Toby’s Update – March 2019

It has been a productive month! The word count on the rewrite grows, steadily. Sure, at least one-third of what I have written will be cut when I piece it all together for the fourth draft. Honestly, it is sprawling now. All in good fun.

Three parts to this update. Ealisia, of course. Dungeons and Dragons. Just because. And writing in general.

Ealisia

Loving it! Writing this first legend set in a world I imagined more than five years ago now is So. Much. Fun. The main characters are coming to life, and as their personalities begin to show, I realise how much more work it will be to do them justice throughout the book. Better write well a small cast set in a a single place, than create a sprawling epic dotted with flat caricatures.

Though I am eager to press on, I can see why writing takes long. Some days I have to force five hundred words onto paper, others I write two thousand in a two hours. I’ve plotted some key events, however every time I think I am ready to move on, it seems my characters have some other decisions they want to make. That is fine. I just follow them. As I do, I get to know them a bit better. Let’s hope it shows in the end product.

Third draft done by the end of March? I am working on it. I think the middle of the second draft was pretty solid. The set-up required some attention, which it definitely is receiving now. Once I reach that crucial point where the story picked up momentum in draft two, I’ll focus on the final two chapters. If I look at now, I am almost there. Maybe another three thousand words.

Dungeons and Dragons

Do you follow Critical Role? If not, I suggest you take a look. They are absolutely fantastic. I’m on episode 50 of campaign 2, and the storytelling is so good. Their characters are interesting. And the crew just does an amazing job at making the sessions fun. That is what the game is all about.

Personally I am so happy to now have two groups for whom I can GM once a month. Through the game I get to explore facets of Ealisia – the games take place in a time long before the events in the books I intend to write – and the players make such fun decisions that it brings the world to life for me. And for them as well I hope.

You can of course read along with the updates from the the game in the posts on this blog. Here is a little preview of the map we’ll use for the games going forward.

The adventures they will have while exploring these lands provide exciting prospects for both me as a writer and Game Master, as well as for the players. Stay tuned for what is to come.

This month I intend to complete the write-up of the first leg of their adventures from Ommanion’s Skullduggery. It’s great writing practice to have to try and do the player’s character justice as I take their POV’s in turn.

Writing

Every day I learn so much about the craft. Do you struggle with point-of-view? I sure do. Every section I write it becomes clear that choosing a point of view and then telling the story from there is incredibly challenging.

While at Babson College, I was fortunate enough to take a literature course and the professor mentioned that the point of view an author picks will be instrumental in how the reader experiences the story. Now I see why. She was a great prof by the way. Learnt a lot in that class.

One of the key challenges is to sit down fresh every morning and write. No distractions, Focussed writing. Three blocks of 30 minutes if possible. This is no easy task I’ve set myself. However, with the discipline comes flow. Some days I just have to stick it out. Beating out letters and words snail-paced. Other times my mind races so fast my fingers cannot keep up. Perhaps a writer needs both, and it is between the flames of insecurities and inspirations where the author within is forged. Who knows.

Having come this far in writing, I have every intention to see this through till the end. A good story well told, as Robert McKee puts it. I think it is within my ability to do just that.

My greatest concern is that the story will sag in too many places, meaning the reader will lose interest. Though this is a problem for the editing phase, I am mindful of it as words turn into paragraphs, which turn into chapters. Let’s see what happens upon re-reading the whole thing.

Well that’s it for now. Let’s check in at the end of March or early April to see where we stand then.

Thanks for reading!

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