This post will be the same deal as my last one on Hayashi Seiko. For those that aren’t interested in looking at the last post, here are the rules I’ve set for myself.
The point of this post isn’t to talk about the character as they currently exist in the story, but rather to touch on how my concept of the character changed over time as a result of the setting switch and other decisions I made over the course of writing. No plot details about In Honor’s Shadow will be revealed, so you don’t have to worry about spoilers, however I will mention story points from earlier conceptions of the story that were ultimately cut for various reasons.
As my book, In Honor’s Shadow, gets closer to being complete I find I want to talk about it more and more. This is obviously something of a minefield since saying too much could easily spoil the story. After some thought I’ve decided that there isn’t anything wrong with me talking about the main characters of the story, provided I give myself some basic guidelines before doing so.
In this instance, I think the best course is to talk about how the characters evolved from their earlier conception to today. Considering how much the story changed, from the overall conflict and a jump to a new setting completely, it isn’t too surprising that the characters have changed radically.
One thing I noticed early on, back when I was a teen and becoming truly ravenous with my reading, was that most authors have words or phrases they really like. Sometimes it is a particular “verbal tic” they have, other times I think the sound of the word is just appealing to the writer. From my personal experience, I doubt these are ever intentional. They most likely slip in under the radar without the author ever realizing it.
This is one reason why I take special note of words or phrases that I feel are being overused in my own writing while doing revisions. Typically, early drafts are rife with them, which I hope is not unique to me. Gradually certain phrases/words will fall by the wayside, but they are replaced by new ones almost as quickly.
Why bring this up now? Glad you asked! As of now my story is through editing and ready for publishing, pending the handling of a few minor details and a final review to ensure nothing slipped through. However, in the final stretch I noticed a few words that I apparently really enjoy using. Here they are:
End of the week and beginning of a new year. Things have been very busy for me this year, but I’ve ended up learning a lot about what I’m trying to do. Not bad, considering I am constantly trying to figure out what I’m doing. Thus far my accomplishments are mostly personal, but I feel like they were all major steps toward this writing dream I’ve given myself: Got this website up, finished editing my book (mostly), found a cover artist, and started making plans for a modest book launch.
It’s tempting to rest on my laurels while I wait for my first book to be ready to publish, however I want to keep the momentum going. To that end, I’m going to lay out some resolutions for 2016.
This is going up a bit late for what I would call good excuses, except none of them are. Big change to the site’s look, however, thanks to a new site header image! I’ve been waiting to get something else to replace what I was using, since that was basically just the default image that came with this theme.
Beyond that, some stuff that I’ve been up to and my plans for the next while:
I initially intended this to be a post about all the progress I’ve made on boring stuff, but really I just couldn’t bring myself to write it. Everything simply boils down to “I’ve gotten a bunch done, but not as much as I would like.” Most likely that will always be a running theme so this time I may as well skip it.
This time I figured I’d talk about some things I do to relax/avoid working on my writing. This could go on and on, as my interests tend to drift, so I suppose I’ll restrict it to things I’ve done in the past couple weeks.
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.
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.
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.
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.