Friday, 25 November 2011

A Scribbly bit of Harts Change

I'm wading through the book with a machete and in the middle of rewriting this encounter with Evelyn and Toryan.

Concerning the setting:
The fortress port of Daggers Rest has been taken by <Classified At This Time> and at the Beggar Kings command the warsongs ring through the country!  
Evelyn, Toryan and Leonia accompany the army of Prince Nichus south to join with his father and lay siege to the place.

Concerning People:
Leonia: a mysterious woman of power.  She has plans of her own that involve Evelyn and Ambia but is content to take the long view, for now.  You will never see her without her flock of priests [and as this is skirting close to classified information we'll leave it at that]
Evelyn Oneeye: The main character and a Tinker of the king.  She's been tasked with protecting the prince who makes her job difficult by laughing at the idea since he's surrounded by an army.
Toryan: An Ambian.  Technically he's Evelyn's prisoner but since he deserted his men to be with her it's a bit of a grey area.
Horrible: he's too small to be a pony and tables don't bark so he must be a dog.

Concerning the notes:
The words in a hue of blue, 
are notes from I to me (and now to you).

That which is writ in red,
are scribblings from inside my head.
If reading them becomes a chore,
they can safely be ignored.

[nw: So what might happen I think is that they sleep together platonicly which is fine because every one else is doing it regardless of sex. It is one of the best ways to keep warm out in the open and perhaps there is a bit of sex going on as well but I wont' get into that unless it becomes narrativly important.
Now as I have said before if they merely sleep together and infact have Horrible there as a canine honor guard then it will be fine and they'll laugh about it in the morning.
The next step up from that is that if they sleep together and in the darkness of the night something happens sexually between them. That's when the morning breakfast would be slightly awkward.

Whether or not they make the beasts with two backs is irrelevant. The thing to remember of course is that while sexual tension draws an audience in After the actual sex it tends to slow everything down. The classic example is the television show, the adventures of Lois and Clark which was a hit show until Superman and Lois Lane got married and then nobody gave a damn.
What then is the point of this scene?
It would be easy to say that there is no point to it but that would also be nothing more than sloppy writing and if there were no point to the scene then why bother having it in the first place?

The point of the scene is not to just get Evelyn and Toryan humping like bunnies which realisticly is not going happen. The point of the scene is that Evelyn has been sleeping with Horrible every night since the change. She has needed something in her life that makes no demands upon her, in effect he is a teddy bear that makes her feel safe.
Now feeling safe is the interesting part of that sentence because as strange as it may seem she is beginning to feel safe with Toryan and it might be that she has caught herself casting a lingering gaze on his well formed shoulders from time to time but thought nothing of it.

Note: She hasn't had any “relations” since Tobias died and that was 5 years ago. So there is opportunity for her to feel great shame and guilt over these thoughts she is having about Toryan which is understandable although according to the character analysis she is well past the period of feeling any guilt over this]

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Story Short (well, shorter than the last one at least)

[This started out as an experiment to see if I could write something without dialogue.  In direct opposition to my previous post which is nothing but!
Thus I release my hold on my latest monster into the wild interworld to rampage as it pleases]

The man who was a rock

He had only known love a short time when he was in the care of the man who called him son and that was a lie for they were not related by any sort of blood but it was a lie that they were able to live with. But forces stronger than either of them conspired and amongst the various homes that he would enter with high hopes, only to be returned when something inevitably went wrong, he learnt that the rightful place for his heart was behind a stronghold of stone and iron.  This was the way that he grew to manhood and within him the fortress grew deep and mighty

Still, every so often, he gazed out from his parapits at the happenings of those who wore their hearts on their sleaves, those who gave it away freely, saw it returned in the faces of their loved ones and even as he turned away in disugust he would feel a tiny piece of his fortress crumble.

But crumbling brickwork or not his fortress remained strong and he walked the earth an abberation for he was quite unable to feel love, nor greed, nor desire for they live in the heart itself. Many times he told himself that he was happy and some days he believed it while other days he did not.
One night love came for him, not attempting to storm his gates but rather slipping in quietly between the cracks that he didn't even realise were there.

The night theatre finally closed its doors and spilled its audience out into the street.  It was never a medium that had given him any pleasure.  Grown men and women prancing about and declaring love or even plotting murder in extravagant musical numbers.  You didn't need to be any sort of police mastermind to figure out that the uncle who just sang about wanting his nephew out of the way might have had something to do with his nephew suddenly "going off to see the world and seek his fortune"
This night out hadn't been his idea but their business was courting his business and such things usually greased the wheels of commerce, usually.
That the Berlin markets were never closed was something that he often told himself he should approve of, everyone needed money and the people that were willing to make the effort ended up with it all.

