Planning, Plotting and Scheming

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As I mentioned last post… I think…  I dunno.  It’s been a long night.  I have realized that I need to satisfy my readers as much as myself.  And to that point, I need to give someone who has become almost a co-protagonist a far increased status in the second book or do something to incorporate him.

On the one hand, I can write several exciting storylines worthy of their own novel.  The problem is that the already written 2nd book of Reimarsoga would either need:

  1. A near complete rewrite (something I’m not willing to do because it’s gooooood!)
  2. Or the incorporation of the other storyline (which could bloat the book to an unwieldy 200k wordcount… oy my back!)
  3. Something I haven’t thought of yet.

Oh, and there’s another complication… the timeline is already set, and neither of the two plotlines are really compatible with one another, so it’d be like alternating books, not intermixed chapterrrrrrrs, which then why botherrrrrrr, I may as well keep it separaaaaate…  I dunno.

So, here’s your chance to opine.  Seriously, comment below if you have an opinion on what kind of direction you think would work best for a book.  The most ambitious idea I am considering is releasing book 2 of Reimarsoga and then book 1 of the other character nearly simultaneously!  So you could pick up technically either one and read it then the other, but the order of which you read first would not matter, if I do it right.

OR should I smoosh the plotlines so you read book 1 which would focus on Reimar, and then book 2 which will focus on the other.

Or just release them as part of the same series but in chronological order, meaning Reimarsoga book 2 would become book 3 while I shove the other book inbetween and just rename the whole series something else.  Which probably is the easiest of the whole bunch.

I dunno.  I know I’m not saying much because, you know… no spoilers I hope.

Seriously, opinions wanted!  Now’s your chance to tell the world what you think!

A Muse Can Be a Fickle Mistress

So, as the last 8 days of my beta read come rolling in, and I am about at the half way mark of my NaNoWriMo project (Still just under 25k words, but that will start to change tomorrow again), I started thinking about the editing of Reimarsoga: Book 2.  And I skim it, breaking it up into Scrivener, because I’m going to try that thing out finally and I see some good things there.

Anyway…

…hmmmm how to talk about what’s to come without dropping a few major MAJOR spoilers.  Ugh!

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Make it staaahp!

 

Okay, let’s try it this way…

In the structural edit, I realized that continuity between book 1 and book 2 got broken.  I will have to write a whole separate book that will possibly become a stand alone (Or one of two books… I dunno), but related novel that involves characters from the first AND second books, bridging the gap between the two, AND build up the whole Akiniwazi world even more!  So, now, my brain’s on fire for recombining certain characters together, outside of Reimar, in a way that would then tie the first two books of Reimarsoga together.

Now… for complication #2.  Reimarsoga: Book 1 is written as more of an Epic Adventure with a flavor more found in say “Treasure Island” or “The Sea Wolf” or “Huckleberry Finn” (to some extent) or “The Deerslayer”.  As you can see my influences are were not necessarily fantasy directed.

Book 1.5, I shall call it for the time being… would be more of an Epic Conspiracy/cloak and dagger/thriller set in Akiniwazi.  Mind you this was part of the scenario whole for the series (and that’s not really a spoiler… there are hints in book 1… you’ll see)  But I am worried jumping the storytype will be offputting to many.  PLUS… this is going to be a related novel.  You wouldn’t have to read it to enjoy the Series, but it will add to the richness of the overall setting and plotline.  Sort of like “Rogue 1” is a related movie to the Star Wars “Nonology”  (yes that’s a series of 9).  It’s canon, but fills in the gap between the Prequels and A New Hope.  In actuality, it might end up having more in common with say “The Big Sleep”, “The Angel of Darkness”, “The Name of the Rose” and other detectivey kind of stuff.

…In a fantasy setting.  I know… I’m mad.

Oh… and before I forget.  I named my Character Brother Finn long before “The Force Awakens”.  6 years before to be precise!

So anyway.  Looks like I might be putting book 2 into cold storage while I then refocus onto the necessary book 1.5

Dear Lord, what has your inspiration done to me?????

Gloria in Excelsis

Chapter Titles

Yep!  Something fun for Friday!  Here are the current (always subject to change) Chapter Titles.  See if you can figure out what the heck is going on?!

