So This ‘Starting’ Thing…The Patchwork Warriors (Ep.2)

I suppose these problems hold true for other genres.

When starting off should I set the scene, or theme of the book

Inquisition

(The above is quite allegorical by the way, I couldn’t keep a straight face and describe this- my problem, I suppose)

Or should the characters be introduced

Character

Character Woman

(Oh for goodness’ sake lady! I’ll grant you; you look the warrior, but at least put some practical battle gear on, like big-mouth up there)

So allegories aside, the decision was made to set the scene.

Now these days most Fantasy works require battles, or fights at least, leading to battles. However, maybe it’s through my reading much military history, but it always strikes me that the adage ‘A plan does not survive first contact with the enemy’ holds true. Also battles start off with scouts, skirmishes, or accidental contacts. Taking these threads into account I wanted to portray a simmering scenario where war would start by an accumulation of events. None of your highbornes  plotting and suchwhichs…. nah! This is more a case them having to catch up and turn up later on. This is about small folk at the sharp end.

Thus the first part of the first chapter centred around ‘An Event’, when this was being written it wasn’t clear if the folk mentioned would even play any further part. They may. Depends on how events pan out. However this is how the tales begins..

 

                   CHAPTER ONE

Translator Pastoral Padragh ClnMyla stepped carefully but with a swiftness born of keeping the Good Lord God’s Wisdom alive in many a mucky urban setting. Although truth be known Yermetz presented quite a challenge in that particular ranking. The town with schemes to become a city, albeit a small one, was relying on its undercurrent of craftiness and willingness of the very poor to do anything for the next meal. So naturally of all the places within his Supervisory this was the one which attracted his attention, so many sorts of conflagrations or deluges could start from a kindling in the summer of discontent or in the winter of damp despair.

Someone loomed out of the shadows of an alley, a cudgel raised, ClnMyla sighed unto himself.

‘The soft fight will serve just as well and less messy to clean up,’ his old tutor had said, wise words made powerful from a man who had suffered much.

“Will you put that down son,” his voice was quiet, but nonetheless certain in its conviction, causing the fellow who had been expecting at least a flinch to pause “Even in this wicked place thumping a Translator Pastoral is not advisable, not good for the image of a town which would be a city,” the man leant forward and peered at his would be victim, a small slight man, steady unruffled “Some local folks would be very angry at you, because an injured or missing Translator Pastoral attracts the attention of very unpleasant people who make careers out of ruining the worthies of small towns,”

“Uuh,” was the response and the cudgel lowered, but raised again, then a pause, a shrug the requisite obscenity and then slinking back into the shadows.

“Thank The Good Lord God for the gift of the tongue and brain being in communion,”

The value of presentation could not be underestimated.

And he went on his way.

This street had seen better days, once a place where folk who had done well for themselves had resided. Then as was the way fortunes declined, forgers of new ones had other preferences and so the street abandoned by fashion and money became one of decaying buildings, whose rooms now collections of individual ragged homes, forlorn fragile businesses and location where folk who did not wish to be known went about their ways furtively.

The house on the corner was in a particularly sorry way. The windows of all three upper floors, a series of broken glassed, rotting window framed dead eyes. Only from the ground floor did the faint flickerings of candles indicate some measure of habitation. Translator Pastoral ClnMyla glanced up to the sagging roof, wondering if one hard knock at the door might cause a structural collapse. But the brief worry was dispelled as the door opened and a thick set form stepped out onto the muddied walkway.

“It’s a great relief to see you Mentor,” the man’s voice ruff by harsh urban life was low all the same, one firm scarred hand moving about the translator’s shoulder to usher him inside while the other quietly closed the door.

“Harrdel man, you should be investing in more candle light hereabouts. This gloom is not good for the soul, mind nor body,” he set one knowing eye on the man “Particularly with your employer’s vocation. Now I suppose, it would be hoping too much to assume he has seen the folly of his way is awaiting me to remit him of his transgressions and beg me to allow him to enter into a devout and sensible life,”

Harrdel shook his head, a grimace visible beneath his long rich moustache, one end of which he tugged nervously.

“Wish it was Mentor, but he’s really done it this time. Just like you warned. He did give way to curiosity and looked too deep for too long,”

“Oh Merciful Divinity! He’s not gone and hung himself now has he? Or is he rolled up in a ball in some corner drooling away?”

Harrdel shook his head again and threw his hands up in helplessness, gestured and the Translator Pastoral followed him down the damp hallway.

