Word Counts

So for the longest time I have worried myself with word counts. In the past, I’ve always tried to keep a quota of at least 3000 words per chapter, but this is becoming a burden. I found myself starting to structure my stories around trying to hit that quota rather than writing the story that I wanted to write. Occasionally some good has come out of it by forcing me to think of some interesting plot points to expand on, but more often than not, it becomes a headache as I try my best just to make up fluff in order to fill out this limit.

A good story doesn’t require a specific amount of words, either maximum, or minimum. What it needs is what is appropriate and what the writer feels comfortable with. If they look at the story and it is a thousand words long, but they’re satisfied with their creation, then they’ve written the appropriate amount of words. The same goes for an expanding tale that covers the life of a character and spans hundreds of thousands of words. If the author believes that they have done a good job, and not only enjoy writing it, but reading it as well, then I believe that they’ve hit that appropriate amount of words.

Writing for me has always been a passion, not a hobby, not a job, but something that I have loved doing ever since I was young. It has evolved over the years, but in these recent months, I’ve found the insight that I have cast on my own writing to have helped me to enjoy it more than ever. I’m slowly losing the chains that I had which tied me to what I believed others’ expectations were and just doing what I want, because I want to, otherwise there’s not really much point in it.

As soon as that passion we have becomes tedious, a chore, that is when we need to take stock of what we’re doing, and find out if we’ve outgrown it, or are doing something wrong, and I know I have not outgrown writing. When I think of what I love to do, it is always the first in my mind. Everything about it is what I have centred my life around.

So I’ve decided to forgo this word limit, and this chain. Instead, I have actually found that I have been writing more in a chapter now that I’m no longer constantly looking down at the word count, or up at the clock to see how close I am to my ‘average words per hour’.

I’m very excited to start focusing on the story and making that work. Bit by bit I will improve my writing, and so long as I improve even just by the smallest of margins, then I have still improved myself as a writer. But those are just my thoughts.

At my current point in progress, I’m finishing off the last chapter of the second part of Tales of Estrangia, at which point I’ll move back over to Dark City Chronicles to keep my mind from going stale, and I cannot wait to use some of the skills that I have gained in order to work on that story as well and continue creating better works.

New Decisions

So I haven’t really posted on here in a little bit. A bit disappointing for me, but even still. It has been a bit difficult to keep my motivation in this damned heat. I get home and all I want to do is sleep, and when I wake up, all I want to do is go back to sleep. Heat makes me extremely lethargic, which frustrates me to no end.

However, I made the decision to not keep going with Emolument for the moment and switch back to Tales of Estrangia for the moment like I had originally planned to. Mostly the reason  that I wanted to keep on with Emolument was because I didn’t really have too much inspiration of Estrangia at the time.

I had always know the beginning middle and end of Estrangia, but there’s all of those small little bits in between that I’m not so certain about, and it felt like all I was doing was meandering along until the story eventually sorted itself out, while I knew pretty much exactly what I was going to do with Emolument since it didn’t really have any of those inbetween bits.

However that kind of impeded my progress a little bit with Emolument. I find that a lot of the fun that I have with writing is actually coming up with stuff on the spot, and so when I have all of the events of a story planned out pretty much to the T, I’m just left with the thought of, ‘well, what else is there to create here?’.

Luckily for me, I found inspiration in a song (surprise, surprise). See, as I said before, a lot of my inspiration comes from songs, but I had nothing to associate with the current point in the story for Estrangia. All of the inspiration I have for that is in the middle and end, so I was a little lost. Luckily the song gave me the motivation to keep going with it and even let me come up with a new bit of inspiration.

The other problem with it was the meandering, as I said before. When I was writing Estrangia yesterday, though, I found the direction I had been looking for. An antagonist. Hunters are the overarching antagonists, however there wasn’t really any plans for the Hunters doing anything to the group in the first few arcs. It was a lot about establishing characters and the city itself rather than the fight that was to come.

So I found an antagonist, and one that I’m going too find both interesting and difficult to write. They’re suppose to be a smart character, a tactician, which is unfortunate because I’m not. It is going to be interesting to try and create these innovative tactics that will give the main characters trouble and actually be clever. I suppose I’ll just have to figure it out when I come to it, though.

Busy Week

So the last week was a bit hectic. I got food poisoning a couple days after my last post, and then had to go to a wedding in what was supposed to be 39 degree heat. Luckily it wasn’t that hot and the service was pretty short. All in all it was a pretty pleasant evening, and it was good to catch up with family that I haven’t seen in a while.

After that, I tried to get some more writing and editing done during the week, but since it was just out of holidays, the place that I volunteer at needed some extra help. I only took up a few more hours, but it seemed to be enough to drive a bit of the motivation out of me. In any case, I’m trying to recover a little bit, and I think I’ve found my answer.

Before, I said that music is one of my driving inspirations. I’ve found that quite often I have a sort of iconic song for certain stories. I’ve found one for Dark City, and I have one for Emolument, but so far I don’t really have a set one for Tales of Estrangia, and it’s kind of hurting my progress there. I don’t want it to end up in aimless rambling, so I might take a little break from it and actually finish Emolument rather than switching at the end of each part.

I’m actually pretty excited to continue it. The story has been a favourite of mine for a while, and I’ve enjoyed thinking up not only the characters, but the world behind them as well. I’m thinking of having a post every now and then trying to explain some of the elements of the world that might not pertain to the story, but small little tidbits that I’ve found interesting and want to convey.

I think that might be it for the moment. I’ve gotten two chapters finished this week, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get a third about, but you never know.  I’ll most likely post the next one on Monday, though.

