I grossed myself out today during writing. I don’t know if it’s because the AC is broken and it’s 90 degrees up here and the humidity is through the roof, but I apparently needed to outdo myself in fiction. It was one of those weird moments where I’d planned for the scene to go one way and it took a sharp, brutal detour in a direction I hadn’t anticipated. Like the title says, someone literally loses an eye in the process. Of his own volition.
I can get away with a bit that I normally couldn’t in Dev’s narrative, because he’s on this Dante-esque journey. I’ve got to hit some of those high notes. But I realize whenever I talk about these chapters (which together work almost like a novella in the middle of the novel) I sound a bit daft.
Anyway, I wanted to start recapping my writing progress with a little more panache, so I’m trying a new format.
Two Things I Loved: I finally got to write another Dev chapter, and his character arc is coming to a close. The appearance of Cai in human form (she/he’s a god/goddess) was pretty unexpected, and I linked the mythology of Ardesia up with the mythology of the rest of the realm pretty well.
Two Things I Loathed: The description of the beast Dev fights in this chapter got under my skin a bit, but I’ll redo it later. It’s called draft zero for a reason. Also, still not 100% convinced of Dev’s devotion to Marna… which I’m realizing is okay, in the grand scheme of things, but may need to become more apparent to readers. Or something. This ain’t no romance, but I can’t be cruel about it.
Best* Quote of the Day:
It was an easy place to get lost, an easy place to want to get lost. The trees had a cadence of their own, a whispering and seductive rhythm.
“So,” the knight said, “listen. Listen to the trees, and you will see where this poisonous beast is, this creature who is slowly killing my realm and claiming it for Her.”
“Her? Another goddess, then? I’m not sure I want to meet another. The last one I fell in with tried to eat me.”
*see? I spared you from the eye scene. Really, really you should thank me.
Worst* Quote of the Day:
This beast—this creature you want me to find,” Dev said. “It could kill me.”
“It could. But you were well on your way to killing yourself when you came to me… I am not asking much more than to risk what you were prepared to throw away.”
*worst because Cai, the god/goddess knight here, sounds a bit like Gandalf. Or something. I hate when I lapse into Tolkien. And for some reason, whenever deities start talking in what I write, they go all Shakespearean.
Thoughts of the Day: Been thinking a lot about the concept of passion in writing. Drafted a post on it, even. Passion is the single driving factor in what I do; I lost it for a while, but it came back.
Also, came around to the realization that this novel is certainly not steampunk. I mean, it’s got steampunk elements… but the more I write the more I realize this is Gothic fantasy, really. As if the squids weren’t a dead giveaway.
Around the Bend: Squid extraction from our heroine’s husband, slightly admirable villain reveal, wind-up to the big-time boss fight with the Mother Squid. Also, this whole draft is going to be significantly shorter than I planned; I’ll be surprised if I crest 90K. Which actually makes my job easier, as that has never happened before. I’m always hacking away at a draft, rather than enhancing it.