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Reimarsoga:

1. Winning the Battle, Losing the War

2. Brother Finn Arrives

3. Determining the Price, Choosing of the Children

4. For the Greatest Good, They Leave Home

5. The Long Ride Through Night

6. Good Reason Does Not Always Comfort

7. Meiderhvall

8. Brother Finn’s Heresy Revealed

9. Like Chattel Across the Water

10. A Raging Storm Shall Not Dissuade

11. And God Shall Manifest His Mighty Hand

12. After the Wreck

13. The Bitter Prices of Salvation

14. Condemnations, Commendations, & Questions

15. Bequeathed An Infernal Inheritance

16. Brambles & Thorns in the Night

17. Escaping the Conflagration

18. Craftily, Our Sins Come To Ravage Us

19. Hooks of the Manitou

20. An Ancient Evil Named

21. Exorcism

22. Celebration on the Beach

23. Sailing through Tangled Webs

24. On the Precipice of Disaster

25. Run Aground

26. Escape From Ogimaak Mikwam Island

27. Lost Lambs

28. Imprisoned

29. A Change in the Weather

30. Lies and Monsters

31. The Wrath of Ogimaak Mikwam

32. From All Sides, Enemies Arise

33. Stirring the Ashes

34. Brother Finn Tenders Hope In A Bleak World

35. Ascending to Saint Martin’s

36. Into Exile / Arrival at Kynligrspiejl

Of course, realize some of these titles are accurate but slightly misleading or contrary.  But hopefully, this has you curious as to what is contained inside these headings enough to go running out and want to buy buy buy!…

… once it comes out.  😉

Beta Read is now LIVE!

Attention all Beta Readers, you should now have your copy in your inbox that you provided.  If you have not received it, lemme know!

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X-Post Fact Toast #3

Wordcount: 1,682 and 6 pages.
 
Woke up early… again… and puttered a little before I got to writing. The scenes are there in my head but are being “bocky-kookens” as my grandmother would say. Closest translations of that phrase is “stubborn cookies”.
 
Anyway… Latest chapter is “Stirring the Ashes”. It’s been incredible now to go back over many things I wrote and finding I’m echoing themes like a waveform, which is great! They are similar but not copies, illustrating and reinforcing each other. More writing later. One scene of the remaining few is in the can. So few left to go and they are just acting like that first bite of hot pizza where the cheese refuses to let go of the slice or cut with your teeth.
More to come later.
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The Battle Is Won

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Today’s Wordcount:  2,275  (Not counting minor edits and rewrites).

The final battle is done and amazingly, I feel the best about the final line for it sums up a thematic echo that lo many pages ago I had no idea would be in this work.

“…They hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.”

It’s amazing in a way to see how God keeps inserting Himself in very powerful and poetic ways.  This leaves only three scenes left, some half written:

Resolution

Arrival and Parting of Ways

Exile

I’ve been terrified today about what would be the upshot of the battle I had just completed, so I am once again so thankful for my very special alpha reader who was able to get in touch with me today.  When you deal with schedules on opposite sides of the planet, this can be a rare and special thing.  He gave much wise council that after an overly long nap I was able to implement, and I think it is all the better for it.

I can’t wait to share this with you guys!

Writing Playlist

Yes.  I have a writing playlist that I use to put me in the mood.

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Many people listen to music while writing.  Others do not.  Some can even do it with the TV going and other distractions.

I like writing to music.  Tea at the ready in the wee hours of the morning.  I seem to not get really rolling till after 4am lately.  This I think has more to do with working nights, but I prefer to write when its dark out.  Just the way I am in my inconsistent manner.  So what do I listen to?  Here’s a list of songs and artists I have in my playlist.  I wish I could put up an actual playlist so you could all enjoy, but hopefully you then have enough information to look on your own if you are interested.

Okay, maybe some samples will show up if they are on youtube or something.

The “Official” Akiniwazi Playlist (exerpts)

Two Steps from Hell

  • Moving Mountains
  • Heaven Hell
  • Nero
  • Norwegian Pirate
  • Heart of Courage
  • Strength of 1000 Men
  • Breathe
  • Cry
  • El Dorado
  • Ocean Princess

Vangelis

  • Conquest of Paradise
  • Monastery of la Rabida
  • Light and Shadow
  • The Bounty

Mychael Danna:

  • Phoenix Anastasis
  • Nakawe
  • Visions of Bernadette

Loreena McKennitt:

  • Prologue
  • Marco Polo
  • Night Ride Across the Caucasus
  • Dante’s Prayer

James Horner:

