Writing Your Book-A Journey Barefooted and Treading on Glass under a Hot Sun- facing challenges you’d prefer to avoid

Whereas this post will be about the problem…ok MY problem… with writing sex episodes, this can also be considered as a parallel journey with other passages which are challenging or uncomfortable for the writer.

So once more, notebooks out for entries in your personal Guides to Writing, under sub-sections  (1) Oh man and I thought I made problems for myself (2). Note: Do not do this. (3) Ah, not just me then.

You don’t have to include sex episodes in a novel, personally I feel they look quite weird in some books, but since there is a great deal of sex going on around the world you cannot say the topic is irrelevant or to say in books suitable for adults there are some it cannot fit (fit?) into. When writing in the fantasy genre a portion of your readership are likely to be muttering…’Aww c’mon. Get on with it. It’s gotta happen!’. My own personal response is ‘Will you guys be patient!’

Now if you have been following this blog on and off you may remember my own surprise in ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ at Karlyn and Arketre falling for each other in a big way. It took a few re-reads to realise this had been bubbling in the background, and well after being through danger, destruction and facing death more than once, when they’d finally found a patch of peace and quiet, feelings were bound to be made known.

‘Oh great’, said I. ‘Here I am yet again 67 year old male writer in Problem City…This time lesbian love’….’Oh sure’ says some readers ‘Of course it’s all to do with the plot and sub-text…Yeah, right!’

{Perversely I am so glad I self-publish and am terrible at marketing thus limiting my potential readership and having to explain myself to hundreds}.

Whereas part of me was saying, just lead up to a tentative kiss, close the door on them, then just step away for a day or so, another part of me was saying. ‘An’t gonna work old son; these are a pair of intense folk with their whole pack of contradictions and currently unexplained back-issues. You need to see the detail through as part of their journey. Anyway some readers will say…’Ah-cop out!’ if you don’t’

I complained a lot to myself but by now the book itself and the characters were weighing in. They used that sneaky argument. ‘Challenge yourself!’ all I could reply with was ‘But…but…but,’. They laughed and resorted to, I thought, a rather unnecessary and vulgar analogy with the American use of the word.

Fine! I mean you can research stuff for crime novels, or SF, or military, or…But…Oh my!

At this stage panic set in. What if this part of the narrative ended up contrived and forced? Suppose there were incorrect assumption made? Suppose I got into Cliché Central?

Making sure no one was looking over my shoulder I tentatively perused the ‘Erotica’ section of Amazon, somewhat uneasily selecting sub-genres and so forth. Sampled a few ‘see what’s inside’,s and thought….’Huh! And I was worried about Cliché Central?’ So I checked the reviews (yeh I know not the most reliable source, but what’s a guy to do?). It was then the ‘OK kiddo, we’ve gone this far. It’s download time!’. So checking up on reputation of authors and taking a few more reviews a few 0.99p’s were invested in downloads. I concluded that there was a flourishing market for women writers writing erotica for other women involving women with women. Wow what a relief! Not just adolescent boys and drooling sad men! I’d been overthinking the problem. (Well, be fair it was a reasonable overthink, I mean I’d spent years readings, Heroic Fantasy, history and politics, some things passed me by!)

That sorted. The next issue was, to use the old adage ‘There is a time and place for everything’. Let’s keep this rationed (to the reader I mean, what characters get up to off the page is their business), not prurient because this is a Fantasy-genre novel and let’s give context.

In the first volume, their first intense interlude happened at towards the end of the volume and seemed to introduce a certain element of closure or new horizons. Since this was not ‘just physical’ (OK, so I did listen to Tegan and Sara sometimes when writing, anyway I happen to like Tegan and Sara’s music) there could be sensitivity and romance included. This also allowed me to introduce the slightly roguish element of Arketre’s character as she, in a nice way, seduced Karlyn, who in turn showed another facet of her vulnerable side and in turn there was Arketre’s tender caring side.

Somewhat concerned I released Vol 1 with flag warnings all over the place. Although not flooded with purchases (so what?), not one came back tearing at me for some contrived, male-slavering soft-porn…. Whew!

Vol II. Obviously, this relationship was now set into the narrative. The question was now should the sex episodes continue to be written in? The first answer, well since there had been one in Vol I it followed ignoring them in Vol II might look ‘odd’ as if I’d tip-toed away. I did have some advantages here.

In the first case the two had fallen in love with each other, secondly because they were in the first flush of this relationship, ‘they couldn’t keep their hands off each other’, as the saying goes; this however was not a problem as the fact could be mentioned in asides, reflections and general banter.

