Baeraad's progress journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Baeraad, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Also a note for later in the story: at some point, Sylvia's ability to temporarily ease the pain of a wound needs to come in handy. Maybe it will give a wounded fighter the ability to stay on his feet for a few more crucial seconds or something.

    I kind of wonder if I should have used it in the fight scene I just finished, but it would require me to rewrite the flow of it. It just happens all in a blur, and I kind of can't imagine Sylvia reacting fast enough for it to matter. It might make more sense later in the story, when she's gotten used to the idea of people waving around swords in her close proxmity. I could foreshadow it by having her help Loren with the headache he'll be suffering from that fight, though.
     
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  2. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 15,231. Not great but at least passable.

    Sylvia is now going to try to get intel out of Marsh concerning the overall plot. I'm not feeling this scene yet, to be honest. I may need to sit down and have a serious think about it. Meh. I don't feel up for thinking right now. :p
     
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  3. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Okay, let's think. Gotta get my head in gear.

    Sylvia's motivation in this scene is pretty clear. She knows that Marsh knows about something big that's going on, and she wants it. She also wants access to his information network. (possibly he also knows how to get into the secret passages at Oculas? That'd fit nicely) To get this, she's perfectly willing to lie, flatter and pretend to be a simple country girl completely out of her depth. Well, technically she is a simple country girl completely out of her depth, but she's a lot smarter and bolder than she's going to pretend to be.

    Marsh wants to know what Sylvia's "in" with Toin is, and in particular whether she can get him noticed and recognised as the great man he thinks he is. He's vain enough that he's likely to fall for Sylvia's imitation of wide-eyed innocence - of course she'd look to him for protection, why wouldn't she? He isn't after any particular political advantage; there are things he could use, but he's not thinking practically. What he would like is some sort of honours and elevated titles, irrespectively of whether there was actual money and power attached.

    Marsh knows that stormsingers have been going missing from the Towers of Requiem. He also knows that the underground is buzzing about some new power player called the Shilde Blasfimuss, though he doesn't know who that is, only that it's got some sort of minions of the twitchy-eyed cultist variety. He has deduced that the two things are somehow related, and hopes that he can use that to give the impression that he's got invaluable information about it.

    So, the payoff of the scene is that Sylvia will lie and claim that she can get favours out of Toin (I need to come up with a plausible story that explains the facts that Marsh knows), Marsh will lie and claim that he knows all about the stormsinger thing, and also he will tell her how to get into the secret passages. Also, Sylvia will use her healing Gift to temporarily ease Loren's headache at some point, to establish that that's a thing she can do. So Loren needs to be present in the scene. I suppose Sylvia can use that to play up her vulnerability - "oh, good gracious, I wouldn't dare go anywhere without him, not after that horrid affair last night!!!"

    That leaves figuring out what Sylvia's cover story is. Her stepping right up to Toin and chatting him up might be played for naivité ("was that not a polite thing to do? Oh dear. Everything is so complicated in the city..."). But she also needs to pretend to offer a way in. Maybe play Toin off as predatory, effectively having sent for her as a virgin sacrifice? :p That would make her unable to extort favours from Toin, but Marsh might still be interested in having a set of eyes and ears in the Margrave's bed - that's the sort of arrangement that he's very used to, and Toin being all straight-edge and therefore impossible for Marsh to get at must annoy him.

    Okay. Yeah. That might work.
     
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  4. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 16,380. I got a nice writing spurt done today. :)

    Sylvia's and Marsh's conversation is going pretty well. I still think that I'm a little too all over the place, adding descriptions and tangents where they're not needed. But hopefully I'll be able to go back and cut those away later on.
     
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  5. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 16,638. A lousy week. I kept opening the file and shifting a few words around but I just couldn't get my mind in gear to add even a single additional paragraph. I blame my boss for making me too stressed and depressed to write. He is the enemy of Creativity, that man! :p
     
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  6. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    I managed to write a whole sentence yesterday. Wooooo hoooooo. :p

    It's still mostly due to job-stress (and... everything-stress), but it's also because this is a tricky story to write. I have a protagonist who's supposed to be smart, and that means that I have to be smart or it won't be believable. :p It's so much easier to write Brendor or Desin, both of whom can afford to act like idiots because they can just power through most obstacles. Sylvia is, intentionally, a character with less impressive magical and physical abilities, so every step she takes has to be calculated.