“I daresays you would be ready to do something about that, but I reckon this is worse. He’s took flight, and not out the door neither. I was across the hallway tying to work out what sort of meal I could make out of the scraps we’ve got. Firstly I heard a lot of crashing about, so was about to get set to go and see, when there came, well, just like a big hand slapping on wood; not the sort of sound he’s capable of, and then the few of the plates I’ve not had to sell fell off of the shelf, so I dashed over. Had to unlock the door. There was no one there, chair knocked over, his papers all about the place, as if he had finally decided to prise the wooden bars off of his window, no sign of him,” Harrdel stopped at one door “Well, see for yourself,”

One lamp and three resolute candles revealed a long bench upon and about which was a vista of debris; wood, metal, glass, and a scattering of minor gems of various hues. Cast aside from the scene was the instrument of destruction, a large, crude hammer. The translator whistled in low surprise.

“Bleymore did this? It looks more like the sort of thing one of my brothers-in-faith from The Custodian’s Office would have inclined to,”

“It was him,” Harrdel said and handed over a piece of paper, writing in a hasty and scribbled way, ClnMyla squinted in the gloom, tutted set down the lamp and paper on a clear part of the table.

          “The dwellers from the impossible lands of The Fourth Realm are making ready to take advantage of the folly of the incautious. But they have seen me, so there is no waiting, flight is all important, alarms must be raised. Burn down the building, lest they try and make this a pathway. Make common cause with everyone and anyone. The dwellers cannot be stopped, only fought,”

The translator pulled a face and tapped the note against his teeth.

“The poor fellow must have reckoned he’d seen something dire and if you heard no sound of running then he must have fled using one of those fearful devices his sort are always fooling about with. Though The Good Lord God knows what, or for that matter where?”

He had been hopeful Harrdel might have had a suggestion, but instead there was another shrug.

He’d had Harrdel keeping a close watch on this Bleymore ever since the servant had visited ClnMyla on a similar drizzle invested night, to give voice to his troubles and concerns over his employer’s activities. Harrdel’s past had been not uncommonly criminal, typical of this town’s poor but he had of recent times being trying to make recompense and thus an honest life; a certain determined widow being the cause.

Initially the newcomer’s activities involving the Stommigheid had appeared to be relatively passive. Just a simple observer, inquisitive; of course even these acts were not officially tolerated; hence the typical reclusive and furtive habits. Just why Bleymore trusted Harrdel to be around was a bit of a mystery, ClnMyla put it down to the ‘Ways of Folk’.

The Translator Pastoral had initially seen no need to intrude. Learn more about the fellow first.

And now hindsight was having its usual judgemental time. Just what the had the poor soul seen, or worse done.

Now was that his imagination that scuttling which seemed a bit too heavy for rats? Or maybe just a very large rat??

“We’d best get out of here. It looks like your tenure of employment would be over, but don’t you go fretting. The way things seem I’m going to be needing my own set of strong shoulders at the Pastoral Residence, so you can be off to that dependable Widow Darroe and tell her you have a most upright job and a good home for her, and we’ll get poor old translator Goodbee to marry you up; be giving him something placid to do,”

Harrdel didn’t have much chance to voice an immediate opinion, it was ClnMyla’s turn to usher him.

Out and straight away.

This house would be best not occupied. You couldn’t truly be sure if anything had crept through and was now making a nest in the place.

“Oh you’re in for a stern lecture my lad,” the Translator Pastoral said to himself.

 

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The Patchwork Warriors (Ep.1)

Preamble

Here we go then…. The facts only, lest the nerves do fail and allow more diversions…

Ahem….

The first episode of the Patchwork Warrior; contains the Prologue.

This book and subsequent books have their origins in the following previous trilogy:

The Nearly Not Quite Paladins (by R J Llewellyn – searches under the name only will reveal links to academic works and sometimes erotic literature- the writer of this blog stresses he has no link with either in any shape or form being quite ill-suited to either genre). This is how they look (1st lesson -as stated earlier- don’t be lazy with your book covers and hope everyone thinks your choice was in the spirit of irony; it does not work)

 

As stated in earlier posts, these are flawed; and are not recommended for purchase. At one stage I was confident I held control over the supply because the cheapest source was a small retail outlet called Lx51 (and guess who runs Lx51?); but now there is/are second-hand copies which are ex-library which if read literally means that my local library have ditched the free copies donated thus….Oh bother! (said Pooh).

