1. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Stormburn's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Stormburn, Apr 27, 2017.

    I have been working on a series of novels based upon the ‘Forgotten Realms’ setting during the bhaalspawn events. The story had been written for the complete series and the first drafts of novel one and two were finished.

    I grew to be fascinated by the ‘Time of Troubles’, when the pantheon gods of the Forgotten Realms were made mortal and force to fight for survival. But, I had no freedom to work with a story related to that interesting event.

    So, I decided to stop work on that project and used that material for my own series that takes place in a setting of my own creation.

    So, here go:


    The series is titled Áed, and the story is told in three books: Asylyn, the Wyvern Witch and Zorya Nain.

    The story is about a young woman of unknown origins named Asylyn who has lived as basically a ward to the state. The world has been shaped by an event where the pantheon gods were made mortal by a mysterious new god and most of them were destroyed. The remainder went into hiding.

    As the war between the gods flare up again, Asylyn discovers that that she too is a god. Only, in this new war, both sides want her dead.

    Development Stage: Despite the massive amount of material I will be able to recycle, I have to build the world and its mythology. While a lot of the characters and individual story lines can be carried over, the ‘Crisis’ itself cannot be determined until the world, mythology and its history is in place.

    Therefore, while that takes place:

    Short Story Time!

    Lead Me to the Grave (Horror, WC 2500)- Teenagers, grave digging and romance(kind of)!

    Development: 5th draft with the first sample reading completed.

    Die a Hero(Sci-Fi, WC 1500)-Mongols, Hungary in April and Aliens!

    Development: 4th draft, first sample reading completed.


    Godspeed!
     
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  2. ame_trine

    ame_trine Member

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    The series idea sounds intriguing. Best of luck :)
     
  3. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I am almost finished with the creation lore of Triskele (my world has a name, yeah!). It has been a lot of work (WC 4000) but I am very glade I'm doing it. The creation story is giving me a lot 'left turns' that cut and pasting concepts from Google would not have given me.
    Below is an example of concept art for Triskele. Its an idea for the overall world geography and the area of the world where the story takes place. Triskele Concept.jpg
     
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  4. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    OK, here is the update for today:

    Áed: The creation story of Triskele is complete (WC around 4,600). Now, there is a history for Triskele up to the global disaster that is the foundation for the world that the story takes place in. But, now, I have a very good idea of the nature of the 'crisis' in the story.
    Now, I need to develop the history of Triskele into it's contemporary age. My intention is to draw from publications about trade in the Roman, Medieval and Asian world for trade routes, roads, towns, cities and nations.
    Lead Me to the Grave: The sample reading was great! Several real, but fixable flaws were brought to my attention. I have never done a sample reading before, and at times, I felt like a punching bag, but it was worth it. The improvements that will make the story better I would have not thought of/found on my own. Rewrite due tomorrow.
    Die a Hero:This sample reading was a lot harder to gauge. Some people really loved the story, some people really hated it. While I'm seeking opinions and not critiques, there was very little defined reasons given to like it or dislike it(unlike the story above). Rewrite due Monday.
    Godspeed!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  5. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Bit of a rough day. Had to do a climb and my upper body is complaining about 'working on the weekend' now.
    The goal was to complete a new rewrite of Lead Me to the Grave based upon the sample reading. I did it!
    In the last three drafts my WC has gone from 3014 to 2227 and I've worked in all the suggestions that was made. I do not know if I'm ready for an edit draft, but, I can't be more than a rewrite or two away.
    Tomorrow, Lord Willing, I'll rewrite my other short story, Die a Hero.
    Godspeed!
     
  6. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I had great ambitions for this weekend and they have not played out. I've done more climbing in two days than I did all last week. That said, today's goal was to do a rewrite of Die a Hero, and, it was done.
    But, this is now draft 5 of DaH, and, I see at least two more rewrites. The word count went from 1310 for Draft 4 up to 1332 for draft 5. Even though it is suppose to be a simple story with a wacky premise and twist at the end, it has proven anything but that in writing it. Based on the sample reading, I reworked the sequence of events and flow to make it easier to follow. So, planning to do another small sample reading to see if I've progressed any.
    It is frustrating. Lead Me to the Grave has progressed farther in less rewrites and its a story that I'm really excited about. DaH seems to be in the 'three yards and a cloud of dust' school of progress.
    Godspeed!
     
  7. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    By trying to become a writer, I have become a...super villain.
    Rewrote Lead Me to the Grave and the WC now is 1862. That is 368 less than draft 4.
    I am a villain now who slaughters words with no mercy. I have become the ...Unwriter!
    A writer who unwrites his story? Wasn't that a premise to a Lovecraft story?
    Godspeed!
     
  8. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Somewhere I posted I have discovered the joy of the rewrite. Well, somewhere beyond that joy is utter black hatred of the rewrite.

