caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)

The Bridge to the End of the Night: 475 words of, eh, bridging passage, summarizing a long and often hair-raising afternoon's conversation, whose details I don't want to dump upon the reader beyond giving the general context and flavor.

The voice of this story, like many others in the Kateverse, comes out rather more archaizing in the first draft than it probably ought to be on completion. There's a quote with Katy talking overly like Katy-from-her-own-legend, and I'll want to amend that on the first-pass revision I'll perform on the Prologue once I've finished it.

The theme of the uttermost bridge pervades this tale in various guises, and I think the climactic scene I'm leading up to here is going to contain its first appearance, or at least its strong foreshadowing.



caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
The Bridge to the End of the Night: 750 words, and the second scene finished. Prologue is now three scenes. Selkish politics has been talked. Katy giving advice to people determinedly loyal to their lords is always going to be the skunk at the picnic.

Now I've set up what's about to happen, all I have to worry about is writing the pay-off.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
The Bridge to the End of the Night:  1,150 words.  It seems the Prologue is two scenes, not one - problem propounded, problem resolved, or at least problem resolved to be attacked from a newly promising angle.  Well into the second scene now.  The long summer evening is paling over smoky-tenemented Sellawick, and Katy's partner is showing us his mettle.  Even I sometimes forget just what he is and can be: I've seen him in no such mood since that day on Maltby Edge, two dozen years in his future, and two years ago for me.  I do believe I've missed him.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
The Bridge to the End of the Night: 590 words.  Katy is annoyed by astrology, and we get our first hint of how much even the 'happy' part of her genuinely happy 'ending' cost her.  There are reasons she is so adamantly defending the fairly nice life she has against the fairy-tale fulfilment she walked out on at the end of her Deed.  And I'm beginning to see another reason she is going to do the decisive thing she does at the end of this Prologue.  It's not in her nature to refuse this particular call for help - but she can't afford to get sucked back into any of this ichor-and-starfire nonsense, either.

Which is why she is going to set up this story - and ultimately be more affected by it than she can now imagine - without actually being a part of it, beyond this section and the Epilogue.

Hard set-up is hard.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
...with a marathon session of 3,800 words, and by golly I'll know it tomorrow.

Go well, proud Kate, fell Luke, Katy my bravest and dearest; and thou, even thou, mad bad Kit Fox!  There will be Redraft; there will be Reworking; there will be Carving Something Readable Out Of This Whopping Big Monster.  But for now, there is this: four years I have known you, and the best part of three years written you, and well I have grown to love you all.  If it is in my power, you and your friends and lovers, companions and children, will see this outer world through many other eyes than mine, and your tale be made a fit one for remembering deep and wide, with joy and tears and catches of sudden ridiculous laughter abounding.  Let us see what I can do for you, who have done so much for me.

It's done.  I don't know what to say.  I don't know what to do.  I think maybe I'll have a glass of red in celebration, to start with.

Iechyd da, all!


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,300 words of the epilogue. The King's cunning left hand, his young half-sister Clarice called the Clever, arrives at Newborough in another year's spring.

Clarice, whose modest rôle in this conclusion was sketched out two years ago, leaps off the page solid as anybody I know, the moment I meet her. Celebrated  widely as a beauty, because sparkling young princesses always must be, she is really more like a merry female Dick Crookback with the sharp corners carefully tucked away: small, vivid, sort of ill-assembled, and dangerously intoxicating over about a salon-sized radius. I'm afraid this will be the only chance I get to meet her, because Clarice is a diplomat, and much too good at it ever to get herself into anything like a folk-song or a fairy-story.

Now we will see how far the tale has come from the aftershock of the last chapter, to something like a real happy ending.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 3,500 words.  The climactic showdown with the Big Bad finished, and with it the last full chapter.  Now there's nothing left of the first draft but a moderately long epilogue.

Bunny = happy!


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,450 words.  Not even Evil Lord Evil passes altogether unmourned, though he managed a pretty creditable imitation up to this point.  I'll give him a 9 for effort.

Kate is a natural tragic* actress, and the Young Duke is a natural showman, and both of them would be extremely indignant to hear of any such suggestions. 

They and their companions leave Garton and ride up-dale towards the Edge.  The doom draws very near.

* Probably very Jacobean and stabby.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Spent an interesting evening upholding the funky monkey side of a friendly debate between Pan narrans, the Storytelling Chimp, and Homo faber, Bob the Builder.  A rum do rather, what with my being the science technician, and the other party the theatre manager.  The venue was the lobby-bar of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, that magnificent folly of a cathedral to Being Elsewhere Soon.  Bright Young Things seemingly fallen through some rift from the Twenties flitted through the dim spaces, in tuxes of unvarying shadow and ballgowns glowing every colour will-o'-the-wisp flame - until at last an enormous invasion of bagpipes put all other sights and speech to rout, ours included.  I think we each concluded that the environment had pretty much illustrated the perspectives we came in with.

It is hard, though often rewarding, to communicate across that deep narrow divide between those of us to whom Secondary Worlds are things in themselves, and those to whom they are only tools for producing a desired effect in the Primary. 

