Archive for August 14, 2009

Over the last few days, in addition to working on the rough draft of Tears of the Mountain, I have also been making progress on the next short story in the Nhaqosa collection, called Echoes of Dark Reflections.

The rough draft is getting close to the end, but do date it has turned out a bit darker than other stories. The Nhaqosa setting was always the most brutal of them, but other events in Echoes of Dark Reflections seem to be making it grittier. Whether that will survive to the final draft remains to be seen.

The story hasn’t quite been finished yet, and I’m trying to make up my mind about something before doing so. Nhaqosa is accompanied by a merry band of mercenaries, around two dozen in total. Most however remain unnamed and only around three have received any real attention in the stories to date.

I’m trying to decide what to do with them. I could kill most of them off so only a handful remain, but this is likely to have a big impact on Nhaqosa given he sees them as family. The other is in each story focus on one or two of them and then cycle them into the background again. The nature of the stories is that there would always be deaths, it’d just be more pronounced in the former option, and it would be the way I’d go if I was truly evil.

I have in the past had a tendency to want to write the whole story in one go no plotting, no rough drafts, just the finished story. It is kind of a bad way of going about things and can explain why so little in the past ever got finished.

Even today when I am actively writing rough drafts, I still tend to try and put too much detail in, rather than just getting the gist of the story down, though it is improving.

The new method I am trying seems to be helping, plotting the story out first and then doing rough drafts from that. They really are rough when looking at them, with scant details. One scene as an exampled has a couple of people entering a room to meet a man. Pretty much all that is written is that they enter and the man is sitting behind a table. No descriptions of the room or the man, nothing about what is on the table or what is is made of, of light sources or anything like that. All that can be worried about later, once the rough draft is completed.

It doesn’t mean though that nothing much is happening. Yesterday I took one of the plot points off the board and started working on it.

The plot point comprised of just 16 words;

-Leave Adranatti.
-Head north through farms and jungles.
-Marassi and Logawa argue.
-Reach pass through mountains.

Somehow from that I wrote 1500 words of very rough draft. Large parts of a two day trip were glossed over, descriptions were exceedingly minimal, conversations were curtailed, yet it came out to 1500 words and included new plot details I hadn’t considered earlier. When it comes around time for a rewrite of it I’ve got no idea how long it will turn out to be. Not bad for a 16 word plot point.