Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Character Profile: Meet Rucient

He's from Born of This Soil. I'm world building the book to get ready for National Novel Writing Month and Rucient is one of a number of characters I'm working my way through.



His people evolved from rodents somewhat like the capybara. For centuries, their people have been travelers, moving across the world because they believe that knowing the world means knowing one's place in it. It's not uncommon for groups to settle down in a area, live there several years and then move on.

In the last war the Inscari people were separated into two groups and the northern group was taking a beating because they were trapped between warring nations. The southern tribe risked everything, mounting massive raids in order to draw attention away from the northern tribe, who then evacuated to the south along river routes. The incident was not without casualties, but three of the northern tribes survived to reach the safety of the southern mountains.

However, due to politic pressures, border disputes, and the tough spot that Rucient's tribe are in, they feel they've reached Journey's End and have chosen a final home. This isn't unusual, and sometimes smaller groups break away to continue the journey. For the most part, Rucient's people are adapting to an agrarian (sort of) lifestyle. The past hasn't let go of all his people, though. There are smaller tribes among them who feel that the wounds of the wars must be repaid. These tribes earn their livings largely from raiding other nearby cultures.

Concerned about their sibling tribes, the larger tribe has recruited their people's version of a monk to serve as the ambassadors/missionary to these smaller tribes. The larger tribe wants recognition, the respect given another countries, rather than the treatment of outcasts. It's their belief that this is the only way to prevent the same things from happening again. And it's vital that they accomplish this, especially with the rumbles between Roth'Andol and Pyrana (the two countries their mountains are between).

Rucient is one such monk, deployed to convince his assigned tribe that it's through peace that they'll gain safety. It's a tough job, but Lyllian is a bright spot. She's an unapologetic thief (although she never steals from her own people) and though she supports the raiding, she and Rucient have grown close. But can their relationship survive the coming struggles, and the distance that will soon separate them?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Busy, busy, busy.

I've been writing a lot of articles lately, which has sucked time from other things. You know, like blogging. :D

I'm now on my last edit of Court of Scales. I've managed to restore the 5,000 words I deleted! Some of it is better than before, although I'm not all that happy with other bits. Anyway, it just needs a grammar/style/wording/spelling run-through before I post it for crit. Of course, the way I do it, that could take me a couple days and they probably won't be consecutive. *shakes head at self* I can write fast, but I think I edit slow.

I haven't forgotten my character experiment. I've been working on it in spare moments (Gee, I need some more of those), but it's getting pretty long and so far I've only been writing the first character. I'm not sure how or when I'm going to post it, but I'll figure it out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crap.

I just lost 5,000 words worth of story. Blip. Gone. I have a backup, but it doesn't have any of the edits I'd been slaving away on.

*weeps*

Monday, May 10, 2010

Seven Most Interesting Deaths

The lovely Jean Davis tagged me to come up with my seven favorite character deaths, whether in something I've written or read. This took a lot of thought for me. What constitutes death? I mean, does total erasure of previous personality and memories, or change to their actual physical form, count as a death? What about psychotic break? If the character has convinced herself that she is someone else (and I don't see her ever recovering), does that count?

I guess killing my characters isn't the worst I do to them. :D Of course, many of my own character's deaths are in unpublished stories. :( And I don't want to spoil them. So, I'm going to stick with deaths from things I've read. Although, "death" might be a debatable term in some of them.

1. My first pick is classic: Gollum. It's just such a perfect end to his arch, to his obsession. Frodo can't throw the ring into Mt. Doom, but Gollum can't live without it, and so he has to die with it. I think it's even better because it's not a conscious choice. There's no heroism in what Gollum does, only the ever present need to possess the one ring. It's been his constant drive and, though he may have wished it different, in the end he gets what he wants. Briefly, but forever.

2. The second is from a short story called The Troll by T.H. White. It isn't that the death itself is so momentous, just that it's so well described. The main character witnesses a troll eat a woman, and the description is so filled with a sense of mundane horror--that such an awful, grotesque thing could happen in the middle of a perfectly lovely inn, on a perfectly mundane trip--that it almost makes you believe it. The main character, half-convinced of his own madness and yet not enough so that he can ignore his fear, is so real you can almost taste him. And so can the troll. :D

3. My next favorite death comes from Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy, and how could it not? I don't want to spoil too much, but the books are about necromancers who, instead of raising the dead, are charged with laying them to rest. In the last book, the quest to lay a certain spirit to rest takes two of the characters beyond death's last gate, and they find themselves in death's final, irresistible, domain. All who look upon the heavens there are forced to face their own mortality, and to go when it's their time. Ready or not. I'm sure you can imagine how many people and things aren't ready to go, in a book about necromancers.

4. Next, I have to go with the death of everyone at the party in Poe's Masque of the Red Death. It's beautifully written, and I love his portrayal of the party-goers and their horror, and his description of the inexorable Red Death. It's one of those stories that just hits buttons... and stops clocks. :D

5. And, for something lighter, the "death" of wizards in Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It's not permanent, but it's quick and clean. Well... it's clean: just water and lemon juice, and you can wash that wizard right out of your hair.

6. There are many interesting deaths on Terry Pratchett's Discworld, but I have to say my favorite is the death of the wizard Wendel Poon in Reaper Man. As ready as he is to go, and though he dies, he's just not very good at staying that way. Poor Wendel.

7. Last, we come to the "death" of Coretti, from William Gibson and John Shirley's The Belonging Kind. This is one of those instances where "death" is a debatable term. But, Coretti as we know him at the story's beginning doesn't exist by the end, and it's a fascinating story.

Whew! *wipes sweat from brow* That wasn't as easy as I made it look, but it was fun! Thanks for the tag, Jean!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Busy is Better than Bored

I haven't gotten much fiction writing done this week, but I have gotten a few things submitted. I've done some non-fiction writing, and managed to crit a few things (there's always more do! :D ). I have been thinking about the fiction, though. You can't tear me away from it entirely.

Court of Scales is slow going, but once I have a little more free time I think I'll be able to make some progress. It really isn't as far from ready as I keep thinking it is, so it's my hope that I'll breeze through it and get it up and critted. I've also been thinking about A Sign in Blood and what it needs before I can get it moving again. I don't know when I'll have time to do it, but at least by then I'll know what I'm doing. Well, one hopes. :D

Today, however, there will be no writing. I'm taking my mom to the the botanical gardens for some fresh air, (hopefully obscured) sunshine, and a lot of picture taking because we both love that.

Happy Mother's Day everybody! :D

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feeling Better

I'm still catching up on everything. I got those articles done, and some crits. Although I still have more to do, but that's an ongoing thing! :D I even got about 1,000 words written. Here's hoping for more!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Owie.

Due to a pain flare up, I'm probably not going to be active for the next few days. I don't want to get into it, but I'm all owie, which makes it difficult to concentrate. I'm going to try do crits, and there's a few paying articles I absolutely have to work on, but other than that, don't expect much from my corner of cyberspace for a few days.

I hope y'all are doing well though!