    Today, my so called 'friend': "I see you used an orange to describe the sun. That's not your usual poetic garbage."
    Me: "That because I was picturing things to throw at you. Have you happen upon the assault rifle metaphor yet?"
    Friend: "Not yet."
    Me: "You will. Several times."

    Anyway, today was a bad production day. Did some last second revisions to my rewrite of Lead Me to the Grave and sent that off to my...friend. My employer has interpreted my ability to climb anything as lets have him climb everything. A long day at work. Some beautiful pictures of clouds and mountains though. I stopped at 600 words into my rewrite of Die a Hero. I should finish sometime tomorrow and then start another rewrite of LMttG.
    Godspeed!
     
  9. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Today may have been a turning point for me as a writer.
    I finished the rewrite for Die a Hero (draft 6) and sent that off. I feel better about that story. Tonight, I did yet another rewrite of Lead Me to the Grave(also draft 6). Then, it happen! Suddenly, I could see the revisions I needed to make along with how to make the ending BETTER!
    I have been writing now for about four years. Tonight, I may have written something...good.
    Godspeed!
     
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  10. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    When it rains, it pours. Congratulations! It must feel liberating to have finally finished something for good, and an important milestone in your writing journey! :agreed:

    And what cataclysmic event happened on Earth for the geography to turn out the way it does on your map (Triskele)?
     
  11. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    In the past, the elves lived on a giant sky island. The disaster was kind of like a heavenly Atlantis. But, the continent didn't fall all at once. It began to crumble and rain debris down as it orbited overhead long enough to pelt the entire world.
    The world lore up until that even is written. Now, I need to establish a rough history of modern Triskele. Then, start a development draft of the story.
    Godspeed!
     
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  12. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    My short story, LMttG, is almost done. In 7 full rewrites, it has gone down from a WC of 3,000 to around 1,550 in the 1st revision of draft 7. I first posted about LMttG on April 27th and it was at the 5th rewrite and had just underwent a sample reading. At that point, I thought it was finished. I was wrong. It has taken two more full rewrites to get it to the edit stage. Two things I have learned from this:
    1)Its vital to have someone to edit my work. I would have stopped at the 5th draft. Taking it to the 7th draft has made all the difference.
    2) Next time I think I 'nailed' something, it means I need to keep on hammering.

    Áed: I've been 'world building' for my fantasy series. By removing my MC and cast of characters from the 'Forgotten Realms' setting and the 'Time of Troubles' event, I lost the plot to my story. Now, I believe I have found a new plot. I will be doing some outlining and scene writing to see if I really have something.
    Godspeed!
     
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  13. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    LMttG is finished! Draft 7 went through three 'revisions' before becoming the finished draft. The WC of the first draft was around 3,000 and in the final draft its around 1,450. I wondered if I've spent too much time learning how to write and not enough time learning about rewriting. As a writer, I'm seeing red flags all over the place. If I had so much trouble with rewriting a short story, a novel is going to be a disaster. Since my current novel is still in its development stage, I'm going to review my entire approach to writing, from concept to drafting. While I believe I do have some talent, my approach to work is anything but professional. There is no way, under a deadline, I could produce professional work.
    But, that is why I'm here at WF, to learn.
    Áed: A very rough plot is in place. Now, I'm going to work on characters as I still world build. Here's another development map for Triskele:
    Triskele 4500AF.jpg
    The story takes place, roughly, around 7500AF. The Vor is a goblin like humanoid while HDE stands for Human, Dwarf and Elf. The elves are known as 'mortal' elves. They had been exiled to the surface world from the 'high' elves floating continent.
    The red dots are the dwarven cites the peoples sheltered in during the catastrophe of the elven continent falling. From these centers they emerge to rebuild civilization. At this point there should be cities on the map also, but, that is still to be sketched in. A small number of high elves also survive but will not reveal themselves until later.
    Now, the plan is to do a rough timeline up to the time of the story. I want enough detail to build the story world, but, to allow that detail to evolve as the world evolves within the story.
    Die a Hero: I had believed it was approaching its final draft. Now, I know better. Right now, I'm focusing on trimming and then rewriting.
    Godspeed!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  14. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Áed: I worked on the geo-political map of Triskele as it is at the time of the story (around 6000AF). Established around 20+ nations. I'm using real world nations (timeline 1000-1500AD) as the starting point. For example, the Tumulus Citadel, where the story begins, is based upon Vatican City. With the world established at 3000AF and now 6000AF, and by using real world counterparts, I should now be able to develop histories, customs and designs that is creative and consistent.
    Still, the population make-up is changing. I originally intended to have elven, human and dwarven nations. Now, since the three groups survived together in isolated pockets, most of the nations will be a mix between the three and will identify themselves by region and cities instead of race. Now, that the countries and cities are starting to fall in place, and I can begin to flesh this out.
    The plot is really starting to develop. Now that the world is coming into focus, I can begin to see what players in the story are trying to do. Now, I can begin to work on character bios and designs and a skeleton plot outline.
    I will be working up a new concept map soon. And, should begin producing character designs also that I will post.
    Die a Hero:Finished the 7th draft tonight. It's better, but, I see what my ...friend...says.
     
