Writing Update August 2018 – Part 2

There and Back Again

The 2018 SASMARS Conference was a success and I’m safely home and back at work (though I still need to finish typing up the minutes of our general meeting).

The “Rememberer of gods and kings” paper went really well and I hardly tripped over words (trust me, that’s a new one!). I did, however, make a few slight changes the night before I had to give it and had to have it reprinted that morning. Luckily the people at Mont Fleur are absolutely awesome and didn’t mind.

It was also wonderful to see old faces – and some new faces – and just sit and chat or take a walk up into the mountains.

As I was in a hell of a lot of pain, I didn’t do the hike this time, but luckily I did do it the last time I was there.

I also just had to rest a bit as I’m flaring since I got home and that’s why I haven’t loaded any other photos or videos onto the SASMARS and my Facebook page.

Writing, writing, writing!

Now that that’s done, I can turn back to working on The Knowledge Stones and Porselein! So look out for some more updates on these in the coming weeks.

 

Writing update – July 2018, part 2

July (and Camp NaNoWriMo) is about 12 days from completion, and though I have not reached my target word count, I can say that I’m optimistic that I will still reach it as I double down and work on my projects and articles.

Another “Mighty” article

The Mighty has published another one of my articles – and even featured it on some of their facebook pages. I’m quite chuffed, actually, as I definitely wasn’t expecting the extra shares. Also, seeing that the articles hit home with people and helps them encourages me to keep writing for them!

Here’s my contributor’s page for The Mighty.

Conference paper

Plane tickets, the hotel room is booked and the conference paper for next month is coming along really well, although I’m still doing some of the research (i.e. reading papers that I’ve only come across now). And it took some time for me to realise that this paper contains some of the themes that are also present in my fiction. Go figure.

I’m spending time mostly on weekends working on it, though, which is why, I think, I feel like I’m making very slow progress. And I still think my title – “Rememberer of Gods and Kings” sounds quite cool, haha. Guys, I can’t wait!

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Jozi Flash

A quick update on Jozi Flash 2018 as well – the first edits are done and the fifth story is mostly planned. Currently called “The Singing Tree”, it’s another fantasy-mythology-folklore kind of story. So, basically, right up my alley. Unfortunately, I cannot share anything more – and what’s the fun in giving the surprise away in any case!

Porselein and The Ruon Chronicles

I’m still pounding out the whole outline for Porselein, but so far the feedback I’ve received has been positive – yay!

Then I reread The Grove of Graves… yeah, my writing has definitely improved during the past two years. So, I will work on Grove during September as well as quite a bit needs to be either rewritten or severely edited before I can put it out into the world again. (Thus far I’m planning on putting it on Noisetrade as a start, but I will have more information in September or October.

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Writing Update: July 2018

Being all academic

As usual, the days are simply speeding by at breakneck speed with me trying my best to hold on and get everything done that needs to get done! This includes actually finishing my paper for August’s Medieval conference before the end of the month… (The trick is not to get side-tracked by tiny details or other papers which actually have nothing to do with the paper. Easier said than done.)

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Basically, if I finish by the end of this month I’ll have two weeks in which to do the presentation and practice, with even a few days to spare.

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The Ruon Chronicles

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to read the whole Knowledge Stones as I’m having to set it aside for a bit while working on the paper.

Patreon

I’m busy putting together a bumper Patrons-only post for later in the month. I thought it would be cool to have a longer, more in-depth piece that a few shorter pieces. Check out my Patreon page for other fiction and worldbuilding, though.

Porselein

My Afrikaans novel is now basically outlined in full! Huzzah! I’ll probably start writing it next month once the pressure from the paper is off my shoulders.

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What are you busy with? I’d love to hear!

Writing update: June 2018, part 2

Well, May and June turned out to be very good months when it came to publication!

Publications

My short story, “Pandjieswinkelgoed”, appeared in the 22 June 2018 issue of Vrouekeur and this was the first print magazine short story that I’ve sold. Huzzah!

I now also have two article on The Mighty under my belt — the second of which has almost 500 likes! I did not expect that…

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WIPs — Porselein and The Knowledge Stones

Believe it or not, I am still busy with my outline for Porselein. It is taking longer than I thought, simply because of the worldbuilding that’s going into it.

