The Blood of the Spear – WiP Report 4

or The Long and Winding Road

More time has passed then I care to think about since my last update.

Work during this time has been intermittent, the Black Dog is a heartless master but you do what you can. I am currently working through the FINAL rewrites of The Blood of the Spear. The goal is to have these complete by the end of summer (that’s summer in Australia, for any of you who happen to be in the Northern Hemisphere that’s the end of winter).

I am cautiously optimistic that I will reach this goal although the progress bar in the top right corner of the site has not updated because it’s kinda hard to gage just where I am at with all the cutting and adding of words.

When we last spoke I was lamenting the need to change the name of my series, well presently I am calling it ‘The Eye of the Eternity’. That is perhaps not a hugely original title given it has been the title of at least one novel and is a place in the universe of the World of Warcraft, but it is also a place in my universe and I first heard the phrase/name in the mid 80’s when reading Sorcerer’s Legacy by Janny Wurts. So there.

There is another title I am mulling over. We will see.

In the meantime, the actual back story of the novel has… shifted. So while the actual tale itself has not changed some shifting in the narrative and world building needs to be done to bring it into line. That will happen once I have completed the final re-writes of the middle section (which have been driving me crazy!).

Moving forward with this book, and the rest of the series, I am working from this document as placeholder/mission statement/keystone. It’s not a synopsis or a blurb, but the underpinning of everything to follow:

The Legacy of the Sahrin

For three millennia the Sahrin, men and women marked by the Eye of Eternity and gifted with the ability to summon beings of elemental power, led humanity to heights undreamed of by their star-faring forefathers. But in their pursuit of power and immortality, ten of the Sahrin opened a gateway to the Void and fell to the possession of daemons. The war that followed destroyed the civilization that the Sahrin had built and the cataclysm, known as the Sundering, changed the face of the world.

At the war’s end a High Seer of the Shaluay foresaw that with the tear in the veil between worlds, daemons would forever more hunt those branded with the Mark of the Summoner. Since that time, though records held in the shrines of the elder gods venerate the Sahrin as saviours, the people have feared them as destroyers. Any child born with the Mark of the Sahrin, or any man or woman upon whom it appears, is now executed without exception before they might fall to possession and unleash forces that cannot be controlled.  

But in the chaotic years after the Sundering, other Seers who survived the collapse of civilisation were plagued with conflicting visions and prophecies. They saw that the Sahrin would return and that the daemons hordes would come again. And that the Phoenix Lord – warlord and leader of the Sahrin – would be reborn, and in his hands would he hold the world’s salvation, or its destruction.

The Blood of the Spear – WiP Report 3

Hello fair readers!

It’s been some time since I graced you with an update, and I know you are all waiting with baited breath to hear how it’s going…

Well. It’s going.

I am currently working on the last PoV doc, and am sitting at 87% of the 5ht draft manuscript done. It’s hard to give an accurate word count because all the chapters have been broken up to make the PoV docs. So, I am cutting where I can, but have added in other places so until I put everything back together and let word do it’s counting magic… i have no real idea. But I am guessing it’s still in the vicinity of 200K (I haven’t cut  THAT much).

By and large I have been happy with the edits. Yes, there are days where I wail with despair and want gouge my eyes out. But then there are days where I open a doc and start to edit early work (so work that was done before I grew as a writer [which has been happening very quickly!]) and I am amazed at how easily and clearly I see what I need to ‘tweak’. That is exciting and it helps bury that voice that tells me it’s all crap.

I still have a prologue to re-work and I have plotted some major re-writes in the middle section, but I am hoping that I will have it completed and ready for some final reads in the next 6 weeks.

Exciting!

In some less exciting news it looks like I have to change the series name for my epic.

I have been calling it The Path of Ascension and have found out that Ian Cameron Esslemont, an established author with books published and a contract with Random House, has named his next series Path to Ascendency’.

Erf.

The Path of Ascension, in my books, relates directly to ancient – and largely lost – teachings of a race called the i’Malisantians that mankind believes will give the follower/practitioner access to enormous ‘magical’ power and immortality (and that is a very basic view of it).

I have another series title in mind that fits the world and has relevant meaning to the story so…

The Blood of the Spear – WiP Report 2

I’ve just come back from two weeks of a annual leave and the 5th draft of TBotS is now sitting at 56% complete.

I had a lovely time imagining that I was a full-time writer, working for myself. I was up at 7am every morning , coffee in hand, and writing until 9am to stop for breakfast before going back to the pc to continue until about 11am or so, which gave me the rest of the day to myself.

Image from getwrite.com

Such bliss. I could do this for a living, ya know?

Sigh.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, my novel has two main characters, half-brothers Kaiel and Darien Toranth, and much of the novel is written from their PoV. In this final (I hope) draft I have collected each characters chapters and am working through them so I can focus on their voice without distraction. I have completed Kaiel’s chapters and am about half way through Darien’s

Unfortunately being back at work means my progress will slow down some given I can only concentrate on the manuscript on weekends – I am just too tired after work to get much done in the evening at the moment.

AND I have realised that the entire middle sequence (of about 4 chapters) is not working. Brainstorming on my break I have worked out how to approach it and rework but I will wait until I have finished this pass on the PoV’s and put all the chapters back together. THEN I will work on the middle, re-jig the prologue and send the manuscript back out to beta-readers for a final look.