  • Jack Dawson’s Luck
  • On Hallowed Ground
  • The Oglala Sioux
  • Proud Nation
  • Thunderheart

Dead Can Dance

  • The Host of Seraphim
  • Ascension
  • Circumradiant Dawn

 

Hans Zimmer:

  • Progeny
  • The Emperor Is Dead
  • Reunion

Other Cinematic music from:

  • The Civil War
  • The Fog
  • The Island
  • Schindler’s List
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • Hannibal
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • The Professional
  • The Crow
  • Prince of Egypt

Various Medieval music, both classical, modal and re-envisioned:

  • Hildegard Von Bingen “Illumination”
  • The Empire Brass: “Passage”
  • Gregorian Chants from the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • “Sing We at Pleasure”
  • Native American Flute by Coyote Oldman’s “Thunder Chord”
  • Nordic Roots Albums

Classical classics like:

  • Faure’s Requiem
  • Night on Bald Mountain
  • Mussorgsky “Pictures at an Exhibition”
  • Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” plus a re-envisioned version.
  • Hall of the Mountain King  (you just knew it was going to be in there, didn’t you?)

And several dozen from various artists I found for free on Soundcloud and other sources.  I shall leave you with a favorite of mine.  I use all three “versions” out there.  The full, acappella and instrumental:

 

The Strange Dichotomy I Stumbled Upon

Akiniwazi is a complex project.  It’s roots are based in some big philosophical questions:

  1. Can you make a Christian based “magic system”?
  2. What would the world look like if the Vikings discovered the New World
  3. What would a civilization look like if it discovered steam power but not gunpowder?

Number two and three have been possibly some of the most fun while number one has been the most trying.  When laying out the rules of the world in my mind, and on many scraps of paper (I tell you if this thing becomes a blockbuster, there are going to be so many scraps of real source material floating around for collectors after I die if I don’t burn them).  The biggest, even before I realized the alternative history aspects that are many of its roots is that this is based on the philosophy of what I call the “War Behind the Veil”.  The idea that there is a war between God and his rebellious creations following Lucifer and the effects it has on the physical world.

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Now, originally, this was to be a complete fantasy world with nothing in common to Earth and the world as we knew it.  But… I hit upon a huge problem:  How can you have Jesus and Christianity in truth, if you tamper with the the world and make it all fantasy.

I was stuck!

I realized you could not have that if there were any changes done to the “Old World” of Asia, Africa and Europe.  I had to leave them be, untouched and historically the same.  That single realization was a terror to overcome.  How could I have this setting I envisioned with the world being exactly as it was historically?  Then I stumbled upon it,

The New World can be totally different!

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The map was mutable.  I could make the new world and have it all the way I wanted, save for one last issue:  The Skaerslinger.

It is painfully obvious that I have taken heavily from Native American cultures.  The names of the lakes are taken from corrupted translations of Ojibwa words, for example.  But something I want totally divorced from this is to make the Skaerslinger anything like the actual indigenous people.  While the old world medieval Viking culture and related materials have to be at least honestly researched (maybe not perfect, but darn good enough to satisfy all but the biggest nerds/experts who will pick at this), I needed to abandon the same level of research and historical accuracy to the Skaerslinger.

I can’t do this, because I am not going to be accused of hate speech or racism (though some might try it anyway) because they want real world accuracy on their cultures in a fantasy novel.  So there is a big reason why I have thrown historical research for all New World cultures out the window and thrown in multiple influences into the mix from Celts, Cossack to Zulu to Aztec and Inca.  Plus many other ideas I have that make for a good ‘spice palette’ of the culture as it develops.

There are some very strong black and white lines because that is the nature of the novel, but I do not want to have anyone claim I’m saying “insert Native American culture is Satanic”.  I’m not, and will not.  But there is a reason for the structure, what I have to say and what is to come. It will be illustrated throughout the entire series.

So that’s the strange dichotomy.  All things in the old world and before the discovery of Akiniwazi are going to be considered as truthful and attempts will be made to make it accurate.  The New World, its people and geography and events there are a rapidly diverging splinter timeline and world from the base because it is fantasy and it MUST be.  This gives me freedom to create from raw cloth as well as just spice things up a bit from time to time, or even take interesting aspects from those cultures and use them as a template.

Many of these things will not really come about till book 3-4 I think, but you’ll see hints as we go.

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BTW, I am toying with releasing another sample chapter as it passes through the third or fourth edit.  Let me know below if you want to see another chapter out of the book!

