1. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Project Journal: The Silver Shrike

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by X Equestris, May 30, 2018.

    Here's the progress journal for my first stab at a novel. For nearly the past two weeks, I've been so wrapped up writing it that I procrastinated creating this thread.

    Set in one of the only surviving cities in a post-apocalyptic secondary world, The Silver Shrike is essentially a superhero story mixed with Renaissance-inspired fantasy. It will involve two rotating POV characters (my first experience with shifting POVs in one work), with very short interludes involving letters, newspaper clippings, and excerpts between each chapter.

    I'm aiming to avert or toy with common superhero fiction pitfalls, clich├ęs, and tropes, such as origins involving the death of a loved one, villains who are evil for the sake of being evil, no-kill codes, and the whole "Dating Catwoman" trope. Fingers crossed this all works out.
     
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  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    To date, I've got 16,546 words, spread across a prologue, three chapters, and four interludes.

    Compared to yesterday's 2236 words, today was fairly slow. I got in a few hundred words between Interlude #4 and revisions on Chapter 3, and edited Chapter 3. I had intended to write Chapter 4 today, but I'm reconsidering its first scene, so I need some time to plan.
     
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  3. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished Chapter 4 today. That works out to 2284 words. I'm now sitting at 18,831 total.

    With this done, both my main POV characters have donned their heroic identities for the first time. With most of the groundwork laid, things should move at a bit faster pace now.
     
  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Finished Interlude #5 and the first scene of Chapter 5 today. About 1,420 words, give or take.
     
  5. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished Scene 2 of Chapter 5. That was 2296 words.

    This was a pretty big fight scene, my MC's first big challenge, and leaves him badly wounded. Not to be sadistic, but there's something enjoyable about throwing obstacles at your characters.
     
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  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Finished Chapter 5 and Interlude #6 today. 1280 words today.

    The next chapter will see the first meeting of my POV characters.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  7. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Wrote all of Chapter 6. 3335 words.

    If I'm lucky, I'll wrap up Act 1 this weekend. We'll see how things go.
     
  8. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Looks like an interesting project. I'm looking forward to your updates.
     
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  9. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished Interlude #7 today, then edited. Only a few hundred words, but the weather was the sort that's so dreary it sucks the life out of you.

    Aiming to start and finish Chapter 7 tomorrow. Shouldn't be too long. Chapter 8 will be harder, especially since I'm merging the ideas I had outlined for 8 and 9. Once the merged 8 is done, I'll be finished with the first act.
     
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  10. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished Chapter 7. 2736 words today. Currently sitting at about 30,500 words total.
     
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  11. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    A busy weekend kept me from getting much writing done, but I did complete Interlude #8 today. Only 216 words, but progress is progress.
     
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  12. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished scene 1 of Chapter 8, and got a little ways into scene 2. 1809 words today.
     
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  13. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Finished Scenes 2,3, and 4 of Chapter 8. 2741 words today.

    Only one more scene left in Chapter 8, and Act 1 as a whole. This one will introduce the true antagonist for the first time.
     
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  14. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Started and finished the last scene of Chapter 8. Just shy of 2300 words today. That rounds out Act 1. My manuscript is standing at almost 38000 words so far.

    I tweaked the story a little from my outline, having one of my heroes formally join the main antagonist's group (a sort of rebel/neighborhood watch/ violent vigilante movement) out of fear of retaliation if she declined, when I previously had her declining but collaborating with one of its members. So she'll be acting as something of a mole until the midpoint, when her supposed allies (one of whom will be a lover) betray her.
     
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  15. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    I mostly focused on editing today, though I did finish Interlude 9. That was 236 words.

    I also reworked my outline to fit the tweaks I've made so far. 28 chapters remain, plus an epilogue.
     
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  16. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    More editing today. No original writing.

    I think I might take this break between acts to post about some influences and inspirations for this project.
     
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  17. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Since I didn't really do anything today, I'll post about some inspirations.

    The post-apocalyptic elements aren't going to be getting a ton of focus with this particular novel, since it's set in one of the few cities still standing, but they're still pretty important.

    The apocalypse itself is almost a magic version of a reactor meltdown, mixed with nuclear war. At the end of a six year, continent spanning war, desperate occultists from the losing nation conduct a ritual intended to turn the tide. It ends up breaking a key part of the world's metaphysics and releasing waves of energy that devastate the whole planet.

    All life is scoured from the occultists' homeland. Weaker waves flatten almost all human structures in Eurasia-equivalent landmass, and wipe out lots of plant and land animal life. The equivalent of the Americas gets off considerably lighter, but is still pretty disrupted.

    The planet itself has some pretty major alterations. For one, bands of light cover the night sky, almost blotting out the stars. These are are called shatterlights (after what happened to the sky) and are inspired by aurorae.

    image.jpeg

    Every night, between one and five inches of tiny gray crystals falls, even when there aren't any clouds in the sky. The locals call it skydust, but I might introduce other names in any later books I write. This stuff is inspired by volcanic ash, though it's nowhere near as dense and it rapidly breaks down in sunlight. Some rumors and one of the interludes suggest that it's slowly killing off land-based plant life, and may cause a food shortage soon.

    The Cataclysm's survivors also have to deal with the Affliction, a sort of allergic reaction to the return of magic. 40% of people recover after a week of flu-like symptoms. 50% linger a month or more before dying. 9% are left permanently, horrifically disfigured (their treatment is inspired by that of lepers in the medieval era). The remaining 1% emerge intact, with some sort of useful ability.

    If I get around to writing a sequel for this book, I aim to take one of my POV characters out into the wilderness, to see how the parts of the world that weren't shielded by mountains are currently faring. That'll be influenced by Fallout, a bit, with small communities trying to eke out a living while dealing with human brigands and a radically altered ecosystem (with some creatures thought to be legends wandering the world again).
     
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  18. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Wrapped editing today. Between a few revisions and outlining my interludes, I wrote about 500 words today. I'll be back to writing new chapters tomorrow. 9 will be pretty big, shaking up the main conflict and introducing the antagonist who will be my main character's love interest.

    I might post about character influences and inspiration later.
     
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