Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tanaver II

The following chapters have been done at Tanaver.

Part I

Chapter I: A Day in the Life
Part I, Part II

Chapter II: This Darkest Sea
Part I, Part II

Chapter III: Conversation over Lunch **New**
Part I, Part II

Chapter IV: City in Heaven **New**
Part I, Part II

The current wordcount is around 13200. One of the things I definitely decided on early was to make ordinary spaceflight to be long and tedious, and I have succeeded. Here we have two transitional chapters with nothing happening; very difficult to write. Chapter II, I think, is particularly weak; it had to be written over a series of very busy days and shows it. I am also behind two days, i.e., one chapter or somewhere between 3000 and 4000 words, because of Election Day: I had no time, having had office hours, logic tests to grade, an election to vote in, and a meeting to attend. That was one exhausting Tuesday. And by Wednesday evening I was exhausted. Normally Mondays and Wednesdays are my long days; I wouldn't have expected a Tuesday to be the first to set me back. And I have been unable since then to catch up. I'm hoping to make up the difference this week at some point. With extraordinary luck I might even make it all the way through Part I this week; but I am not banking on it. This November may be quieter than most, but November really is the busiest month of my year.

I had been thinking that for a 'special feature' I would talk a bit about Samar philosophy, but I think I will actually save that for next time, and this time just say something about how much of all this was thought out beforehand. I've had the general storyline for quite some time. The Samar, while background characters, provide key structural elements, and there are certain important characters who ground everything else in the story. But most of what is actually written is as new to me as to anyone else; it's all very, very first draft. This includes most of the background. I had deliberately done very little preparation here; I started throwing together a few Sylven poems about a week before this whole thing began so that I wouldn't get mired in the very first chapter, but doing any serious preparation without actually writing major parts of the story itself wouldn't really have been possible, and I wanted to keep actual writing as much in NaNoWriMo as possible. There are certainly less exhausting ways to write, but it seemed more in keeping with the spirit of things. It really is all thrown together, albeit with some rhyme and reason.

The Sylven poetry, of course, is based on Finnish and Estonian models, although here and there I stray west to Scandinavia or the Faroe Islands or south to Hungary. There are reasons for this, but they should come out over time in the story itself. Since it's all supposed to be in translation, anyway, I settled on primarily nonasyllabic formats to give it a distinctive feel.


  1. MrsDarwin11:39 AM

    I hope you've been able to rest during the writing; I haven't seen my bed until close to 3 AM for almost a week. There's an exhaustion in the writing itself, but the creative process is exhilarating; the long slog comes from making the writing presentable enough to be posted. 

    Was Tanaver one of the options you had posted last year when you were considering what to write? The name seems familiar, but as always, I leave others to do my research for me. :)

  2. branemrys12:11 PM

    It was one of the options last year. I'm actually rather glad I didn't do it then; it was an idea that needed more maturing, in part because I would have been more disappointed at this one not working out reasonably well than at Aegidius not doing what I wanted.

    I've been consistently in bed before midnight, but a great deal of that is that in writing I just reach a point where I'm too tired to go on -- there's just no more point in trying to slog anymore. I suspect I can usually get started a little earlier than you can, though.

  3. MrsDarwin1:31 PM

    I can start about 9 PM, but it takes quite a while to warm up and get the creative juices flowing. By 10 or 10:30 I hit a stride; just before midnight I start throwing words at the page in a desperate attempt to make up word count; after that it's polishing, and by 1:30 I get a minor second wind. When I go post the installment, I usually end up cleaning it up a bit more. 

    I like it, but it's insanity. If I had to get up at any time in the morning I don't know how I'd sustain it. As it is, I'm not sure if I'll try it again next year. As it is, this one is going to stretch well into December. Maybe Darwin and I will take it in turns every other year.

  4. branemrys3:20 PM

     I can usually start around 7 pm, but I can only go at it in spurts of about forty minutes at a time, max. I tend not to polish much at all at this stage, but the words go down rather slowly. It is very impressive how much time it takes. And it's looking at present like I'll spill into December, as well; Part I might end up taking all but the last week of November, unless I get ahead at some point.

    One possibility next year might be to do some less ambitious version: instead of a novel of at least 50,000 words, a novelette or long short story of no more than 15,000.

  5. MrsDarwin9:33 PM

    Yeah, but then you don't get the pretty badge and the glow of victory. :)

    My initial progress is fairly slow (I try to clean up as I go along) but then I do multiple readings and re-readings to make sure the whole thing fits together well and to pick up errors in continuity or infelicitious phrasing. Even so, I miss things: a reader pointed out that I'd called a certain character "Tom" yesterday. Yikes.

    Oh, look at me procrastinating!


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