Today was a good day, as I not only got some writing done, but resurrected the manuscript that had been put on hold since late last November. But today’s session has reawakened the need to keep writing this novel that’s turning into a lot of fun, reminding of why I originally wanted to write it. Managed to get a part completed and started a new chapter. So here’s to more progress with Wyrd . And now for a writing sample of today’s work (a long piece, as it’s been a while):
In the other chair sat a great hulk of a man. He was at least as tall as Vortigern, if not more so, but was wider than two of the king’s put together. Artorus could tell that while this man was a heavy brute with large amount of fat on him, there was also a lot of muscle. He was a strong man who would be hard to defeat in fight, especially if he had an ax. His hair was a dark blond, long and scraggily, reaching past his shoulders. His face was heavy and jowly, but at the same time menacing. Beneath his left eye he bore a deep groove of a scar. His eyes were dark, almost black, fixing Vortimer with what seemed an angry stare. This was the Saxon king, Hengist, and he didn’t want company.
Just wrapped up the last short scene for Chapter III of Wyrd, so glad that’s out the way. Next it’s a short interlude on Artorus’ past and then on to Chapter IV. And now for a little work in progress:
They were quiet for the rest of the short trip, rocking gently on the waves, as the boat headed for the growing island ahead, the light fading, the darkness rising; the waves lapping at the hull like the thuds of a war drum, in syncopation, with regularity.
Artorus hoped it wasn’t portentous.
Made myself come back to the manuscript today after a few weeks of life and busy things getting in the way, and wrote the last big scene of Chapter III which was a scene I’d been meaning to get down for a while, and now its down on paper (or rather the virtual paper of the screen) and I was pretty happy with how the scene came out. Just a few more little bits and then the chapter will be done.
And now for a sample of today’s work:
Greetings Windchaser. My name is Artorus and I am friends with your kind and have ridden many of your brothers and sisters in my time. All have respected me and borne me to where I’ve wanted to go. Today I ask that you extend me the same courtesy, so that we may take a canter around the field. I wish to see how truly strong and fast you will take me. This will do much to impress your master and his other men. Will you bear on this ride?
Not sure right now if I’ll be staying with “Windchaser,” but it works for now.
PAGES: 8 1/2
Work continues on the novel and while I find it slower than other books I’ve written, I believe it is because of the prose that’s being generated, along with the necessary research and needing to get a lot of the details more accurate for a story set in the fifth century than one set in the present day. But as I’m going over parts that I wrote some years ago that are now being rewritten, I see where the holes and necessary new scenes are needed, even if their awkward ones to write, but it’s all adding to the characters and overall plot of the book, and the message I’m trying to tell. I’m also forcing my self to not fix or change too many things, as I’ve always been a writer who goes back and fixes and edits later, and just gets the words on the page first. I know there are lots of parts that will need fixing, or tweaking, or complete rewriting, but I’ve at least got the idea of what I’m trying to say down on the page. And it’s helping to pave the way for the rest of the book.
It’s as if I’m creating crucial coordinates in these first chapters so that the rest of the book can steer true and stay on course and not get lost in the doldrums. Which is good, because even with my basic chapter outline (which I’ve already veered considerably from), I wasn’t sure where the book was exactly going. And I still don’t fully know, and I’m also certain the characters will take it to new and undiscovered islands that never occurred to me. But as I said — and this is the last time I use the metaphor in this post — the course is plotted, at least initially with some important points, and this book is heading in the right direction.
And now for some of the writing:
There are the Northmen, the Geats, Swedes and Danes who are beginning to push south, all in search of land, riches, in search of something new to their lives. The Saxons are feeling constricted, attacked from all sides and are looking for an escape. A way out. So when Vortigern offers them this. And bear in mind that the Saxons, Angles, and Franks have been raiding the British coastline for over a hundred years. It’s a dream come true to be offered new, fresh land in return for protection.”
PAGES: 4 1/2
P.S. I’m also on track for doing a little bit of writing every day this week so far, whether it’s the two pages on work days or the four pages on non-work days (like today). Woot.
Even though its now going on for 2:30AM, as I don’t have work tomorrow, I’m staying up late with everyone else and as they were watching Shaun of the Dead, which I’d seen recently, it made me do some late night or rather early morning writing. Got a good chunk done and now the readers will know more of my main character’s meetings with the Saxons. And just clocked 50 pages and on to Chapter III: Equus!