The irreplaceable Rachael Ritchley has taken on the task of reading all of volume one. For this I am at one grateful & humbled

However, you can take one of those free reads at Amazon on each volume to get some more background information, and should anyone(s) want further insights, then I’m sure something can be worked out without you have to purchase a copy. Fer (sic) once I am stone-cold serious, every time a copy is opened for reference…wham!..a spelling, continuity or some other error hits me!!…..But we’ve been over this ground before, let’s get onto the new stuff:

Episode 1 of…..    THE PATCHWORK WARRIORS

A Prologue……

A commentary on some of the compositions of Humanity and its Histories.

They were lost to the World Physical; The Lord God’s Jewel and thus in common with many things became legends, foundations for sayings or arguments for one point or another. For once anyone is seized by History they no longer have any say in their subsequent identities.

Some would have argued since they were all dead it did no matter one jot.

Others contended there was no particular evidence for that status, but they only voiced these thoughts in whispers; speaking such sentiments out loud would at best call question on your sanity, at worse draw your identity to the attention of those charged with maintaining the stability of the realm.

And those so charged would argue, with some justification that stability had been hard fought for. These would say the age of these legends had been one of dangerous foolhardiness. In those days too many had thought they controlled forces which had no business being in the World Physical; The Lord God’s Jewel. The determined officials would maintain it had been a time of too much superficiality about the handling of crises and portents. There had been too much tolerance. Even if there had been warnings a’ plenty for far earlier times, but no one had learnt the lessons. In The Age of Conceits.

All this our officials would say had led to the Age of Retributions; the times when the very existence of Humanity had once more been in doubt. Not just because of the dreadful angers of Nature’s weathers, but from creatures. Creatures of many shapes and diverse cunnings, some native to that blight, others once Humanity contorted by its influence. But it was preached, by faith diligent, courage forbearance and casting off these blighted forces survival had been earned; with no help from any legendary figures, it was said.

Thus the aftermath of the Age of Retributions was proclaimed the Age of Remorse, in which people were now taught ever to be mindful of the path which had nearly led to destruction. They were warned there would be no thinking of legendary figures with fond regard, there would no be wallowing in nostalgia for a time of folly. For had not these alleged legends been found wanting? There would be no, talk of the vague, treacherous and unnatural blight, The Ethereal, now officially termed The Stommigheid. Taken from an ancient northern coastal tongue it translates into Foolishness, a suitable description the authorities thought, with enough of the ominous into its pronunciation to yet again remind everyone that the legends had been based on irresponsible and careless folk.      

This was thus how matters should have been in this Age of Remorse.

Save for the constant which is; There are always those who will use any means to gain power or advantage; some out of ignorance, others being gamblers and some calculators. In this age they shared a trait, to seek out any who dealt in or studied The Ethereal by whatever means it was named, and use them to best advantage; ones who romanced with the Past, the pioneers who believed lessons had been learnt and the future would be brighter

Which brought about the unfortunate comedy of those responsible with the suppression and destruction of The Ethereal, were obliged from time to time to use the self-same force.

A few very quiet and wise commentators would shake their heads and draw the conclusion that in truth nothing in all of Humanity’s long and turbulent history had really changed. The only question being, had Humanity finally run out of Last Chances?

Had the barriers between the realms finally become so fragile? Would there finally be the often predicted rupture allowing the true agents of annihilation to have their sport?

As was not uncommon the answer might well rely on Variables. Unforeseen events in Nature and some who by no intention became caught up in events anyway.

The Variables, as it were.

The factors which oft play a part far beyond anyone’s planning….

End of Episode 1

(Observations of Episode 1.)

Prologues are a tricky thing, and a pain.

Y’know they will be the first thing the reader sees and therefore create the impression and set the tone. Sure, they are easy to rattle off when you are writing for yourself, but when the time comes to clean them up, because you know someone will be reading them…Argh!

I was fiddling and tinkering abut with it for the past 24 hours, (not continually you understand); and could spend possibly another month on the thing….Oh fribbit! I said. Let be done with it!!

Over to you folks

 

 

So About This Book I’m Writing

Harrr-arrh ship-mates! Time to strike out upon the voyage of discovery!! Belay there! Hoist the main sail of the Good Ship Imagination! Look lively ye swabs! Harr-Arrh! Shiver my syntax! Look lively there and haul aboard the plot! Make safe the characters! Belay there ye reflex pronoun of the lubber! Get to the riggin’ an’make good the top sail!! Karrr-st off and wave farewell to yer sweethearts and make rude gestures to the debate-collectors! Avast behind!! (But never say that in the company of ladies, unless you likes getting a kick in the ballast-Harrh-harrr!!…Belay there! And here’s to Davy Jones’ locker, it’s full of notebooks—Harrrr!)

