Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday Wanderings

Notes from a worldbuilding ...

The world creation aspect of this project has certainly taken me longer than in the past, but it's not because of the quantity - and believe me, I have one set of world notes that clocks in at around 50,000 words, as long as a short novel, so quantity is a thing I have been known to indulge in - but rather because life keeps getting in the way.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been doing some things differently this time around.  Rather than defining a few global elements and then narrowing down to individual countries, I've spent a lot more time discussing trends, tendencies, and, "some places are X, some places are Y."  This means that as I get into writing up descriptions of specific locations, I'm defining where each falls on various spectrums ... and I keep finding that I need to circle back and add more detail.

This is a little irritating to me; I'm not usually this disorganized.  Also, it means that I'm not always putting the information in exactly where it makes sense.  For instance, it makes more sense to have something minor like currency after discussions of larger elements like technology and gender bias, but that's not where it fit in.  Of course, since I'm not writing an RPG guide (or for anyone but myself), and since Word has a handy-dandy Find function, it only makes a difference to my anal-retentive side.

And now you might be wondering (or more likely, you're not) why I can't just put the information anywhere.  It has to do with the way I write.  Even beyond narrative flow, my sentences in stories tend to connect to each other, a chain of logic and poetry.  It's why I often find it so difficult to add sections to my stories:  it's artificially forcing another link into the chain.  Of course, maybe the logic falls apart a bit here in that I find it much easier to cut, but it's easier to remove a link and connect the remaining ends ... maybe.  I'm a writer (harper / chef), not a jeweler.

Right now, I'm reaching the point where I'm setting up two rival nations whose struggle (or more particularly, the struggle of the people representing them) will play a part in the plot ... and one of my goals is not to make it too symmetrical.  I don't want them to be too perfectly opposed.  The real world, after all, is not so neat.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Song Styles

(Past few weeks have been very hectic, hence the radio silence here.  Hope I'm back in action now!)

I talked a lot about the various portions of my Scylla and Charybdis playlist during my blog tour, but I don't think I ever posted the list in its entirety.  So here it is, a combination of general theme, specific character / situation inspiration, some tongue in cheek inclusions (mostly for the gender aspects), and songs I otherwise associate with the novel:

Us Amazonians - Kirsty MacColl
Walk This World - Heather Nova
Suddenly - LeAnn Rimes
Defying Gravity - Wicked soundtrack
Drops of Jupiter - Train
There Is Nothing Like A Dame - South Pacific soundtrack
I Do - Lisa Loeb
Breathe - Midge Ure
Turn This World Around - Amy Grant
I Enjoy Being A Girl - Flower Drum Song soundtrack
Children of the Revolution - Kirsty MacColl
Wishing Heart - Lisa Loeb
The Safest Place - LeAnn Rimes
Don't Rain On My Parade - Glee Cast version
It's Raining Men - Geri Halliwell
Free - Sarah Brightman
Poor Little Fool - Helen Reddy
Always Tomorrow - Gloria Estefan
Fire Under My Feet - Leona Lewis
In The Arms of the Milky Way - Laura Powers

Most of this list was composed years ago; the only recent addition is the Leona Lewis song.  But I've always been a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to new musical releases ...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Song Styles

No posting of my writerly musical musings would be complete without eventually mentioning this gem, which is a pretty accurate depiction of the inside of my brain at times:

Bears Dance To Sweet Dreams

Yes.  Really.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Wednesday Wanderings

Confession time:  I'm a comma maximalist.

I adhere to the formal rules of comma use, even those that some publications and editors have begun to abandon.  I'm a fan of the Oxford comma.  When a comma is indicated for clarity or effect, I tend to use it.  On the flip side, I'm very conscious of where commas do *not* belong, and it grinds my gears (and my teeth) when people misuse them.  Prime candidate:  Any sentence that has a comma *after* the word "but."

I understand that language evolves, and I understand that if the punctuation isn't required for clarity, it doesn't strictly *need* to be there, but (there's the proper placement for commas around that word) for me, the comma denotes rhythm, pause and flow, distilling the audible into the visual ... and since I do read visually, not phonetically, I need (or at least like) that reminder.

We also need to talk about my addiction to parentheses, but that's another (much thornier) story ...

Friday, November 02, 2018

Story Sale!

Abyss and Apex just accepted my story "Natural Selection" for publication ... ahem ... sometime in 2020! This is the second story featuring Pazia and Vanchen, directly following the events of Fatecraft. Don't hold your breath too long ...

That makes three of the four stories I've written around these character(s) and their associates out in the wild.  The final one concerns Pazia's hapless brother Mathory and his misadventures, and maybe that should be next on my submissions docket ...