clarentine: (cavalier)
I get to have a conversation with my local research librarian about locating examples of a particular sort (and era) of rural preacher so I can figure out how Jody, in Lynch, is going to try talking a mob into not carrying through the action flagged by the book’s title. There are probably even good examples of such speeches out there.

I bet it’s not even the strangest research query the librarians have seen. >:-)
clarentine: (Default)
It's too damned hot to be outside working on any of the dozen things that need doing. August is just about my least favorite month of the year. Well, if you discount all the lovely things my garden (and others') is producing. I've got enough tomatoes and peppers stashed in the freezer that I'm seriously contemplating seizing the next halfway cool morning to make sauce and can it. Time to hunt up and compare recipes (talk about displacement activity!) so I'm prepared when the right moment arrives.

And, in between research on canning recipes and methods, I'm writing. Really. >:-)

New words: 855
Total words: 11848
Mean things: a dozen little girls all interested in the cat on his lap, and him with nowhere to go except maybe out the window.
Research: more trolley details (what the heck does an electric trolley sound like when it is operating?). Clothing and hairstyles of the day.

I'd meant to hit the library on my round of errands this morning, but it was just too hot already at 8AM and I did not want to wait another hour for the library to open. I'll try to get over there one of the evenings this week. Hopefully the reference librarians will be able to point me at newspapers for 1909, so I can check my internal voices for these characters against what people really talked like.

A newspaper collection for Lynchburg of 1908-09 would be perfect, but I'm not sure that exists. The librarian will know. Librarians are the writing profession's superheroes.
clarentine: (Default)
Ugh. We've spent a good bit of time this weekend timbering, laying in wood for this winter's heating season, and as a result I've had neither time at the computer nor idle time for thinking about the next bad thing I can inflict on my characters. Last night's word count was particularly anemic and full of words I just know are going to get cut when the war revision comes. Ah, well. Maybe today will be better.

New words:  304

Total:  5586  (so, realistically, not a bad week; if I'd hit my 1K goal each day, I'd be at 7K, and my actual numbers are respectable by comparison)

Mean things:  someone important to the heroine's in jail!  And it's pouring rain, and the middle of the night, and no, she can't go get him free right now. 

Research undertaken:  men's suspenders, ca. 1909

***

I don't know that I've ever really had a heroine in any of my stories.  (Female characters, even really important female characters, sure.  Just not the person the story really is about.)  Interesting.  I have a feeling I have a learning curve coming up. 
clarentine: (Default)
With Tocara off to my agent, I’m freed to begin working on the next book. I have in mind something involving coal mines and railroads, Serpents and dragons, and the folklore of the southern Appalachians. I have a very tentative outline to help frame the research and an even more uncertain setting: the mining community of Switchback, WV. So: working title, Switchback. I’m sure that will change once I figure out what the story’s really about.

The research itself is off to a good start. I have three books waiting for me via InterLibrary Loan, to be picked up on Friday, and two more on my table at home. All are pretty much cultural grounding; as I told the librarians helping me round the books up, I need to understand what’s already there before I change it. I need to do justice to the stories already on that ground and to the people whose stories they are.

Time to break in a new research notebook.

***

My radish and collard and kale seedlings are coming up very nicely, but something seems to think the beets taste good already. I’ll have to plant more seeds and this time put a barrier up over the seedbed.

The seed garlic arrived in the mail yesterday! I’d ordered from Filaree Farm (http://www.filareefarm.com/) years ago and been very satisfied with the quality of the product. The garden I’d been planting them in finally got too shady, however, and I’ve been resorting to store-bought garlic for the better part of a decade. Now I have space and sunshine, and next year I’ll have my own garlic crop again!

This weekend I have a lot more planting in mind. Beets, maybe carrots, the garlic. Prep for the new raspberry bushes my dad will be bringing our way in October. Spinach, as much as I can fit in the two rows which are not going to be reworked this fall. Up by the house, I have mint in pots which need to be sunk into the ground, pots and all, so I don’t have to worry about them this winter (or water them next year).

