Daily Summary: 9th December. Scene finished for Easy River

I am assuming that I won’t be doing any more today. I managed to get 811 words done this lunchtime that took me to the end of the scene where Benetus meets Arax. I’m fairly happy with how it has turned out. A couple of surprises. I found that Arax has to tell Benetus a bit about who he is. I think I tend to develop back story, but then never explain it to the reader.

Next steps are too look at the proto-Arax religion and provide some details of this, and also decide if I need some more foreshadowing of Arax earlier in the story. I’m not sure how this will all work yet in the story as a whole. I hope it will!

8th December: Update on Easy River

Nothing done yesterday as I was feeling ill, and then sadly one of our pets was very ill and ended up passing away in the night. I had to bury a small brown guinea pig this morning. 

Lunchtime saw me reviewing the current scene of Easy River to Success and adding another 412 words. When I start off writing I always think I have so much to do and its going to take ages, but then things start to click given time. Also I realised that the scene doesn’t get too complicated, which is nice as I can concentrate on making the Arax character more interesting and the writing more dynamic rather than worrying about how to move the plot along. That’s one of the benefits of having the plot action of the scene sketched out beforehand. 

Update: 6th December 2008. 672 Words of Easy River revision completed

Just started on the revision for Easy River to Success. I managed 672 words of the scene where Benetus meets Arax. So far I have got Benetus to where he is just about to meet Arax, that is he is about to end up in the quagmire. 

I’m fairly happy, I think, with what I wrote today. I think maybe I need to be more specific or clearer about the previous spirits Benetus has visited on the spirit-river, and what his hopes were for this visit. I could think about another place or manner in which to introduce this element. 
I might do a little bit now on putting together some of the content for my profile website. 

Update: 5th December, Last Scene for Easy River now Planned

At last I’ve got a plan for the last scenes of this story! I was struggling I think because some of the ideas I was coming up with were too complex and would have required quite a bit of explanation. The trouble would have been making the story too long just to explain properly what had happened, but without seeming too forced. In fact the idea probably were a bit forced. Nice ideas at the time, but they wouldn’t really have worked. For instance at one stage I was googling silted harbours and seeing how Benetus could be made to cause the silting up of the capital’s harbour as a result of Arax’s mischief. But really would anyone believe that could happen overnight, and how could Arax make Benetus do such as thing. 

So the final idea, I hope, is much simpler and should work better. But, I still have to write it, so we’ll see how that pans out over the next few days. If I don’t start on this tonight for a bit, I’ll definitely be doing some tomorrow. 
And then, and then!! I can get back to War Veteran again, which I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into. The thing I love about that story idea is that it has a bit of politics in it, a bit of sociology, which is quite different for me and I hope something that might intrigue some readers and hopefully an editor into accepting. We’ll see. Back to work now.

Daily Summary: 4th December 2008. Incy Wincy Day Today

Only had twenty minutes today, but managed to have a think over some possible ideas for the concluding scenes of Easy River to Success. Trying to work out how to complete the story using the new character of Arax, which I’m happy with now, and make it a neat ending. Still haven’t found quite the right ending, but have a few new ideas now for my subconscious to think about! As Damon Knight would say, I’m going to let Fred have a think about them for a while. 

Daily Summary: 3rd December, a bit more Easy River planning

No point for a daily plan today as I just got on and did half an hours writing this evening when I had time. To be honest it was the last thing I really wanted to do. Not feeling particularly fresh and I find it’s always harder to motivate yourself at the end of the day. Interestingly by knowing that I could only do a blog entry if I had something to record on the writing front, was a motivating factor. I guess the fact that I could put down a marker and say “I’ve acheived something today” helps.

I continued the planning of the last two scenes of Easy River to Success, which, as I thought, are now probably going to be three scenes. The plot of these scenes is still a bit tentative, but I think I have some interesting ideas of how Arax can mess up Benetus quite comprehensively and still have the amusing and bitter reveal at the end. Should be quite fun I think. It was definitely worth spending a bit more time on the characterisation of the demon character. Before it wasn’t really a character, just a stereotype, and the only character left in the story was really Benetus. I think this may have been the problem with it.
So more planning of the last scenes tomorrow I think. I will hope to get them a bit tighter. 

Daily Summary: 2nd December 2008. Too Tired to Write!

I managed a good morning session this morning where I pretty much finished off most of the characterization for Arax. I found that in order to work out how Arax would behave I had to work through his encounter with Benetus. This helped a lot as I now have most of the plan for that scene done as well. I’m probably 2/3 of the way through the scene. 

A long hard day at work has left me too fatigued to really do anything tonight. Tomorrow I may actually not be able to do anything. I have a breakfast meeting starting between 7.30 and 8am, and then will probably be darting around at lunchtime, and come the evening I should really be doing a bit of exercise. I’ll have to try to make up for it on Thursday!

Easy River to Success – Title Change?

I’m thinking that I might need to change the title of this short story? Well I don’t absolutely need to, but it might be a good idea. Firstly because I’m changing about half the story so a more suitable title might come out of that, and secondly the title, although quite appropriate, is slightly odd?

On the other hand is there much point worrying about it too much? At least the title stands out. I imagine that most editors will be more concerned about the content of the story than the title. 

Today’s Plan: 2nd December 2008

I probably won’t be getting much done over the next few days as I have a fairly busy work schedule. Today I am at for lunch and then, tomorrow, I have a very early start. I suspect I’ll be lucky to scrape one brief session per day. Ironically it will probably be easier to update this blog than write! Why? Because I feel I need at least 40 minutes ahead of no distractions ahead of me to write properly, whereas a blog can be continued with five or ten minutes here and there.

Today’s plan, if I have time, is to continue with the character work on Arax for Easy River to Success, and then to have a go at rewriting Arax’s scene and the last scene of the story. First though I’ll need to work out some plot elements, such as what does Arax tell Benetus and why, and how does this affect Benetus’s actions in the last scene. 

Daily Summary: 1st December 2008

Well I made some progress today I think. As mentioned previously I think I have worked out some of the problems with “The Easy River to Success”. One of these issues I have had the chance to work on tonight: the character of the demon Arax and I have got quite far. I have his basic background and motivations worked out, I just need to see how this is manifested in his outward personality and behaviour towards Benetus.

This is why Arax is to be avoided:

Arax knows that he is not worshipped, he can gaze into the murky water of the swamp and he never sees a temple or sacrifice in his name. He has never heard a heart-felt prayer come to him with the icy wind that blows through the marsh reeds. No sweet incense wafts up from a quagmire and never on a pale green lilly pad does he find offered nicely cooked fish or prawns, with a touch of spicy sauce.

But, on occasion he does assist those who are truly desperate, wizards such as he, hopeful for power and made bitter and desperate by the circumstances. And for these foolish souls he will pay his own coin to the ferryman, luring him off with entreaties to a pleasant fishing pond or charming stream off the main river, and so the boat on the river will drift slowly on with the wizard still asleep, until it bumps against the channels of the shallow water flowing through his marsh, and there the wizard will awake.

Never trust Arax. His promises are mighty and his powers of wizardry are still greater, but he is never happier than when he sees other ambitious hopefuls lured into bitter defeat. Not a crushing disaster, but a more depressing, frustrating twist that fulfils their stated wants but is contrary to their true desires.