Tag Archives: workinprogress

MAP MAP update MAP

More map!

Detailed map of fantasy land, showing a city with huge towers

So Tom’s comment when he sent it was “Is Meton ludicrous?”

Which…yes, it is! I adore it. I squeaked. And then I had to write a very sad email going “But it’s just…not right for what’s described. Sad Face.”

I love that castle. I want to live there. I want to climb the towers and walk through the tunnel and isn’t it so much fun?! I might have to write another story just set in that castle.

But… it’s jarring enough that it made me – and Otter, who was peering over my shoulder and has just returned from the depths of Grey Stone & Steel – pause. It’s not on the end of a cliff; it’s not a more medieval-style castle; the towers are proper towers. I just…

Bah.

For most of the map, I’m more than happy for things to not ‘match’ – I don’t have a visual imagination, and so if something’s not as described – what the hell! I don’t care. There’s so many versions and visions that I honestly don’t mind. But Meton is the centre of the books, and the thing I’ve spent so much time with, and I found I had a slightly better imagination for it. So… slightly less ludicrous we go.

But hey, at least I have a setting for my next story!

(And isn’t the rest of the map AMAZING? I am loving this so much!)

MAP map map map MAP!!

The world of Green Sky is getting a MAP! I am so ridiculously excited right now.

The amazing Tom Parker Illustration has been working on it for the past few weeks, and we’ve got to the inking stage…

So, this was the first inked sketch I had:

Part-inked Greensky Map

I have just been…WHEEEEE and there has been SO MUCH SQUEE. And, yes, a bit of grumbling, because I had to go and do my research again! I did start trying to get a map done a couple of years back, but unfortunately due to various things it didn’t work out. I did pull together some notes for that, but of course thought “Oh, I won’t need those…” and now have to remember exactly how many islands there are in Tao and ohcrap I forgot to put Torth on my terrible sketch and what even is in the desert?

Tom, bless him, took it absolutely on the chin and sent me a very rough sketch (thank goodness) with a huge bunch of questions and a very large amount of enthusiasm at getting to draw flying machines and machinery! And now we’ve got to inking and I am just blown away. It’s not Accurate because none of my world is – it’s all in my head and was never intended to have a Right Way, and I am absolutely loving Tom’s interpretation of it all.

And this is the latest one!

More detailed map

It’s going to go into Book 7 (as that’s pretty much about mapping) and Otter’s currently trying to convince me that I should put it into the previous books, too – so that’s something I’m going to look into. Also, Tom’s going to colour it so I can print one for my wall!!

It’s going to look SO GOOD!

An analysis of a flash fiction edit: draft to final

So, as you may or may not know, I write silly short fiction based on my workplace. And I wrote one recently that I’m not happy with – so I though it’s a pretty much perfect piece to analyse, and give some idea of how I work as a writer.

The edits are the hard bit to explain, often – unless you watch an editor work – and it’s often just trial and error that makes things work.

Version One

True power is never good or evil, you see. It lies in the hands of those who hold it, and lies with their decisions; and a neutral overlord is in many ways more terrifying than the maniacal laughter or the sweeping righteousness of the extremes.

He was good at his job; knew when to put a finger on the scales to tip the decision, and when to give a subordinate enough length to make their own bad decisions. The chastisement was never bad, per se; but it left you feeling like you had a pit in your soul. But the truly terrifying thing was that he did not care; underlings were resources, and when those clear eyes looked at you, you were judged useful – or not.

So! In this one…I haven’t caught the emotions I want. Paragraph 1 Line 1 works, I think. Line 2…doesn’t. It captures the feel, but it’s too long – it overdoes something that could take fewer words to say.

Paragraph 2; hmm. There’s a repetition of “decision” that I don’t like; I did want to use “enough rope to hang themselves” but I hate that expression, and the substitute doesn’t work. As for the next two lines, hmm, They’ve sort of captured the feel but they’re still very muddled. I want to use a specific example there, I think – it’s too general a feel, and I want to narrow it down.

Version two

He was not the maniacal-laughter type, but it was generally agreed that amongst the Evil Villains of the world, he was ranked pretty high. He was extremely good at his job; knew when to put a finger on the scales to tip the balance, and when to give a subordinate enough length to make their own bad calls. The clear eyes would look at you and judge you useful, or not; but that simply allowed him to use or discard resources for the project’s best interests. And the chastisement for failure was never extreme; but it left the subject with a pit in their soul, a chip on their spine, and the feeling that they had somehow failed beyond any measure of redemption.

This actually went through about two rounds of tweaks before I remembered that I was trying to keep track of what I was doing and why! You can see that quite a lot has changed…

So, I’ve removed the start; I just want the feeling of “Evil Villain” so I may as well state that outright.

From the original paragraph 2, with too many “decisions”; I’ve changed that to “call” in the second, and “balance” in the first. I’ve also extended the idea of being judged useful or not.

And the final line; to give the failure some consequence, and tell us something about the person – a final jab.

Unfortunately I feel like I need a red pen and highlighter to try to catch everything else I’ve done, and why; I’ll try to do this again with another piece and catch more of the reasons for the changes!

Greensky (sort of) News…

Otter is reading Green Sky & Sparks.

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Which, uh. Is great. Brilliant. It’s ok. Everything’s fine.

OH CRAP THEY LIKE IT AND THEY’RE COMMENTING AHHHHHHHH.

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I mean, it’s really cool. And intimidating. And frankly terrifying.

(I suppose I should be grateful that there aren’t explicit sex scenes – at least, not in this series – and it’s not my mother reading it, so…)

Anyhow. It’s actually pretty awesome, as they really like it so far! I’ve got a private bet (well, ok, Otter probably knows about it by now) that they’ll immediately demand the next one, considering they seem to already have a stake in Catter & Toru getting together, so…

(Hey, at least I don’t kill anyone at the end of this book!)

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So! It’s pretty exciting, and hopefully it’ll lead to my getting some mojo back to actually finish Book 10 and get Book 7 published – if only because Otter wants to read it!

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