***

I got the most lovely surprise harvest this week: braconid wasp cocoons on three of the massive tomato/tobacco hornworms I’ve been noticing lately on my tomatoes! Take that, Monsanto; I don’t need your help eliminating pests in my garden. The cosmos planted in the garden and the wild Queen Anne’s Lace at the wood’s edges have done their work, drawing and feeding the adult wasps which parasitize the hornworms. Next year, there will be more hornworms...and even more wasps. Huzzah!

(This is a great site talking about the war between worm and wasp: http://www.gardengrapevine.com/TomatoWorm.html. Great photos.)
clarentine: (Default)
Here’s a question that’s been pinging around in the back rooms of my brain for a while: historically, what sociological/cultural factors have led to cultural groups using matrilineal descent? So many societies mark descent through the father’s bloodlines. What factors predispose, or cause, a culture to use the mother’s bloodlines instead?

This question brought to you by worldbuilding for the next novel. It’s all well and good to aim for a fresh take on culture, but to my mind there needs to be a reason for cultural behavior. I’m not happy with just deciding city-state AAA tracks its lineages using matrilineal descent; I want to know why, and what else is likely influenced by the condition that creates matrilineal descent.

(Why, yes, my real interest in college was sociology. However did you guess?)

In order to properly subvert something, you have to know its boundaries. At the moment, it’s just idle curiosity, but you never know. It’s a big continent my characters are exploring. The trick in developing a fictional world, for me at least, is in knowing the depth to which that worldbuilding needs to go...and the point at which I’m wasting my very limited time.

If you have a speculation on the above question, please do feel free to offer it.

***

Otherwise, I’m doing more research, this time on Havana in the 1720s. I have not quite located source material for that period, but I’ve gotten close (the early 1600s for the book I’m currently taking notes from). Every time I go through one of these research periods, I bless the authors who provide good bibliographies; they’re more likely to know which books have been published on, say, the street layout of Havana and the location of the governor’s residence, and their lists of references have given me ideas more than once.

At the moment, I’m regretting my written Spanish is not better. I bet I could get a lot closer than I’ve gotten to my chosen time period if I could read the original source material.

And, really, I am grateful I’ve even gotten as close as I have. It’s not like it’s a popular subject, and the Castro regime’s isolation has not made exploration of the history of that island any easier. The winners write the history. It does not surprise me that what little I can find on the ‘net is all post-Castro.

Tangentially, I have acquired a couple of photo-rich books of the furnishings of historic Cuban houses and other structures. Gorgeous is the most accurate word I can use. Gorgeous, and how the hell did any of this survive when the buildings themselves, even in Havana, look like collapsing wrecks?
clarentine: (Default)
People digging out their driveways for the second damned time in eight days, of course.

Okay, New Englanders, who wished for less snow this winter? I want you to take it back right now. Snowpocalypse is fun once a year. We've gotten more snow this year than New York, for dog's sake, and enough is enough.

***

Would you believe I've lately been trying to research the species of birds that might have migrated across Spain in the early 1700s in such numbers that a colonial-born Spaniard would know about the migration and be able to reference it? (I don't have an answer yet, so if you do, please feel free to chime in.) This is further research for the Bells book, of course.

The other thing I've been doing, writing-wise, is ponder the impact I want this book to have, emotionally, on the reader, and figuring out what to do to make that happen. It occurred to me last night that this is the first book I've written where I really know, in actual words and phrases, what the book is about. That's kind of startling - not that it's the first, but that I actually know what it's about. I'm not a writer who writes from outlines; what hits the page is what occurred to me when I got to that point on the page, not before.

Now, whether I manage to pull off the stunt of getting the book to resemble what I want it to say is anyone's guess. Let's just say I intend to work really hard to push it in that direction.

***

And what is it with this habit of writing winter scenes in summer and vice versa? Anyone else find themselves falling into this?

