wayfaringwordhack: (writing: book)
[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume tagged me for a 7-7-7-7 challenge, but as per her suggestion to not stress about tagging seven people, I'm dropping the final 7.  If you are a writer and want to play along, please feel free!

The Game

Go to the 7th page of a work in progress, go 7 lines down, post the next 7 lines, then challenge 7 other writers to do the same.

I feel like I've shared this before, way back when, as a snippet.  Dunno, but this is what you get when I follow the directions:


What was she going to do now? Paoala was her last hope. No one else was willing to sneak behind the council. All those who had been had given up on her long ago. She lowered her head into her hands.

“I’ll fetch a bedservant,” Rosa said, “and chocolate. Shall I?”

Sex. Chocolate. Two iasree-approved solutions to the pain. Yes, orgasm brought temporary relief, as did chocolate, something in its composition soothing and cheering iasrees more markedly than it did any of the songless; but neither sex nor chocolate cured. Neither gave lasting relief. They were only slightly better than useless.



This read as 7 lines in my MS, but this window shows it as 6. Who knows how many it will be when I hit *post.*

So, [livejournal.com profile] frigg, I know you are working on something at the moment...
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
I have no big things for you, but Rabia Gale tagged me for this meme and I figured I'd play along anyhow. 


1) What is the working title of your next book?
Hmmm. Does "I have no idea" work as an answer? Seriously, though, I'm writing book two in a trilogy, which I like to think of as one big book because it is one big story. Because of that, I have a hard time dividing it up into volumes with titles. The working title of the trilogy is Witherwilds.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I actually wrote about that here, and I alluded to a conversation that took place on a locked entry. Without divulging what was in that entry, I basically laid down a challenge to myself to write something that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone. Two days later, the germ of Witherwilds occurred to me.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Epic fantasy.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I don't often think about my characters in this way, and the sad truth is that no one in the Hollywood limelight occurs to me off the top of my head because my characters are not "Western/Occidental" looking. Those from my volcanic, jungle island most look like South Pacific Islanders and those in Semborain (a many-culture spanning empire) are rather hodgepodge with some Iranian, Ethiopian, and Turkish influences (physical types, not culture).

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Oh crap. One sentence? For a trilogy? With five POVs? Uh, um, hmmm....
I pass, unless you want something that speaks more to theme? In which case: Everyone is the master of his or her own destiny.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I just want to finish the thing first. Not chicken counting before the eggs hatch...

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Still writing. I have moved a total of six times (twice overseas, albeit once for a short stint) in the past year and it has played havoc with my writing time and writing brain. I hope to finish this draft by [insert something random here]....end of March.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
In scope, I hope it will be able to compare to Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
That entry that I alluded to above and Mayotte, where was living when I first got the idea for the trilogy. While not exactly a lush tropical island, Mayotte did give me the beginnings of an atypical fantasy setting. (Since then, I've seen and read some good books with jungle settings.) A visit to nearby Reunion Island--with its wildly varied micro-climates and vegetation, its cirques, and breathtaking waterfalls, not to mention its active volcano--really fired my imagination setting-wise for Paoqei (an island, home to most of my POVs). For Semborain--the enemy country, if you will--I was inspired by research I was doing at the time for another book, parts of which are set in Ancient Mesopotamia. Semborain really has nothing in common with the cultures that flourished in the Fertile Crescent, but I decided I wanted a vague hint of that flavor and a technological equivalent of the Bronze Age.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Birdserpents that live in symbiotic relationships with women who are capable of singing jewels--and birdserpent eggs--from the ground. A blight that is destroying an island, held in check by a Songwall powered by faltering, pain-ridden singers. Radioactive meteorites being touted as gods. Poisonings, corruption, political shenanigans, betrayal, wars....you know, typical epic fantasy stuff.  I just hope it doesn't end up reading as "typical." :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
...since I've done a meme.

Even though I could have sworn I've done this one before, I can't find it under my meme tag, so at [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's "request" I'm doing it again.

In the comments, tell me about a story I haven’t written, and I’ll give you one sentence from that story.  Then do the meme on your own LJ, if you are so inclined, so I can "remember" a story of yours, too
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: plot problem)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] barbarienne at[livejournal.com profile] frigg's persistent insistence:

The rules:

1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.

Pg 77 of The Bitter River, in all its roughness:

After the boys were particularly rowdy in class, the Persian tutor made them write a report of why they had been acting up and how they might comport themselves differently in the future given the same set of circumstances. My father wrote a strictly accurate account of the morning, but Ahmed’s copy, like his speech, was peppered with falsehoods. Five times the tutor made him rewrite the account, threatening him with a lashing for each fib, but Ahmed could not relate only the facts.

