So November went pretty good. I didn’t completely finish everything on my list (I failed to complete the book outline), however I would say I got a good 80-90% done. Found I enjoy having this sort of thing out there, so I’ll be doing that again for this month.
Will be doing my best to keep this pretty light since the holidays are coming up. I don’t actually have anything serious planned for this year, most of my family is going to be busy doing their own thing. The only major event coming up for me is that on the 28th I’ll be heading out to visit my grandmother for about a week.
I’m spending today driving home after visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I didn’t have time to write my usual post. Instead here are some thoughts I had while I was working on getting my book ready for release.
Proofreading is always a pain in the rear that never really seems finished. Still, I find that simply doing a chapter every day or two helps keep the work from becoming overwhelming. Here are some tools I’ve made for myself to make sure I don’t end up in over my head while fixing things.
Spending this Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ place with my immediate family. I’ve actually been here for about a week. Visits out here are always enjoyable for me, although these days I end up helping them with chores they wouldn’t be able to complete on their own. When I was younger we visited almost every summer so I always remember going out to the beach, or playing in their yard, or visiting various places they’d take us.
Haven’t ever been here over Thanksgiving though, so I’m glad I’ve finally gotten the chance. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I feel like it is the only one that really focuses on spending time with family. Yes, I get annoyed that the run-up to Christmas that happens during this time, but I think it may actually be a blessing that things work that way because Christmas pulls most of the commercialism so Thanksgiving is left alone.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it, and happy holidays to those who don’t.
At some point while working on In Honor’s Shadow I began TAKING notes in a 70 page spiral notebook. The first 15 pages are filled with notes about Japanese swords, their cultural significance, and my own ideas of how I wanted to have that reflected in my setting. There are details on everything from the etiquette involved with swords, to the process of their construction, to the societal rules that revolve around them.
Keep in mind that what follows applies to my setting only and should not be used as an example of Japanese culture. Much of what I present here is simply made up an intended to emphasize various details that come up with traditional Japanese weapons.
Now that November is half done it seemed a good time to make a progress update about how things are going with my “break.” Surprisingly, better than I expected. I’m currently slightly more than 50% done with the goals I set for myself which is fitting. Just going to keep this pretty short as I doubt anyone really cares about this stuff, but I want to document it for my benefit.
One thing I love about World Building is how as things flesh out new questions naturally begin to arise. When I first fleshed out the social structure that surrounds my story I based it off of what I had read about feudal Japanese society. If you look to social pyramid to the right you will notice it looks very much like what I laid out in my last world building post.
Although I already knew why merchants were considered the bottom of the social order historically, I found myself intrigued by the idea. How do these people survive when they are mostly viewed as a necessary evil?
What challenges do they face? Are the stated reasons for their place in society the same as the real reasons? Are shop owners considered merchants if they sell goods they haven’t produced themselves? For that matter, with so much stigma how many merchants exist and how successful are they?
This is a lot of important information for me to know. True, my story focuses on the nobility, however knowing at least the basics of the empire’s economy is a good idea. At the very least I need to know who makes what, and how goods get distributed. Perhaps I have no immediate plans to use the information, but by virtue of having it at my disposal I now have more tools for future stories should I need them.
So, as a fun exercise, I’ve decided to do a very basic outline about how I think things work and post the result of this early work. Things won’t be set in stone at such an early stage, and I may decide to revisit this at a later time. If so I’ll likely share the changes I make as well.
The first law decreed by the new Emperor simply stated that no kingdom under his rule could contradict his laws. Each King was free to oversee his demesne as he saw fit, however he wouldn’t have the authority to thwart the Emperor’s wishes. This first tenant of our budding society established the notion of Imperial Primacy.
To ensure compliance with the first law, the Emperor then made a second decree: Henceforth every Kingdom was required to maintain a record of the Imperial Laws within its capital, available for public viewing, engraved upon slabs of granite. Refusal to comply was treason.
Since I am doing a bunch of work pre-writing for my next book and a few other projects this seemed like a good time to share some of my world building. There are actually a bunch of different things I could talk about on that now, however with all the effort I’ve put into getting things ready to publish, I’ve been in a mood to share details that aren’t really explicitly addressed in the story.
I’ve actually got this whole notebook full of notes. Some of it isn’t usable, either because it spoils the story itself or reflects ideas I’ve moved away from, however one thing that has remained more or less consistent is my image of the social structure of the society.
Just recently (Halloween Day, in fact) I finished what I hope to be the last draft of my book that I will do personally. That’s actually what I’ve been up to all of October for the most part, so now that it is time to hand it off and let someone else proofread and edit for a while I have some time to look forward. Figured I’d share a bit of a road map for what I hope to get completed in November.
Finally, after 3 posts, I get to finish this little tale. So far I’ve already covered the first “book” which I tabled before making massive changes, in addition to my tendency to let the story sit for absurd lengths of time. This is where I actually get to the real work.