Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Insecure Writers Support Group Day Post

So I've put my blog down for the Insecure Writers Support Group and by a major coincidence it just happens to be posting day today. But since I'm not very well practiced in this as yet it is more than likely that this will end up as a huge angst fest. That's why the second part of this post is for those of you out there in Internet land who don't want to read my whining (1)

I started writing to get the huge thoughts from out of my head and allow them to make way for education which was considered to be more important at the time.(2) and have managed to knock heads with many different genres, but Fantasy seems to be my niche and for this I blame David Eddings, Terry Pratchet and, naturally, JRR Tolkien among others.

The fact that I haven't had a television in a very long time has helped a lot. When I began flatting I was so broke that I couldn't have paid for the remote, let alone the whole TV and so I did without. Eventually I did look at buying one but passed it over when I read what was on and realized how little any of it was worth watching or even mattered. If there was anything that I desperately wanted to see then the video store was going to be my best friend.

Moan Moan Moan. Plug the book already!:
Harts Change is the first in the Hart Trilogy, with the second being Harts Blood and the third being Harts War, is an epic fantasy of loves lost, found and war! All of it set against the backdrop of a world gone mad!

However at its heart, as with all stories worth the reading, it is about people, the choices that they make and the consequences which leads to another choice.
It deals with the return of magic to a world that had long ago given it up and when the magic happens it changes the face of humanity with everyone being transformed into centaurs (3) for reasons that remain classified at this time.
Suffice to say that the death toll is immense and every aspect of society is affected in some way. The barons fight amongst each other and much scheming (4) is done because there are always those eager to seize power through any means.
The Beggar King sits uneasy on his throne as he discovers that not everyone under his rule is as loyal as he had thought.

But the story doesn't start with The Beggar King. It starts in a dungeon cell with an ex thief who is about to become an ex person. Evelyn Oneeye is the personal guard of one of the barons and for a personal guard to be caught spying on another baron is a very bad thing indeed.
Especially when that Baron has allied himself with the Ambian Invaders. 
Especially especially when that baron just happens to be your ex husband. 
Especially especially especially when you and your lover drove him through the streets on your wedding night.

Through circumstances too numerous (5) to recount here she manages to be elevated to the Tinkers (6), who are an elite group with unquestioning loyalty to The Beggar King.

Evelyn and Toryan:
I'm working on introducing the romantic interest through the novel, Evelyn lost Tobias, her lover, about 5 years ago and with the great change taking her son she is very much alone in the world, save for Horrible a dog that she rescued from the fighting pits.
But Captain Toryan is an Ambian and they are the enemy. Still their journeys together bring them closer and eventually they come together (7), I'm toying with the idea of allowing them to live happily ever after at the end of the series but I don't think it's going to happen because Happy Ever After is just a way of saying “I don't know what happened next.  Everyone was happy forever  now go to sleep”

But certain schemers in the church are busy blackening their names up and down the country because they want to get their hands on the weapons of the ancient champions. Loves Regret and Shapers Bane because people understand the power of symbols such as these so it's only a matter of time before everything kicks off there.

The Church:
For a long time the church was simply a quick organisation that I had put in place with a few vague guidelines simply because, in earlier versions it wasn't that important, then I glossed over it by saying it's an evil organisation. Then it became the big bad of the series until I actually sat down and thought about it. To say the organization itself is evil was wrong. Like anything else in life there are a wide range of priests and acolytes ranging from the good to the bad. The problem is figuring out exactly who is who.

The New Moon: (8)
Something that has been on the forefront in everyones mind is the appearance of a second moon in the night sky. So far it has done nothing except sit there freaking everyone out but that's only because I haven't thought of anything to do with it yet. Because of the immense global effects this will have it needs to be researched throughly which is only another argument against the damn thing.

But here is my current list of Moon questions.

