The Ever War

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One Small Step

With scattered work throughout the first prequel book getting sorted out I managed to squeeze in time to get married.  Things before and after the wedding were rather crazy, but I still managed to eek in some writing (and re-writing) whenever possible.  I managed to get through what will ultimately be one of the longest sections in the series yesterday, a section that provided a severe challenge for me converting it from a mere conceptual possibility to a reality, and in many ways I expect this to reflect the entire process of the prequels and the series over all.

Considering the experience I gathered from the Weapon Mythos I think I've got a better pre-edit understanding of the pace and voice of the story, which really means I'm better at recognizing when I'm providing too much story, something that really slows down the journey I'm setting up for the reader. Side plots can enrich a world, and back stories can make characters feel more solid and human, but too much too soon can overwhelm and diminish the overall tale.  The easiest portion of this process has actually been scale.  So early in the series the focus is much more condensed and has a much clearer lineage.  While the Weapon Mythos is rooted firmly in theology, mythology, and history as its main influences (a vast swath of literature) this series has a more singular influence, not just in the arc of the story, but in the relative time period.

One cliche that tends to run throughout most Fantasy books, and is a reference to the romanticized records of ancient Rome and ancient Greece, create worlds that are mere shadows of their pasts.  The people you are reading about are pale imitations of the far greater people that proceeded them.  There is a level of cultural inadequacy that pervades people living with the relics of a greater age.  I have really tried to avoid that aiming more for the societal angst of a world that believes it is at its zenith.  They are moved by their history, but truly believe it was a foundation they have built upon.  I wanted to design an environment wherein the characters you are reading about are the ones that others would talk about in myth and legend.  They are the ones that erect towering buildings and massively impressive statues.  When you read other books and people recall the world that was... that is the world of these books.  Whether I've pulled that off or not is for others to decide, but I still feel it was a goal worth aiming for.

Once again here is an unedited section:

Finally, with the sun in the South East, breaking through the canopy of the Dale Forest, he saw his quarry. It was a stag, its coat both ruddy and golden in the early morning light. It's rack was impressive, festooned with sixteen tines, what collectors would have called a Monarch. Dappled sunshine rippled across its flank as it timidly approached a shrubbery and started to gnaw on a brace of berries.

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