    I love reading about underdogs beating the odds, but I must admit that it's a lot easier to write about superhumans being effortlessly awesome... :oops:
     
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  7. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    I got a few paragraphs down last night, by skipping ahead and writing out that brief talk between Sylvia and Loren I had planned. I do like how Mika and Loren have turned out - they're both irreverent and critical of Sylvia, but Mika is an acerbic perfectionist who wants Sylvia to take things more seriously while Loren is a jaded smartass who takes things even less serious than Sylvia does. She's got a pretty fun chemistry with each of them.

    This chapter is a mess, though. There's meant to be a theme here about vanity and self-image, but I'm so all over the place that I probably contradict myself every two steps. It might require a full rewrite later on, but right now I just want to get through the damn thing. :p
     
  8. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,431. The week didn't end up quite as much of a complete waste as I thought. Still not very good, though.

    I'm nearing the end of this interminable chapter. Just trying to think of how to wrap it up. And then I suppose I need to think of what the next chapter should be about. Do I need a shopping montage? I feel like I want to get out on the town a little...
     
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  9. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765. Bleeeeegh. At least I finished chapter nine.

    I think I'll take two weeks off from this story and work on my roleplaying game - I have been dragging my feet in finishing the first draft, and I'm so close that it's annoying to never quite get there. After that I'll see. I might NaNoWriMo Heart of Silver - that'd certainly be a way of getting it done in a hurry, assuming I am still capable of writing at that kind of speed. If so, these updates will start being a lot more frequent. :p

    Or I could shelf it and NaNoWriMo something else, I suppose. I was considering using the onset of my SAD to write some cosmic horror. I mean, if I'm going to be feeling like my whole life is a meaningless anomaly in a cold and unfeeling cosmos, I might as well do something creative with it, you know? :p

    But we'll see.
     
  10. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Well, no writing this week, but that was planned. I did sketch up a town hall, a sheriff's department and a high school in my fictional town, though, so at least that thing is moving again. :)

    I think I'm definitely going to NaNoWriMo Heart of Silver. I just need to actually make some sort of synopsis for it. I'm about a quarter through the extremely vague planning I do have, so if I keep the same chapter length it should clock in at about 70,000... meaning that I only have very slightly more than 50,000 words left, perfect NaNo length.

    I'll probably need to start adding long, rambling worldbuilding sections at the start of each chapter to get the wordcount up. :p But that might not be the worst thing in the world, actually. It'll at least force me to develop my city and world in a hurry.
     
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  11. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    Um...that might not be a good idea. It's better to have a good book that's short than a long book that's padded to hell and boring. It might be a better idea to do those long worldbuilding sections in separate notes, sort of keeping in mind that they're meant to be at the start of the chapter and never put them there? I'm not really sure exactly how you're seeing these sections play out, so that last part might not be necessary. The varying chapter length, which seems to be your issue here, I always deal with in the second draft. In the first one, I just focus on writing and making sure it's decent. And, in the end, having a few chapters that are a little longer than the others isn't going to be an absolutely huge problem.

    Or maybe you have a really good reason and this advice is completely irrelevant. Who knows?
     
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  12. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Yeah, but after I'm done I can cut to my heart's content. And if I force myself to write any old nonsense, it'll force me to throw a lot of ideas out there. Some of them might be good ones. :)
     
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  13. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    I spent the week GURPSing Demon: the Fallen. I regret nothing! :p But it did mean I didn't get any work done on anything else.

    Aaarrgghhh... less than three hours to November, and my synopsis refuses to synopsify. I have vague ideas for three more chapter, then very vague ideas for the next four parts. Think, brain, think!
     
  14. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 3,080.

    I got off to a shaky start yesterday, and I'm still behind because of it, but I managed to catch up more than I thought I would. Sylvia is sparring with Regina while they are both watching a gladiator match. One gladiator is the stalker who tried to kill Sylvia, because... reasons. :p (I think it's just trying to unnerve her, which feels like the way a stalker thinks; it's meant to spread fear until it can go in for the kill, after all)

    For a while I thought I'd need to settle for a truncated NaNoWriMo, but perhaps I can actually hit the target this year after all. I actually surprised myself with how many words I managed to pull out of my ass today. :p
     
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  15. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 4,627. Okay, I fell slightly more behind today, but I'm at least keeping some kind of pace. I got through the arena scene and feel moderately pleased with it - having to come up with a lot of things quickly does force me to make Semerra slightly bizarre in the way that the Desin stories hint at but that I never quite feel like I accomplish in the longer ones. It still ain't that weird, because my imagination is limited, but at least it's a world that has a few oddities to it.

    Now to come up with a freaky cave system that might be displaced in time and space...
     
  16. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 4,667. Yeah, that's what I get for getting cocky. :p I just can't seem to get my act together to write today.