***

Thanks to snowpocalypses #1 and #2, my freezer's full of baked goods. There's at least four different loaves of bread out there: lemon poppyseed (what else are you going to do when your lovely little lemon tree gives you five lemons in a single year?) and cranberry orange batter breads and the second of the two white sandwich loaves I baked up yesterday. I had plans to work up another batch of yeast dough to make cinnamon rolls if work had turned out to be off today. Alas, my mixer is saved for the moment.

There'll be no starving during a snowpocalypse on my watch. *g*

***

In case you have not yet discovered it, there's a magical, novel experiment in progress over at http://www.shadowunit.org/. On Saturday, they posted the first episode for 2010 - an entire freaking novel, folks - and it's awesome. Slip over there, read some of the back episodes from the previous two years, and sink into the alternate reality that is Shadow Unit.
clarentine: (Default)
I need some help working out the title by which a ca. 1720 master craftsman (a bell-maker) would have been known, both to his clients and to his apprentices. I have been suggested, by various online sources, the term "maestro," but that carries baggage I'd rather avoid. I've also noted "alarife," which appears to connote "architect" or "master builder." This is closer, but I'm hoping there's something in between those two terms. If you can lend a hand with the etymology, I'll be very grateful (to the tune of a bar of Green & Black chocolate, variety your choice)!

For that matter, if you happen to be comfortable discussing the social classes in the Spain of the time, I'd love to talk with you.

***

Above, of course, means that I'm working on the rewrite and fleshing out of Bells, which book needs a better title. (Now, that would be a good use of my down time. Must remember to work on this.) The first chapter took a bit of effort to get them to match where the novel ended up.

The library ILL desk will see my face this weekend. I have a list of books I need to request. Surprisingly, there were three on my list that are already available locally.
clarentine: (Default)
And it's back to work tomorrow, for the first full week in something like a month. I'm pretty sure that I'll be wanting another day off before we hit Friday. *g*

I did manage to get into the rewrite of Bells at long last this weekend. And I got some baking done - the house smells of lemon poppyseed bread, regular white yeast bread, roast chicken. Two loaves to the freezer, one to toast for the rest of this week, the fourth to work to share there (or I shall look like a blimp).

Kay will no doubt give me sad eyes all morning as I go through the familiar routine of getting ready for work. Little does she know I'd really rather be home with her. I expect a rough, deadline-packed day.

***

Looks like I have another spate of research ahead of me. I left a lot of blanks in Bells on that first hurried draft via [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90 that now have to be filled in. I want the details for this one to be right so, as I did with the pirate novel, Satisfaction, I'll be headed for the reference librarian to engage the InterLibrary Loan program. A lot of the books I have on my current want list are university publications. I suspect the only way to get them will be via ILL.

AKICILJ*

Jul. 3rd, 2009 02:18 pm
clarentine: (Default)
I'll take male bonding rituals for 100, Alex.

I know that Western military training of young men is steeped in the sort of blustering interaction that Western males, for the most part, seem automatically to fall into whenever three or more of them get together.

What I do not know, however, is if this is a cultural phenomenon or if it's something that, say, young Asian males also exhibit in groups. Anyone out there have evidence on either side of this question?

The military training portion of my statement is important for context, though I'm not sure it really matters to the question, so please don't feel you can't respond if your experience isn't military related.

(*That's All Knowledge Is Contained In LiveJournal, of course.)

***

This book is something like 400 pages long. I'm currently on page 211 of the rewrite, though that's misleading since there are lots of notes and highlighted things to fix embedded within it; I won't have an accurate page count until I clean all of that up, once the rewrite is done. At any rate, I am firmly in the middle of the book, in the second act of three, or however you might wish to measure such things. While there remains one crucial major change yet to be made, I am somewhat cheered by having this many pages behind me. The first part is where all the hard changes had to be made. *g* The part I'm in now is fixing echoes and tweaks.