Graphic and open description would be restricted to intense situations. I used two episodes both to highlight Arketre’s anxiety  when dealing with The Ethereal / Stommigheid as well as to underline the commitment they had to each other. First: when in a haunted wood just when they were getting snuggly in a tent they were attacked by ‘ghostly creatures’ Karlyn performs a powerful, emotive, exorcism (and sets fire to one), Arketre wants to get out of the wood, ‘like now’. In the dawn’s light Karlyn draws Arketre into back love-making which I tried to illustrate as two people deep in a tenderness of love; erotica with flowers if you like and showing Karlyn as not simply Arketre’s goofy side-kick. Second: the other instance followed an episode where the two had been apart for a very intense ten or so days and at the first chance Arketre positively pounces on Karlyn which is briefly described and to make way for a bit of mischief along the lines ‘Oh we were just exercising’ feeble excuse when Trelli walks in just as they have got decent. She turns this around gently teasing them later on; this also demonstrated Trelli was no longer in awe of the pair and was not the shy retiring prissy flower some may have assumed she was.

And Trelli?

I have to blame Arketre here. Being a soldier with a series of encounters to her name she was quite insistent that Trelli have her own ‘fun’ time too, after all she’d earned, it yeh? (Characters can be so pushy not just with their own parts either).

Wigran, the cause of her abilities, was out of the mix. Trelli was still angry with him, by now he was involved with another and also still a bit scared of Trelli. The poor girl was not getting much chance to hang around with men for long term relationship. What did develop was when Trelli was re-united with Arketre and Karlyn in a new place; she encountered Lord Osavus the son of a Grand Duke. Now I admit to writing in a sudden mutual attraction and ‘sparks’. There again this was taking place in a land close to war, folks emotions were heightened; Trelli was becoming more her own girl, to this young fellow she not only appeared exotic, but much than a ‘silly young thing’. He was being ‘gah-lant and respectful to her and she did like this sort of attention. The dynamic was I admit old fashioned; she in his strong manly arms, welcoming his embrace, her first experience of men, he being a measure reverential and considerate to her entranced by this mysterious woman with ‘powers’. But after all she has been through Trelli deserved a ‘nice’ time (Arketre insisted)

This interlude allowed more character development and insights. Arketre encouraging Trelli (Arketre does carry a contraceptive mix around with her for others and as a dark reminder of one consequence which can happen out rape); Karlyn being quite hostile to Osavus in her protective side of Trelli and suspicion of men’s motives with women. Interludes between any combination any combination of the four providing more depth while taking care to ensure these weaved into the ongoing main narrative.

On reflection when working the re-write and re-reading this post I have realised in taking on this challenge and settling it into the narrative allowed for more opportunities to explore the characters and their relationships to each other. These having ramifications upon other episodes within the tale.

Here therefore is something to bear in mind when quivering on the edge of a challenge or for an uncomfortable part of the narrative. Keep calm. Keep mature. You never know what else will open up.

Keep on writing folks.

Writing Your Book – The Environmental Issue.

Writing Your Book- The Plot Thing

Writing Your Book – Main Characters (You can’t avoid them)

Advertisements

Writing Your Book – Main Characters (You can’t avoid them)

Characters eh?

 

I swear by the blade of Dark Agnes and the pen Robert E Howard I cannot explain why the creative process of writing within me always leads to the principal characters being women. Particularly as it causes some much initial bother.

As a male to mention I find it easier to write women as principal characters in a Fantasy setting and some folk think ‘Uh-huh male in his late 60s writing about fantasy girls…yeh got it!’.

So part-time psychiatrists and psychologists form an orderly Q. Tea and biscuits will be served while you are waiting.

Now it’s no use citing other male authors who do this either in Fantasy or SF for a few commentators are bound to say ‘Yes but the characters are sssso stereo-typical’ or ‘Oh another alpha-female’ (this is often quoted by males who are secretly scared of girls and also are wont take tape measures with them on visits to the bathroom)

The whole business if fraught with difficulties. By happenstance since my work is only destined to be self-published and not as a source of income, therein lies my freedom to continue as my writing muse leads me.

Which is, truth be known, of small comfort.

So let us, dear reader, travel down one writer’s path, signposted ‘Problem With Principal Characters’ and see if by the spirits of The Parallel you can relate with your own problems getting the folk to fit into the narrative.

The first problem most authors meets is they are usually not in the same mould as the character. In my case this would be fairly flash-light- in- one’s- face- obvious, ie how does a male writer relate to a female character? Well in my case having been married to the same gal for 45 years, having two daughters and one granddaughter in her twenties is of some help; having worked in an office environment for 40+ years where the majority of staff were women was another plus. This however does not the answer to all the issues, maybe 15%’s worth in that there as many types of women as there are men, and that surprisingly women and men are different, physically and in perspectives. This as far as I dare go without being lynched (allegorically). So characters might not think as you do, you have to work outside of your own head, imaginations, experience and contemplation on the subject are necessary.