The Blood of the Spear – WiP Report 1


I’ve been working on this book, The Blood of the Spear, for a long time. Its genesis spark flared to back in 1992 or so but if the truth be told I’ve only been writing it since 2010.

I am now on my fifth draft, having sent the 4th out to beta-readers and getting a manuscript assessment by the awesome Bothersome Words.

The feedback has been good and various issues with telling (vs showing) and some characterisation have been pointed out. No-one has had an issue with the plot which is a huge relief. If I’d had to go back and make major changes I think I would have cried. The fourth draft incorporated what I thought was going to be a small change, moving the introduction of two characters from the beginning of the book to the middle. It turned out to be a rather major undertaking, akin to pulling a thread out of a woven tapestry and struggling to make sure it didn’t unravel. And at 200000 words that can be a…challenge.
Well, I’ve completed that and don’t need to do anything like that again… I hope. Just ‘tweak’ stuff.

Of course ‘tweak’ makes it sound a lot simpler then it is. But I am getting there.

What I’ve done this time around, is pull out each PoV chapter and am now focusing on one character’s story at time, effectively, going back to the beginning and working right through to the end. There are 4 main PoV and 2 or 3 smaller ones that pop up throughout the book.

Once that work is done, it will go out to a few more readers and then – all things being equal (ha!) – it will be ready for submission.

Slow Going

This restructure I decided to undertake is playing havoc with my mojo in the rewrites.

That and the fact that I didn’t write anywhere near as much as I had planned over my holidays. Anyway I am now at 67% rewritten – and  good chunk of the ‘new’ chapters I have just worked on will need more going over when I am done – moving a head slowly.

Conflux 9 was amazing – and a little freaky in that as much as it is empowering for aspiring writers it can also be a little scary. The Inner Critic has gotten loader again and I doing my best to ignore him.

It also doesn’t help my writing cause to be given an ARC of the upcoming book by one of my favorite authors – I am not complaining, truly 😉

But I’ll get there. Still lots of work to go.

Art by Raphael Lacoste

Forging Ahead

I spent the better part of the weekend writing and am now at 51% through the 3rd draft of The Epic.

I’ll finish it one day.

I also got my eyes tested and its official – I pick up my glasses this coming weekend (at least I hope I do as the computer screen at work is getting harder and harder to see… and being an aspiring writer it kinda helps if you can see what you’re writing).

I have just embarked on reading:

The Dirty Streets of Heaven
Bobby Dollar #1
By Tad Williams
BUY IT

BOBBY DOLLAR ISN’T YOUR AVERAGE ANGEL.

Sure, he takes the occasional trip to Heaven, but his job as an advocate – arguing the fate of the recently deceased – keeps him pretty busy on Earth, and he’s more than happy to spend the rest of his time propping up the bar with his fellow immortals. Until the day a soul goes missing, presumed stolen by ‘the other side’. A new chapter in the war between heaven and hell is about to open. And Bobby is right in the middle of it, with only a desirable but deadly demon to aid him.
__________________________________________________________

And

Trinity Rising
The Wild Hunt #2
By Elspeth Cooper
BUY IT

Gair’s battle has only just begun and yet his heart has already been lost. As he struggles with a crippling grief, still outwardly functional but inwardly torn into pieces, he sleepwalks into a situation that’s greater and more deadly than he or Alderan ever anticipated. A storm of unrest is spreading across the land and they are going to be caught up in it – at a moment when Gair’s hold on his magic, his greatest defence and most valuable tool, is starting to slip…

He is not alone in noticing the growing unrest and sensing something darker looming behind it. Beyond the mountains, in the bitterly cold north, Teia has seen the signs as well. After hundreds of years of peace her people are talking of a risky invasion to reclaim their ancestral lands her Speaker claims the gods are on their side, but Teia fears another, hidden hand of stirring her people up. Whatever the truth, all she can see in her future is blood, battle and death. If she could only see a way to avert that fate.

But how can men be convinced to fight, when they have no idea they are part of a war.
____________________________________________________________

Although who I think I am kinding by reading ‘two books at once’ is beyond me.  In any case these are the days of my life.

Oh! And I’ll be posting 10 Terrifying Questions I had Tad answer for Booktopia soon.

Progress Report (or the lack thereof)

I was very slack this past weekend. No writing was done.

Maybe I needed a rest, but I really want to get this finished. So when I do take time off I feel… guilty. Now I am not being ‘to hard on myself’ – hello, Procrastination by thy name – but it just feels like I’ve been doing this forever.

But as much as I want it done, I was want it to be as good as I can make it so… I’ll let myself write as I write.

However. I have put together a new writing schedule (and yes, I realise that the trick with schedule’s is to stick with them) and I am hoping that this will push the progress a little faster. Of course this schedule (which includes weeknights) will only last until the new World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria comes out on Tuesday the 25th of September. Then… well. it will be back to Saturday and Sunday only, and maybe five pages a night on the week nights.

The biggest thing for me at the moment is getting past feeling like everything I’ve written is rubbish. The more I look at it the more I see needs to be done. And I am meant to be cutting words, but these things I am seeing require I add more.

It’s driving me crazy!

The internal Critic is evil – yet I also hope he’s a necessary evil and that by pushing myself harder – in an effort to shut him up – I might actually finish a novel I will be proud of.