I use a lot of fake slang. Most of it is intended to be similar to real world slang. In a lot of fantasy stories, the author indicates impossible/unrealistic things with italics or something similar with an aim to aiding the reading. I don’t like that because it breaks immersion; I want the characters to react to in-world things as if they’re just as normal as other in-world things. But I do understand that it makes life easier for the readers.
With regards to made up slang, hesh is similar to brother, though a bit more informal and close.
When Kog refers to getting hip action double-dirty, that’s not an extant boxing term, but it’s the sort of term people use in martial arts. Think baseball players calling pitches ‘stinky’ or ‘dropping bombs’ in striking.
The hungry plants have no analogue in the real world. They’re big things that look like Venus flytraps, but they eat trash. They will eat people if they can. Now a sober person, even sleeping, will probably wake up when the thing closes on them, but a drunk or injured person won’t. Hungry plants do have large, wet tongues they use to spread trash and introduce bacteria and other decomposing agents into a mouthful. They don’t have teeth, but they do have coarse hairs.
The words of power are a little different. They’re even more alien to reality, but in-world, they’re literal words. These are utterances that must be said with power, and they’re part of my world’s Cassirer magic system. In-world they’re not magic, though. They’re not sorcery. They’re verbal physics. Saying them with power means shouting, and their range is acoustic.
The real problem with writing women is I have no idea what any of y’all’s clothing is called. I just read through a website with a hundred and fifty different kinds of sleeve, and I’m still about to call them ‘arm-hole-thingies but long.’
My stories get too much momentum behind them. I can’t turn them toward the plot points.
I don’t know if I even should.
But then they don’t go anywhere. They just spin in circles.
So, unrelated to everything, I really want to ride a horse.
I gotta rewrite the beginning of TiH. Either Kog goes with the party and returns alone, the story starts much further back, or something happens to change the dynamic. Kog’s violent dismissal from Shang Du is far too quick, and all the threads and angles I built go nowhere.
Likewise, I need to resolve the Osret, Drowning Breath, and Fate agent arcs.
I don’t know what to do.
If a gun is fired in the third act, it should be shown in the first.
There’s a tricky balance between revealing a character’s thoughts, pointing out the character is having thoughts but not revealing them, and not saying anything, hoping the readers know that characters have thoughts.
I spend a lot of time in FP POV, and other characters are the issue. With first person, you can usually talk about the narrator’s thoughts. It gets bogged down sometimes, but important thoughts are almost always fair game, and the lesser stuff can usually be glossed over. “I don’t know what I thought about that.” “My feelings on the matter were mixed.” “I tried to keep an open mind.” Those are all paraphrases for ‘the narrator was thinking but the author doesn’t want to go too far into it now.’
With other people it’s tricky, and it’s especially tricky for other people in a FP POV. If Alice, narrator, is talking to Bob, Alice is going to have a lot of problems figuring out what Bob is thinking. That’s real life, but it’s also really frustrating to read. Picking the right balance takes some finesse, and the author can’t get too bogged down in writing about Alice trying to figure out what Bob is thinking.
I’m rereading the first book of Shannara, the Sword of Shannara. It’s good, but not as good as I remember. The problem is that Terry Brooks goes way too deep into some people’s thoughts, and they don’t have anything interesting to say, and avoids others. He avoids Allanon’s thoughts to build drama, and that’s all well and good. But the fourth or fifth time Menion thinks something impatient and stupid, albeit with a little depth, I’m getting bored. It reads like early RA Salvatore. They were/are contemporaries, and they write like players going through a campaign.
So I apologize to anyone waiting for an update, but I had to get some sleep. I have no excuses.
Things are moving again. I have a few minor revisions to chapter 38, Priam and Kog talking in Priam’s office, that will be the update this weekend. I don’t know if TiH will switch to a weekly update cycle. Semiweekly is preferred, but I need to build my cushion again.
Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of Mara. You mean the world to me. I hope you enjoy it.
Way back, I was on a mailing list devoted to fanfiction. On Saturdays a bunch of the writers would get together and share fics. Everyone would put in about a thousand words of whatever they’re working on, and after reading everything (took about an hour), people would discuss and provide C&C.
The C&C was often surprisingly straight forward. “Please describe this room better.” “These characters have good chemistry.” I don’t think I was ever surprised. It was nice to get a little feedback as a writer, and as a reader, it was nice to see something develop. Made you feel part of the group, and it was reassuring to see someone else fall into the same traps you fell into and would fall into again.
I want to set something like that up on Discord.
Last chapter was a little long, but it didn’t have a good breaking point. In my draft, I cut after Laeth tells the story. That didn’t work as well as going through.
Short chapters feel weird.