Next problem, when confronting the issue of gender-specific (sorry I’ve been itching to use that phrase, I’m sure I don’t know why) fantasy-genre figures (as opposed to ahem…fantasy figures; heck this post is tougher than was first envisaged!). Now unless we are dealing with the area of comic book novels let us try to avoid the warrior woman who for some reason finds it easier to fight in a costume more suitable to the beach or as underwear; I mean do you know any women who walk about snowy mountains in bikinis or underwear…Uh? So, girls wear clothes, and since I’m setting this in northern climes heavy duty clothes. Why are clothes important in a novel’s narrative, because they in part define the characters.

Yes ‘Characters’. Despite what was written earlier, falling into stereo-types is something to be wary of, we all do it, when it a hurry, or making a point, or…(fill in the blanks). My own solution was to bring in three central characters, each with their own jumble of features. (As I see it, we are all a ‘jumble’ of gifts, flaws, quirks, sensitivities, strengths etc). This avoided the danger of a narrative of many parts ending up revolving around one character. It also allowed me to have characters engage with each on level terms, wherein one could be ‘up’, one ‘down’ and one in the middle, or any permutation, but not always the same ones in the same order.

This is how they panned out in order of introduction:

Karlyn Nahtinee. The standard trope in Fantasy would be the mischievous acrobatic thief who has a heart of gold, a cheeky sense of humour and is a bane to authority. Karlyn’s propensity to set fire to places or folk she thought were ‘evil’ wiped out some of the trope. The principal danger though was for folk to read a few lines and yell… ‘Ha Harley Quinn!!’ or ‘Chiana-Farscape!’. Mindful of this meant a great deal of effort trying work with Karlyn to ensure she did not do things these two would do while still retaining her skewed sometimes comic viewpoint. Bringing a vague back-story that her ancestry might not be all human, explained her ability to ‘talk’ with trees, various animals, birds, insects; smell things which can’t be smelt and walk between worlds. This would evolve with in her a general air of confusion and irritation at the way others see the world. She starts a new career as the assistant to an unconventional Custodian (think inquisitor) Even so the cloud of Harley Quinn still hovers. In a way it’s good, made me concentrate. She still develops, sometimes she shifts in character to a more regal type indicating her possible heritage.

Arketre Beritt: The standard trope; woman soldier/warrior. Women soldiers in Fantasy aside from sometimes being alpha-leaders tend to be hard folk, short on humour, often taller than average and either voluptuous or plain and everyone reading the book is waiting for the ‘right man’ to come along. Arketre was thus shorter than average, pretty, the equivalent of a ‘medic’ with apparently a tender heart, but able to stand up for herself. In short, in common parlance she started out as ‘a grunt’. Initially a counterpoint to some of Karlyn’s more acerbic characteristics, but as time goes on some military truths come out. She is part of an elite organisation The LifeGuard a cross between special forces and secret police like they had an ethical streak.  As a solider she complains about the equipment, she moans about officers, she dislikes being left without orders when she has responsibility. She sometimes kills in a rather unsettlingly detached manner. She can suffer from the ‘red mist’. She was content as a ‘medic’ but embraces the role of fighter. She is volatile. She has been made suited to war. But she will not let her friends down. She is ill-at-ease with the power Karlyn and Trelli embrace or come to terms with.

Trelli, aka Trelyvana Waywanderer: The innocent abroad. A once humble housemaid who accidentally ended up with powers and became the focus of a hunt by officialdom in the form of the Arketre’s LifeGuard and Karlyn’s Custodian, which is how all three meet. This type of character can spend their time being terrified, rescued and being the recipient of long involved explanations. Yes, she was terrified, yes, she was sort of rescued by the other two, but shows an ability to grow up very quickly and have the good sense not to take her powers for granted even to be suspicious of them. She also brings a level of domestic practicality and is therefore a sometime leader of two otherwise very assertive but mule-headed folk. She can reach a ‘enough is enough’ stage and speak her mind, forcibly. Somewhere along the developing of her back-story she became an orphaned babe whose parents were of what we would call sub-Saharan Africa. Living in a modest but thriving port town in a sort of European setting fitted in to this origin. Most of the time the colour of her skin simply does not matter. In the environments she encounters it is ability which counts.

The three of them were thus learning to interact, sometimes leader, sometimes being lead, bonding, while stumbling through a web of situations which none of them had much understanding. This enabled more development of quirks, foibles, strengths and general characteristics. Thus by the second book I felt I knew the three of them quite well, although each would surprise me from time to time. Trelli is asserting herself and not to be pushed around by various authorities, Karlyn struggling with her ancestry while Arketre becomes subsumed in the aggressive side of soldiering (and we learn she had been quite the rogue when off duty).

Fantasy wouldn’t be Fantasy without romance which was another problem for me when one involved Karlyn and Arketre. Aside from trying to avoid prurient, set-piece, out of context gratuitous scenes (that’s a whole different post!), there was now the dynamic of not having Trelli as the proverbial third wheel. This was an issue, but gave me a greater opportunity to bring out Trelli’s strengths, level of compassion, friendship and maturity. In addition this gave cause for a sisterly/friendship bond between her and Karlyn; Karlyn confessing she thinks Trelli understands the relationship the ‘the power’ better than Arketre, now Karlyn’s lover.