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  15. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Áed: Finished populating the world map of Triskele at 6000AF. Now, my characters actually have places of origins. I have a country of bad asses located, roughly, in our world off of the east coast of Africa. Well, its just so happen that is the location of Mount Kilimanjaro. So, the Kiliman Jaare are born.
    Now, I'm working of a timeline of world events taking Triskele to the time of the story. I have planed to make the dwarves a different racial stock of man, but, would live on the surface as well as underground. But, the falling of the Elven continent forced everyone underground. After the impact winter began to clear, the dwarven survivors decided that underground was the place to be. Also, as the Fea began to restore nature to the surface of Triskele, they were joined by some humans but mainly surface elves. The humans would eventually become the druids.
    Die a Hero: Completed an 8th rewrite. It is improving.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  16. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    The project I was on in Maine has ended and I'm back home in Michigan with my family.
    AED: I'm juggling story elements and research elements because they play off of each other. It is becoming less of a reworking of my 'Forgotten Realms' series and more of a reamagining. I'm really excited.
    Die a Hero: My other short story is completed so this now has priority. Draft 8 is completed. I would like to be ready to edit by draft 10.
    Godspeed!
     
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  17. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Enjoying my time at home. That said, writing time is hard to come by. I am getting a little writing done.
    AED: The world is coming together. The ' Eliminster' of Triskele now exists. I'm getting so excited about the characters in this world.
    Die a Hero: Yet another rewrite. It's a little better.
    Corner: New short story for the June contest. Crop circles via England in 1940.
     
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  18. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Contributor

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    You've given me a great idea (I'm sure it was unintentional :D ). Thank you! Great work, keep it going :)
     
  19. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Wow, your world-building looks impressive! And the setting seems very interesting. Although, I've never played D&D and I'm unfamiliar with the Forgotten Realms, unfortunately. :(

    I have a vague recollection áed means "fire" in some language...
     
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  20. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks! Áed is an old Irish world for fire. I wanted a Paris for the Urn continent. Paris name came from the Gaelic Celt tribe called the Parisii. I found another tribe called the Aedui used that as the origin of city of Áed. The city is going to be built upon the remains of a great elven city that fell from the sky.
     
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  21. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Made a little progress today.
    Corner: Wrote the idea draft today. It's neat to read a story on paper after its been in my head for a little while. Like LMttG and Die a Hero, its a off the top of the head idea that I'm going with. WC came in at a little over 800. I'm shooting for 1500.
    Áed: I worked on the event time tonight. The Rir are viking like goblins. Using actual Norse history, it was very easy to plug in a Rir history.
    Godspeed!
     
  22. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    It's been a rough weekend so far. I have been so busy. Love being home but there is so much catching up to do.
    Áed: I'm stuck! Wow. I had thought that the development of magic and wizards was going to be a struggle, but, in the context of the magic-system and the world it all flowed very naturally. But, the development of Triskele up to the time of the story has taken a left turn and I'm at a lost at how the 'Crisis' that is the underpinning of my premise happens.
    Circle: Established my protagonists. At this rate, the story will be done by next June.
    Godspeed!
     
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  23. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I'm enjoying being at home. That said, it has been hard finding time to write. Part of the process of becoming a writer is to bring my family into the process and I haven't seen a tip on how to do that in a book.
    AED: I may have found the way to move the plot forward. If it works the crisis in my books will be very different from my 'Forgotten Realms' books. Honestly, with all the changes, it seems only some names and concepts are carrying over.
     
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  24. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    This week has been discouraging. Along with the lack of time and structure to write, the feedback from my short stories have been so negative I've been tempted to give up. But, the point of writing short stories was to produce finished pieces and see where I'm at as a writer. That has been a success. Just, not very flattering.
    Áed: The process of world building that I'm using is proving very successful. Last night, in developing the history of the bad guys, I had them take over a city several hundred years before the story. Because the city has a real world counterpart, it was very easy to create a fictional history.
    The antagonists are changing, and the plot hinges on them, so the story is still evolving.
    Short Stories:I'm scrapping all my short story projects. Thanks to the feedback, and from the resources on this web site and others, I have an idea of what I'm doing wrong. I'm starting a new short story. I will keep it very simple. We'll see how it goes.
    Godspeed!
     
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  25. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Contributor

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    Where do you get your feedback on your short stories? I'm asking because you talked about bringing your family in, so that makes me wonder if you lean on them to provide feedback. Now there are very few families out there who can give objective feedback, because either they are in love with your work because it's you that has written them, or they aren't interested at all.

    If you want objective, why not post one or two here in our workshop and see what random writers say? It might be that they have good ideas how to fix issues, or maybe the 'issues' are non-issues even :)
     
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