Jun 03

Nose to Tail Revision (and Snippets)

Posted: under Craft, Editing, Horngard, Progress, snippet, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  June 3rd, 2024

“As you know…” I’ve been working on, and re-working on, and re-RE-working on Horngard I.  Recovering the ability to write fiction has not meant (alas!!) recovering the ability to do two or three layers of revision at once.  Revision has been a fairly arduous process of fixing this bit, then that bit, than then this other bit, one at a time, even when the things to be fixed were in the same sentence or paragraph.   It is getting better, but not as fast as I want.

But–on the bright side–Horngard I has a new first chapter that is MUCH better than the previous one in multiple ways (characterization, plot, etc.)  AND a new ending section that solves a problem several people who’d seen it had noted.

Even so both of these fragments had to be rewritten several times in several days.  But to celebrate the completion (I hope) of the first chapter and the last, here are a few snippets


From Chapter One:

Where: near or in Valdaire, in Aarenis, morning.  Who: Camwyn, 21 yo, formerly Camwyn Mahieran, crown prince of Tsaia

Camwyn resented Dragon ignoring his own wishes, and “not wise yet” didn’t help. Someday, he would find out where he had come from.  Someday he would find out if his family still wanted him.  Grateful as he was, he would not give up that hope for Dragon’s dream.

Where: coming down from the mountain pass from Tsaia to Aarenis, midday.  Who: Aris Marrakai, 18 yo, one of four squires to Duke Arcolin

He let himself drift into the hope he’d clung to for years, and hidden from his disapproving father: finding his best friend, Prince Camwyn, missing for more than five years.  Have time and freedom for his search.  Thus: be a courier, carrying messages for the Duke   from city to city on a fast, tireless horse, ridden by a young man of good breeding and impeccable reputation, the squire who never got into trouble.

Where: lunchtime at The Golden Fish, Valdaire.  Who: Aesil M’dierra, Golden Company owner/commander

She noticed a handsome dark-eyed stranger, a young man she’d never seen before, at the front window table, richly dressed in bold yellow and black over mail. A visiting princeling from the north?  Or perhaps from Fallo or one of the Immerhoft ports?  A padded coif on his head hid his hair.

Where: later lunchtime at The Golden Fish    Who: Aesil M’dierra,   Gurtnor Sartanits, Blue Company owner/commander

She recognized Gurtnor Sartanits, owner and commander of Blue Company, mail under his blue surcoat, tall boots folded to knee height, a dagger hilt showing in each, sword  on one side and a wide-bladed short sword on the other.  He strode in as if he owned the inn. Behind him were two of his captains, also wearing mail, spurred boots, and ample weaponry.

Sartanits’ smile, when he spotted her, had no friendliness in it, and his voice oozed condescension.  “Commander M’dierra!  Fancy meeting you here without your faithful Arcolin.  Found someone less ancient, have you?…”

One of these four will be dead by the end of the book, one accused of murder and under presumed sentence of death, one very badly wounded, one about to announce retirement.

To avoid spoilers, you’ll have to wait to see a snippet from the end, if I can find one that doesn’t reveal too much.  Chapter One, after a last change this morning, should be stable from here on.

Comments (13)

Feb 16

Yee Haw!

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  February 16th, 2010

…”Out of period!” sniffs the judge of exclamations.  “Does not fit the book.”

Well, no, but my copies of the Orbit edition of Oath of Fealty arrived today.    They’re both in the study with me where I gloat over them every few minutes.    Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (0)

Dec 27

Noodling About…

Posted: under Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  December 27th, 2009

Yesterday’s workday turned into a mere shadow of itself thanks to something I ate that didn’t love me for some hours of the night before.  But still–progress.  Sort of.  I was going back over the work on Book II and realized that I had totally ignored a “conversation file.”

What, you might well ask, is a “conversation file?” Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (0)

Jun 30

Headdesk (or, I left WHAT out?)

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  June 30th, 2009

This morning I was goofing off by starting book three,  which meant I needed to check a few things from one and two.

It’s a fairly minor plot point (so far) so I don’t think it’s hugely spoilerish to reveal a little.    Some of Our Folks are in Aarenis, on a contract with Cortes Vonja to deal with brigands.  Standard, ordinary, until they find some swords.  One of the swords is a  Halveric sword, which is odd because the Halverics were careful to recover the arms of their wounded and dead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (0)

Apr 07

Editing: another tweak

Posted: under Editing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  April 7th, 2009

When I looked at the one editorial request that I just could not make work, and then finally figured it out, I realized it was a perfect example for study.   My editor correctly noted that the emotional high point of a relationship’s end was not at the end…there was an anticlimax scene.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (0)

Jan 26

Show me the money…(is it counterfeit?)

Posted: under Background, Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 26th, 2009

The cultures in Paksenarrion’s world are all advanced enough to use metallic coinage, though barter still exists (and still exists today, of course) and “paper” in the form of letters of credit and other non-coin exchange exists in some places.

Where you have coins, you have counterfeiters.    Paks, being a trusting soul, paid little attention to the coins she carried, though moneychangers were attentive to the possibilities.   In the new books,  with viewpoint characters who are older, more worldly, and having to deal with financial matters, I found myself facing the certainty of counterfeiters.

Only problem…I knew very little about how it was done.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (0)

Dec 14

Music…in and out of Paks’s world

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 14th, 2008

One of the constants across cultures is music:  people make music.   They play with rhythm and pitch and loudness–they sing individually and in chorus–they move to the music they make, and make it dance.

I’ve been hooked on music since early childhood.  I write to music–characters have theme music, entire books have music attached them  as I write them.   (Gird: Brahms’ GERMAN REQUIEM.  Luap: Zamfir’s best-known work for panpipes and orchestra.   Listen to both.  Tells you everything about the difference in their character.  Or it does to me.)

This past week, I’ve sung a good chunk of Handel’s MESSIAH with my church choir & friends, and the Austin Symphony.  My husband sang Vivaldi’s GLORIA tonight with his church choir & friends, and a small chamber orchestra.    The GLORIA is definitely a work that belongs in Paksenarrion’s world…but no one there speaks (or ever spoke) Latin, nor is the theology  correct there.  But the music…oh, yes.   Some of MESSIAH could also cross over, but not all of it.

So far, only classical music (in the broad sense) works for me when writing fantasy.   Everything else is too connected to this everyday world…the music I write to (at least when writing fantasy, and often otherwise) has to lift me out of the mundane.   For me this means harmony (dissonance only to resolve it), intricacy, and really gorgeous shadings.  Vivaldi’s GLORIA has all that.

Comments (2)