And now for some work in progress:
In fact most Saxons are illiterate and appear to have no need for recording any matters or deeds on parchment. But their knowledge is still vast, which is kept, as I said, orally through the people, in each family past down from one generation to the next. In this way the important rules, as well as knowledge of their customs and ways of farming and hunting and gathering are past on and the way of life is never lost. At times I admit to being really impressed with this system, and while recording ideas on parchment can lead to their lasting for centuries, if the page is burned, soaked, or destroyed in some way, it is gone. While when it is passed down to each family member, should one or more of them pass from this world, the knowledge is not lost, but maintained through its other members.
PAGES: 5 1/3
After putting it off for a few days, with the combined advent of rain (see earlier post), I was able to tackle this difficult scene today. It was going to be necessary to do some important back story for my two main characters in conversation with another main character, but I forced myself through it and it came out really well and interesting and added some great new facets to the characters once again. Also developed an interesting technique of having interludes or interludium in Latin (though the plural may be interludus, but I’m not worrying about that at the moment) of having the narrator give some important back story and whatever else may come to mind for the character. This may be something that in future drafts may get completely changed and/or removed, but at the moment it’s working for the character and the manuscript.
And now for a sample of today’s writing:
“And the supposed ‘wiser’ and older brother, Cateyrn, angrily pushed through the bushes and fell face first into the dung pit!” Vortimer said and everyone in the tent burst into simultaneous laughter – Vortimer, Artorus, Yric, and the two guards.
“I made sure I was out in the countryside all day, running an important errand for my father. From what I heard, Cateyrn was quite a sight when he returned home to clean up. And no one had ever seen him that angry before, not even Vortigern.”
PAGES: 8 1/2
Got my two pages done for the work day, though may do more after work.
“A likely story, thiefkiller,” he said. “But there are many in this land who pretend to be one thing, and are in fact something else entirely. All to get at some paltry belongings or perhaps some jewels of little worth. Life means nothing to these people. I hope you’re not like them?”
Started working through a good part of Chapter Two today, as well as the brief “interlude” between chapters that is going to be an 0ngoing thing between each chapter throughout the book. Also after going over my “beat sheet” with the chapter listing, I’ve got eight chapters planned for the whole book, and at the moment I kind of estimating it to be about 500 pages long, so I’m thinking I’m going to need some more chapters to break it up a little more. Or divided up the chapters into numbered parts. Will have to wait and see.
And now for today’s sample of the work in progress:
The horseman was an impressive sight. He wore no helmet, but bore a thick leather cuirass, a chest-plate emblazoned with a black fearsome eagle. Artorus could see beneath this armor a black tunic of the highest quality, trailing down around his legs, which bore thick leggings of similar superior clothing. On his feet were snug, expensive boots. From his side hung a pristine gladius in impeccable condition – a complete opposite to the rusty tool that still lay on the forum floor like a forgotten child’s toy – sheathed in an ornately decorated leather scabbard.
PAGES: 6 1/4
Today was a pretty successful day for getting words on the page and a decent amount of writing done. As I mentioned in the previous Wyrd update, it’s been a while since I was working on a novel-length project, and I’d forgotten about the drawing, pulling, gravitational feeling it has over me. When I’m not working on it, writing it, I have this feeling in me that I should be, as my characters impatiently wait on the page for their next moves and actions.
Ended up completing all of Chapter One today, which is an excellent goal achieved, with 15 pages done and 3,324 words written. I really like how the chapter turned out also. After meeting with my writing group and discussing the original manuscript and what I hoped to accomplish in the new draft, it seems to be falling into place. I was somewhat worried I’d just regurgitate the same original draft, but no, this is quite different, with new and interesting character elements that just revealed themselves without my incessant prompting. That tells me my characters are alive and well! Now I know how Dr. Frankenstein felt, hehe.
I look forward to moving onto the next chapter tomorrow. And now for a little of this work in progress:
Artorus smiled, always delighted at the way Yric took to learning, enveloping himself in it, using the new and strange words, and asking questions when he didn’t know something. He reminded Artorus a lot of himself during his classes back in Byzantium.
Chapter One, tentatively titled “The Forum of Londinium,” has begun. Managed to get 544 words done, 2 1/2 pages before I had to go to work. It’s a start.
And now I have that drawing, longing, almost “sucking” feeling of a new novel begun, as it constantly calls to me to be written more, to send the characters further and the plot along. And the only way to satisfy it is to write more . . .
PAGES: 2 1/2