Nov 30 2014

WIP Update – 29 Nov 14

I’m not going to count the single sentence I managed to write Friday. Anyway, Chapter 26 of Tico4 is mostly done. Why didn’t I do Chapter 25 first? Kimagure. Anyway, now that the Thanksgiving madness has settled down, I can refocus on work in both senses of the term. We’ll see what I can get done. I’ll probably stick with Tico4 another day or two before switching over. Stay tuned.

Nov 28 2014

WIP Update – 27 Nov 14

You wouldn’t think I’d be more swamped and drained by the day before Thanksgiving rather than Thanksgiving day itself, but that’s how it worked out. I managed to get a little writing done on Chapter 27 of Tico4 in the wee hours. Maybe I can get a little more significant progress during the weekend, but we’ll see. Stay tuned.

Nov 26 2014

WIP Update – 25 Nov 14

I did a little writing on CeleKing2. I nearly didn’t get it done, but I pushed myself to meet quota. Really, getting it done first thing is the key. I’ll be switching over to Tico4 and can hopefully finish up a couple chapters before the week is out. Stay tuned.

Nov 25 2014

WIP Update – 24 Nov 14

I did a little writing on CeleKing2 and CeleKing3 and also filled out their outlines a little more. I’ve got a decent chunk of both of them plotted, but I still have a ways to go. Probably will be sticking with the series for another day or two at least. Stay tuned.

Nov 24 2014

WIP Update – 23 Nov 14

I did some writing on CeleKing3 and gave the outline a little more meat while I was at it. I don’t quite have the entire story locked in yet, but I’m getting there. I got a bit of extra inspiration watching Curse of the Golden Flower (which isn’t really an accurate translation of the original and much cooler 满城尽带黄金甲). The Celestials are more trying to ape the Han Dynasty while the movie depicts period after the fall of the Tang Dynasty, but it’s more of a theme park mishmash anyway. A lot of the intrigue is exactly how I want to portray Celestial society and there was abundant visual inspiration to be had. I’m much more familiar with depictions of courtly life in Japan, so the costuming was a little surprising to me. Anyway, we’ll see if I stick with CeleKing a little while longer or if I switch over to Tico4. Stay tuned,

Nov 23 2014

Page Links Updated

Just a bit of housekeeping to note. You know those tabs up top? Originally they would lead you to pages keyed to major categories for entries, but they would only display the first page correctly. Trying to view older posts wouldn’t work unless you selected the category link on the sidebar instead. I’ve since uncovered a plugin that resolves this issue. Now clicking on the tab has the same effect as the link in the sidebar and you can view all entries categorized as “WIP Update”, “Commentary” and “Ramblings” respectively. This is a can I’ve been kicking down the line almost ever since I started this blog, but now I’ve finally resolved the issue. One less thing for me to worry about. Enjoy the new and improved navigation.

Nov 23 2014

WIP Update – 22 Nov 14

I did some work on Medusa’s Chapter 1 and 3 of TTWC2. In all truth, I wasn’t paying as close attention to the timeframe of Chapter 1 and had to do some adjustment to make events properly mesh with the timeline. It’s a good thing I mark the chapters with the dates or that would’ve been a lot more work later on.

Wanting a bit of a change of pace, I started playing around with the Celestial Kingdom books again, doing some light editing of what I’ve already written and trying to fill out the outline more and get the plot squared away. I still have very little sorted out for CeleKing1 and huge gaps in CeleKing2 and 3. Things to do, things to do. Stay tuned.

Nov 22 2014

Character Spotlight: Lord Xenomachos

Lord Xenomachos stands out as one of the more recent additions to the story. He was invented solely for the purpose of balancing the chessboard with another rook, but I think I was able to do some interesting things with him.

Had Xenomachos simply been a loyal legate, he wouldn’t have been that much different from Lord Aristides and if his primary thing was his former exploits, he’d be much like Duke Cronos, minus the burden of contending with the Promethean Alliance. When I was thinking of his hook, I came up with a great idea to set him apart from the others. Because one of the primary conflicts within Zephyr was between Solon and the Church, why not have a character trapped in the middle? I didn’t want Xenomachos to be a calculating schemer like the Archbishop but rather a simple pious man who takes his devotion to God and King quite seriously. In fact, his simple steadfastness is the main reason the Archbishop couldn’t exploit him to the fullest.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. He’s not dumb by any means, just simple and rather innocent. He hasn’t got a head for intrigue at all. Such an earnest and forthright character is really appealing to me in a story filled with so much political machination.

I feel it’s a bit of a shame I could only devote a single chapter to his love of Queen Xanthe. When I was thinking about when Xanthe psychically shared her entire heart and soul with the whole of the Zephyrian forces, it didn’t take much of a leap to realize that if you opened yourself up so fully to a person as pure-hearted as Xenomachos, he couldn’t help but love you. This is an important step for his character because while he showed all due deference to her station as Queen, he held a rather strong prejudice against the Elves. This prejudice was, of course, common throughout Zephyr, encouraged by sources sacred and secular alike, but the fact remains that he was predisposed against her just for what she was and then transcended that. Now, I’m not naive enough to say that all prejudice can be overcome through mutual understanding (and, strictly speaking, not all prejudice is a bad thing, but that’s a long and convoluted discussion for another venue), but a lot of harmful and baseless prejudice has a hard time standing if both sides open up in good faith. Xenomachos is an example that shows that Solon’s dream wasn’t entirely a vain one, just outmaneuvered and outgunned.

It was a bit of a mercy on my part to give him a heroic last stand in the Darklands because it’d be far too cruel to put him in the middle of Gamaliel’s coup against Daphne. I believe he would’ve stood with Daphne, but the conflict within him would’ve destroyed him. I know I tend to give my characters rather miserable and tragic ends, but sometimes I show a little kindness.

Because it’ll be a while before Corona’s section ends, I may consider spotlighting a character outside TTWC1. Stay tuned.

Nov 22 2014

WIP Update – 21 Nov 14

I did some work on Medusa’s prologue of TTWC2. I may be switching gears soon. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Nov 21 2014

WIP Update – 20 Nov 14

I made a little progress on Orguz’s Chapters 4 and 5 of TTWC2. If I really worked at it, I could probably finish his section by the time the weekend is out. I don’t know if I’ll pull this off or not, but it gives me something to shoot for. Part of me feels tempted to reformulate The Trident War Chronicles into a more linear narrative, but I would necessarily have to lose most of the individual prologues and that would sacrifice a lot of background material. Also, the cast would probably become unwieldy if all three factions got full representation. For better or for worse, I think the current formula has to stand or else I’d need to do some major top-to-bottom rewrites and that’s not a terribly appealing idea. More to come. Stay tuned.