A Change of Heart

Posted: January 13, 2010 in fantasy, writing update
Tags: , , , ,

That didn’t last long.

My initial plan was to choose one novel plot and work on it until it was done. However after just a few days I’ve changed my mind as to which one it’ll be. last time, I promise – and if I do it again, feel free to give me a virtual clip around the head.

I hadn’t actually really done anything with the first idea, so I guess it doesn’t really count, or so I keep telling myself.

I’m switching back to the novel I started towards the end of last year and for a short while made great strides in – 30,000 words in seven days at one stage. I was rereading it and realised it wasn’t too bad, which was what prompted the return to it. Of course I wrote what exists of it so far with no plot in mind, so this time around with more of an idea of what is happening I can fix a lot of the errors that that caused to crop up. I am also planning on cutting some plot lines out and narrowing the focus – maybe those cut plots will reappear in a sequel if it ever gets that far.

Here is the opening of the story as it stands to date;

The herd thundered across the sweeping plains, crashing through long grass that swayed and shimmered. It rippled in a faint breeze that carried with it a hint of chill. Hooves churned up damp soil made moist by the early spring rains, rains that had brought vibrant life to the grasslands after the long, hard months of winter. Stallions, mares and foals, the herd swelling in size with each passing minute, raced backwards and forwards, crushing the grass into the earth in the wake of their passage. Clods of earth were thrown up in their wake, leaving scared patterns in the earth and their raucous, joyous cries echoed loud above the pounding of hooves that caused the ground to shudder as they raced.

To the pair of men watching the herd from the top of a gentle sloping rise that dominated that part of the broad northern plains, the patterns left behind by the herd were at first seemingly random. As they watched though, they began to take on form the longer the herd streamed onwards, swirls within swirls, smaller packs breaking off from the main herd to trample the ground in certain places before flowing back into the herd. They were leaving behind a complex, interwoven pattern, the fresh earth standing out dark against the untouched grass around it.

Atral Hekaras reined in his shaggy horse at the top of the rise, his long-faced companion not far behind. He stared down at the running herd, and the intricate yet inexplicable patterns they were forming across the plains, both marvelling at the complexity of them and intrigued by the meanings they held that were unknown to him. The scent of newly arrived spring was strong all around him, with vivid, newly blossoming flowers dotted amongst the tall grasses, growing thickest along the top of the rise that he stood upon. Bees buzzed, darting amongst the explosion of flowers that lay before them, the sounds of them mingling with the hissing of the breeze as it swayed amongst the grasses. The sun shone bright in a clear, almost cloudless sky, yet the breeze that played across them swept down from the north and carried with it the memories of winter that was cool to the skin. Mountains dominated the northern skyline, towering and broken, clawing at the sky, clouds clinging thick upon their hidden peaks and their shoulders clad in a heavy white mantle of snow.

From the mountains, a number of streams went their way through the grasslands, shimmering ribbons that glistened beneath the blazing sun which fought with little success to rob the air of its chill touch. Fed by fresh melt water, the streams surged forth, tumbling into each other one by one until at last, further south, they roared onwards as a raging river that fed the plains before at last they met the sea that lay out of sight to the west.

It may have been spring already, Atral reflected as his dark, fur-lined cloak flapped out behind him, but this far north the weather could change without warning as howling storms descended with terrible fury down from the mountains.

  1. I know how it goes trying to write on just one thing. If I could do that well, I’d have had my novel done several years ago. But I bounce between stories, or worse yet, not writing.

    Same trouble reading…got to have several books going at a time.

    Good luck this time, and let me know if anything worked better than anything you tried previously to keep you on task! IT might help me as well.

  2. Oh, and I liked the scene and environmental detail. I enjoy reading things that immediately bring pictures to mind, and this short section does that, and ties in other senses as well..

  3. qorvus says:

    If I knew the trick, I wouldn’t have spent 20 years trying to finish something. Of course, if I do=id know it I could probably make a lot of money teaching people…

    I think it’ll take a lot of work to keep the descriptions up to that level through the story – they have a habit of slipping the further in it goes.

  4. E. Patrick Dorris says:

    I really don’t think it’s a problem not having that much detail throughout the story. I think it’s kind of like a hypnotic induction at the beginning. The detail initially draws you in and allows one’s imagination to begin to wander and to start picturing this other place. Once there, it kind of keeps going on it’s own, and the story can take over..

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