Friday, November 18, 2016

Character Issues - Flash Post

I've been having a really hard time working on one of my characters in The Victor's Blade. Much of her purpose has been changed, and she's never been one of my favorite characters, although I wanted her to be one that the readers cared about deeply.

One of the biggest questions for me is "Do I still need her?" Can the plot work without her?

And one of the biggest problems with this character is that she acts way too much like Emarella. I can't have carbon-copy personalities.

From one writer to another, anybody got any tips on how to get some good inspiration for tweaking a character?

---
If you're interested in seeing this discussion's progression, check out this week's post!

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Busy Little Writer's Update

So Blogger's autosave feature decided to bite me in the butt. Pressed some weird key combination on my keyboard on accident the other day, which somehow cleared the entire post I was working on. Then Blogger decided to autosave my blank page. With no recover feature, needless to say I will not be posting a review of The Heroic Legend of Arslan like I thought.

So you'll be getting a quick little glimpse into my current projects today instead. :P

I've been working on three major writing projects lately: The Victor's Blade (which you're probably all nauseatingly familiar with by now), a roleplay campaign based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, and a secret project for a friend of mine (sorry, no details on that. It's secret for a reason).

All three have been going slow but steady. Unfortunately, they've also been devouring most of my spare time.

The Roleplay

Good news is that three projects finally got knocked down to two: the roleplay is actually complete and ready to start. That's a pretty big deal since this has been undergoing on-again, off-again production for the past four years. To finally have all my planning done and see my carefully-crafted world set before me in a few neat documents is pretty incredible (especially since I'm horrible about starting projects and never finishing them).

I'm a little nervous since it'll be my first time actually GMing (leading) a pen and paper (Dungeons and Dragons-style) roleplay. But since I've served as an administrator and run missions on other narrative-based roleplays, I think I'll end up doing okay. I'll let you know what my players think later this year. I've slated the roleplay to start late this December.

The Victor's Blade

The Victor's Blade hasn't been getting quite the amount of love I devoted to it a few months ago, so the page count has been increasing almost painfully slowly. As of today, it's up to page 339. It's so large that I've been considering splitting it into separate Google Docs, since Drive seems to be having a harder and harder time loading the full document every time I open it.

You may have noticed there haven't been many excerpts lately. That's because I'm really getting into the meat of the story. I want some things to remain a delightful surprise, after all. ;)

But the honest truth is that in addition to wanting to keep things a surprise, I haven't been as confident about the quality of the story over the past several chapters. Only recently have I finally been getting into some more exciting stuff--including some of the oldest elements of the story that have somehow remained since about 2001, 2002. Maybe one of these days I'll post a snippet or two out of context and see what you think.

(Wow, it's almost been 16 years TVB has been in production... It's funny how the length of time this project has taken still doesn't cease to amaze me.)

Many people keep asking me how far I am in the book, but that's devilishly hard to nail down. One point on my outline could equal five pages or it could mean twenty; it all depends on how complex the scene(s) end up. So while I often just say how many points I have left in the outline, that isn't a very good judge of how far into the book I am, and I know it. For instance, one city the party visited was originally two major bullet points on my outline... but in this current draft, it somehow got stretched into multiple ten-page-long chapters (it won't be that long in the final draft, trust me. That's way too long to spend in such a boring locale).

At any rate, I can say with certainty that the beginning stages of Book 1 are over. It's into the middle, meaty portion of the book now, with all the juicy dramatic scenes beginning to unfold. And honestly, that's been a breath of fresh air for me. I think I was just getting bored of writing the beginning for so long. It's nice to see the characters actually going to different locations and doing things.

(Although I often wonder if my dear little protagonist Jaranin isn't quite doing enough...

But that's a topic for another day.)