Projects that I've struggled with just to kind of keep me in the habit of writing the last week.
- "Jaludin's Road" - I've been changing the narration in this story from a close third-person narrator to a very distant first-person narrator. Jaludin is looking back on these events over the distance of many years, and due to this, I believe the story is much more engaging. We get a greater sense of who the character is, not only as a young man in the story itself, but also the character remembering his actions as a young man. I first used this technique on my story "How the Half-faced Man Taught Me to Walk Across the Desert." This story takes place in the same desert fantasy world as "Jaludin's Road" and I imagine the characters Jaludin and Shayanira meeting someday. It will be interesting to see how they each feel about that encounter.
- Speaking of "How the Half-faced Man Taught Me to Walk Across the Desert," I've been doing some tweaking with that one too. I've modified the character of the Master, both in small mannerisms and in appearance to be more in-line with the person who inspired the character. I also read a little line from Robert Silverberg's SCIENCE FICTION 101, as part of his commentary on one of the stories. I don't have the bit directly in front of me at the moment, but it was something like, "it's nice when the end of a story points back to the beginning." I say again, that is a rough paraphrase. I've shifted the scenes around a bit, not too much, but just a bit, so that the end ties back to the beginning in what I believe is a satisfying way. A bit more tweakage, and it should be ready to send off. I'm thinking this one will be off to "The Writers of the Future" contest.
- I've been thinking about DEAD WEIGHT lately. Boyscout, Wish, Cendrine, and the girl who could paint have been nagging the back of my brain to come and visit them for a bit. The problem is, I'm not sure I want to go into that dark place right now. It's easily my darkest story, and considering some of the things going on in TEARS OF RAGE, that's saying quiet a bit. I've noticed that I'm getting more and more emotionally involved in my writing, even in these short little blog posts, to the point where what I'm writing is affecting my moods even after I stop typing. I don't know what that might mean if I take up Boyscout's tale again.
- Got a message from my contact with Fantasy Flight Games. It seems he liked one of the characters I'd created for my short fiction pieces so much that he wants to talk about adding him to the continuous story arch. This is very cool for me. Of the pieces I wrote, the one this character came out of the one that was the most challenging by far. The weird part about that was it was the one I had the most freedom with. I solved the problem by creating a character idea that I really fell in love, which in turn made for a compelling piece. The sad part about that, and the reason this news is so awesome, is that I don't own him. Due to my contract with FFG, I give over all rights to the works I write for them, including any characters I invent. Hopefully this means I get to explore this guy and expand one his peculiar form of madness for some time.
- READING: As I said, I've been exploring Robert Silverberg's SCIENCE FICTION 101, an anthology of some of the stories that shaped Silverberg as a young writer, along with comments by SIlverberg as to why these are master works of writing craftsmanship. It's hard to find, but if you see a copy, I urge you to pick it up. March is going to be a good month of reading for me, and has caused a bit of a dilemma. THE CRIPPLED GOD, by Steven Erikson and THE WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss are both coming out on the same day, March 1st. I've been rereading THE NAME OF THE WIND, by Rothfuss in anticipation. My dilemma - I didn't know which to read first. I've got it figured out. I'm going to read Rothfus first. Then I'm going to put everything else aside and reread the entire MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN from book one to book ten, as well as Esslemont's two Malazan books KNIGHT OF KNIVES and RETURN OF THE CRIMSON GUARD. Maybe, just maybe, by the time I'm finished with that, George RR Martin with have completed the next book in ASoIaF.
That's all I've got for writing and reading currently. I'll get back to my ideas relating gaming and fantasy fiction in a bit.
Thanks all for reading.