The Knowledge Stones is still not finished. Alas, I had really thought that it would be done by now. I’m not going to rush it and give a mediocre thing for everyone to read, though. And I’m adding quite a few extra scenes throughout the story, so keep your eyes peeled!

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SASMARS 2018, aka the medieval conference

Of course, I shouldn’t forget that I still need to finish my paper for SASMARS in August… While I’m well on my way, I am struggling a bit with putting everything in a structure that works for me. So, at the moment, I’m stuck with lots of notes and bits and pieces that I have to join up properly.

I am greatly looking forward to the conference, being back at Mont Fleur, and meeting some old and new faces!

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Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018

After the dismal performance that was Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018, I hope that this Camp will go better. Actually, it has to go better otherwise I’m in big trouble time-wise. For this Camp my plan of action is:

  • Finishing The Knowledge Stones
  • Finishing Rememberer of gods and kings for SASMARS
  • Finishing the outline and worldbuilding for Porselein and writing at least three chapters.

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Are you taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear what you’ll be working on!

Adventures in writing “Porselein”

Or, on building a new world

I have gotten so used to writing in the world of Airtha-Eyrassa, that building a whole new world for Porselein has come as quite a shock to my system! Suddenly I’m left with a complete blank page screaming “Here be dragons” and I’m not even sure if that world has dragons in it, or not. See, I have been building Airtha-Eyrassa for some years now. I know the countries and the people and the magic. And what do I go and do then? I start a whole new book and maybe even a new series before finishing The Ruon Chronicles. Because apparently I like living on the edge. What does help, though, is that one is predominantly English, while Porselein is being built and written in Afrikaans from the start.

So, what do you do when you’re faced with a blank page and a world you need to create? Well, in my case, you jump in right in the middle – with the magic of the world. Once I had a better idea of the magic that is present in the world, I was able to build around it by asking some basic worldbuilding questions. (You can read more about it in this post.)

What started out in my mind as a pseudo-Victorian-steampunkish world soon became a late Renaissance/early Enlightenment type of world. This meant more research (obviously) and trips to the local library (poor old me…). That change in the world, along with changing the names to turn it into a complete secondary world really brought the world of Nisamy and the other countries to life for me.

I can’t, however, say that the map I’ve drawn so far looks like much…

Capture-Nisamy first map

… it definitely needs a lot more work! But it is a place to start and gives me an idea of what I have to deal with.

At the moment I have the first draft of the macro outline of Porselein done and will be working on my homework for my writing course (for which I’m writing this novel) before I review the whole outline. That will also give my subconscious time to mull it over. Now you may be curious as to what I’m writing for the homework – all I can say is that it is a very important scene that takes place in the “store” of the Memory Sellers.

Though I am not 100% happy with my outline, a second and third pass should fix the problems. I just have to keep on reminding myself that what I’ve written in the first/initial draft or outline isn’t carved in stone.

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On building a magic system for “Porselein”

I’m currently busy with the planning and outlining of Porselein (that is to say, version 2.0 after I got my brainwave post chapter 4). Building a new magic system has been quite interesting as I’m so used to either working within the sphere of the Ruon Chronicles, or using handwavium to put something together for a flash fiction piece. Now, though, I need one that will last me through at least one full-length novel. And that means planning. And thinking about the daft things humans would do with the magic if it really existed. Because humans.

The thing is, people always get a way to mess up power once they get it in hand, and I doubt magic would be any different. So, I always try to have different ways in which the magic is used and abused. For instance, how is magic used by the “good guys”, the “bad guys” and the “guys in-between who probably just want to use it to get a better life not to take over the world or anything”?

In the world of Porselein, memories come into play a lot and the poor can even sell memories to a middle-man or to those who use magic directly. Obviously this isn’t something that’s undertaken lightly as it comes with a high price, but does begs the question as to what lengths people would go to in order to care for their families, etc. I know, I always write such happy stories…

All in all, the magic system is basically complete, and you can find some more detailed notes on my Patreon page next week.