The Hard Science:
  • Orbit of the new moon in relation to the old one
  • Phases of the moons
  • Length of Days/Months/Seasons
Global Effects:
  • Ocean Tides
  • Plant and Animal life - How do they adjust to the new schedule?
  • The New Moon = more light = shorter days and longer nights (which are not as dark as they used to be)
  • Affect on seasons
  • Astrology
  • Star Signs
  • Horoscopes
  • Divinations
  • How do people explain the new moon?
  • What do people call the new moon and the new seasons and the frequent eclipses?
  • Old Beliefs - Moon Child born in full moons light. How does the new moon affect this?
  • Worshippers of the new moon perhaps suppressed by the church
  • Would the suppression give rise to an inquisition?
  • Would the suppression be used to crack down on anything the church considers heretical?
  • How are songs dances and poetry etc affected?

So what have I learned from all this?
For one thing I've learned that I really hate this question. It makes everything feel like a sitcom ending with everyone waiting around for the laugh track.
But for what it's worth here's what I know. If you are dreaming up epic battles, torn hearts, plans, plots, schemes, the rise and eventual downfall of ultimate evil then don't worry about being neat and tidy. Don't buy into the image of a lone writer tapping away on his ancient typewriter because, seriously have you ever used those things? I have a great respect for those that had to use them.

Where was I?
Oh yeah, the image, that whole typewriter thing is what a writer does but it isn't what a writer is. All you need is something to write with and something to write on. Scribble down your ideas and get them down because I guarantee that if you tell yourself you'll remember it then you'll be left with a punchline and no setup.

So here's my refrain.  Take lots of notes and do the research, even if it means making it up but stick to the rules of the universe that you've created.

  1. Strictly speaking you're in the wrong place for whining anyway. We  Bloggers are supercool,  It's the LiveJournal writers that are the whiny ones.
  2. The jury is still out.
  3. Ensuring that the only people that come out of this with a smile are ten year old girls.
  4. With requisite moustache twirling and evil laughter.  I would have included a bad guy musical number but we're not doing the Disney version
  5. not to mention implausable
  6. Up until recently I was calling them Kingsmen. Now thanks to the power of Greyskull they have become Tinkers for reasons that I hope will, eventually, become clear. For now just roll with it.
  7. Said with raised eyebrows over a cup of tea.  THAT kind of together.
  8. Nothing to do with Twilight although I had my doubts about that as well (ba dum psh!)
Part Two:

The following is from the dusty archives of Harts Change. This is the stuff that has either been rewritten or chopped out entirely. I don't like to throw stuff away so it all goes in here on the basis that it will be useful, in one form or another.

These were written in a much earlier draft back when Tobias, Evelyns husband, was going to be alive, thus making a perfect lovers triangle between him, Toryan and Evelyn. Ultimately though I pretty much merged his character with Toryans and he survives as a fond memory of true love.

The first meeting between Tobias and Evelyn.
Scene: In which we find out exactly how a common guard managed to catch the eye of a Knight Baronial's daughter.

The court buzzed around her and about her, only natural of course as she was presented to the king himself tonight. But now the air inside the court is stifling and her father is looking the other way. Stepping out into the night gardens is a tiny act of defiance in the face of conformity.
Inside her father jokes with someone that she should have been introduced to but she doesn't care. The night gardens are a much talked about feature of the royal city and not one that she intends to miss. Here and there she passes couples, whose world does not include her.

“Are you lost lady?” although his clothing was obvious quality they were quite untidy
“Not at all. I was simply admiring the flowers”
“It's a fine place for lovers” his leer is most ungentlemanly “if you'd like I could take you walking through the gardens”
“No that's, that's fine” her attempt to mimic the commanding tone of her father fail miserably “I should get back to the court”
As she turns to leave the man, who is certainly no gentleman, grabs at her wrist roughly “You're not going anywhere girly”
“Let me go!” this time it comes out as a command but he only laughs
“Let me go! Oh let me go”