As the second volume involved a great deal of action, the three were relying on that original bonding dynamic to keep each other and themselves alive (Actually Trelli has her own romantic ‘moments’ which also allowed for some divergence of opinions between Karlyn and Arketre and added depths to their own characters).

Thus by the time this second Volume comes to an end I felt I had three people, who all happened to be women, one of whom had black skin, one of whom might not be quite human, two of whom were involved with ‘powers’, one of whom didn’t like those powers and two of whom developed a lesbian relationship and all three relying on each other to survive.

Two books in it has been quite a journey. Another book is twitching away to start. The challenge, not to repeat the same events of the first two in different places and different times. There will probably be a large scale disturbance of the empire which should present opportunities.

I think I have avoided stock-characters in the three.

But is an author ever certain? Not when they have to read through the narrative again to look out for spelling mistokes, typos, syntax issues etc.

Hope this is of some use to compare and contrast.

Writing Your Book – The Environmental Issue.

Writing Your Book- The Plot Thing

Of Protagonists, The Unexpected and The Go-Figure (Adventures in the World of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”

One of the advantages of having no illusions about ever being a great success (as opposed to dreams and wishes that is) in writing is one is able to experiment and not be afraid whichever what-way matters go. Once more, dear reader and fellow writer, feel free to take out notebook and notate either ‘Hey I must try that’ or ‘No, must avoid that’ or ‘Oh boy that is so not going to work for me!’. To repeat my blog is all about pitfalls, wrong turnings, but best of all ‘Wow! The blessed thing actually worked! Who’d thought it??’ So gentle follower let us take another sojourn, shall we?Williamterriss7

Many successful and also good writers (the two do not necessarily go together) will hold fast to the idea of there being at least one strong protagonist. To have a hero or central character who forges though a book with no particularly effective opposition is not going to work. (unless the writer might be the latest Commercial Thing- which we are not are we?)   This is a good point and is undeniable.

Once more I have to admit, villains are my weak spot, they are there to be humiliated or slaughtered. Morally, elastic types who drift between ethical and legal borders, not so bad with those. Real fearsome, terrifying, evil folk…..not going to have a good time in my pages, if they do hang around it’s only to suffer…So sue me.200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Anyway, a solution to this dilemma and to give my characters more to do than just than having a fun time or a challenging romp? Ah there was the rub! (Pause for Shakespearean interlude of silent staring off-stage).Othell0-8_2-1924-Jago

Now speaking for myself I read a history, mostly military, and after reading a lot of this it began to dawn, very little every goes to plan. In fact, after many amendments to the original we have the military saying, ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’ (the original is much longer and slightly turgid). Thus, it occurred to me in the real world would you have a seemingly all-powerful and cunning protagonist whose plans went along so smoothly until the last few heroic efforts of the central characters?…. Nah! Great military geniuses and shrewd political operators were often wrong footed by the unexpected and had to adapt… if they were that good at their job!

To get around my prejudice (yes, it is a prejudice, must admit it) I thought about the many events in history and how these overwhelmed the participants maybe permanently, maybe temporarily and set the protagonist as The Situation the world was in.

To re-cap or to introduce. The World, which is ours set in a future at some stage was overwhelmed by a force which has many names (Ethereal, Stommigheid to name but two). Its true nature is not to date revealed, however can be utilised by machines, mind or physical effort, but NOT, NOT controlled. Think of an ocean or a river, think of water. Now in this future the World may be split or have given rise to other satellite worlds as a result of the arrival of this force, which is subject to its own relationships to the Universe and using the Water analogy there are tides (aka tydes- just liked the ‘y’) and storms. The stories are taking place at one of these junctures.

The first volume……..

Patchwork (See Amazon Kindle for your copy of ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’)

understanding-anger_183x90_184933693(if he does that again, I swear….)

set up the central characters, a familiarity on how this force affects the world and also an insight into some of the life forms other than what we might think of as human. This second volume looks into how the coming turbulence is affecting the plans, strategies and intentions of disparate folk, organisations, and races. The principal theme here is that no one is control, there are no superior beings, everyone is in the same boat, most just don’t realise it, they are floundering, or adjusting all the time.

Thus my central characters are working in constantly shifting states, whereas they remain true to reach other. The often comic and wacky Karlyn is drifting or being driven closer to learn about her background; Every Soldier Arketre is being shunted up the ladder of responsibility and getting some tough orders. While Trelli is still continuing her journey of discovery and adaptability to her new ‘powers’ although her journey parallels her two comrades she has a more ethical dimension to cope with. Not that matters are any easier for Karlyn and Arketre whose actions are decisions are always overlaid by their emotional and physical love for each other. They, all three are facing the ramifications of actions by several agencies and individuals, who themselves are linked in some case.