It was a parting of the crowd that gave him the first glimpse of her. That merest chance, half a second later and he would have walked by without knowing she was there. Indeed had she not turned to meet his eyes he would have done just that.

Unlike her brothers who ran about the place heedless of any that might be watching she stayed quietly in the small square of artificial moonlight as was provided by the streetlight.

His acquaintances moved on down the street. If they had noticed, or cared, that he was no longer with them they didn't bother to say anything. But they didn't matter now.
A few hesitant steps took him out of the foot traffic and he told himself that he was being foolish even as he opened the door with more force than strictly necessary
Around his heart his walls came down and for the first time since boyhood he was able to feel something other than a lump of iron in his chest.

Darf ich helfen?” The tired looking clerk had three piercings in her eyebrow and a long purple mohawk. At almost any other time in his life he would have disaproved but on this night none of that mattered as he reached into his meagre repetoire of German
Ja, ja du kannst. Wie viel ist das H√ľndchen im Fenster?”

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Story Short - An alliance of sorts.

Woke up with this idea in my head and started scribbling it out.  I'm still not a hundred percent happy with it but it's only a few minor tweaks that are required. Although the last time I said that to myself I ended up reshaping the destiny of nations!

On a completely unrelated note:

I was in the library the other day and picked up

I was entranced.  High Quality photos, that don't just treat the subject as a kind of "Look at the freak with his tattoos" which I've seen in other books, the obligatory Goldie paintings of course, but that's fine because he's simply one of the best artists that I've ever seen.
It covers the mythology of the art and tracks its use throughout our country giving us stories of Moko from our earliest histories up to the modern day people that get it done and the tattoo artists themselves..
I would highly recommend it to anybody that needs information about the art of Maori tattooing for whatever reason.

~An Alliance of sorts~
~An old mans passing and what came of it.~

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Golden Conundrum

I got into a rather philosophical discussion about gold recently (1)
The question was “If you had a bar of pure gold. Could you destroy it so that it was utterly gone? And you're not allowed to throw it into a black hole”
The black hole solution is a pretty common solution for solving debates round our way but this one occasion I'd forgotten to pack it.

Every suggestion I had was shot down by David saying “but you could reconstitute it on the atomic level” and then looking smug because he thought that he'd finally been able to stump me. But fear not loyal readers because I've been thinking about this a bit (2) and have, in fact, devised three surefire methods for getting rid of gold when you've forgotten to bring your handy dandy black hole.

Now because David is going to be reading this I'd like to assure him that I have put quite a bit of thought into each of these theories before posting them. After all you can't just slap together a bunch of loony statements and call it a day! (3)

Theory One:
Change the language. A rose may small as sweet by any other name but it does change the surface of the problem, chiefly that you're supposed to be getting rid of this stuff you've gotten hold of is merely Grundlewort rock (4).
The metal in question has ceased to be gold and thus been gotten rid of although the problem of removing the word gold from every language in the world will no doubt require a tardis, some Daleks (5)
and a willing partner to distract the Doctor by saying “hey Look over there!” whenever he starts to wonder where the big blue box has gotten to.

But I would like to point out, no black hole.

Theory Two:
As it seems that the Tardis has manage to elude us and I'm not crazy enough to try and pinch the one that belongs to the master we are forced to take a different approach.

Now it seems that back in the days of yore the ultimate dream of any alchemist worth his alembeck was to turning of base metals into noble ones. To whit, lead into gold, This would lead to them being rich, powerful and suddenly extremely handsome.

Pictured: Typical Alchemist
Due to the technology of the time none of them suceeded, or if they did then they kept it well under their hat. However if we were to use modern technology then it is possible that we could very well discover that formula which so eluded them.

Now you might very well be saying “Hang on. All he's doing is making more of the horrible stuff. I want to get rid of it!”
This statement has indeed hit the nail on the head, but here's something that you might not have considered. There are positive and negative versions of everything and if there's a formula for changing lead into gold then it follows that there must be one to change gold back into lead.

The next step is to put yourself in a hypnotic state and deliberately command yourself to forget the equation. Thus leaving you with a lump of lead and that annoying feeling you get when you've forgotten something important (6)
A Post hypnotic trigger will ensure that, should you be captured by certain parties who demand the formula, all you will be able to give them is a complex formula that ultimately does nothing more than turn them into the fluffier kind of duckling. At which point I guarantee they will suddenly have more pressing concerns than all the gold in the world.