“You should do what the lady asks” a new voice cuts in and the owner stteps out of the shadows
“Go to hell” he says belligerently
“As you wish” her hero quickly snatches at the ruffians own arm and soon has him on the ground with his arm twisted around the mans neck [note: the full nelson, while effective in real life isn't going to leave Toryan with a hand free. The one I'm thinking of is a judo hold Tome pomtiddly something.  This is only going to come into play if he needs his hands free for something.  Have a headbutt in there somewhere because headbutts mean action!]
The man manages to get free somehow
“You bastard!” he pants “do you know who I am?”
The guardsman advances and the man gives way “unless I miss my guess you're the one thats been bribing the old guards to turn a blind eye to your activities and it is my distinct pleasure to arrest you” They scuffle again but the ruffian again gets the worst of it and this time there is no question of escape “are you unharmed lady...”
“Esteele, Evelyn Esteele, I'm fine...” she returned his own pause [note: no she didn't that's stupid]
“Captain Tobias” he glances down at the man who has begun struggling again “now I've no doubt that you've got friends”
“I do!” the man squeaks “powerful and influential ones! You can kiss goodbye to your career good captain”
Tobias rolled his eyes “My apologies lady it's best to get this speech out of the way before they start giving out any useful information. Now as I was saying. I've no doubt that you've got friends, as you say, of power and influence, who will no doubt help you escape justice in some clever way so think on this. If anything happens to the Lady Esteele then it will mean a duel between the pair of us and I guarantee that on your best day you are not going to be as good as I am on my worst day”
“You can't threaten me like that!” the man yelps
“I don't think I threatened you” Captain Tobias said
“I didn't hear anything” confirmed Evelyn
“I'm certain that I would never threaten a prisoner who's going the right way to getting a damn good kicking if he doesn't stop wriggling around” [note: don't use this I've pinched it from somewhere]

“Will he really get away with it?” she asked as the man was led away by a pair of trustworthy guardsmen
“He'll get a rap over the knuckles” Tobias confirmed “the nobles have a way of looking after their own”
“Yes. They do. Have you finished with my daughter captain?” the coldness of her fathers disapproval suggested very much that he shouldn't have started with her
“I am Sir Knight” Tobias bowed slightly stiffly owing to a few bruises and if he were nervous at all he didn't show it.
“Then continue with your work guardsman. Daughter come with me and don't go wandering off again”
As she meekly followed her father she looked over her shoulder and waved to the captain who returned it hesitantly.

Evelyn and Tobias part two
Scene: Time passed as time is wont to do and the pair found that their unlikely friendship had blossomed into the tree of love [note: aww] they are forced to sneak around her chaperones in order to see each other but like all lovers they fail to notice that people have been talking. In the middle of a visit her brothers kicked down the door and, holding Tobias off at the point of a blade they brought Evelyn back to her father, Sor Esteele. He gives her the news that Cole Trailin, the kings newest baron, has requested her hand in marriage

Heavy rains lashed the stable walls, lightening and thunder spooked the horses but the people inside took no notice.
“Why can't you understand that I love him father!” she'd asked the same question before and just as before he gave the same response
“You're too young!” his fist slammed against the stall “too damn young to know what love is!”
“You're too old to remember” she counters harshly “if ever you felt it then you've forgotten long ago

Sor slapped her face “there's not a day that goes by that I don't remember your mother. But this! Sneaking around behind my back”
“We had to!” her tears have never failed to melt his heart before today “you wouldn't give him the time of day because he's not noble born. But he's a good man”
This time he remained a stony cliff “good man he may be. But he's not good enough for my daughter”
“Mum would have welcomed him”
He shook his head and turned away. “ Your mother was a remarkable woman but she had strange ideas”
“Like giving people a chance?” [note: could we lay it on any thicker? Not without special equipment]
“You'll soon forget your Captain. The Baron Trailin has agreed to overlook your wild streak and has presented himself as your husband”
“I don't love him! I love Tobias”
“Come now, what happened to giving people a chance? At any rate you'll be joined with Trailin come the full moon” he gestured over his shoulder to her sycophantic brothers, afraid to offer any opinion that would not be approved of “take her to her rooms and see that she stays there this time”


  1. A) This is the best blog title I've ever seen.
    B) LOVE LOVE LOVE the Live Journal mockery. To which I say, amen.
    C) I agree - pen, paper, typewriter, computer, post it notes (my media of choice), get down before you lose it. Write it terribly if you must and fix later. But write it.
    - http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/