 

 

Akiniwazi Notes: Keeping Time

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I have had trouble a long time with keeping time in my setting till I came up with a better, but more imprecise way of tracking it.  Throughout history, the church has been a primary keeper of time, so have ships for they needed it for navigation, setting of watches et all.  The problem is, clocks were expensive and generally not available.  Most people relied on sundials, hourglasses, water clocks, candle clocks and a variety of other time keeping elements.  This lead to a lot of imprecise understandings of time.  That needed to have some reflection in the setting.  So how to keep time in an organized manner and from a medieval mindset.  I settled on  the use of church Canonical Hours as a compromise.

 

Canonical Hours

This is how time is kept in Akiniwazi on land in three hour blocks. If time is specifically known, it will be referred to as either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd hour or minor of the period.

  • Nocturnes: Midnight-2am
  • Matins: 3am-5am
  • Primae: 6am-8am
  • Terce: 9am-11am
  • Sexte: Noon-2pm
  • Nonae: 3pm to 5pm
  • Vespers: 6pm-8pm
  • Compline: 9pm-11pm

Now time throughout the day is broken into eight three hour blocks which flows more with the rhythm of the setting.  So when you want to say what we recognize as 1200/12pm… aka noon, That is now First Sexte.  Dinner time?  First Vespers or Third Nonae if you meant 1700/5pm.  You see how it flows.  It works well when considering hourly progressions.

The finest reliable method of time keeping I have is by half and quarter hours.  Rarely will they have (or need) a piece of time keeping equipment with fine enough precision for single minutes or less.  Very few mechanical clocks exist in Akiniwazi, Most of the technology did not make the trip over.

Needless to say, it has not been without its own challenges, but it adds a nice flavor in the end.. in my opinion.  Then again, I’m the author, so I’m biased.

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Timeline of Akiniwazi: 1307-1310AD (39-42 Ad Segregationem)

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(Althing – Icelandic Parliament)  Government Thing Viking Law.  If it helps, pronounce it “Ting”.  But this is a real thing.

 

1307AD (39AS) Halmarpakt- Through the planning of his father, Halmar created the “Akiniwazi Union”, unifying all the Jarls and their Aettir into one cohesive government under him. There were now 13 “Royal” Aettir that united under the plan and became known as the Halmarpakt. Seven of them were given control of one of the lakes of the land while the remaining 5 were given major rivers as their lands while the Visekonge held the Kisiina Sea and the Athrflodjt as the personal lands of the Visekonge.

1310AD (42AS) – The Second Royal Census: In the wake of the Union of Akiniwazi’s creation and the naming of the 13 Royal Aettir, many old clans and families demanded some official recognition in compensation for agreeing to the new Halmarpakt. This prompted the order of the Second Royal Census. This was the first since the Isolation began. Many hoped it could help give closure to the era most Forsamling felt. Included in the census was the tracking of all the Aettir in Akiniwazi.

This, when complete, created the “Peerage of the Aettir”. Five distinct levels of peerage were created in the Halmarpakt.

Vapenaettir or “Crested Aettir” were those who had meritorious service to the Royal Aettir and land. They were given the privilege of a recognized coat of arms, motto, colors and family crest. Royal jewelers and metal smiths were directed to present graven copies of these to the heads of the family as templates for their family broaches and other jewelry.

Landetaettir or “Landed Aettir” were provided the privilege of recognized colors. They often were given much better titles and greater power as the Visekonge wished to rule in concert with the forming blocs of power.

Fargataettir or “Colored Aettir” were those who had provided meritorious service or were allied under one of the three Royal Aettir. They were given the distinction of a color, but took the crest of their patron Aettir.

Sivuaettir or “Paged Aettir” were those without land, industry or meritorious service, but could trace back their lineage to the old world and were still a cohesive family. These families were only listed in the Census Registry index. They had no official heraldry permitted. Their only honorific was the page and line number their family was listed on at the time of tabulation. Often Sivuaettir would have broaches and other decorations with the pair of numbers written on it. Although there was no officially recognized hierarchy, it created a social hierarchy and began to reshape society quickly as both new alliances were formed as the new Halmarpakt was accepted.

The result of the Census was grim. From a peak estimate of approximately 16 million people in the land, not including Thralls and Skaerslinger, only 5 million Forsamling survived the Fimbulvetr and the Aettirkriegen.