Yeh, great fun. The challenge is to keep the whole business fairly easy to follow. No one cares for a book which has them going ‘Huh?’ Confused person on Brexitand then flipping back through a few chapters to find out who was what, doing which then. Nor do they like to read a narrative interrupted by a brief resumé of that character’s actions another few chapters back. Lavery_Maiss_AurasNope it all needs balance. AND making sure the central characters aren’t swamped by everyone else’s business.

In fact, at times writing this novel seems to have parallels to writing a history. The basic facts have to be there, the important characters must be given their full due, but attention must be given to those lesser folk who turn up and spoil everything AND there are always circumstances outside of any player’s control; usually weather. (smart folk should always take into account weather, it happens)

This makes for a degree of flexibility too, as you never know who will rise to the occasion and who will get overwhelmed and fall out. The only spoiler I have three is the continual presence of the three centrals Arketre Beritt (solider), Karlyn Nahtinee (adventurer and enigma) and Trelli (Professional Name Currently Trelyvana Waywanderer, and she’s regretting choosing it. The Everyone of the saga).

The best part is, there I am wandering about the house doing my share of chores, when suddenly I get a ‘Hey! ‘They’ would do ‘that’. Of course ‘they’ would,’ interlude, which was not planned, but bubbled up from the whole brew.

I just love writing by the proverbial seat of my laptop. The first draft was OK, but now the real fun has begun.

So I thus end with a familiar refrain. You can think about this approach. You can shake your head in sad despair at my hapless ways. You can recoil in horror and sprinkle your laptop screen with sacred coffee (or tea) at such heresies. Your choice.  Just do me one small favour.

Keep writing. Never, ever give up on your writing.

Wishing you Good Journeys People!

Winning Back Your Novel (Adventures in the Writing of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”)

Winning Back Your Novel (Adventures in the Writing of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”)

 

Pencils and notebooks out time folks.Victorian writing

Here is another delve into my writing career (the word for me in uncomfortably close to ‘careen’). For you to take note of, or…if you so wish to say ‘Nah…I wouldn’t do it that way!

For those of you who have been familiar with my blog know full well how much of a problem I have with THE PLOT. This item coming down the list of priorities in my writing. Characters- no problem, narrative not so bad, humour- loads of it.

Plot?

Hmmm.

Anyway, as alluded to in my previous post having completed the first draft of Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire I began to address THE PLOT. And in doing so a suspicion was finally confirmed.

Not only had my characters started to influence my writing, as in the previous volume ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Book Cover 9

(See Amazon Kindle “Of Patchwork Warriors” by R J Llewellyn)

fed_up_woman-620x412
I wish he wouldn’t do that

where they had snatched a sub-text and turned it into an entire facet of the plot; in this case they had taken hold of the whole durn book.

It’s not that I mind them having their moments of glory, adventure, romance, humour, clever schemes and narrow escapes, after all it is those aspects which give a book its flavour and zest. The issue in contention here being they felt inclined to fill every corner up with how they saw things and coped with them, BUT not allowing me to explain WHY these things were happening. Or if I did get a sentence in, matters came across as hurried and ‘Oh By The Way’ the empire is falling over and the emperor has gone vicious for no apparently good reason and I appear to have lost three minor characters who were to have conveyed certain major plot elements. Either that or there was only enough space for some other lesser characters to gather and engage in cryptic or enigmatic conversations.

(At this stage I should point out to new readers; it is my opinion I do not create these characters, they exist in another part of Creation and by some wonderous osmosis we have tuned into each other. You will appreciate I have a mixed blessing here.)

At first there was a problem of shoe-horning in ‘facts’ of the current geo-mystical-political situation in the world of this story. Some characters were unhappy at having bits of their own favourite business cut out and tried to be awkward in obstructing the flow of the narrative. Then there was the issue of avoiding the dire ‘Let me explain’ in which one previously minor character stands up and proceeds to suck the oxygen out of the flow by explaining some history or process with all the verve of a bad lecturer in economics; some successful authors get away with this; I’m not successful.

So stern and tough-love measures had to be taken, being the one who knew the world in which these stories were taken place I contrived to throw in events which I knew would fit in but were surprises to the characters. This did cause some flummoxing amongst the cast, so much so they quite overlooked me cutting out chunks of their personal activities and speeches. As is the case in normal life, they had to deal with the random and unexpected.

Since the narrative was now back in my hands I started to inject the themes encountered in history, not events, themes. Reading of political and military histories suggests there is a constant unpredictable factor be it natural such as weather, unknown folk rising suddenly, or established subordinates thinking ‘I Know Better’ and going off on a tangent; in addition you must also consider bodies of folk who have not read or forgotten the script. There is a military adage that no plan survives first contact with the enemy; thus the notion of some all-power (usually grinning) who until the last chapter is two steps ahead of the hero(es) goes straight out of the window.

