“Six Cities” teaser piece

Well, it’s finished. Not anything major, mind, just the first draft of the teaser piece I mentioned, oh… two months ago now.

I’ll be honest, this piece became a bit of a nightmare to finish as, whilst I was writing it, I fell out of love with the project and lost steam with my writing, not helped by a number of other distractions coming up that gave me a convenient excuse to stay away. I remembered three days ago that I was writing this piece (and that I had a blog) so set myself the task of finishing it in some form, even if it wasn’t quite what I originally had in mind.

I am not overly happy with the finished product but I have learned a number of lessons whilst working on it that are going to both make things easier for me in future and help me produce more interesting reads. I will talk about a few specifics at the end of the piece but, for those of you who do read it, I’d like to give you the opportunity to form your own opinion first.

I haven’t yet had feedback from my regular goof-checker so expect an edit shortly to fix any big bloopers I have somehow missed. EDIT: Goof-checking feedback now rolled into the text below. Apologies all who read the previous typo-filled version!

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Character Writeup: Sasuvara Reika

Well, it’s been a while.

I had been putting off updating this blog in the hopes the next thing I would post would be a completed first draft of a slightly longer teaser piece I’ve been working on but, due to some distractions (Geralt and Eli, I’m looking at you) I still haven’t finished it. Instead, here’s another character writeup from the same world to keep things ticking over.

This exercise was harder with Reika than it was for Tamina as her role in the overall plot was less well defined when I started. She eventually became a meld of her original character and another who didn’t really have enough to do to justify their existence but I’m now concerned she’s become too useful; I’ll just have to think up some interesting and crippling problems in addition to those below to stop her running the show.

In reading over the text below before posting it I’m not really happy with it, so as usual everything remains subject to change!

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Character Writeup: Tamina

This is a writeup of a character I’m playing with for inclusion in a project, created using the character creation exercise mentioned in the previous post. Whilst the character concept didn’t change a huge amount during the writing of this (the biggest changes happened when I redid her mother’s concept and had to adjust their relationship, but this will be talked about in a later post), but I did end up doing two ‘test drives’ for her as I found the first one to be a bit boring after completing it.

Tamina’s plotline is a largely personal one so her problems and solutions are very inward looking. This made her quite an easy character to start this exercise with as I didn’t have to make any concrete decisions about a lot of the rest of the setting, though all details should still be considered subject to change. Be warned, there be minor spoilers within.

EDIT: Let this be a lesson in why you shouldn’t write something on a tablet whilst on a train then proof-read it whilst pretty sleepy, stories below edited to remove bloopers.

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From The Vault #5

And now for something completely longer.

The following piece was written in 2010 (though the idea had been bouncing around in my head since 2008). It’s the closest I’ve come to having a real go at writing an original novel, it certainly had the most planning and thought put into it of anything I’d written up until this point and probably since. It’s the first chapter of a planned rustpunk fantasy story that I’m not going to spill too many beans on as I may one day return to it – the novel was planned in its entirety but I just never got round to writing more than what you find after the break.

The reason I gave up on this project is because I lost faith in my own plot. When I’d stripped away all the fancy trappings I’d given it (my own setting, unique fantastical elements and non-Medieval European styling, woo) it was just another story about a small town boy making big, something the fantasy genre is pretty rammed with already. Sure, some of them can be good (Star Wars, Eragon, Harry Potter etc.) they’re all also pretty same-y at the end of the day (Star Wars, Ergaon, Harry Potter etc.) and I wanted to do something more original. Also at the time I’d just read Scott Lynch‘s incredible début “The Lies of Locke Lamora” and what I had planned out in no way matched up to the standard he’d entered the field with.

Oddly, whilst at the time I was put off by thinking I couldn’t match someone like Scott he did also give me some nudges back towards writing after I’d fallen out with it. He was in email contact with a friend of mine, Richard Bellingham, and Richard mentioned to him my problems; Scott sent me some messages of encouragement via Richard that eventually convinced me to pick up the (metaphorical) pen again after a year of sulking and get back into it. Scott, if you’re reading this (as unlikely as that is), thanks.

Please excuse the god-awful cheese of the opening.

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