matthew and mixing it with the events that he talks about as if you were really there. At least that was my original idea of going forward, but that doesn’t really work in the manner of which I was hoping. So something new is coming about.

At least now, 20 days out, I see more clearly how I’m going to finish this. It is taking some clever twists, at least in my mind, and doing minor alterations two characters that have existed already. The good news, or at least the way I see it, is that the intrigue is going to increase. Plus the overall depth and connectivity to the second novel (which is currently cooling on the rack awaiting) is also greatly increased. It amazes me how much I needed to write that first draft of the second novel to develop the world more fully for the first. I would like to say that it is been a lot of fun, and I suppose it is to a certain respect, but at the same time it has been hard work!

Therefore, with my self-imposed deadline 20 days away, the nerves are ringing, the mind is suddenly blazing, and I am so excited to be done with some of the grunt work that I have suitting before me before I can get to the points that really are exciting my soul.

So what are these things that burn white hot in my mind?  Ahhhh… Spoilers, Sweeties.  Those would be spoilers.

I will leave you with twowords of encouragement I have received from an “Alpha Reader”.

The first is that my research is paying off giving the book a real feel of authenticity.  That was very nice to hear.  The second was that the reader lost them self in the book so much they lost track of the time.

THAT is what I love to hear most of all!  Hopefully when released ,you will all feel the same way.

State of the Edit: Spit and Polish

A little late this week.  Life is to blame.

I started once again to edit by text to voice software. I had tried this once before in the past, and it worked out pretty well to pick out areas of ear klunk and other rough passages that you missed when you just read through your manuscript.

So I woke up way too early one morning when I should have been asleep, and downloaded the tts software again and went to work. Needless to say I found so many different little holes and issues in the manuscript that had Rewritten already once, so this is more or less edit 3 through at least the first seven or eight chapters. But it needed to be done because I wanted to feel better about them.

The  second thing that is been interfering with my speed, has been how many chapters I have been writing out of whole cloth. When I decided to split what I had written into to work I realized that it was shorter than what I needed to really be considered a full novel. As is, it is still going to be a shorter novel then some of the 900 page monstrosities that normally written and expected by fantasy authors. I would almost say it is more a young adult length novel as it currently sits. I suspect it will end up somewhere around 250 pages. Of course, this depends on what happens when I finally get to rewriting the conclusion of the novel, which is going to involve a large new section and new characters that I had not originally planned on.

In the end though,  I have been enjoying really listening to some of the things that I had written. I hate to feel conceited enough to say I like the way I write dialogue, because it just seems to flow for me. Everybody has their own area of writing that they enjoy most. For me it seems to be conversation. For others it might be exposition. For others it will be action sequences. I can only hope to improve on these other areas, and maybe gain a little more flavor and poetry of language.

That said I’m so anxious to be able to share this book with people and get their reactions. I admit there have been two people so far… no scratch that… 3 people that I have been able to share this with. I needed a feel of what I’m doing. My insecurities were showing up in one of the chapters,  and I really wanted to get the right feel for it and not…  how can I say this, and not come off as either trite or maudlin… fake ultimately is the word I guess I’m looking for.

Fortunately, it seems as if I have managed to avoid these pitfalls. I could never hear if the voices are differentiated except in my head. To get confirmation that this is so to others that read it are really important to me!

So here I sit, looking at what I have done. It’s achieved a new layer of glossy polishing, and starting to feel as if it is reaching a professional level. Or at least it is reaching the point where it will be ready to send to the beta readers and be ready for an editor to tear it up. My goal is still to try and put the book out before Christmas preferably before Thanksgiving. That will depend completely on how well the new sections I am writing come out, and the reformatted chapters take to fix and blend in. I’m a little nervous about that. But it’s something that I just have to force myself through and do.

So that’s the current state of affairs right now. I’m hoping to get a couple more days of writing or editing in the middle of this week. I expect to probably do some more biographical stuff for the blog coming up here in the future. I have some vacation coming which I’m going to take in visit with friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. I’ll probably write something about a family reunion I went to. It’s been an interesting week and will be an interesting end and beginning of the month I guess you could say coming up here. Tell him thanks for checking out what I have to say. I look forward to any things you have to say, ideas, suggestions, stuff like that down at the bottom.

Till next time.

Oh yeah! Friday…. ermmmm.

Since I did a Wednesday post, I don’t have much to say today really, and did not prep any more Timeline or Atlas posts nor any Orion’s Articles.  Nope instead I spent it… Dun Dun DUN!!!!!  Editing the novel!  Huzzah!

No way!

Way!

Okay so I’m a bit loopy.  Good news I’ve burned through 90 pages or so, depending on how the software counts it today.  Yeah… I don’t know why it changes either sometimes.

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But! I am happy with the results other than keeping finding grammatical edits I missed like changing I and me to he, us to they, so on and so forth.  It’s like finding legos by feel in  the dark, with your feet.

But I got to edit my first big conflict chapter.  It’s a whopper and I really REALLY hope changing the voice does not steal from the tension and impact of the work.  But I was left emotionally spent after slogging through about 10,000 words for that rough 2nd edit.  We’ll see how it turns out in the end.  That means I’m getting closer to some more difficult choices as what is to come is a reorganization of the middle build.  I suspect that will be harder than the final conclusion which much of that I will have to make out of whole cloth as the saying goes.

At least it goes.

Now back to my real job, so little to no editing again till Monday.

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Last one for today… I promise.

Oh wait.  It’s now Thursday!  Muhuhahahahahaaaaaa!

No.  I must really do something else.

That said, I have put together a nice section on the origin of Akiniwazi and how this whole project that is the reason for this blog came into existence.

 

So I started to put together several ideas floating in my head that screamed to be heard.  Now, mind you, at first, I thought this would be nothing more than a gaming resource for either Palladium, or D20 or something else.  I originally spent time trying to craft this thought experiment into form.  But it never quite congealed.  Instead a few thoughts began to stick though.  What came about to create the foundation of Akinwazi was…

A New Era

 

With only a little fanfare, I hereby announce the maiden voyage of my Author’s Blog.

Welcome to Resonant Point.  It is the intent of this blog to showcase my artistic endeavors and give followers who wish to share in the journey towards becoming a published and successful author.

My goal is to write one post a week to start off.  This may of course become more as I am supplanting my Facebook habit by posting here.  This keeps my artistic world separate from my personal world of friends and family with whom I speak of other unrelated subjects.  I’m a complex little pirate.

The main topics featured here will be:

  • My writing projects (Akiniwazi, short stories, essays, other fiction & commentary)
  • Any future artwork that I produce.
  • Any videos I produce
  • Gaming (which is the source of my videos currently).

So, welcome.  Glad to have you here, and look forward to giving you the ins and outs, ups and downs of this adventure.

 

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