In this novel there are Patchwork (ooohh, where have I heard that word before?) alliances which are fragile and not based on trust and no one is really in control of the situation, because no group really wants to work for another group. This gives an air of uncertainty and makes for interesting situations, hopefully the reader will as all writers hope ‘want more’.

This comes with its own set of problems.

For a start off it’s necessary to make sure every character is an individual but none of the lesser ones steal the plot in some unexpected way.

Secondly there should not be too much plot and sub-plots lest the reader eventually thinks….Uhh? and finally……Hah! Who cares!…..

Thirdly, structure. Even in chaos, there is structure. In writing this part of the series I ask myself a hard question. Would the background stand up to an historian’s scrutiny as a possible series of plausible events?

Jerk
Err?

Still, nothing worthwhile in writing comes easy. At least it shouldn’t.

So far, so sort of good. There has been a lot of alteration and some deletion of banter and ‘business’. However, the atmosphere of crisis and varied approaches to it is starting to seep in; it is meant to seep in, all being well this series is a long haul (heck I’m only 67, plenty of time). And the central characters?

They are struggling to keep balance and focus (Well apart from Karlyn, but if you knew her you would  not be surprised. This said she is not going to be allowed to scamper and giggle through the whole lot; even if she is difficult to rein in).

In conclusion.200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Never be afraid to let go on a tight narrative. Life is not ordered, predictable or convenient, so why should you story?

Re-rewrites, Highlights and Reality-Bites (A journey through writing of The Skirmishes of Lace, Steel and Fire-Part II of a Fantasy )

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’….Trelli Speaks

‘Yes, Arketre I’ll do it now. Promise. Honest,’
Oh, she’s a dear friend, but I’m not inclined to her ‘Soldiers have to get on with it’, approach on account of not being one. In fact not starting out as anything to do with heroics, which I now understand is standard fayre for this sort of tale. Nonetheless, I have to say the circumstance is not making anything easier for me.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Trelli, recently when feeling a bit giddy and fed up of a lot of people telling me what to do I changed my name to Trelyvana Waywanderer which thinking back was a bit of silly move, what is sillier though is folk taking the name seriously. Although I don’t suppose that should be so surprising as the whole thing is very, very, very odd.
You will have read comments from other folk involved in this book ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ and some will have told you they chanced upon it, other volunteered, or were sent ‘here’. As for myself, I don’t know how I got ‘here’. One morning I woke up, as usual, will all the memories of my quite good time as a housemaid then sort of housekeeper at the Hendrechan household. Then I found myself involved in this tale of unnatural powers, adventures, escapes, escapades and all the business which goes with it.
In the tale, I often am found saying ‘I don’t know how’ and words like those. Well, truly ‘I don’t know how’. It is a very good thing my friends are Karlyn and Arketre otherwise it would be a very messy business indeed. I did not really know what I was supposed to say about the book, until Arketre said ‘Jus’ say what on yore mind sweetie’ in her usual kindly way.
It’s the author or whatever he is supposed to be who annoys me most of the time. Let me explain something there.
He keeps giving me powers without explaining just how or why very much. He has me doing things which I am sure wouldn’t be that easy for a person to do who had only just got involved in such business. I don’t even have a proper training narrative, no wise person to help me along and it might look good to see a previously simply housemaid (nearly housekeeper) go up against a horrid lord, but it is a most upsetting experience when you don’t know what the frib you are doing!
Then there’s the romance stuff! Of course, he assumes that every humble housemaid (would have been housekeeper shortly!) must be looking to fall in love with any likely fellow who turns up. There was this ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ stuff with Wigran, well I had to put my foot down on any sloppiness there! I told the writer ‘Look! You snatch me out of my good living and spoil my career prospects. You bust up my comfy little town. You have me witness all sorts of unpleasant things; have you ever tried to prepare breakfast with dead bodies about the place? You have me lifting half houses and other very trying acts…and after all that you expect me to flutter my eyelashes and coo after some lad who’s had an easy time in the whole spiffling book! Then you have me thinking the most improper thoughts in the most difficult of situations. Personally, I would never do such a thing!’
Yes, it is an adventure which is a thrill and Karlyn is my really good friend. I admit it was kind of him to have me use my domestic skills to make sure Karlyn and Arketre didn’t fall unhealthy (and Arketre a healer too!). That said I do expect for the writer to have a bit of reality with this romance and bawdiness business, just not comfortable with it at this stage. It’s ok for Wigran him being a young male in a large city with lax morals, it’s fine for Karlyn and Arketre who have had…ah…more experience of that part of life but I would like a bit of chance to just get used to everything.
I hope he listens, this author, but he does remind me of Wigran, dashing off in all directions without much planning. I mean he made a right mess of that last edition of the book and he was supposed to have published a new edition by now!
I would never let him in my kitchen!
Or trust him cleaning the best crystal.
Still, I’m not giving up on the tale, he dragged me in here, so I am fribbing well staying, and am going to make sure any romances will be believable ones!
Men!….Humph!!