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Pause to reflect; realise one has fallen in far too deep with the metaphors and the allegory; but decide to keep it in as a headline grabber, go and make a cup of tea (four sugars) and continue in a more sober vein- Stupid Reality! Why has it got to go and spoil everything?)

So, the book The Patchwork Warriors, I’m at 40,000+, words and as usual, nothing is going according to plan. Certain elevations in my approach have been made. The chapters are shorter. Deaths are happening to folk I liked. Some villains have depth. Oh, yeh I read this interesting post the other day (and promptly forgot where I read it), but the author discussed the approach of writing dialogue without ending it as ‘he said’ ‘she said’ and so forth, so I have been experimenting with making the conversations speak for themselves; that’s fun. And as it’s a fantasy novel, it is of course Volume One, so I’ve lots of room to have characters come and go to turn up in later volumes.  

However as:

Firstly I am trying to be serious about my writing

Secondly: The reason for this blog is to be something of a warning as to how not to do things

Thirdly As per earlier posts this is the narrative of a book in creation. So future posts will include parts of the book, in a sequential order. You are free to exam these and post comments, and these will be taken on board in the spirit of “Argh! Why did I not see that? Time for a revision” or “Ooh, it works! It works!”. In short positively.

The intention being to ensure I don’t drift off into something else other than writing, and also to share an experience, which it is hoped (as oft repeated hereabouts) will be of use to visitors.

And oh yeh, you get to read a fantasy novel in little bite-sized episodes. In this I like to think I am in the company of Dickens and Dostoyevsky cartoon-guy-laughing-pointing-bent-over-31869170

So some time in the next two days you will see….. 

The Prologue!!latin_3024658b

 

 

The Time of Decision.

After much consideration

I have decided that the ‘S’ is going to go.

Whereas I will continue to navigate the world of writing with all the poise, elegance and constructive foresight of a happy young Labrador loose in an antique emporium, it does not seem fair to assume spokespersonship (not recognise by ‘Word’) for others in the writing community.

In reaching this conclusion I must extend my thanks to

Simon

Sha’Tara

Modern Authors

Nick Verron

Sue Vincent

For their input, suggestions and support.

 

From here on in, it will be the intention to alternate the blog into the following themes;

An up-date on how the current book is progressing. This use of ‘progressing’ is arguable as the word suggests an advance in a steady direction. Nevertheless this will be an account. I will not be offended if there will be readers who will have a notebook on hand entitled; ‘Things To Be Avoided’

Various topics on the question of writing which have attracted my imagination or struck a chord …….

I will try not to repeat those raised in previous posts. Advice which does arise should not always be taken ‘as read’; the reader may wish to refer this to another writer for their opinion.

Finally, though probably not a regular occurrence, will be my adventures in finessing my blog. There can be no possible predictions or statement of intentions as quite frankly I do not have a clue. Although the blog’s first year is approaching this does not take into account my predilection for being able to find for those chaotic and inappropriate option when confronting computer related matters. (F’instance the current avatar arose by accident, so goodness knows what would happen with anything more advanced). The most modest and possibly attainable idea will be to back-track through other people’s blogs looking for advice AND, there does seem to be a WordPress publication in the UK in the form of a magazine which purports to be a beginner’s guide. This last one is quite a challenge as I can no longer blame a possessed laptop for things going wrong.

So for the moment I bid you all a (UK time) good evening, and once again thanks for your interest in this site

A Soldier’s Good-Bye

Be honest folks, this is true poetry in word and vision. (Military folk aren’t machines)

Momentary Lapse Of Sanity

I could hear the weeping willows bellowing

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The look of terror in people’s eyes

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Seemed as stormy as the winter sky .

Gear was packed with clothes, boots, hats…

Shots were administered,

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And M-16’s and body bags were issued for every every soldier going abroad .

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Good-byes were said to family and friends

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And many tears were bled,

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A sick and hideous thought lurked in the back of everyone’s mind—

What will this person going away look like dead?

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Planes were boarded with soldiers gear and all.

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Engines roared signaling preparation for takeoff

Which gave everyone on board a chance to look back at their loved ones

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And seeing that last tear fall from their eye

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Turning around and facing forward the plane began to roll away and there was no looking back!

As the planes were beginning to ascend

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Many broken hearted and fearful soldiers broke down and cried.

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