    Oh well. I'll try to catch up some tomorrow.
     
  17. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 6,619. Okay, I managed to write my quota and then a little extra, so I'm slightly less behind than yesterday. I'm kind of hoping I will be able to really pile up some words this weekend, because while this is going faster than expected, it's also going slower than I need it to go.

    Loren and Sylvia are being accosted by demons. At least I think they're demons - in my setting, weird creepy things that want to kill you for no apparent reason are usually demons. :p I note, not for the first time, that I'm really quite bad at writing chase scenes. Also, that much like the last long story I wrote, this one absolutely refuses to take itself seriously. The danger never feels quite as dangerous as all that, because the characters always seem to be jaded about it. And I am largely okay with that. I just worry that the style will put readers off. Oh well.

    Writing some worldbuilding at the start of every chapter is helping me flesh out the setting some. I've come up with a bit of history for Semerra, and the geography of the world is getting more defined too.
     
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  18. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 7,631. I underperformed today, so now I'm even more behind. Still hoping I can make up the difference over the weekend, though.

    I am sorry to report that I turned out to be forced to give Sylvia some superpowers to get her out of the scrape I'd gotten her into. :p I suppose if I cut the scrape in editing I can be rid of that part, but I'd rather think of some other way for her to get through it; I'm kind of fond of the idea for a door made to let only farseers through. We'll see. For now, I need to just move on with the story.
     
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  19. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 10,064. I'm calling it a day now. Damn, I really needed to get in more words than this - even if I get the same amount tomorrow, I still won't quite be caught up. But oh well. At least I've gotten Sylvia into Oculas and overhearing some mysterious conversations.

    By the way, I really need to think of a way to make this more plausible when I edit it. As it runs now, she basically just walks down a corridor and randomly runs into two conspirators. :p But that's the sort of detail that I think I should be able to fix later.
     
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  20. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 10,993. Dreadful. I'm a day and a half behind schedule. Admittedly, I've now written as much in this month as I would normally write in two, even after accounting for all the word cruft and random exposition I throw in to keep the word flow going. But still, it'd be nice to win this thing this year... but honest to goodness, I don't know if I can write faster than this. My brain just won't cooperate. :meh:

    Ah well. Time to consider how I want the climax to this volume to end. I want Sylvia and Toin chased by... something... but that's about as far as I've come. Might need to bring in random ninjas or something...
     
  21. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Urrggghhh, I hit a wall. I haven't written a single word today or yesterday, and in fact I can't even think of a single word to write. Complete stop. I think I overdid it.

    There is pretty much no way I can catch up now, but I'd still like to continue my month of speedier writing, so I'm lowering my goal to 25,000 words. That seems more doable. I'll relax a few days, then start up again at half pace.

    Also, when I start writing again, there will be crazed fish-demons. I have decided that much.
     
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  22. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 11,670. Okay, that's more like it. Nice and easy now. I got to have Sylvia and Toin bantering some more, which is always fun. NOw I have a second Mysterious Conversation to go through. And then, chase scene!
     
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  23. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 12,289. I'm now behind my new schedule. :p Though not much, and catching up a few hundred words is a lot easier than catching up several thousand. I'm fumbling a bit with just what the intrigue is supposed to be, and what Sylvia and the reader is supposed to think the intrigue is, but I think I might be able to built on what I've got.

    Tomorrow I need to get to the mad fish demons.
     
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  24. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 12,529. I'm even further behind schedule. But I still just need one good day to make up the difference, damn it. :p

    Not too happy with this scene. It's meant to be breezy and sexy, but it's too clear that my heart's not in it. It'll need rewriting. Oh well. Hopefully the second mysterious conversation wasn't too bad - it gets the point across that Regina is up to something and Jenna seems to be trying to muscle in on it. I need Jenna to seem pretty sinister since I'm teasing her as the villain but she's actually not. (she's loyal to Toin, after a fashion - even he doesn't know that, but she's not really as terrible as she pretends to be)

    Also, the Underbowel officially needs to have some sort of luminescent mushrooms or witch-fires or something to make it possible to see where you're going. Because every time I have my characters go down there, I end up struggling with the fact that they can't actually see what's going on around them. :p
     
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  25. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 13,544. All right, I caught up a little today. Mostly because I just went "hell with it!" and started writing while completely ignoring the lighting issue. I'll retcon it in later! :p Other than that, not so bad, I got the two leads talking some more which is always fun. Not sure they should be bantering while they're fleeing for their lives, admittedly, but that seems to be how I roll. :p
     
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