***

Get a load of this really gorgeous German manor house: http://www.schloss-lohrbach.de/. Can't you see Canum looking out one of those third floor windows, watching the house's guards company drilling on the greensward below? (Yeah, this one's got a moat and Harlendon doesn't, but the form of the house is just so perfect otherwise.) You can click on the flag emblems below the image to change the language of the page and, incidentally, the image itself, which I personally find way cool. Check out the French version as well - an actual photo; yes, this is a real structure. ::covets::

***

Happy Fourth of July, everybody!
clarentine: (Default)
I get to keep Canum socking Kale! You don't know how happy realizing that made me. *g*

Yes, I'm still slogging along through Kith and Kin. Following a fairly detailed critique of the novel earlier this year, I spent some time thinking about the shortcomings that had been pointed out. I concluded that there were three major changes I wanted to make, and it's those changes and the seismic ripples spreading out from them that I've been working on ever since. I doubt I'm unique in the level to which a single event is intertwined and affects other events in my work. Catching all those little changes, and smoothing over the patched parts, is taking so much more time than I'd hoped, but I think what comes out the other side will be a stronger book, so go me. (And thank you, Critiquer.)

As I managed to push my way through the second of the two major scene-changes, however, I figured out how to keep Canum finally giving Kale what he deserved. It had to be rewritten, yes, because its venue and timing changed, but as of earlier this morning Kale is sporting a lovely bruised face and Canum got some of his own back.

***

[livejournal.com profile] jonquil linked to a post by [livejournal.com profile] oliviacirce about a divide in SFF fandom that, amongst other things, talks about how discussions proliferate across the internet, occurring at many different levels and with potentially thousands of users all commenting on a single post that then cross-indexes in new and interesting non-linear ways. One can hardly read all the posts on a given topic - certainly not in real time, and even with significant delays sometimes those of us more heavily scheduled often have to prioritize what we read and what we have to hope someone else will summarize. Nevertheless, there's this fascinating (to me) way in which the original conversation so often reappears in references three or six or a dozen links down the chain, thus perpetuating and deepening the discussion. I - admittedly one of the more heavily scheduled people I know - am delighted that this is so, given that there's no chance in hell I'd catch up with the conversation if this didn't happen!

***

One of the things I am getting to do with this rewrite is deepen the universe of the books. I spent one entire half-braindead evening looking at pictures of horses. (I swear, it was pertinent research. It didn't hurt that they were really beautiful horses: http://lusitano-interagro.com/collection/verdugoOR.htm.) Places I hadn't described before are getting mortar and floorboards. This makes me happy...but it also is giving my continuity awareness brain cell fits, because more detail means more potential screw-ups.

Is it any wonder I keep lists of people and horse and place descriptions?

**

Oh: for those who may remember last winter's and the previous winter's posts about ginger shortbread, let me take a quick moment to say this: Five Spice Powder, in shortbread, is intriguing. To me, at least. I'm taking some to work tomorrow, so we'll see just how widely that opinion might be held. *g* (The recipe originally was orange-spice shortbread. I didn't have any oranges to get peel from. Then it occurred to me that Five Spice Powder has both orange peel and cinnamon, as well as some other really cool spice flavors, so....)
clarentine: (Mastiff)
I've just invented a new word - guilting, a noun, synonym for guilt trip, which I cannot use in this context. I like it. So don't try telling me it's not the best new word you've ever heard, because I won't hear you. *g*

***

Hmm. What have I researched recently? Polo, polo ponies, types of trees and other plants that grow in this sort of setting. Food crops, likewise. Lots and lots of image searches for terrain that matches what I want to see on the page.

Oh, and Christmas gifts. *g* I still have to write out the cards, too, lest they become New Year's cards.

I got about 800 words the night before last, and have managed 692 more and two short scenes tonight. My "spare" time's been consumed lately not just with preparations for the upcoming Christmas gift-giving but with a legislative proposal that's striking fairly close to Career Path #2's right to practice. It's resulting in lots of email exchanges arguing complex readings of lawyerly text and low-level panicked politicking over the direction our professional landscape design organization will choose to go--support of the legislation, as long as we get the amendments to its wording that will keep us in business, or opposition. I think I've managed to convince the rest of the board members that we need an actual vote on the subject.

