1. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England

    The Cerulean Front

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Dracon, Apr 14, 2018.

    I thought it would be best to segregate my current WIP in "A Glacier's Progress" from other projects I have in mind for the world of Artesia. Each "chronicle" examines a different area of Artesia's rich history. Roughly the same time period, but in very different locations (so I expect some overlap between stories) on the continent. All are in the planning stage, and I might flit in and out of them from time to time as I continue to edit the first chronicle. So I might reserve this for a more macroscopic overview of other ideas.

    So here's what's brewing in this crazy mind at the moment:

    The Cerulean Front

    The life of an Inspector of the Straits like Niger is a simple one: inspect the warehouses of the shipping cartels, tendering customs taxes, accepting the odd bribe.

    But the arrival of a woman - a "crusader" - set on challenging the city's corruption sees him unwillingly pulled into an impossible fight. And together they must survive the attention of unscrupulous pirates and corrupt bureaucrats, notorious gangsters and powerful trade cartels - all of whom are intent on making sure that life at the Straits remains the same as it always has.


    First Draft:-
    1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 // 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 // 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / Epilogue
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    Stormburn, Andy_Megumi and zoupskim like this.
  2. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Plumped for The Cerulean Front as my next project - I have since developed the idea to something more structured. Because last time I wrote, I also had a beginning, an ending and a few key scenes, and I know how well that turned out for me (multiple rewrites, compulsive fudging)!

    So now I have developed a rough plot outline with a middle, as well as further plot wrinkles and characters. And today I have been sketching out the prerequisite murky pasts for my two main characters. Some background reading on maritime trade and the ancient economy wills tabs me in good stead for writing it.
     
    Stormburn, zoupskim and Andy_Megumi like this.
  3. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    And so I begin once more! It wasn't so hard to put pen back to paper than I originally thought it was going to be.
     
  4. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Even as I write the first few thousand words, parts of the plot and character arcs are just falling into place of their own accord, as though it had always been planned. I've been stopping and starting as I try to scribble all these fresh ideas down before I forget them. Don't you just love it when that happens? It sort of gives me confidence that the rough outline I made was a sound one.
     
  5. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,806
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    just a heads up, Artesia looks and sounds dangerously similar to the contraceptive pill, Artizia :D Most people probably won't know this though, so you're fine I think.
     
    Stormburn likes this.
  6. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Well you can't be too careful these days!! Wouldn't want to evoke the wrong idea. Names are one thing I try not to be too concerned about - something that can be changed as easily as Ctrl+F.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  7. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,806
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    As long as the name isn't something short like Liv, or Rose, or Sam. Even with case recognition, if there was a sentence that went, "Lived there ten years ago," and you were replacing the name Liv with say, Cabbage...

    Cabbaged there ten years ago.


    [​IMG]
     
    Shenanigator and John-Wayne like this.
  8. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman with a pen in hand Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    3,456

    Happens with King as well, I tried to Mass capitalized King and capitalize everything else that had King in it. Such as thinking,

    Personally I like the name, and think it can lend itself to comic relief are the sort of inside joke, since even as a pharmacy technician I haven't heard about that contraceptive.

    I have a character in my story whose last name is basically nose virus
     
    Mckk likes this.
  9. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,806
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    Lol thinKing :D

    Yeah Artizia might be just a brand name - I get it in the Czech Republic.

    I agree re the inside joke. In my novel, I have a character whose surname means "strudel" in Czech :D Cipher Strudel :coffee::rofl:

    What kinda nose virus is your character?
     
    John-Wayne likes this.
  10. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    After that brief burst of writing a few scenes for my FMC's POV, I did some thinking to figure out who my MMC is and more about the characters surrounding his POV. In my previous story in which one POV was clearly the stronger and more compelling arc and completely outshone the second POV, which eventually forced me to scrap it (and 100k words along with it).

    So I definitely don't want to fall into the same situation again. That is one error I recognised, and definitely do not need to repeat. So I stopped from getting carried away with initial inspiration and am forcing myself to think things through once more before proceeding. I am keen to do both POVs justice.