And I am not going to tell you buy the book, while it is in such a state. So you’d better wait for the silly fellow to get himself sorted out in the next few days

‘Guess y’all kin call me a Patchwork Girl’ LifeGuard Arketre Beritt reflects.

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

An Author’s Concerns

‘Guess y’all kin call me a Patchwork Girl’ LifeGuard Arketre Beritt reflects.

I told the writer, he of an excess o’ names, that I was gonna have mah say ‘cause ‘Kitlin’ (that’s Karlyn to you) was fussin’ me to do so, an’ he starts to get agitated ‘bout the way I speak an’ sayin’ I should tone down mah accent.

‘Why’s tha?’ I say

‘Because people will say no one talks like that,’ he says in a nervous manner

‘An these people,’ I say in a polite but firm way ‘They’d be from Sudd-Hengestatia?’

At this juncture he gets all flustered an’ starts going on about the way some folk speak or are portrayed as speakin’ in his world and I point out I am NOT from his world, thus what the frib’ is he worryin’ fer?

He exits ‘bout then

(Though I did promise to speak a measure more refined when the occasion did require)

So, anyhows I am Arketre Beritt. I am actually serving in the LifeGuard, tha’ an’t made up. In point o’ fact I was posted into this narrative on account of the original girl styled as military was too cute, an’ always cheery. Y’all try an’ be cute and cheery when up to tryin’ to save a life yer up to y’ arms in innards an’ all that resides in them. Damn foolish idea! Anyways I get called over by my Major an’ he tells me I’m gonna be takin’ part in one of your world’s books an’ jus’ be myself, what he meant by that I am not rightly certain.

‘My Major,’ I say ‘I’m not expected to exhibit tactical genius nor be orderin’ whole armies ‘bout the place am I? Because that stuff is not in a medician’s purview,’

An’ he just says with a sliver of a sly smile.

‘Jus’ be yourself Medician,’

Bein’ typical military they don’t go giving me full details, so I turn up into this narrative and do my best getting’ into the flow of it, an’ Thank The Good Lord God they do put me in a typical LifeGuard setting to start with, even fittin’ bits of mah own life in, which was kina helpful, with all the midden what’s goin’ on around me. This Stommigheid, or as we in the LifeGuard call it The Astatheia being the main pain in my backside, because next thing I’m knownin’ is the whole damn thing is Reality, leastways as far as Reality as any of us kan be expected to perceive.

This would have been some cause for compliant save for me meetin’ with Karlyn. Now I’ve had mah fair share o’ conquests and interestin’ interludes, like any good LifeGuard trooper, but she is somethin’ special. An’ folks that’s all y’gonna know. I told his writerness ‘Course y’all should damn well write ‘bout us getting’ together. S’obvious an’ it? Y’all pay attention to the fribbin’ narrative willa? But don’t y’all go puttin’ unnecessary details in. T’aint dignified’

He did not argue over that.

Then there’s Trelli, an’ she is the sweetest most trustworthy friend y’ could hope to ever have. She’s of a kindly nature too, which is good since us other two tend to get a bit rough an’ prone to physical retribution upon anyone who gets in our way, so she calms us down, at times. Except when she gets fierce, then folks ‘Everyone duck!’

On the whole it’s not bein’ so bad, as a trooper’s life goes, an’ getting’ to make decisions of a minor tactical nature was bound to happen I suppose. Makes a change from curin’ Particular Boils, checkin’ back-ends for worms along with all the other woes that befall bodies. Though I’m guessin’ there’s gonna be a whole more of a sewer’s worth dropped on mah poor blonde head at some stage, wouldn’t be army life otherwise.

Some of the others had been agitating about this marketing hoo-hah, which I was none too excited about, I mean how would you like to have lots of strangers knowin’ all about your personal details an’ activities an’ those doubts and fears we’re all plagued with. Point ‘o fact since it’s become apparent that Dozy Fingers  the Writer messed up with his publishin’ process, there’s a whole stop on that side o’things. Kan’t say, I’m surprised at a foul-up having been in the army for a few years, jus’ fribbin’ glad he an’t mah officer. An’ kan’t say I’m too bothered ’bout the business either, someone will sort it out; someone always will. In the meantime, I’ll keep on keepin’ my and my folks delicates intact.

Come to think o’ it. The whole thing is like The LifeGuard.

Anyways, take mah advice an’ steer clear of the book until someone tells y’ it’s all sorted out.

Be seein’ y’.

 

An Author’s Concerns

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Hi Karlyn here!!

‘Lo everyone! I said I’d be back didn’t I?

For meself, speaking personally, I was pleased  wiv’ the way ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ went. There was a lot of running about, thumpin’ blokes wot deserved it, stabbing a few an’ I got to climb up as many trees as I wanted to AN’ talk to so many really interesting and clever bees and butterflys. AN’ a made a really best good friend Trelli, who understands me. And is kindly an’ sweet.

