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: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
I finished up my most pressing donkey-work on Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland, and am now the proud possessor of:

1) A complete scene breakdown, which I'm using as a template for all high-level revision passes;

2) A story calendar, which is considerably less buggy than I'd suspected;


3) A digest of all the political/diplomatic matter in the story, indexed by scene.

This is so that I can plunge into the first set of revisions, namely the ones which make everybody's agendas internally coherent.  (In the story, they make sense from the perspectives of the people involved, and evolve over two or three eventful months.  In the real world, they evolved over two or three years, and the plans I started writing aren't altogether the same as the plans I brought to a conclusion.  Also, I occasionally lost track of some of the multi-decker whoppers the Duelling Diplomats are exchanging in the background.  It's all right for the reader to skim that - background, and all! - but not for it to disintegrate when the reader does look twice at it.)

And now I'm started.

This is the one job which I need to get right in order for the story to hang together and make more than impressionistic sense.  I'm giving myself a week for it, or at least for the coarse-grained corrections which are all I need to make at this stage.  Some good stuff I can't discuss without absolute spoilerificity has already emerged from the shadows in which my subconscious or my good fortune hid it.

I'm expecting to lose a big chunk of wordcount in this phase, as I remove all the repetitious speeches and diplomatic blah in which various  characters kept me up to date on what they thought they were up to through different stages of the first draft.

After this is done, the next big job will be the handling of the Big Bad, which links up with the integration of Katy Elflocks and the Great Untold Story.  Successively finer-grained stuff after that.

My sinister master plan is to have a submission-ready manuscript by Easter.

Happy New Year, all!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Set down thirty years of the Royal Court's agenda in the remote and boondocky Northdales, and the dales-folk's frequently underwhelmed response thereto.   As I mentioned here, this is all important for the shape of the tale, but not particularly obtrusive.

Raised a few questions, received no big surprises, caught no big howlers.

Off on a belated birthday outing with my brother and sister-out-law now, so probably no more work today.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Due to the severe degeneration of my lifestyle during the final push to complete my first draft, I shall be devoting most of this weekend to clearup and recovery. Last night I got my first really decent sleep in more than a week, so I'll take that as a good beginning. Much or little blogging may fit into the corners.

I was going to illustrate this post, but either Dreamwidth or Picasa has stuffed up most hopelessly, and I can't be bothered to sort it out. Here's a link to the Old Masterpiece that speaks most eloquently to the state of the artist.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Ere we sink to slavery,
Rise in war and strike us free!
Ere we fall to love of war,
Lay we down, to rise no more.

It would be a happier world if the human condition didn't extend to the ability to fail on both counts at once!  For the record, I think that love of war is by far our most intractable present problem of the two, especially - and here is the part that touches today - belligerence by conceited or cowardly persons who consider themselves only as legitimate authors of war, never as its participants or legitimate targets.

I do not want to hear a howl for war from anybody who has not just about broken their back and heart trying the alternatives.  Yes, sometimes the tree of liberty may well need watering with the blood of tyrants - but one of the best tests for a tyrant is whether all milder means of irrigation, such as taking the piss out of them, have ceased to be practical. 

And I fancy some extension of that rule might often apply across borders.

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.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,000 words.  Nine main characters (i.e. most of them) and fourteen minor ones, drawn up in the presence chamber, and the Duke launching the final Conference.

Can they come together to give the Big Bad the bum's rush, or are they doomed to attempt the same upon each other while It sniggers up Its sleeve at them from every balefire?

Well, now: if the answer were as simple as yes or no, this would be a bit of a let-down of a story.

My own big extended family visit to begin within hours.  Glad I managed to finish this bit first!  Next time I get a chance to write, I'll be into the serious substance of the (Fictional) Family Fight...

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 590 words.  Kate and her raggle-taggle embassy array themselves for the Conference, and come to the doors of the presence-chamber.

This is the last scene tranquil enough to finish before bedtime, that I expect to get for quite a while.  Now we emerge from the brief bright calm before the storm...

Some looming visiting and travel may delay the full blow of the tempest until about Tuesday.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,300 words, finishing the Young Duke's second scenelet.  Most of these I'll have to eradicate in the redraft, but I can't be certain which ones, just yet.  Character and motivation stuff all around, emerging in another of those petty conflicts that are turning up the pressure on him before the Grand Scene.

Also, a very silly Kateverse folksong, The Bungle in the Jungle.

A slight pause may shortly ensue, as travel looms large in my immediate future.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Crummy news from a barrel of quarters exceeded my cumulative tolerance yesterday, causing me to whistle like an irritated steam engine and spend much of yesterday tooting off the pressure in sundry manners.  Bagged three books I was waiting for in passing, still have one-and-a-half left.  I'd hoped to be fit to sleep before midnight, but nah.  Scored a measly couple of hours' doze somewhere.  Meh!

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 100 words introducing the second scenelet of the Young Duke.

About a page of a new Wood of Weyre story, very loosely based on The Famous Flower of Serving Men.  The setting is the fairy-tale world of Breaking Night Mountain, which I guess is something like Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms might be, were its creator as shifty and perverse and Dionysiac as she is conspicuously not.  One of the reasons I keep coming back to this setting, other than its being pleasingly silly and roomy and a natural for backdrop for outrageous tragicomedy, is that it stands just  on the edge of the narratives we know, whilst being so obviously born of  a historical dynamic that's bending it right away from anywhere traditional fairy-tales can keep on happening.  Or any other tales terribly familiar in our terms, either.  I kind of want to know how that's going to end up!

