Spaces and places
Time to sketch some new spaces and places for the development of Chasse's Song. The second instalment of The Last Wizard is close to 65,000 words this week, but the action moves away from Harbin and into a much larger world. Tam, Chasse, Jaysin and the fledgling dragon, Harmi, have escaped the clutches of Marron and the new Dragon Head Mikane, and must forge a new path into a world where wizards and dragons are far from welcome.
I began by enlarging the original Harbin map beyond Dragon Mountain, exploring how the greater mountain range might look, where rivers would run, where people are likely to have settled and where the wilds were still 'untouched' by civilisation. The new land also has a couple of stark reminders of the past - a large forest where dragons were once meant to have lived and a vast scar across a forest/plain where dragon fire burned everything and where nothing grows.
Choosing a map 'style' to represent mapping by the greater civilisation beyond Harbin is a challenge. Whether to represent mountains as peaks or as semi-cartographical pictures, and to what degree to include detail that will eventually be lost in a small picture in a paperback all are questions to explore. Also generating a sense of the city to which the characters are heading eventually is a task I've started. My first drafts are included in this blog to show the thinking behind creating a physical fantasy world. Coupled with this will be the development of the wider world's social, political and economic cultures.
Then there will be the challenge of language. Again, I'm compiling a lexicon of the language of the world beyond Harbin, a barrier the characters will face when they first interact with people outside their isolated bubble on the wild north-west coast of the lands. Adding logic to the new language is part of what I try to do. So, for example, in the new language 'chet' means village, 'emachet' is town (ema means big, hence big village), and 'karemachet' means city (literally great big village). A host of other words and phrases are being developed, and some of the language is evident on the map draft.
Still very early days on the map building - not sure if I'm happy with the style or will do something different, but I do have a 'pictorial' sense of space and place developing for the story - and for the third book eventually.
Slow progress: changing directions...
The writing process is fascinating, even when it is something you feel confident and motivated with. Chasse's Song has progressed to 62,000 words - slow by my personal standards, but not indicative of the ideas: more about available time.
Not a lot to write this week as far as process goes. I'm still drafting maps for the location, and Kirsi has shared a second draft of the first cover illustration that effectively captures a sense of character, place and colour, so aspects are happening. Events are shifting the main characters out of the village into a world beyond the mountain, and that is where the story goes forward from today.
On a different tangent, I can no longer order author copies of my books on Amazon - an issue that other writers have warned me of - so I will spend a little time in the coming fortnight learning how to prepare and publish print-on-demand copies of my work on IngramSpark. This will enable me to order copies that I can on-sell to people. While Amazon proved easy and convenient to make my out-of-print work available as ebooks, it has backfired as far as accessing paper versions. I will correct that.
This time - not much else to say...
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...