All of this conducted around Career Path #1's dayjobbery and writing. And I still have to organize year-end charitable donations, which mostly means inventorying stuff we're giving to Goodwill. Yeah. Busy am I.

***

I really wanted to be done with this rewrite by the new year. At the speed I'm going, I don't see that happening. The draft I'm rewriting has about 80 pages more to go, and there are some significant changes still to make under my current theory of the arc of this novel. On the plus side, however, I am working on page 337, and thus far the plot re-conception seems to be holding together.

Ah, well. Can't have everything, right?
clarentine: (Mastiff)
Remember earlier this summer when I was so worried about word count in Break? When the novel stood at 275 pages?

It's now at just over 400 pages, and I am working on page 313, approaching (finally!) the end of the second act and the big second turning point. I have nearly managed to claw my way out of the Dreaded Middle of the Book. Huzzah!

A lot of that new page count came from three new scenes written in the past week. Canum's bad days grow worse. Plus, he's now seen his first bola tournament (that would be polo, adapted to the Canumverse), witnessed horse racing and tent pegging, and fended off an assassin. I repaired the flaw in my reconfiguration of the dateline in this novel that I'd been thrashing over, and I think I've done it with a modicum of style. Chasm bridged!

All in all, November's been a productive month for me.

***

Polo's an interesting sport. There is a wealth of information on the 'net about polo, as you might expect, but most instructive to a visual learner like me are the videos of polo matches on YouTube, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro4MoOLixG4. (Just be careful if you try to find any more of those videos; girl-and-horse sexual innuendo videos far outnumber the actual clips of polo matches.) My intention is to have my depiction of several matches vetted by a friend who rides, who has friends who play polo.

***

Less than a month until solstice, when the days begin to grow longer once more. I'm not aware that I suffer from any of the truly debilitating emotional and mental issues related to a shortage of daylight, thankfully, but I do know that I fall victim (like most of humanity) to the desire for extra calories and more sleep. Come the solstice, I, like my plants, will begin to perk up. I look forward to that day like very few others throughout the year.

***

Four-day weekend ends tonight. Back to the day job tomorrow. Bah!
clarentine: (Canum)
1961 new words yesterday, which will sbustitute for the scene I'm cutting (sap--ew) and then some. The subconscious remembered what plot was. Hallelujah!

Best news yet: I found a way to incorporate a ponor. The scenery grows all around me. The Sapree canyons came alive as I wrote them, and the hills of central Vellutira are becoming more real with every word. One of these days, given the chance, I want to see this landscape I'm paraphrasing. (Did you know there's a grant to allow (SFF?) authors to do just that? I think it was [livejournal.com profile] fjm who mentioned it on her blog recently. Now there's a grant I want to win!)

Research in the last couple of days was mostly looking for photos of the karst landscapes of the Balkan peninsula. I found some lovely images of Dubrovnik, which, while that city doesn't quite match up to Clarent, will still enrich my descriptions of the Vellutiran capital and ensure it resembles neither Guaymarien nor the Sapree cities. I'm still using a gorgeous image of a flooded ponor and the hills and trees around it as a visual mnemonic when I'm on my laptop at home; you can bet that little fold in the hills will appear somewhere in Break.
clarentine: (Mastiff)
Canum is rarely snarky; he's serious and so full of his sense of urgency that funny doesn't occur to him. And yet, he's capable of comments that stop me in my tracks for pure situational hilarity. Given what other people think of my own sense of humor, I doubt the following will really be funny to anyone else - especially out of (much) context, but I had to share this one he dropped on me today:

[he's just been insinuated to have been so dangerous as a youth that his family/brother locked him up...an allegation that is, like the best rumors, at least partly true]

[A's] smile was pinched at the edges. “You deny these accusations of instability?”

