Slumber of the Moon • Tale of the Princess | Ch. 1

{an explanation}

Long ago, a princess acted wicked and the world was broken. To preserve a piece of the pristine paradise, the prince wove a protective veil around the last sliver. Within the dulcet, temperate spring, tiny towns and then grand translucent castles emerged, radiated forth from the seed of paradise. Thus, a fragment of Eternity and True Beauty survived. Until a forlorn stranger waylaid the princess to corruption.

Chapter One: Path of Thorns and Brambles[1]{Chemin des épines et des ronces}

Iren squinted through the gray haze; great furry shapes, outlined in silver dewdrops, prowled on the edge of his vision. The shapes circled a slender, dark-skinned woman, whose long hair glistened like moonlight. Her eyes, which met his for a fleeting moment, were a sweet raspberry pink. Reaching out her hand, the woman exposed her palm to him.

“They will guide you.”

“Wha…” he croaked, but the haze melted into the silver of the animals and the gleam of her hair until a white, wet mist was the only thing he could see.

Groaning, Iren forced up his head. The blood had crusted over his right arm, so he propped himself on the weight of his good one. An eerie stillness encased the forest. For that’s what it was now. The distant, ever-present sigh-and-hiss of the sea had vanished. Only the damp frightened slap of moisture, intersected with thick gasps of silence, was audible.

Iren crept around the wall of briars. Thick as his forearm, the vines hoisted thorns twice as long; like used dirks, the thorns shone crimson in the withering light. A shudder scampered up Iren’s back, dainty as a frightened spider. Every sense surged up to warn him to flee. This was not his place; this was not his battle. Uncertainty gnawed at his gut, nibbling at chucks of his heart.

Just as his uncertainty began to weigh out against surmounting the fence of unearthly briars, Iren glimpsed one of the luminous beasts he had seen upon waking. In the dark, brilliant shades of dusk, the lean canine, massive and sleek, called to mind the wolves that had once roamed the Caran Mountains north of Miravor. A painful vise squeezed his heart, and Iren bowed his head beneath the untimely weight of memory. But the spectral wolf darted past his downcast eyes, drawing him back to the briars. And there Iren saw a low, narrow wedge cut through the glistening thorns. Shaded by a lattice of thorns, it was nigh invisible and if not for the shimmering ghost wolf, he never would have seen it.

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NaNoWriMo 2017 • the plan

Unlike other NaNoWriMo, my goal isn’t to write 50k words. Then why do it? Because it’ll, I hope, make me actually write this story. Or stories.

Also, unlike other NaNoWriMo, I’ll be posting this as a rough draft.

That said: Expect spelling errors and mangled sentences. I will edit as much as I can, especially if I’m typing it from my notebook, but this is, in no way, a polished story. And I’m okay with that. This story — and its variants — has been brewing, in all its different iterations, as snippets or vignettes or just emotional seeds in my head for awhile. I want to. Get. It. Out. Just share this story that’s been sitting in my brain for almost a decade.

If it never moves beyond this rough draft, I’m okay with that, too. It’s always been a mixed up, tangled story idea to begin with, with bits taken from different sources of inspiration (I’d be curious if people can guess what they are), so having it exist in its fullest form as a work-in-progress is fitting. This may not be the final version, nor the most authentic. Rather, think of this of the canonization of a slew of variants and related tales.

Writing Week • lost electricity (10/29/17-11/4/17)

This was a unique week. Not only was it Halloween and the start of NaNoWriMo (which I’ll post about in more detail tomorrow), but my area lost power for most of the week (Monday to Friday).

One interesting factor was it made me utilize daylight hours to write, rather than writing by candlelight. It also gave me time to really chew on the beginning of my NaNo story, rather than stressing about word count on the first couple days.

I suppose that’s all. Sorry if these haven’t been very detailed. Regardless…

Best wishes and writing!

Writing Week • story v. plot (10/21/17–10/28/17)

It’s wild; I haven’t written a post on my demons (or demons in general) this month. I feel like October is usually when I start thinking about that type of content. But nope, it’s been more backstory, story chronology, plot pulses, and better character definitions in an entirely different project. That and prepping for NaNoWriMo, which I’ll go into more when November arrives. 

So. The biggest thing(s) which have been on my mind is short stories. More specially, how stories (and plot) are constructed. This extends to novels too. For a long time, I could never quite distinguish between a story and a plot. I knew there was a difference. But I’ve finally, I think, gotten it through my head what the difference is. One is the chronological order of events. The other is the causality between events, which is strongly tied to character motivation and desire. 

The other result is that I really want to write short stories: old ones I want to rework, due to character history changes, and new ones, based on content, characters, and what I’ve been reading. These will probably plug along slowly, being of a lower priority than other objectives.

That’s all for now, I think.

Best wishes and writing!

Writing Week • recalibration

I still like the idea of, at least, ruminating weekly on my writing — what I’ve done, what I’ve discovered, what I’ve focused on, what’s on my mind — but whenever it comes to the day to post (usually) Sunday, I feel rushed. 

So, I may try a different day (Monday? Tuesday?) And I’ll see if that feels less “gotta get it done, rush, rush, rush”.

BUT…

As long as I’m here, I will say that I had deep character building moment this morning. Not just flaws and wants and interests, but the core cog of who this character is. And I’m just, I’m just so pleased. 

Writerly Notions: metaphors & comprehension

The complex aspect about metaphors — or any kind of literary technique used to compare or create meaning — is that there’s a second level of comprehension needed.

For example, the book I’m reading on how to write short stories cites a cliche metaphor of “sharp as a tack” (102). For me to get the meaning — namely that whoever is “sharp as a tack” is, I presume, very smart (is that right?) — I have to connect the idea of the sharpness of a tack to the idea of the sharpness of someone(‘s mind).

I’m not sure I’m being clear. But basically, metaphors function, for me, as

  1. this thing is like this other thing and here are those two things
  2. this thing being like this other thing implies a correlation, which consequently describes or adds meaning to the original thing

Does anyone else have to take a second step to process metaphors?

Writerly Notions: to outline or not? idea or story

I think the parlance terms are “plotter” or “pantser”: Does one write a structured outline or structure the story as one goes along?

I’m trying to process this whole outline vs. no outline. And how that relates to revision. And where I fit. As I’ve done both, and I’ve done something in the middle, where I have a basic procedure of events following each other.

Like, if I have a rudimentary outline, but the actual first draft deviates from that and has developed a completely different tone and plot, which is the one that should be used in revision? The initial outline or impetus for the story? Or what the story became? Which is truer to the story?

And those questions open up a more important distinction: knowing what the engine or heart of the story is. This leads to what I’ve begun to realize: there’s a distinction between writing an idea and writing a story. This is where characters and character backstory and motivation becomes compelling.

More importantly, I’ve come to realize there’s a distinction between writing an idea and writing a story. This is where characters and character backstory and motivation becomes compelling.

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