AND ‘course there was (hee-hee) Flaxi, whose proper name is Arketre but she’s got this lovely blonde hair! So my pet name for ‘er is Flaxi!….But I’m not supposed to say too much ‘bout us ‘cause Flaxi’s particular about HOW much you lot should know. She says ‘I don’ want to go a walkin’ about their bedrooms do I naw? So they can jus’ use their Good Lord God-given imaginations!’– she can get a bit snippy y’know.

Anyways, so this lad Roger gets sniff of all the tydes and such wots and starts to put them together, us putting him right from time to time. Sometimes I had to give ‘im one of them allegorical smacks on the ‘ead. I told him straight ‘I don’t care wot a rommm-Kommmm is in your world sunshine, it won’t do for us!’ then he got in a sulk an’ then a panic and starting wibblin’ about the place ‘bout ‘is own ideas! Well I just laughed, harshly, an’ threatened him with a half-finished book. I says ‘We’ll walk out on y’know. Leave y’ Bee-refted an’ all forlon, just like an unwatered flower!’ so ‘e does as he’s told (Well, actually ‘e had Flaxi lurkin’ over his shoulder an’ whisperin’ fings like ‘Dontcha y’all go writin’ no stuff for the boys to get over-excited about naw,’).

An’ then later on he got another bit of panicky ‘bout ‘ow I was like some characters in more well-known stuff in ‘is world, then I says ‘Huh! If y’’ asks me seems like they’s more like me! Only not as variable’ well that confused ‘im, so he shut up and got on wiv writing, like a good lil’ doggy.

Mus’ tell you! We ‘ad so much Hooo-Hah wiv the cover! Y’see Roger thought ‘e’d try ‘is own an’ did all of these photographs, which I ‘elped ‘im wiv, ‘cas although the lad is a sproggle-head like me ‘e’s all for allegorical an’ symbolisms. But when I shows the rest of the folk  the draft photos there was all sorts of grumblin’ and objections. Trelli wanted to know if that was supposed to be ‘er undershirt, ‘cas it looked common an’ unsanitary, an’ Flaxi complained the whole fing looked like ‘alf of the latrine pit was showin’. Then The Captain (that’s Dekyria), well ‘im being all stern and correct says there should be outlines and silly-outettes of grim lookin’ figures with swords an’ stuff. Well, I told ’em all straight, ‘Look’ I says ‘We’ve got a noodle-hutch doin’ this. Do you fink ‘e can organise that sorta clever stuff? You’ve been wiv ‘im for a year now..right?…If we push the lad too much, ‘ee’ll jus’ go and panic an’ take one of them Amazon stock photos an’ claim everyone will get the Hi-roh-nee!’ Now that put ‘em all in line!

Then our brave author finally gets the whole thing on Amazon on the Kindly only to think that is the end of it! So we have to tell the boy all ‘bout marketing an’ raising profiles. Then ‘e does ‘is annoying ‘Yes. Of course. I’ll get on with it’ and puts some stuff out on the Wordly Press an’ reckons job’s a good ‘un! SO we have to good back an’ ask him wot ‘bout Twitter, Tumbly (or sum fing) an’ that Face Book. He tries to sneak out of that by getting on a box an’ going on ‘bout the tox-i-city of Social Media, whatever that means!

Then he starts giving books away (or downlumps, I dunno) an’ that gets The Guv’Nor (That’s MR. Silc to you lot!) cross, him bein’ all for for money in the bank, but you’ll be readin’ from MR Silc soon, so watch out!

Anyways, I’d luv to stay an’ chat a lot more ‘bout all the good stuff we got up to, an’ answer yer questions but ‘is Sproggleness is workin’ on the second book an’ ‘e’s getting’it all wrong again, so I gotta go an’ do some allegorical ‘ead-smacking, if y’ know wot I mean.

There’ll be some more folk along wiv’ their piece to say, probably more ‘bout marketing and making everything know more…. I reckon it’s a b it of an’ opeless task and we gotta play the long game an’ maybe in like a ‘undred years it’ll all get discovered…. Well a ‘undred of your years, not ours ‘cause we’s different.

See ya!

PS: Don’t ferget to tell everyone one ‘bout us! Y’ can tell we’re more lively than ‘e made out!

Book Cover 9An’ this is the book…. ‘Of Patchwork Warriors!’ S’ on Kindly. An’ it don’t cost that much, so wot you gotta loose I says….And if anyone says in that snotty sorta voice ‘Oh five How-Wars of my Life which Hi shall nevah get back’ an’ then think they’ve been clever, I’ll be ’round to talk wiv’ em if y’ get MY MEANING…. I can y’know, being Eeefereal an’ all.

An’ I gotta a body-count too.

Bye-bye

An Author’s Concerns