This is a character study for King Tharsaleos, a manipulative bastard working many angles behind the scenes in Saltwater Witch and Seaborn. Comeuppance coming in the next one. I promise. IF: excess
Click the pic to see it larger.
Some people love money, some people love rock and roll, others it's ice cream, chocolate is often thought of amorously--or at least for a good fondling. Hmmm. I'm pretty fond of all those, but there's a special place in my heart for books. (Just a little for books, and all the rest is for Alice). Old books. I have some oldies.
Here's the colophon and the first page of a Latin translation of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, printed in the wonderful city of Venice on June 25th, 1516. We're talking a handful of years after Christopher Columbus set sail...uh...across the ocean blue. This one's the oldest book on my shelves. Printer's mark: The circle with a double cross with the letters O.S.M, the initials of Octavianus Scotus Modoetiensis--Ottaviano Scoto of Monza.
Click the pics to see rather large versions of them.
There's a point in the journey of writing a novel when the story starts to come together, all the action begins to converge, plot falls in line, and there's a real story heading toward completion. I'm not talking about early plotting exercises, outlining, a couple chapters. I mean when you're halfway through the book and although there's still some εuρυχωρiα--sea room, room for your characters to maneuver, get their ships turned around, buy guns, cast spells, and learn to fly helicopters, you pretty much know how it's all going to turn out, and all you must do now is get down to the business of finishing.
It isn't the finish line--the finish line may not even be in sight, but it's all starting to gel. You know what I'm talking about. You can feel the plot heading right for that glutinous consistency that characterizes an almost--or gonna be--finished novel.
Well I'm there with my latest, not done, but the story's starting to go all gelatinoidal on me. Long way to done, probably sometime around January, early February, but I just need to write now. The story's pretty much set. I'm not making up the next piece of the plot--which is the way I work, btw, an outline, rather loose, and although I know this guy needs to get from A to B and do some badness to C, I haven't necessarily put thought into how he's going to do that. I'll let the story and character purpose guide some of that process. Most of that is done.
Writers seem to work well with a certain length of book; some write 85k and can't break the 100k barrier if their life depended on it, others have trouble keeping it under 300. I always seem to end up with four or five chapters I don't need, somewhere around 130k words, and I know I need to plan on pruning back to around 110k for the completed book. It's the way it works for me.
What's your experience? Where are you in your current story? Starting to gelatinate? Still rather runny? Characters running amok, anyone flying helicopters?
Here's to many gelatinousnesses!
I made a quick family tree for one of my main Seaborn characters, Kassandra--made this one because my sister Dia asked for it. Better late than never...I think. Here you go Dia. Click the pic to see it larger. Email me if you want a 300dpi printable version.
The Glossary and Dramatis Personae are in the works.
My son, Christopher (sixth grade) is the cartographer in the family. He loves to create worlds and map them. A few weeks ago while we were in NY, he spent his allowance on a Moleskine sketch book--for map and cartoon drawing. Here are a couple cool samples, islands, treacherous looking coastline on them, too,
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Some of my posts on fictional maps--because I love them too:
See the slideshow here.
Flickr users: I ran up against the three photo set limit and Flickr asked if I want to pay $24 a year to have unlimited sets. Now I'm wondering who is paying for Flickr? Anyone? $24 isn't bad for unlimited sets. I'm just wondering.
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I spent most of the morning and another couple hours tonight painting Poseidonis, the daughter of Kassandra. She'll inherit everything from her mother at some point. Kassandra would be in her early forties at this point.
British paleontologists have discovered the 18-inch-long fossilized claw of a giant, Paleozoic Era carnivorous sea scorpion. Based on the claw's size, they estimate the creature to be about 8 feet long. Nice.
Click the pic to see it larger.