A new Kateverse folk-song, this one from the titanocommunist opposition: Jolly Saturday.  The devil gets good tunes everywhere.

I also began to invent my second bouncy new tune of the day; but when the lyrics began to arrive, I decided firmly but fairly that the world does not really require I'm an Asshole and That's Okay at this particular juncture, and have now successfully applied the brain bleach to most of it.

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 510 words.  The Young Duke solves a problem with scholarship.  His mother would be so proud, and so uncomprehending.  She's at least as smart as he is, and quite classically educated; but she uses it for pedantry or to help her wrap her head around dangerously unfamiliar concepts.  I don't think it's ever occurred to her, or to many of her former peers, as being of merely practical use.

And now I know about old King Quicksilver, Mercurio, the Kateverse's twisty answer to Roman Numa - and a little bit more about the tradition of Puffins Superior.

Now the Duke need only see whether his solution is any improvement on the problem.  But it takes the most enormous brazen balls for a man like him to dare such a sissy-seeming venture as this is going to look, at all.  He's a strange lad, my golden wolf-pup, and much closer to the centre of the story than I imagined him.

Been feeling a deal more human, today.

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,460 words, and just got up to the climactic and final bit of the chapter.

Most of this is going to have to go into incluing in previous sections, be moved back into previous episodes, or just deleted and left for implication.  I can't do that in this first draft, or I'll forget half of what I was trying to imply.  The Bonfire Arc is definitely taking a turn I hadn't planned for.  That's new, eh?

Also, my nerves are piano-wires, my muscles feel fresh off the barbecue, and I am mucous as any slug.  There's a simile I shan't be working into any folksongs any time soon!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 720 words.  Good Katy's daughter is terrified beyond bearing of what Good is turning out to mean, and of what it may come to mean before the end.

Some chougher has set up what appears to be a big Tesla Death Ray, just across the canal from my garden.  I thought I was dreaming when I woke up in the night and saw it, but morning isn't making it go away.

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 70 words.  Linking matter to next phase of a critical conversation.

Where's my sleep?  Want more sleep!

Want more waking hours than available, too.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 380 words.  Excursion with puffins.  Good Katy doesn't seem, after all,  to have accomplished everything everybody hoped for - I'll need in the redraft to be a bit clearer about just who thought the Night Without Stars accomplished just what. 

Somewhere near Stoneygates, there is a man voluntarily going under the alias of Hob Hop-Toad.  He and some other fellows should get to make their reports tonight.  That's going to go down like black pudding at the Vegan Society banquet!

Speaking of black pudding, I've now finished the worst of my annual wade through blood and offal in the course of my employment.  The first Open Day of the term - a separate event! - is also safely accomplished.

I begin to see a light at the end of the Friday...

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 700 words.  A guard's-eye view of the Night Without Stars, and the horror of the world's meaning changing over one's head, and the strangeness of finding comfort in the sparse stony counsels of nuns.  Now comes a morning unrested and hazy, and I must home in on the Young Duke again.

Now I must see if I can catch some better sleep than usual, myself.  This week at work is going to be long and long.

caper_est: I dreamed all knight... (dream) not the latest addition to the Brainsssslit genre, but only my dream last night. 

I and all the abovementioned were trying, in a very-much-at-cross-purposes way, to solve a mysterious English village murder, of the flavour Agatha Christie generally farmed out to Miss Marple.  We appeared to have insufficient Brainsssss between us for the job.

The Fourth Doctor's attempt to distract a zombie at a critical juncture by performing the Dance of the Single Scarf is an image which shall live long in infamy, however much I wish it wouldn't.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
My computer, such as it is, has been tediously persuaded to work with me again for the duration.

Tonight I investigate the current state of Ubuntu, just in case.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

My wretched Windows installation at home has crashed spectacularly, and my breaks at work are apt to be short and sweet, as the Autumn Term is now taking off in earnest.  So there won't be a lot of news from me until I've fixed things up again.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Pulled together the shape of the current chapter, and of course there turns out to be bloody well two of it.  Shorter ones, admittedly.  I'm now going to cut it on the edge of the Night Without Stars.

Ciao now!
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 430 words.  The Young Duke is tripping over vestal virgins at every turn, and generally feeling like a fifth wheel in his own castle.  It's worse than having the decorators in!  And then he finishes by tripping over something else I left for him to discover three or four chapters ago - little to his delight, and much to mine.  Now we can get back to some serious drama again...

I spent a deal of today in and around a castle myself: Beaumaris of the Beautiful Swamp, maze-walled and moated, now a home to ducks and swans.  Fast Eddie Longshanks never even got around to calling the decorators in there, but it's still a mighty sight to behold.  Later I scored my best steak all year in the Fat Cat at Bangor: on the rare side of medium, juicy and scrumptious, smothered in a garlic and horseradish butter which complemented it excellently, and served with shoestring fries and grilled tomatoes.  A Shipwreck IPA proved just the right accompaniment.  I record these matters that I may gloat and drool over them in future, for a steak of quality is a joy forever, and the world is insufficiently full of them. 


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

August 2015

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