/* new */

Friday, April 18, 2008

Critical Mass

Astonishing how a week can change things. Has it already been a week? How time does fly when one is immersed in the Work. After almost a week of floundering, researching, consulting, analyzing, and cracking skull on keyboard, I got moving on the harbor scene. It flowed. I love it when I've gathered enough information, motivation, world building details, and plot elements that I can immerse myself in the scene without stopping to look things up. The worst thing I have to worry about is communicating how the tall, carved posts with the bird capitals form a great rectangle on the pleasure barge and that silk draperies and canopies are hung from them. I would like to make the posts curve outward so that when they fix new ropes between them to hang the celebration banners brought on board, the banners will obscure some of the silk draperies, but still leave space between. But I need to describe all this in a matter of a few words so we don't interrupt the action. Well, ok, I won't worry about the outward curve (though it would look really cool.)

As I write I do find myself changing some details as I go. Halfway through the scene I move the oarsmen from "belowdecks," when I realize from looking at every pleasure barge picture I can find, that yes, some barges have decks, but these are really shallow draught vessels and you can't necessarily fit men and oars underneath. All the pictures show them on the "main level." But this doesn't mean they are on the deck. They can be in an open hull part of the barge. OK. That works. I put them in the stern, because that seems like the "back of the bus" and the guests would be in the bow, but pictures show that lots of rowing barges put the rowers in the bow - facing backward for rowing, of course, with the bargemaster facing forward. I like the look of the picture I found. So I adjust the words and put them in the bow and the main "gallery" is in the stern. Move everyone around. It works. And then comes the disaster...

...in the story, not the writing (I hope!)...and then comes the magic
that was the reason for all this research and setup. And the magic doesn't come from the place Portier thought it would. And people die. And Portier's expectations, illusions, and hopes are crushed. Action only has meaning in the reactions of the characters.

Did you know that there are Naval Field Medical Manuals online, that tell about phosphorus burns and treatment? [I am smiling here.] Which leads into the "aftermath" chapter. Because when everything goes wrong/blows up/turns south, our heroes have to regroup. Which is another whole chapter!!

Portier is wounded - not something a librarian is accustomed to. It's only small, but leads to interesting revelations about our sorcerer. The character interaction is the most fun - I really have to be careful about too much talking heads in this story. With a mystery, there are clues and interconnections to be analyzed, especially when everything you think you've figured out is proved wrong. I'm going to have to figure out some different way to do this...

And so it goes. I know several things that have to happen next. A visit to Collegia Magica Seravain is one of the big ones. But I think...we may have to go ghost hunting first. Now where did that come from??????

Stay tuned...

6 comments:

Latharia said...

"I love it when a plan comes together"! :) Sounds like you're on a roll & I hope it feels awesome!

carolwriter said...

Some days it feels like rolling. Some days it feels like being rolled upon!

Jo said...

Hi, Carol. I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading your blog. It is really fascinating to see the process of writing a new book and how much thought and consideration is required in order to immerse the reader into the world you have created. I can't wait for your latest book to be released --- I'm a huge fan of your other works.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Hi Carol,

I memed you, if you want to play. See my blog for the rules.

Betsy

David Fitzgerald said...

Hi, Carol. This is off your current subject, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading "Breath and Bone." You have a unique way with words in the Fantasy Genre that is refreshing and thought-provoking. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

carolwriter said...

Thanks very much, David! A very nice thing to hear to begin the work day.

Carol