Archive for the ‘War-Lord of the Gods’ category

Thank goodness for saner voices and cooler heads

November 15, 2011

Writing gods willing and the creek don’t rise, I will pass 120K words on the current ms. tomorrow. This is the novel that saner people persuaded me to split a few weeks ago: the one that I had originally titled War-Lord of the Gods, which will now become two novels, because this story turned out to be so much longer than expected. The titles of these newly-separate novels keep shifting in my mind, because War-Lord of the Gods is probably not quite right for either of them. One of them will probably wind up going to press as The Heart of the Darkness. It’s possible the other will become The Lord of the Abyss. But more on that dilemma anon.

Meanwhile, I’m coming up to the halfway point, what will henceforth be known as the book break, of two of the three threads I’m writing in these two novels.  At this point I’m a little more than two chapters from the end of the first two threads in this (second) novel–with nothing written on the other thread. And yes, you read that right, above. I’m staring down 120K words. Good thing saner people persuaded me to split this novel.

For better or worse, I’m now writing two novels simultaneously: when I finish these two threads I’m working on in Novel #2, I will jump right into developing these same two threads in Novel #3. Because, absent the limitations of print publishing, Novels 2 and 3 would be one book, and that’s still how they work in my head. And I must write sequentially.

Of course, absent the limitations of print publishing, all three of these novels (The Shadow of the Sun being the first) would be one book. It would be 800K words long. How big a surprise can that be? My sentences go on like normal people’s paragraphs.

But I digress, as usual.

I am pleased by the way this novel is unfolding. It’s deeper and darker than Shadow, and because it’s the second of a series it doesn’t have the longish set-up period of the first. Things go absolutely to hell within the first twenty pages. And I hope that most people will be surprised by most of it.

Most of it surprised me. 🙂

Heading out to PlayOnCon

July 28, 2011

I’m going to be at PlayOnCon in Birmingham, Alabama this weekend. I love these long summer cons! This one runs through Monday. I’ll be doing a wonderful assortment of panels and workshops and readings, as well as attending some programs on gaming (my new obsession). And, possibly most exciting to me, we’ll be playtesting the new, Tarot-based game the guys from Cliche Studio have created for my next novel, War-Lord of the Gods. If you’re within range of Birmingham, and you enjoy reading, writing, gaming or things Fae–

Did I mention the Faerie programming?

–you should definitely come out.

Here’s what I’ll be doing this weekend:

Breathing New Life into the Fae–6 pm Friday: A workshop on breaking free of the tired and cliche in Faerie-influenced stories by tapping into the wild, diverse, and under-used depth and breadth of the Faerie storytelling tradition.

Faerie Storytelling–9 pm Friday: A group reading with Mercury Retrograde Press authors of their faerie-influenced work. I’ll be bringing a sneak peek at War-Lord of the Gods.

Develop Your Story and World Through Games12 pm Saturday: A workshop on using games to create better, richer stories and deeper worlds. I’ll be bringing current work on my new Tarot-based game (developed by Cliche!) as a case study.

Writing Meetup–2 pm Saturday: This is hosted by the con, but it’s open to the public. You can attend whether you purchase a con membership or not. Come meet fellow writers! I’ll bring something to read as an ice-breaker. You can make that unnecessary.

New Realities for Writers–1 pm Sunday: A program on the choices available to writers in this rapidly-changing market. I am of the opinion that publishers can perform important services for readers and writers alike, but are no longer strictly necessary. Discuss.

Off the Radar Books–3 pm Sunday:Readers get together and discuss books they love that no one else seems to have heard of, so other readers can find out about new and wonderful things to read. Bring your list of undiscovered gems!

Is Your Villain a Psychopath?

June 14, 2011

Lately this book has been wandering across my radar a lot. Because I love a well-crafted antagonist, not to mention a juicy dark hero, I’ll probably end up reading it. You know, used. In paper. Due respect, man, I’m a struggling small press publisher.

Meanwhile, today, here’s an article in Forbes: Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs. Now, doesn’t that sound like a fantastic villain? So I finally wandered off and looked up the oft-referenced Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

Here are the components, for your villainous pleasure. For each characteristic that is listed, the subject is given a score: 0 for “no,” 1 for “somewhat,” and 2 for “definitely does apply.” According to Ronson, the author of  The Psychopath Test, “Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.”

A brief description of each of these metrics appears here.

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Juvenile delinquency
Early behavior problems
Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

Promiscuous sexual behavior
Many short-term marital relationships
Criminal versatility

The primary antagonist of my current WIP (War-Lord of the Gods) scores a 32. The protagonist scores a 24. Hmm.

Writing Geekery

May 15, 2011

Have I mentioned that I’m a plot structure geek? Surely you knew that.

Last night about bedtime, I realized that there are so many one-on-one interactions  between Ellion and his enemy Nechton in this novel that they constitute an entire subplot, which I have not analyzed in terms of its own story arc–and that until I look at that thread on its own, I will be failing to maximize the opportunities inherent in those interactions. Today I am entirely too excited to sit down and do this piece of analysis. I can’t wait to see what surprises the Muse in his Architect aspect has in store.

I am an irredeemable geek.

Interview and sneak preview on Darkcargo

May 2, 2011

Today on the Darkcargo blog, nrlymrtl and I did a Q&A on The Shadow of the Sun. She asked some stunningly penetrating questions, mostly about the philosophy and craft behind the work. I found the interview amazing on two levels: the questions she asked led us to discussions from which readers who enjoyed the work might get new levels of insight into their own reading; but people interested in writing craft in general rather than this work in specific might also find new ideas to take home. I had a great time dialoguing with her, and I appreciate the depth of thought that went into her questions more than I can say.

Also, at their request, I passed along an excerpt from the second volume of the Way of the Gods series, War-Lord of the Gods, which the Darkcargo editors included at the end of the post. All you really need to know about that excerpt is that Ellion is having his worst day yet, and that’s saying something. 🙂

It’s all typical Darkcargo: so much more than we expect from review blogs. Stop by and check it out!

Today’s progress meter

April 8, 2011

Because apparently it won’t work in a widget, and I just don’t have the time to figure out hosted WordPress.

Did I mention that this represents the completion of a chapter?

Writing again

April 7, 2011

Huzzah! The Muse is back! After far too many months of absence (mine) from the study, I am sitting at the writing desk for longer and longer periods this week…and today the words began to flow.

Miles to go before I sleep, of course. 6%* is probably a generous estimate; The Shadow of the Sun hit 215,000 words during editorial. But this is the best work in the world.

* In case you’re wondering: No, I didn’t write 13,000 words today. I wrote about 2000. But a hundred 2K-word days is a 200K-word novel. 🙂

Getting ready for the last draft of War-Lord

March 11, 2011

I’ve been away from the study for a few months because things have been so action-packed in the office. Meanwhile Ellion and his problems haunt me. He whispers in my ear when I’m doing layouts and eBook designs on other people’s books. Not writing is becoming an ache, and before long there will be no choice about it.

This morning I was struck by the realization that a critical plot point may unfold in a very different way on this final draft. It would change little in terms of plot but have huge impact on meaning. And now that I’m aware of the possibility of this other course of action, I am tormented by not knowing what Ellion will actually do.

I won’t know until I get to that chapter on the final draft.

It’s not that I don’t know how the book will end. I’m just a little fuzzy on what will happen in the middle. This is going to make me crazy until I can get back to the study for a good extended run.