This was a good session in a setting I'm glad to have discovered, and will certainly nick detail from for any number of purposes before I'm done with it.  I do wonder, though, how anybody actually manages to feel comfortable in a place like that - for all the excellent physical comfort, pleasant service, and intelligent layout it has to offer.

I think I must always be a bit of a peasant at heart.  Explains something, above and beyond my more mutable beliefs, about the kind of tales that draw me.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 250 words.  The party for the final venture assembles, and comes down to the Duke's town of Garton.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland:
200 words, by dint of skipping breakfast and hitting the bakery on the way to work.  Linking matter.

Today is officially Full of Stuff.

Sleet Day

Nov. 9th, 2011 08:36 pm
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 660 words of the last full chapter.  Bad weather, bad dynamics, and brave hope.  Winter can trump clever ideas any time it feels like it.

Tomorrow I have other commitments and shall be lucky to get any writing in at all, so I thought I'd get this sequence started early.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,300 words, the end of the chapter, and the characters steeled for their run-up to the Big Bad.  The intent of this final scene, and how it sets up the Monster Ultimate Showdown, only showed itself to me two weeks ago.  This is now a lot tenser, and preceded by a lot more bitter in the sweet, than my long-held vision of it allowed.  Here's the price of making the Ultimate Showdown the Monster One after all - yet I think it opens more space for last night's brief access of tenderness and warmth, too.  Yes, I like the way this is going.

Only the final action chapter and an epilogue left, now.  This prospect remains rather dazing to me, after two years of active work, and a previous year with the ideas stewing around a few thousand words of beginning.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,600 words.  A big dump of the treaty, as the truthful yet bigly bullshit tale goes out to the lords and commons of Alland.  It's well seen that there were two of the best lawyers and two of the best diplomats for a week's ride around, at that Conference!

To the reader it should be obviously both true and bullshitty, but the thrust of it still obscure.  That is because said thrust has not yet been driven through its target, and we all love us some nice surprises.  I shall probably dramatize this dump into a short chapter of its own in the redraft, to balance the recent short chapter which is apt to disappear totally as an entity; but that day is not this day.

One final scene, and as domestically liminal as the first, before this megachapter is done with.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 2,700 words.  The Puffin Superior kicks over the traces; Lord Evil objects; Golden Kate overrules him with a vengeance.  I've been waiting four years for this moment, and Kate's been waiting forty.  The Family Fight is SO CONCLUDED!

So that's the second climax - underpinned with something newer, more sinister, and generally squigglier, that leads me on to the last desperate throw, and the final confrontation with the Big Bad.  First, I'll just be wanting to tie off the ends of this chapter.

Wah-hoo!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 240 words.  Kate scores, for once in her life, a palpable hit on Mostly Okay Genius.  Oddly, it is her hit that shows him in a better light than almost anything he is doing or saying in this phase of the book.  Not that he can very much appreciate that...

Lord Evil [aside]: MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,750 words, again with a lot of Great Kate Coredump.  The challenges and confessions are over: now come the distorted echoes off the Wall of Men before her.  I learned something important about Mostly Okay Genius by listening to his silence here, while Kate was in my head to read it - something both fine and horrible.

Next: the advisors try to push towards endgame.  But nobody has noticed that a Puffin Superior is a piece at once black and white, nor guessed what they are settting her up for with this fatal confrontation.

I might actually get this megachapter finished in time for my birthday.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 690 words.  Golden Kate has done it to me again, and in a way I could least have imagined from her of all people.  But now it's happened, it's more like her than anything.

And because the Young Duke is, as previously noted, also like her...

...the scene has come fully alive at last, and the fire-tide flows fast to the end.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,050 words.  Kate gives the Duke both barrels.

Not loving this version of the Family Fight scene so far, since it is coming out as something very much like a Great Kate Coredump.  I seem to have this problem with the first drafts of her epic speeches, though several have caught alight some way into the proceedings, and shown me unexpected ways forward.

She's going to be blasting right away for a good few paragraphs yet.  I'll decide which ones I need to blast away in a month or three's time, if my master-plan stays on track.  Probably rewrite most of the rest, too.

For now, I can only follow her into the fire...

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

is very attractive indeed, but unhappily it is a narcissus.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,450 words.  Our heroes' proposals amended and concluded.  The Young Duke's inevitable response.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,200 words.  Elegant Elder Sister interrupts the diplomatic conference with some actual diplomacy, rising to the desperate occasion with all she has.  That turns out to be a great deal.  I've been afraid for a couple of chapters that she was going all damselly on me - but man and boy, is she not!

The dynamics of a scene with so many bold and brilliant people in it are really difficult to handle: only a few of them can speak or ought to try, but leaving some of these major characters silent at such a moment makes me feel like I'm dealing them dummy hands.  Hero-Father and Flashy Elder Brother are my main concerns here, not for the first time, even though they've already been seriously active in this very chapter.  Another note for the redraft.  There's a hell of a lot of cat-herding to do, here.

Next, I need to wrap up the proposal/counter-proposal sequence.  The real confrontation looms close now.

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