“My brother’s paranoia is not at issue."


If Kale had heard that exchange, he'd have frothed at the mouth. *g*

***

Once upon a time, back when I'd just started seriously considering the rewrite of this third Canum novel (Break), I despaired. The book topped out at about 275 pages, whereas the first and second books were each right around 375. Today, while continuing my slow-motion push through the (all but white paper) rewrite, I hit page 218 and am firmly in the middle of the book. In other words, Break has grown about 100 pages since I started this process.

::whew::

***

There's been some research, more desultory than serious; there are times at the day job when I really lack the brain to do any serious work but I can't really just close my eyes and recharge. Knowing what is in store at the end of this book, I've been googling PTSD. I need some more serious research reading on this subject, however, because what I'm finding addresses the recovery and I'm more interested in the wreckage that precedes said recovery. If anyone reading this has a favorite source for those sorts of anecdotes/info, relating preferably to physical torture, I'd love to hear about them.

Not that I'm mean to my characters or anything.

::grins with teeth::
clarentine: (Canum)
It's been a while since I had appreciable progress to report, but I finally got through the scene that had been blocking me, to the tune of about 2200 new words, most of them coming late last night. I may actually have gotten through the worst of the scenes that needed to be added, too.

There's still a chunk of time unaccounted for coming up that I hope I can get over in some fashion other than "and they basically did nothing new for two weeks while the clock ticked." I dislike those sorts of entries. I'm holding out for a further flash of creativity to bridge the gap instead. *g*

***

There's a karst formation on the coast of Scotland--Geodha Smoo--which will be making a simulacrum appearance in Break. Fascinating stuff, this karst geology. Underground rivers turn out to be great places to disappear a body, unless they turn up at the bottom of the waterfall where the river cascades down to the coast. (/tongue in cheek)

Take a gander. This place is fascinating: http://www.durness.org/Smoo%20cave.htm
clarentine: (Canum)
Last night's word count was something like 1952, which is excellent for me. Took two sittings to accomplish, but the scene just would not quit talking to me, and in the end I was pleased that I'd persevered.

I'm on the ledge about using "my voice scraping my throat like teeth on a bone," but for the moment it's staying.

Thus far today I have 556 new words for the transition into the next chapter. Dunno if there will be more.

***

Courtesy of the Henrico County Public Library system, I have access to a number of databases of primarily scholarly journals and magazines. I've been using that access today to research karst landscapes. I'm going to have fun with this one; setting is very important to me, and this particular imagined setting is coming clearer in my mind's eye with every photo I see of dolines, ponors, poljes, and karren.

If, when you read this book, you feel like you're in one of these poljes and are checking underfoot for ponors, I've done my job. *g*
clarentine: (Canum)
1425 last night after much thrashing around to set up this next scene. I've been heavily into avoidance activities while my subconscious worked out what had to happen on the screen--this week, I'm making throw pillows for the couch. I've made phone calls I've been putting off, I ran errands, I got my eyes checked. Took the dog to the park. Limed, fertilized, and re-seeded the little lawn in the back yard. And then I decided I needed to just write the damned scene and get it over with. Perfection isn't necessary; it has to be on the screen/page before it can be polished.

I swear, I have to rediscover this truth at least three times a year.

***

Somewhere, in the notebooks containing the early, handwritten versions of the Canum stories, there's a list of the names of a certain group of people. I could really use that list right about now. Maybe it's time to relocate all of those notebooks down here to the workroom.

No, that's more displacement. Argh!

***

After I got my words last night, I let myself do some of the research I'd pushed aside in order to get them written. Cave systems in karst is a topic I'm very interested in at the moment. I stopped by a library earlier in the week to see what sort of info I could find, but the reference librarian was unable to offer much assistance. It's not so much the geology and hydrology of karst that interests me; what I really want to understand is the effect that geology and hydrology has on the landscape and environment it's set within--not so much the caves themselves, then. Because I'm finding it hard to put into words the particular thing I need to know about, I can't blame the librarian for being unable to help me.

