Greetings all! Passing along news and notes about the ongoing work of The Tome of Greystone.
I occasionally listen to a podcast called “Writing Excuses” featuring my current favorite-author-in-the-world Brandon Sanderson and a group of several of his author friends. They discuss everything from the mechanics of writing genre fiction to specific aspects of writing to getting published, and do it in a very funny, easy going way (their motto is “Fifteen minutes long, ’cause you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart!). A few months back I heard a Writing Excuses episode where the crew was discussing how they track details for characters and plot lines when writing epic tales. One of the authors (it might have been Brandon) described a non-internet wiki tool called WikidPad, and I decided to give it a shot.
After about a month of using WikidPad, I am hooked. Not only is the tool freeware, it is incredibly easy to use. It allows you to type page after page of freehand notes in any format you want while hyperlinking pages together by keyword using terms with DoubleCaps. So in the end I have a sprawling intra-net of linked pages for people, places, events, etc. that I can add to at will, forming a formal reference book for the Tome of Greystone.
Of course, maintaining it is a large task in and of itself, and one that I am having to squeeze in at odd hours of the night. But I think it will be well worth it as the books grow in size and complexity. If any of you have a project or hobby that requires the management of lots of minutia that could benefit from an internet-style linking scheme, I highly recommend WikidPad. It’s going to come in very handy when I need to remember where Renald the drowning wagon guard lived, how I first described King Balon’s silver-red sword Thundercrest, the exact words of the disappearing grandmother in Gilston, or the odd occurrence of thunder over the Ash Barrows… all without having to thumb back through the entire book searching for answers. Sweet.
In other developments, I am still moving ahead with Knights and Watchers while I intermittently re-read and continue to make corrections in Emergence. Still shocked that I am constantly uncovering small mistakes and typos in Emergence after four read-throughs. Yikes! But with 125k words, I guess I need to cut myself some slack.
I am totally pleased with how things are progressing in Knights and Watchers. I got to my first “monster” scene a few days ago, introducing one of the two main types of evil creatures that will be making life miserable for the hero characters in the future. The scene involved a steaming pit and multiple near-death experiences, and came out pretty stinking scary! Which is what I was going for. More importantly, I have never seen an creatures like it in fantasy novels. My oldest friends out there can attest to the fact that the one thing I used to lack in the world of fantasy and role playing games was originality; I simply stole the best ideas of every single other creative person in the fantasy genre! But not this time. So far, I can happily say that most of the things I have written seem very original.
But please correct me, early readers, if I am wrong!
More to come soon! I am about to get feedback from a couple of local Cincinnati-area early readers, and I will share their thoughts here on the blog. And in even more exciting news, I am planning to attend a fiction writer’s group next week to share some (or all) of Emergence. The more feedback the better!