After the Break

So I almost didn’t get to post anything today. After over a week with no internet, I came back from our time away from home to not be able to establish a connection to the wordpress servers in order to be able to publish the chapter I was trying to upload. Luckily it somehow fixed itself as evidenced.

So apart from that, I had a pretty good time while away. It was nice to just hang out with my family and not worry about anything. I went crabbing with my father at one point which was pretty fun, you know, aside from the small critters running through the sand clouds and snipping at you on the way past. Still though, I enjoyed myself and it we managed to get a lot more than we have in the past.

On the writing front I managed to get quite a bit done. I think I finished around six off the top of my head during my time away. Pretty successful if I do say so myself. Only problem was that I was a little inhibited by the inability to use the internet. See I usually struggle with creating names for characters, places etc. So one technique that I use is taking a language that I imagine the character stemming from, taking a word which I associate with them and then twist it so that it sounds believable as a name. That was how I came up with names for a couple of the three Fire Pillar members, Igrein and Niselt stemmed from Igneous if I remember.

So, deprived of google translate, I wasn’t too eager to write a chapter in the perspective of someone who I didn’t have a name for yet, but now that I’m back I hope to be able to get that back on track soon enough.

Deciding my writing style

So, I came to this conclusion a couple of days ago, but I figured that I don’t really care about getting the most scientifically factual story out anymore. The thought came about when I as deciding how to write the physics of a certain action in the latest chapter of Dark City, and I realised that the way I wanted to do it, and the way that I visualised it in my head, was impossible realistically. Going down the process even more, I also found that the amount of time that I was spending researching was way longer than it was worth.

So the way that I write includes a lot of visual thought in my head, and by that I mean that generally I will see certain parts of the story in my head and then I will try to communicate it as best as I can in words. Thinking of it like this, I also gain a great deal from music, often being able to listen to a song and then vividly picture essentially a music video, with the fight scenes moving in time with the music etc.

In that sense when I picture them, it’s not really in a ‘real’ sense. And in that I mean that I usually think of something in an animated sense. It helps a lot because there are some things that I just can’t picture in a real sense because I have never seen it, and when I think of it in the other way, I can try to see it in a way that would make sense to me.

Finally, the reason why I came to realise this is because of just how long it took to decide how the shotgun would work. I’ve always heard that bullets don’t actually send people flying, however for some reason I just couldn’t get it out of my head that a shotgun would have a different effect on them because they wouldn’t have the same amount of penetration, a wider area of force and so on. I spent around an hour and a half looking for information while also trying to navigate around any lists that I would land on, and in the end I came to no solid conclusion, and instead just improvised to what I figured would do it anyway.

All up, I’ve figured that, fuck it, I’m going to write how I want, because at the heart of it all, the person most key to keeping interested in the story is me, and the way I’m going to be entertained is by reading and writing something that I can associate my own logic with, and in the end anyway, it doesn’t matter how I write it because any world that I write in could literally be any world I want, the humans in that world could have a different biology or the literal laws of physics might be the complete opposite of ours. Nobody needs to know except me, and if they don’t enjoy, I’m not forcing them to read it, and those that do, well then they get an extra little treat whenever I can give them more enjoyment.

New project

So I am continuing to work on the Dark City project, which is giving me a much needed mental break. Being able to just think of new ideas rather than continuing to look at what I have already is refreshing. I’m looking forward to exploring the interactions between the characters as they come into contact with each other, because this series has some of my all time favourites.

So, to introduce it. Essentially this story is about a world that has all of the villains without any of the heroes. As such, the general mindset of the population is to go with the flow and try to keep their head down. Some people attempt to do good, but with the momentum that the cause for evil has gained, the impact that they leave is little or not existent at all.

The main reason that evil has managed to take such a hold of the world is in no small thanks to the existence of supernatural forces that are commonly known in the world. Dark magics are in abundance, beings of the night stalk the living, either in packs or on their own.

Dark City follows the denizens of Moarton, some of the supernatural variety, some regular, and all trying to do their best to be their baddest. It is a collection of stories centring around them, but not necessarily following a specific person or group. The first one focuses on a mercenary group that are hunting a fragment of their past that continues to haunt them. I know I’m going to enjoy writing it heavily.

Getting back on track

Ho-boy, do I feel like just lying down. For some reason the past few days have just been absolutely exhausting, and I am incredibly tired. I finished the first arc of Tales of Estrangia, so I’m going to start working on the other idea that I had in order to give myself a slight break from it, though preparing for that one is even more exhausting mentally since I decided to write it from another character’s perspective, which means that I need to create interesting personalities for all of their companions rather than what they were before.

I love the story that they’re going to embark on to bits (I’ve had the idea for a while and have been wanting to begin writing it for a while) but I absolutely suck at thinking up names, so coming up with a new cast in a week is annoying to say the least. I know what I want the characters to be, but their small little traits still escape me slightly, so I’ve been trying my best to make a framework of what I want to happen and then fill it out with their mannerisms etc. later.

The other task that I am attempting to complete is to continue writing the dungeons and dragons campaign that I’m supposed to be DMing. I have one person who has yet to submit their character, but its looking to be a very interesting group of adventurers indeed. The only problem is that I let them have free reign on what they wanted to be, and so I’ve found myself utterly screwed in terms of judging how the combats are going to turn out.

The fun part about this campaign that I’m trying to do is to set it up to be a lot more of a skills focused game rather than combat focused. I think it would be very interesting to see them running around on wild goose chases as they try in vain to uncover a conspiracy about a cult. Considering what they have thought up, I believe it will be a very fun to see them running around the country side and just tearing the place up, causing chaos wherever they go. I’ll probably put updates on their travels here when there are occasions noteworthy of sharing, but I think this post may have done me for tonight. I’m suddenly feeling very eager to write the campaign now, so I’ll probably focus on that tonight.