Maybe what I need is to locate a geologist/hydrologist who understands karst and pick their brain. *g*

***

I'm currently involved with an online class on the Age of Sail--not displacement this time but rather research for Satisfaction, whenever I finally pick it back up. (On the other hand, spending hours working on the optional homework assignment is, uh, avoidance. Um.) I forget sometimes how much fun it is to read about sailing and imagine the movement of beautiful boats through the sea.

***

I'm also currently working my way through Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel, not as a bible or blueprint but more as a check of what these past years of exposure to high-octane writers' brains has taught me. I have some very bright friends, I'm happy and proud to say. I haven't read anything thus far in the Maass book that hasn't been said in some variation by someone I know rather better than Maass.

***

See? I've been busy. That's why I haven't gotten many words lately. Look at all the stuff I've been doing....

Yeah.

Back to work.
clarentine: (Canum)
1258 is a nice number for the first writing session of the day, and I've errands to run, so we stop here. Hopefully, there will be a second writing session.

I'm happy to say I got past yesterday's flailing. I had a good, long think about why we should care if Canum meets his goal, and did some tweaking of the pages that came before, and I think I'm okay. I don't know that the problem is resolved - it certainly might crop up again later in this revision - but I think for the moment we're good.

And I got to introduce, in today's new words, the germ of a title that's going to dog Canum for a good long while to come, and I am happy. *g*

***

Hmm. I have to go out anyway, so perhaps I will save gas and stop by the library to see what the reference librarians can come up with on caves in limestone/karst. Ideally, caves in the landmass that's doubling as the setting for this book. I'm not looking to get very deep into the geology of caves or karst, but you never know what sort of little detail might turn up in research that jogs something new into being. And there might be a book with photos, which are always helpful.

Onward!
clarentine: (Canum)
Whew. Fell off the reporting bandwagon this weekend, didn't I? I'm happy to report, however, that despite a severely bloodied forehead (from banging my head against that damned brick wall) I've managed to rewrite the scene to conform to the new vision of this particular story. Furthermore, I worked my way through the transition between that scene and the next, and the next scene, and am contemplating the one after that, so I count myself accomplished.

I am finding that the transitions in this particular rewrite are really dragging at me. Transitions have never been something I've had to struggle with. I hope I don't have to fight them all the way through this damned book. Keeping my focus on the plot is helping.

I'm now approaching the 100-page point and, not entirely coincidentally, the end of the first act and the first big turning point. That scene is the next one. Hopefully I'll be back later today to report it successfully rewritten!

*****

During one of the evenings when I couldn't get even one word onto the page, I spent some time instead working on worldbuilding. I now have a base map of the area of the peninsula surrounding the city where this novel is taking place and another of the outline of the city. I no longer have Canum riding unnecessarily from his lodgings to the Orators Guildhall, not given the short distance involved.

I will need to be doing research on karst and caves soon, I think.

I also now have coin(s) of the realm, and a better feel for how the economics of the nation work.

This all counts as production, doesn't it? >;-)

*****

And, as if I was not doing enough, I've also signed up for a two-month online course on ships in the Golden Age of Sail. I've already done a lot of research on various aspects of life in those times for Satisfaction, the pirate novel, but it never hurts to do more. Who knows when something I've been assuming will turn out to be one of those stupid things that trips up those in the know when they read the story? If I do have any of those sorts of overlooked assumptions, I want to know about it now. Josh and his compatriots will thank me.
clarentine: (Default)
Did you--you iPod user, you--know that iTunes has a feature called iTunes U that collects free lectures and movies and podcasts on many different subjects? You can pick a category - like history, fine arts, language, science, mathematics - or an educational program - like the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or the New York Public Library, or the Museum of Modern Art - and choose amongst hundreds of productions. I now have something to add to my usual googling of research topics. Go! Learn!

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