In a fit of rage, he wrote in French, to the same effect. More lies, more lashes. However, when my father jokingly said that the Persian tutor’s English was poor and he would surely not be able to catch any errors in Ahmed’s telling, a curious thing happened. Ahmed was able to tell the truth. He burst into tears, and it took my father all of a day to understand that he was happy and not upset.

wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
Last day for the meme, and the question is:


30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

I'm not going to tag anyone.  Rather, I'd like to see a variety of people pick up the challenge of writing about writing.  If you are interested, the questions are under the cut.

All you have to do is answer one question per day, starting July 1.


Writing about writing )
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

I was about to answer "a lot," but I guess it truly depends on where I am in a story and how I'm feeling about the tale at that moment. There are times when I am obsessed by the characters, the world, the plot, and I have a hard time concentrating on anything else.  This state just comes upon me, but it is more easily reached when I've been writing consistently.

Sometimes, though, I do my daily writing, but my my mind is not obsessed with what I'm doing. I'd consider that I'm a healthier individual while in this state (because I am more open to and concerned about others--it is easier to have a conversation with me, frex), but I don't like it. In fact, I feel there is something wrong with me and wish the random ideas and snippets were more present. 

Then there are times that I have to literally say to myself, "Ok, you have this problem; think about it."  And from there I tackle it. 

I guess, though, my response could have honestly remained "a lot;" even when I'm not actively writing, I'm thinking that either I should be or I would like to be.

As of the IRL part of this question....hmmm, I would say that I'm more influenced by things in real life that find their way into my fiction and my characters' lives.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

Yes, Tatterdemalion, my narrator for The Bitter River, is mute. He is an orphan who was found on the banks of a river by an archeologist and was raised in her household by a linguist.  Even though Tatter can't talk, he is very bright and can understand several languages. He loves words and the power they have over people. He communicates through sign language, but these signs are a made-up invention of the family he finds himself in, so he doesn't have much conversation or interaction with strangers.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

Yes and no.  In The Traveler's Daughter, Bria's character is very much informed by her looks. She basically should have been given to another people to raise, a people who resembles her more closely, but her goddess had other ideas for her.  Hence she has a childhood and adolescence along The Ugly Duckling lines.

In To Be Undone, characters have different physiques according to their castes, but apart from a minor thing, appearance doesn't play a major role.

Apart from having a physical type clear in my mind, I couldn't tell you what most of my characters in Witherwilds look like. Shocking, I know.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
Questions and answers under the cut because there are so many. None of them are long, however. I've not been feeling loquacious of late.

Days 20-26 )
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

Someone from Witherwilds. She evolved from a one-dimensional meanie into someone with real depth once I got her to break down and talk to me. She likely is going to be getting her own POV in books 2 and 3. I'm not going to give more of an in-depth answer than that.  I like keeping certain ideas to myself so as not to ruin or influence reader reactions, and my betas follow my blog, so...
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
18. Favorite antagonist and why!

I don't particularly like writing antagonists. I guess because of that, they don't often figure among my favorite characters. That my stories don't often have the "recommended" protag/antagonist dynamic* makes it a doubly hard-to-answer question. 
I guess I would say Behrouz of To Be Undone. He is willing to do pretty reprehensible things in order to bring about a change that is for the ultimate good of all. I think a lot of people in life go wrong in this way. They have good intentions, but they become monsters in trying to bring about the change they desire. It makes him comprehensible to me in ways that other antagonists are not (frex, Valsidire in The Traveler's Daughter, who acts out of hunger for power).


________________
* I'm referring to the writing advice that states that the antagonist stands directly in the protag's way and the antagonist deliberately and step-by-step thwarts the protag's advance or achievement. 
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
17. Favorite protagonist and why!

I feel like I've already answered this question on Day 11 because Mirco is a main character/protag. What makes him a favorite is, yes, I find his head easy to get into, but more than that, I like the contrast of him, his self-delusion or, if you will, his dishonesty with himself and others. I like the possibility of what he can do for the storyworld with his unique perspective. He is a strong-minded character, but he still has his flaws.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

I do. I'm not sure how I do with them, actually. I don't think it is my forte, that's for sure. But then relationships, romantic or otherwise, are part of characterization, and I'm not up to par with that aspect of the craft.

