You cannot smell the roses in the hours before dawn. It is only when sunlight touches the vast blossoms, each as large as a human head, that crowd the tallest branches of the Hedge, that the petals loosen. The perfume seeps out into the air then, first as a hint of sweetness, then stronger.
By midmorning, the smell is so intoxicating that approaching enemies lay down their arms and sit, staring into the air, nostrils flared, breathing, smelling. It grows heavier and heavier throughout all the day, and only begins to ebb when the sun completely slips below the ocean horizon to the west. The Hedge borders the Rose Kingdom on three sides, and on the west is that blue line.
The rewrite of the first book, whose tentative working title is Beasts of Tabat, is off to Seth the fabulous agent, so I’ve started messing with the second book. It’s got the love triangle I mentioned in an earlier post, and I’m contemplating the somewhat odd strategy of having it start, chronologically, at a time point somewhere in the middle of the first book, and show some of that action from a different viewpoint. Crazy? Maybe, but I think it’ll be interesting to try.
Itinerary for the 2011 SteamCon! A reading from The Moon’s Accomplice, Writing Steampunk For Fun & Profit, The Time Machine, Rustproof Steampunk, The Hollow Earth: From Verne to Poe and Beyond Continue reading
A scene from early on, illustrating one of the dangers of the wilds near Tabat: parasitic fairy bites. Continue reading
As many of you know, I am working on a Big Fat Fantasy Trilogy and chunks of it have become my write-a-thon goal. I hope to have a complete rough draft by the end of July and am well on track for that. Interspersed in the narrative are little set pieces. I thought I’d share a recent one and mention that if you support me in the Clarion West Write-a-thon, you will get at least two more of these AND the first three chapters of the book over the course of the Write-a-thon, even for the smallest of donations. Continue reading
Posted in blogging, clarion west, free fiction, Moon's Accomplice, online fiction, Tabat, Uncategorized, write-a-thon, Writing
Tagged clarion west, fantasy tea shops, write-a-thon
And all along the side of the boat, on the inside of the railing, were pictograms scratched by former prisoners. Some were easy to decipher: Six Flowers, Sun and Rain, Riverfern. Others were harder, lacking an established alphabet. A clamshell might be that, or some other concept, or food, or the sea, and coupled with what could have been a candle or eel or sprout, who was to know the precise name of the former prisoner, fate as unknown as Shyra’s, who had scratched that, in letters no more than a fingernail high, in the space beside the hasp to which Shyra had been secured for the duration of the journey? Continue reading
This is from the BFFT (Big Fat Fantasy Trilogy). I have the first book completely blocked out now, so I’m going to fill in all the blank spots, then block the next and do it and so forth. Anyway, this is from early in the book and is the first appearance of Teo, who is a major character. I’m actually switching my Clarion West writeathon goals over to novel chunks to make them a bit more in alignment with my highest priority, which is finishing this trilogy.
One of the things I’ve been doing is reading other big sprawling fantasy novels: the Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson Wheel of Time series, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, Pat Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, David Edding’s Belgariad and Robin Hobb’s work. I’m trying to figure out what makes for a successful series of fantasy books. What other series would you suggest looking at? Continue reading
Posted in Moon's Accomplice, Tabat, Writing
Tagged brandon sanderson, david eddings, fantasy novels, fantasy trilogies, george r.r. martin, pat rothfuss, robert jordan, robin hobb, Tabat, the moon's accomplice
We’re coming up on the end of the Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction class I teach at Bellevue College. Tonight’s the next to last session. In earlier sessions we’ve talked about the writing process, story parts and mechanics, delivering information, characters, description, and worldbuilding. A number of past blog posts have come out of those classes: 5 Things to Do in Your First 3 Paragraphs, Active Verbs, Foreshadowing and Establishing Conflict, Plotting and Re-plotting Stories, Three Strategies for Snaring the Senses, Three Things that End a Story Well, Using Random Tools Like Stumbleupon For Rewriting, and Why Titles Matter. Continue reading
It was one of those rainy days that make up most of Tabat’s spring, a day when the clouds hung so low that the city’s upper terraces were shrouded in fog. When Nicolas started up the foot of Salt Road, it was clear, but as he ascended, the white mist around him thickened and he found himself breathing in cold moisture that made his lungs feel as sodden as the thick wool coat he had imprudently chosen that morning, thinking it would snow and he’d want the warmth. Continue reading