caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Between the frosted moor and the forging dawn

A neat bare tree stands up like a new broom.

Between me and all those three,

A ditch cuts, shallow as mirrors or deep as the sky,

A molten iron moat for today.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
"The Tree, the Sheen, the Bridal-Cake:
These thy soul shall surely take.
The Angled Rune, the Bags, the Plough
Find thy flesh a feast enow.
The Banner, Breeze, and World-on-Fire
To deliver thee desire.
The Pig, the Pipe, the Little-Lost,
Fight but at forever’s cost.
The Lane That Lifts, the Squirm, the Spice,
Thee may aid – nor ask the price.
Should thou gain the Doorless Door,
Pass it once, and come no more."
To which my protagonist's not-unreasonable reaction is, "That's it?  Mind out in case we get our souls eaten by the Wedding-Cake of Evil and the fucking Pig and Whistle?  Who even comes up with this stuff?"

And the measured response is something like, "'hem.  The kind of people who met one of the nice things there, so they more or less got home to scribble about it.  It's not a healthy interest, I'm afraid.  Coming?"

This jingle jangle  may or may not get into the final yarn, when it comes together.  The ambience and a few of the Things mentioned might hint at one of the literary influences on the developing story.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
The silence, it has been long, and I list not rehearse all the reasons at this time. Suffice to say that I've been having something of a simultaneous crisis in art, politics, and lifestyle, and quite possibly a few other things of which I may have lost track in the fog of war. As to the art, however, that is mostly straightforward, and this is where I am:

Where I am: )

Hello again!
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Did you know that sentences like this violate the laws of grammar, art, and manners, and make people want to punch you in the word processor.

Why not upgrade to courteous and stylish for only a few extra pixels.

*shakes fists at sky*

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Back from America, back to work, and shall be back to posting shortly.  I'm going to be trying a few new things on the blogging front: more to follow.

I've got my new computer, and am breaking it in.  The Great Changeover is about a week in the future, and I'm ironing out all the problems I can before I big-bang it.

Finished In Dreamshredder's Hall, the first all-new chapter (now 8 of ~38) of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland.  Some new characterization, tension, and plot clues for Katy Elflocks, Luke, and indirectly the Big Bad.  Long-standing but previously implicit episodes from the Untold Backstory make their first appearance.  Now I'm back to revising existing chapters for a bit, with Scene 19 my next target.

Kith and kin descending in all-conquering hordes this afternoon.  Nearly ready, but last-minute foraging remains.  Posting and running... NOW!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
 Visiting family in Ohio just now, so little time to write, and less to post.  But I did just finish revising Scene17/Chapter Seven of the book.  Hard replotting is hard but is feeling really worthwhile.

Back to substantial posts and comments when I've made my way back over Lost Atlantis again.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
A short scene that didn't require many drastic changes, except to correct some of my worst goofs about the practicalities of pre-modern cooking.  Introducing two of my major secondary characters.  I didn't notice much need for change, but I was surprised to see how far they'd both developed over the course of the story from my original (and mostly static) conception of them.  I think that works, and I also think that following it consciously through the redraft is going to make it work a lot better.  The extra year ought to help there, too.

Next scene is another of the big difficult revisions, as I have to deal with THE major secondary character now.  I didn't handle her at all well in this arc of the story last time, because I had such an imperfect understanding of what was happening, and of what she would end up doing.
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
Finished the first scene in the revised Fairfields Arc.  It was at least 50% erase-and-start-again.  I gave Luke's hosts better sense in how to deal with obviously traumatized and very very dangerous patients, and I gave Luke a better apple than he got last time.  Also, Makepeace Hall and its bit of land now have an actual - if very crude - map in my workbook, and an approximate daily routine against which everything else takes place.

Chief credit for helping me make sense of the Hall's domestic economy goes to:

- my mother, Jean Woodland, for many nerding sessions and pointed questions that have rendered many previously invisible things visible;

- that invaluable sourcebook, overview, and jumping-off point, Life in a Medieval Village, by Frances and Joseph Gies;

- [personal profile] green_knight and her many thoughtful postings on the writing process, for persuading me into the following excellent habit: When in doubt, map it out!

Oh, and the apple?  Here is the apple of awesome which I found out about while messing around, and immediately scrumped for my own use because it is such a perfect fit for this setting.  Read 'em and drool!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
Back from Wales - where there has been much herb-lore of the fields we know, and much design of more dubious countries and their wisdoms - and now beginning the actual, word-and-sentence revision of the Fairfields Arc.  A bigger job than I'd expected, with more new or completely rewritten scenes (such as this first one is turning out to be).  Still, I expect it'll be worth it.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Chugging along here restructuring the Fairfields Arc, with several new scenes in prospect, and a much stronger rôle for Katy Elflocks herself.   Fixing of plotting and pacing continues.  I have two alternative timelines on the go, one of which is going to have to be eliminated before I know just what the whole plot and flavour will turn out like.  More work on hand before it's clear which version works best.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (goat)
What is the correct singular for sheeple?  Shouldn't it be sheepson?

And what is the correct response to an accusation of being a sheepson?  Should one give the offender a good lamming, lambast them on the Internet, or shrug and say "Meh?"

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
The great climactic scene of the arc, slightly revised for physical feasibility of the parts that are supposed to be physically feasible.  The Big Bad revealed in all its chaotic terror. 

A running challenge through the rest of the story has been to avoid making every future encounter with BB into a relative damp squib.  I still have work to do on those others.  Power-ups are not an option because this is not that kind of story.  I'm counting heavily on the unwritten "Triona's Way" arclet to bridge the gap between the obvious reasons to be scared of the Bad, and the right reasons to be scared of it.  That aspect is all developed in the text already: unfortunately, it's developed as I discovered it, rather than as I want the reader to meet it. 