    Time to set the meter:-

    1%
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
    Andy_Megumi likes this.
  11. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Starting from page one. Wrote the first thousand words starting at Chapter 1 now with my MMC. I'm returning to old roots and writing the first draft on pen and paper. The creative juices just flow a bit better that way, I find, and of course it's not healthy to stare at computer screens for hours on end; I do enough of that already.

    I've got a good plan of how I want the first few chapters to go. Hopefully somewhere in there is the spark that lights the fire - I know how important momentum is in writing!
     
  12. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    The ideas are still flying in faster than I can write them, with regards to both characters and plot. Which I am pleased about, but means I've been distracted from doing any actual writing.

    I think most plotters tend to have their premise and their knockout ending, and then work backwards. I include myself in that number. But there is inherent danger in such an approach, and one that I have personal experience. Namely a weak, meandering second act that is really just stalling out for that ending. But readers will have long since given up by that point.

    So I still haven't quite decided what is going to happen in Act Three - I have a few ideas but don't want to commit to a single one at this point. I'll try to write and see what Act One and Two are telling me which way I should take the story. And I do feel quite glad that I don't have that kicker of an ending that I would be racing through the rest of the novel to get to write. Instead I can just enjoy the journey.
     
    Andy_Megumi, Stormburn and zoupskim like this.
  13. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,566
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Try to think of the first action, or decision, your protagonist made. The denouement should contain a better, worse, or improved version of that first decision.

    In Fury Road both Max and Furiosa's first decisions in the whole movie is to run. He keep running again and again and again until finally, when their characters learn and change and ARC, they stop running and fight, leading to the climactic end chase/battle.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
    Shenanigator and Stormburn like this.
  14. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Interesting, never really thought of Mad Max in that manner as I considered the plot as pretty non-existential. It's pretty much a 2-hour car chase :p But yet it is easily the greatest action movie ever made, I was just blown away right at the point when I had been growing bored of all the generic action movies of the time that had come prior.

    Anyway, enough of me rambling about films. I see what you mean. User a transitions from man Vs man to man Vs corruption. While the former is possible, the latter is a battle that simply cannot be won (not if I wanted to be realistic, at least). Which is why I think I recognised that the climax has to be a moral victory rather than a physical one.

    The best way to do that: pair MMC with a naive young rookie with an optimistic view of the world out to fix the world's problems, a beacon of light in the darkness. Now the way I've plotted it gives his arc an almost sort of "buddy cop" vibe that completely changes the dynamic of the novel I originally conceived.

    And as such, it makes my FMC pretty much an antagonist now, part of the problem my duo are out to solve. This is the bit I'm unsure about: how her arc is going to end.
     
    Andy_Megumi, zoupskim and John-Wayne like this.
  15. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Typing up what I had 'written' over the week - about 2000 words, and I estimate still another 1000 more to come. Written in inverted commas, since it seems to be more of fragments of scenes from my head that don't quite stitch together as a whole. It's like I know what I want to happen, but just can't quite get it into the paper the way I want.

    And there are plenty of paragraphs that has me reconsidering "No, it's too early in the novel to be mentioning this yet - save it until another chapter". So I seem to have the opposite problem to having written my previous first draft: the plot comes easily, but the words are crap (whereas before it was writing quickly with a crap plot). I'm trying to tend to this now and not let myself get into the mess I was previously, and make sure I write complete scenes before moving on.
     
  16. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Chapter 1 - 4000 words, is complete. That's the first milestone! Slow throughput, I know, but nothing new for me, I guess.

    3%
     
  17. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    +1500 words, which is the bulk of the material Iw anted to write for Chapter 2, and I think it's a good introduction to my FMC's character. It sketches out the current state of her lif as well as those around her until that proverbial knock on the door that changes everything.
     
  18. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman with a pen in hand Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    3,456
    I've been wanting to share something with you, I thought you might find amusing.

    When I was younger, for some reason I really hated the humans in Warcraft, so when I started World building, I named a nation Azeroth, who would be antagonists throughout the series.

    Now course I can't use Azeroth, so I rename it to Azterik. So that's my own personal inside joke there, LOL.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    zoupskim and Dracon like this.
  19. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Were your antagonists also humans then? :D I don't have any inside jokes, not intentional ones, anyway... do you find yourself doing that often?