I guess you could say I'm willing to go all the way because I have done. But not between the romantically-involved.  There has to be a reason for me to show a love/sex scene. I don't have a problem with doing it, but I doubt I will ever take the details too far. I don't have a story line/character arc that demands that in any of my present WIPs. 
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

I admire any and everyone who has the creativity, patience, tenacity and temerity to commit their novels* to paper/hard drive and then spend the necessary time and effort to get those paper/screen versions to match the vision that inspired them to write their story in the first place.


_________
* Sorry short story writers, but the short is more easily committed and therefore requires less investment.  Note, I'm not saying "easily" in that it is easy to do well. 
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

I would have to say the cultures--yes, plural--from To Be Undone. Each culture is very different and very connected to its place in the world. It is interesting to play with the rigidity and beliefs of each society that Phayn, the heroine, encounters.

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

The overall form of the world is dictated by the story, ie what I need to happen for the story to develop as I see it.  Frex, in The Traveler's Daughter, I wanted two continents connected by an isthmus to show the relation between the lands and inhabitants. Twin goddesses are the respective creators and patrons of these lands, yet they are still different. In To Be Undone, I took the idea of story informing world even further and there are geological differences that reflect a caste system. In Witherwilds, I had to plan two geographical features to incorporate for the plot to make sense.

So, yeah, plot is a big deal for me when designing a world. I plan on mapping out some floor plans, cities, etc. (something I don't normally do), but haven't done it yet. 


To see the maps that I have, you can check out the links in my Day 12 post.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

Hmmm. I’ve loved all the universes I’ve worked with because I love places, love going to new ones, discovering things about old ones. Maybe because I seem to have a wayfaring gene. But where did I do the best job in building my own world???

Setting has always been important to me, the creation of it more so. Each of my creations have a soft-spot in my heart.

With the planet of Trillix, in The Traveler’s Daughter, I was less adventurous with what I invented. I had a lot of fun with my map of the storyworld, but I just scratched the surface of what "place" entails. I also chose the route of being influenced by actual cultures and worlds. But because it was my first novel, I am still fond of that place and it seems very real to me.

With Shamindor, of To Be Undone, I let the world inform the story and really created some unusual things and concepts. Here and here are two different views of it. However, I haven't spent enough time there, and the things that make the storyworld different also make it challenging to write. Very challenging. I do look forward to going back to it, though, and getting to know it better.

Witherwilds is the world that I have tried to make 100% my own, even down to creating languages and writing systems (though I am still working on Soqoli) for the two principle cultures. Funnily enough, I didn’t start with a map as I did in my other worlds. I have the rough geography in mind because climate informs culture, but I feel that the places are more well-rounded because I’ve had to think them through from the ground up without modeling them on those existing in our world. I still have lots of things to figure out and that excites me. I love the discovery and planning processes, and because I'm doing them so intensely on this project, I believe I'm probably doing the best job with it.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

I would have to say that my favorite character is Mirco, a slave in Witherwilds. For some reason, his is the most comfortable, facile POV I think I've ever written. His worldview is pretty dark and selish, but he is a product of his hard life. His voice is churlish and stark at times. But, whether he wants to admit it or not, he's capable of caring for others.

Least favorite....hmmmm. I can't think of a character in particular that I *don't* like to write. However, there are times when I have a problem catching the essence of the character--not just their voice but their motivations, fears, etc--and writing them becomes a chore. I know I'm failing them, and I hate that.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

Um, at the risk of sounding boring, I can't think of anything. Sorry.  I guess I write pretty humdrum scenes.* And I don't do memes with my characters.

Anyone else want to pipe up about their characters' weird situations? 


------
* That or the fact that I write fantasy means the situations aren't weird to me.
wayfaringwordhack: (paper flames)
9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? That's the way I feel about how characters occur to me.  I cannot think of an instance where a character idea came to me that was devoid of any kind of situation or context. I often have what I think of as a "flash," in which a person plus action/setting stamps itself on my brain in vivid detail.

Sometimes, I have only to turn my attention to the person and their personality and past and possible future come pouring out.  Other times, I have to ask the questions: "who are you?" "what are you doing here?" "what do you want?" to help form the character in my mind. A third type of creation comes after an idea.  Meaning, a what-if or an event occurs to me, and I have to ask what kind of characters belong with those circumstances. So process really depends on how fully formed the characters and their needs are at the beginning. Perhaps unsurprisingly, characters and their more-or-less complete story arcs occur to me a LOT more easily now that I've been writing for a while.

Under the cut, I've detailed what came first character or plot for each of my WIPs and planned future novels.

Read more... )

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