Theory three:
This is the one theory that David didn't like, mainly because it managed to stand on its own despite his many, many attempts to riddle it with more holes than the montage at the end of The Godfather.

Step 1: Turn the gold into guitar strings of various sizes and thickness
Step 2: Sell these strings to musicians the world over and donate the proceeds to charity (7)

Conclusion: The gold is now destroyed, over time the strings will snap, be replaced and eventually thrown away, while there might be a lingering urban myth about golden strings it isn't one that anyone will ever take seriously.
Thus if they are at the local landfill or toxic waste dump and happen to see a guitar string hanging from the  bonnet of an old car their first thought isn't going to be “I wonder if that's one of the golden guitar strings I've heard about” followed by them frantic digging through the dumps of the world in order to track down the rest of the fabled strings (8)

The more you know!
The chemical that you really want to use is callled Aqua Regia (Royal water) which is a highly corrosive mixture of acids that will dissolve gold and even platinum. It is not recommended that you test this out on your grandmothers wedding ring.

This post details the how but it doesn't address the why.  Exactly what dark and insane purpose could there be in wanting to destroy something utterly?  We can only look to the skies in the vain and futile hope that there might be salvation to be found.

  1. If you knew David then you'd know that this is pretty much par for the course
  2. Mainly because it's more interesting than work
  3. Unlike some.
  4. It's not even real grundlwort, That's fools grundlwort you've got there
  5. Because everythings better with Daleks
  6. You know that song you can't remember? The one that goes “Da da de dum something something loved her” That. For the rest of your life
  7. Since it could be argued that the money you've made from the selling of the gold is an aspect of the gold remaining.  I'm just covering all the bases here.
  8. Unless it's a Saturday morning cartoon but I think that's rather outside my jurisdiction.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Insecure Writers Support Group. - Negative People

As contradictory as it sounds there are good negative and bad negative people out there in the world and the ones that you want to hang around with are the positive-negative people as they will make the best walls to bounce your ideas off and critique your work honestly.  If they don't like something then they'll speak up and let the chips fall where they may.
At the other end of the scale are the negative-negative people and these are the ones that you want to stay away from, A double negative is the kind of person who, upon hearing of your dreams of becoming a published author and knocking King and Rowling out of the best sellers list forever, will attempt to try and burst the bubble.

It may begin with a series of quick jabs to the ego "But you can't write a story, you can't even tell a joke properly"  "What's the point?  nobody reads anymore" "Doesn't sound like anything I would ever look at, though I suppose it's all right for some"
But they won't stop until you throw away your work and never again take up the pen for anything more exciting than a shopping list, a boring shopping list.  This is the only time that they'll be happy because a double negative is an emotional vampire who feeds on anguish. [1]

Once upon a time I used to work with a double negative, for the purposes of this story I'll call her Impedimenta.
If someone took time off she disaproved of it because it meant more work for everyone else, but especially her.
When another worker went on a course she spoke badly about it because it wasn't going to teach them anything important.  When she was informed that it was a first aid course she replied "So?  he'll never need it"
My turn came when I was drafted into teaching a computer course that was very far from work and the two jobs would overlap.  Clearly this meant that I would be late for this, my real job.  Besides, what were those people doing on a course?  Why didn't they go out and get jobs?"

It wasn't an ego, why aren't they talking about me?, thing at all.  She just didn't seem to want anyone to succeed at anything, ever.  Eventually the rest of us stopped talking to her which is exactly what she didn't want since it meant that she had nothing to disaprove of and that's when she sent her flying monkeys, as we called her minions, out to gather intelligence. [2]

Using them in writing:
I know I've just said stay away from the more extreme negative person if you can but unless you spend some time around these people then your characters are going to be living in a sacherine sweet world with a big purple dinosaur for company.
Life dictates that you must rub shoulders with these people and since we're writers it is an opportunity to take notes of the human condition and use them in your work. [3]
Perhaps your own Impedimenta becomes a major antogonist for your characters, who set out on their quest in order to prove her wrong.  Or it may be that she is relegated to the chorus and her voice is lost in the crowd that cheers for the rightful king.

Take it all in but, and this is the important bit, remember to get it all out as well.  Remember that their ultimate goal is to turn you into a double negative so be wary of the amount of time you spend in their presence and then go to a lake and feed the ducks, because it's impossible not to smile when your feeding ducks. [4]

1: with some nice metaphor for afters.
2: dun Dun DUN!
3: possibly my most pretentious sentence ever.
4: unless you get chased by the swan mafia who are desperate to get whats in the bag.