    I have had a few ideas for different novels in this world, and in all of them, quite unintentionally, the antagonists have all seemed to originate from one nation in particular. Which is quite bad when trying to paint a "neutral" history in which there is no good or evil side :p
     
    John-Wayne likes this.
  20. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman with a pen in hand Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    3,456
    well the area is a bit of a wasteland, there are humans, but also orcs and Boarmen. There were lizard-men, but they either fled or were exterminated by the humans. The region is known to be highly Xenaphobic with the Boarmen as slaves to both humans and orcs, though the humans rule the land.

    Mind you I'm using generic terms here, they're different regions so different cultures of humans, orcs, etc. Do exist in this world
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    zoupskim likes this.
  21. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Chapter 2 is complete. The stage is set. Already the characters feel different to the characters in my previous novel. That's a good sign. Chapter 3 is a good opportunity to delve into the setting of the novel: a wealthy port city. i think for the first draft I will indulge an infodump, just so I can get all the relevant information and worldbuilding sitting in my head onto the page, and then carve it up for distribution later. Some of which has been sitting in my head for years now, recycled from other aborted stories, and no doubt I will create more as I begin to write it all out.

    Updated OP:- Stripped OP of the previous ideas I have in my head now that I've decided to commit fully to The Cerulean Front. Also up there is a checklist with a best-guess projection of 30 chapters, and target of ~120,000 words. We'll see how long that lasts! :D

    5%
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Andy_Megumi likes this.
  22. Andy_Megumi

    Andy_Megumi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    34
    I tried doing that with my prologue and it ended up being 11k words long (and I felt really lost among so much info). I think I work better the other way around: first focus only on the key points of the story and then add the necessary details in future drafts. What I do, though, is to write all the extra info and descriptions organized in a special folder within Scrivener. I prefer to have them there than within the actual draft because adding comes easier to me than cutting out.
     
    Dracon likes this.
  23. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Sometimes you catch onto a good idea and you begin to unravel the thread. It's difficult to plan for such moments, and in the setting design it is something I think is highly likely to happen.
    Yes, I haven't created a Scrivener file for this project yet! I haven't really taken advantage of its editing since I purchased it, using it just as an easy way of compartmentalising all of my scenes, and writing some character sheets and setting sheets that I never actually ended up looking at again in great detail!! Perhaps that might be useful now being more of a planner.

    Added 1000 words.

    6%
     
    Andy_Megumi likes this.
  24. Andy_Megumi

    Andy_Megumi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    34
    Yes, you are right. It happens to me too.

    What I was trying to say is that, unlike before, I don't try to write everything from the start. If I get inspired about something then I write as much as I need to unravel the thread (and if it doesn't have a place yet, I put it in on a different Scrivener folder). But if I'm not specially inspired about something then I don't try to force it and I just focus on the key points instead. What I like about focusing on the key points first is that it actually sparks ideas that I want to explore, so I may write a second and a third draft (of the same part or chapter, for example) exploring those ideas.

    In Scrivener I have main folders for characters, settings, etc. And I also have subfolders for each main folder: random ideas, disorganized info, sheets, etc. But I don't fill in the all the sheets at the beginning. I fill in most of the sheets as I write, so I have subdocuments for each sheet's folder like these: updated sheet, older sheets, etc. It's interesting to see how the info in the sheets evolves and changes as I write.
     
    Dracon likes this.
  25. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    England
    Thats a better idea - i remember for my first novel, IIhad made character sheets for all the characters I intended to introduce, planned to make a chapter-by-chapter plan, a timeline, a big map... But not long into the process I was already bored, and just started writing.

    However, I barely ever returned to that old Scrivener file. I am envious... I think admittedly, it's always been the case that I've liked the idea of all this, but in reality I lack the patience. And then I spend quarter of an hour trashing my room to find one piece of paper that I quickly scribbled down an idea. Like some weeks ago I carried out a lab experiment - I wrote a detailed method of each step, printed it out and took it with me into the lab... and then never even looked at it again! I'm that person.
     
    Andy_Megumi likes this.

Share This Page