This completes the revision of the Last Quest arc.  I certainly haven't finalized every last dot and comma, but every part of this first section now describes exactly what happens, in pretty much exactly the way it's to be told.  I have some standard polishing routines which I'll be running in parallel with the rewriting of the next arc, which have been so generally useful to me that I'll probably give them their own post in the fairly near future. 

But they're almost mechanical.  The big job of the revision is next: the sprawling, exploratory, and curate's-eggy mess that is the Fairfields Arc.  It will be hard work - the scene correspondence isn't going to be one-to-one between drafts in this section, I know that much already! - and also it ought to be a lot of fun.  Fairfields is, almost by definition, a place I love to visit.

For now I'm knocking off with one of the four big arcs completed, only three days behind schedule.  Off to shop for a big bunch of travel I have coming up - and then to celebrate!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
The closing scene to the Last Quest arc, while I work on the sense of the climactic scene.  I think that will hold: my map-let is strangely acceptable.  Here I had only to tweak some dialogue, and make the movements part of a consistent topography.

Fairfields at last!
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
In a culture whose nearest best approach to a great redemptive figure would be either Bacchus or alt-Alexander, a penitent has to take her rôle models where she can find them - however ill they fit her...

A little cleaning up; a little removal of inexplicable character amnesia/insouciance/boneheadedness about what this ought to remind them of; and a bit of foreshadowing of something I had yet to discover, first time around, for at least another fifteen chapters.

Next comes the climax of the arc.  I foresee a lot of time spent swearing at bad sketch-maps of the terrain where it happens.  Action scenes are a bastard that way!
caper_est: Sharpening the quill (writing)
Because I'm still somewhat hung over, and harbouring an enormous vortex of negative energy which sucks the inspiration out of anything it touches, here are some new beginnings for famous works of Western literature, in approximate chronological order.  Classics Without Tears*, here we come!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was "in".

Sing, Muse, something bouncy and feelgood by Stock, Aitken and Waterman!

I got to tell you this story about guns and this geezer.

Here, listen: you know how the old Vikings used to stick it to their enemies.

April's wet and windy, and the pigeons are shagging in your gutters all day.  Time to hit the tourist trail!

My brother's the king of parties, but I'm an unprepossessing ratbag!

Dudes!  Who wants to hear my twelve-book epic about original sin?!

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a romantic heroine possessed of a good spirit, must be in want of an arrogant prat.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was chucking-out time at the Star and Garter.

Call me an unspellable and unpronounceable symbol, as a mark of my disdain for my publishers.

In a hole in the ground there lived an earwig.


*Or other unseemly evocations of human emotion.

caper_est: The Liberty Bell strikes! (liberty)
Tired of reading liberals' lazy anti-libertarian caricatures on the Internet, I thought it was time I created a properly researched one of my own. All of the wisdoms below the cut have been encountered in speech, text, or action, up and including Number 30, from persons professing some sort of libertarian affiliation or other. Whilst I could certainly come up with a selection just as bad from other political stances, it is not my job to suggest to anybody how to be a piss-poor progressive or a crappy conservative, so I shall leave those tasks to others more closely concerned with them.

Thirty-six ways to fox your freedom )
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
Ah, Scene 9, the spear in my heart!  But this time the wound is clean, and we will never be quite in hell again - from here on in, our heroes are really heroes at last, doing tearingly generous deeds without recking either of their own glory or of whether the beneficiaries have the least conceivable claim on them.

The changes required in this long section were pleasingly small and subtle, although they have made all the difference.

This is not the climax of its arc - I have a couple of scenes left before I get there.  But it is the pivot.  This is, of all places, the place where Kate is permanently established as not merely Gawain the flawed flower of the old order, but Launcelot the unwilling and transcendent harbinger of the new.  (Who on that reading is Luke?  I think he most nearly counts as dead Tristram and living Palomides in one person, which is a pretty interesting combo - and is it utterly an accident that both knights in their latter days came to love Sir Launcelot above all other men?  H-m-m-m!)

The rest of the Last Quest Arc should be relatively a glide, in which case I will be back on schedule come Sunday.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
A second minor scene from Chapter 6 given its minor revision, while I try to puzzle out the remaining problems in the previous chapter.  We'll see what I can do on my  days off, today and tomorrow.

The omniscient viewpoint hasn't been shifting quite as smoothly from one character's focus to another's as I thought it was on the first write, or even when I was making my revision notes.  I'm going to have to watch out for that.
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Scene 9 is many of pages and full of trouble, and constitutes most of Chapter 5.  So I'm working on its many issues in the background, whilst I polish some shorter and simpler scenes that follow it.

This one wanted little beyond the sharpening of a couple of character points.
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
So I end this second week two scenes behind schedule. 

On the other hand, the scene I just finished is not only a whole chapter long, but also happens to be the one I loathe writing most in the whole book, and have by far the worst history of shirking.  A couple of days is probably excusable, this once around.  Also, I have two days of "time off in lieu" owed to me at work next week, so I might well be able to catch up again before next Sunday.  For the moment, all I'm feeling is relieved.

Gave the Bad Guys more agenda, background, and direction.

Gave one Proper Noun a slight name-change.  One letter of difference means that suddenly Kate can see the thing she sees without recourse to the Power of Plot, which was pretty much the only explanation for her seeing it in the first draft.  Hooray!  What can I say?  I was rather stressed out the first time around, and still reeling from the shock of finding out that the episode didn't end the way I'd expected.

Also today I detected some horses attempting to impersonate bicycles, and made them do other things instead.

Here ends Chapter Four, and the pitchy darkness before the first glimmer of dawn.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

August 2015

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