Monthly Archives: December 2010

Help! I don’t know what to do with this!

Okay, folks. Sometimes I don’t know quite what to write for Mortality, Interrupted so I’ll write something else. I just wrote a chunk for Royal Redemption but I have no idea what to do with it. I like it, but it’s full of narration and I can’t seem to figure out how to convey this information in a way that pulls the reader into the story. Here’s what I’ve got:

Of all the Elven races across the entire face of Chalandris, none are as mysterious or as secretive as the Sylvan elves. While other Elven races might seem to be more ancient or more civilized by human eyes, particularly in their approach to life and learning, all elves are quick to point out this is not so. The Sylvan elves, it is said, possess skills and knowledge beyond that even of other races of elves, and they guard their secrets with great care and devotion.

Unlike the other elven races, the Sylvan elves regard none as kings or queens, not even the great King Calethor seated upon the Sapphire Throne in Estmere. Instead, while Sylvan elves trade openly with their kindred in other villages, each village only acknowledges the authority of its own Lord and Lady.

One of the secrets of these Sylvan elves is that they are unmatched in the arts of war. While other races of elves avoid the bloodshed and perils of war, the Sylvan elves train for it constantly and they deliberately establish their villages on the wilderness frontier where they can keep a close eye upon the orcs and their wretched kin. For the Sylvan elves, it is a point of pride and they consider it their sacred duty to protect the Elven races that lie deeper within the rich glades of the Halewood. Every so often, the short-lived orcs and ogres, who have no great love of lore or skill with the plow, forget the history of their grand-sires and covet the rich land protected by the canopied forests of the Halewood. And every so often, the Sylvan elves’ prowess with spell, blade, and bow gives a new generation of orcs and ogres a new opportunity to remember.

It was in thirtieth year of the twelfth century of Calethor’s reign in the month of Merry, when the day becomes the night’s equal and the snows give way to the new grass, that once again foreign boots invaded the Halewood. The Elven warriors who kept watch from the upper boughs along the borderland had seen the tell-tale signs of glittering campfires slowly approaching night after night in relentless procession across the wilderness landscape, slowly encroaching upon the Halewood. Once again the Sylvan elves were prepared to do battle and they met the foe at the treeline. But it was not orcs or ogres or any of their kin they met. It was a great company of men, veteran warriors who had brought war to the great wilderness, slaughtered the orc hordes, plundered their camps, and scattered their remnants. Now they were advancing upon the Halewood.

For millennia the elves had fought their eternal enemies and they knew their adversaries well. The orcs knew nothing of honor or of valor. They engaged in war for the love of blood and death and were in such a hurry to rush into battle that they rarely developed any true skill in it. They made up for their lack of prowess with sheer numbers, but these men were a new threat. They fought in organized fashion with disciplined leadership and thoughtful tactics.

It took more than a year for the Sylvan elves to adapt to the way these men fought, but this incursion was also repulsed though not before paying a significant price. Several villages were overrun and occupied before the tide could be turned. Food, gold, and even elf-maids were considered spoils of war by these men who showed no mercy and respected no law.

Lynkariel was an elf-maid of rare beauty and joyous spirit. She had been born in the thirty-first year of the ninth century of Calethor’s reign and as she neared her Initiation ceremony on her three-hundredth birthday anniversary her young life was full of promise. It was well-known in her village of Morannon that Halthalion, the young Lord of Morannon was in love with her, and she with him. They had spent several summers together and the announcement of their impending nuptials was eagerly expected.

Okay, what do y’all think? Is this useful stuff and I’m just being hard on myself, is it potentially useful with work, or is it just the product of a writing exercise?


POLL: A question for all of you

Lord Péter has vanished! (But not to worry…)

Hello everyone,

After some careful thought I’ve decided that I have to let Lord Péter go. I don’t have a compelling reason for him to be in the story. He has only been a bantering partner for Zsaka and that just doesn’t make him valuable enough to keep. So, I’m removing him from the master draft and editing the dialogue and story to reflect the change. Some of his actions and dialogue will be spoken and performed by other characters and some of it will simply be removed as unnecessary. Doing this will tighten things up a little bit and make for one less character for readers to keep track of. It will also make later parts of the plot easier to write if I don’t have to account for his presence in the story. So – “Alas, poor Péter! We knew him”… not so well, actually.

Massive apologies for the “spammy” emails

Hello everyone,

Many of you have been receiving emails every time I make a change to a page. It was unintentional. I didn’t realize that was happening until I was told about it yesterday. I thought the setting I had checked would send those emails only to me, but that wasn’t the case, and I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience my oversight caused.

Alpheus site: Images added and “Mortality, Interrupted” content revamped!

Hello, everyone!

Sorry for the delay in getting those chapters reorganized on the Alpheus site, but I finally got it done. I would have loved to have gotten it done sooner, but ’tis the season and all that. I appreciate everyone’s patience, I really do.

Now, to the degree that Christmas preparations won’t be occupying my focus, I’ll be able to write, EXCEPT… that I’m also starting a business partnership with Denise (yes, the very same Denise who comments on this site) and work that pays now is more important than work that I hope will pay sometime in the future. So, do please bear with me as I do the best I can to get the draft of this novel written.

I also took th time to add some new images to the site. I hope you enjoy them.

Merry Christmas and other seasonal greetings to everyone as appropriate.

Don’t Panic!!!!

Hello, everyone!

My beginning needs work – a serious revamping. The new beginning is good, but it doesn’t really grab the reader, and the beginning must have that opening bit that grabs the reader and compels them to read the story. I like the new beginning, but I knew when I was writing it that it was just a framework which would be expanded later. But it needs more than an expansion. It needs revision.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get lost in this, but I need to address it now because the changes could have a serious effect on later parts of the story. I appreciate your indulgence, and I hope you’ll trust me.

So much happening!

Hello, everyone!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that November was by far the most active month of writing I’ve ever had. This is reflected in the number of posts to this blog during the month of November (23), which was almost twice as many as the previous high established back in August (13).

I don’t know if any writer is able to write steadily, and I certainly haven’t been able to develop the knack. Even at my best, my writing is all fits and starts, false starts, restarts, wrong directions and u-turns, interrupted by brief periods of actual productive writing. What I have to go through just to get a decent paragraph written is just insane. There is no way I could do this if I weren’t absolutely driven, and the more I learn about writing, the more I discover I have yet to learn. I REALLY wish I had started writing much earlier in life so that by the time this story popped into my mind I might already have developed the skills to do it justice.

Well, spilled milk and all that. I’m writing now, and that’s what matters. Learning to write is all on-the-job training. My disappointment at lost time is not something I dwell upon. I’m rooted in the moment and looking forward. I have a lot to learn and I’m eager to learn it.

On my master draft I’ve made some changes in organization, specifically with the chapter breaks. Now, the chapter breaks occur roughly at each change of day, which seems to make more sense. I’ll make the changes on the website later today.

Thanks, everyone!