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Day 33 The Poison Eater: Finwa, Poison Eaters.

posted on: February 2, 2016
in: The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

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Finwa, Poison Eaters.

I’ve been reading a lot about language and the invention of language as I work on The Poison Eater. For the past few weeks, I’ve been making my way through The Art of Language of Invention, and earlier today, I read V.E. Schwab’s great essay on language in the world of magic.

The world of Numenera has a few “common” languages (meaning languages that a number of people in the more populated areas might speak) such as The Truth and shin-talk. But in many parts of the world, the only language spoken is the local language (or languages). To give the novel a better flavor of the world and its people, I want to incorporate parts of those local languages into the novel.

The main character, Talia, has the language of her growing up. It’s a whispered language, a secret language, designed for the offering of hope and kindness in the dark. It’s a soft, quiet language, full of words that can be spoken with opening the mouth too far, without hard consonants that bounce off walls and give the speaker away. It’s a language of touch and lips to ear.

Talia also has the language of Enthait, the place where she lives when the novel opens. Enthait is known as the city that sings, and its language too is a song, spoken with a lilt and a running together of words that can make it hard for newcomers to understand. Here, words are believed to have power. Some words spill over with the power of their thing. Kaffre, the name of the city’s defense force, is a word spoken fiercely, to show that the Kaffre too are fierce, hard-edged, strong. But the names of the city’s poisons – ebeli, itasi, iisrad — they are spoken languidly, to show that their power is insidious, slow-acting, subtle.

Finwa is an Enthait word that means a prayer, an offering, the antecedent to a request. You speak it on the exhale of the breath, to give a bit of your life with the saying of it. This shows you are serious in your meaning, and that you are prepared to exchange something precious of yours in return for the thing you are asking.

Finwa, Poison Eaters. Moon meld you.

Shanna

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Follow along! If you’re interested in learning how this novel (or, really, any novel) comes together, feel free to subscribe to this blog. Over on the right in the sidebar, you can subscribe to JUST posts that pertain to The Poison Eater, so you don’t get all the other stuff. Or just click The Poison Eater category to get a list of all the previous posts.

Day 24 The Poison Eater: You Don’t Know What You’re Doing

posted on: January 24, 2016
in: Blog, The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

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Here’s the secret to writing, creating, and living life that no one tells you. Or that someone did tell you, but you didn’t hear it or you thought, “no, that can’t be true” or you heard it but thought it didn’t actually apply to you.

You don’t know what you’re doing. AND THAT’S OKAY. It’s how it’s supposed to work.

All the parts of that truth have to go together. Don’t say one without the other two. In fact, I’ll say it again, as a single sentence, in case you didn’t hear it:

You don’t know what you’re doing–AND THAT’S OKAY–because that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Every day, I sit down to do my job. And I don’t know what I’m doing.

Every day, for twenty+ years, I have sat down to do my job. And I didn’t know what I was doing.

Every day, for twenty+ years, I have made a career out of doing something that I don’t know how to do.

And that, I think, is how it’s supposed to work. To be a creator, you have to create. The very act of creation is to make something brand new, to do something that’s never been done before. How could you know how to do it if it’s never been done?

There’s no secret potion. No magic bean or button. No book or class or teacher that’s going to give you the perfect key to the creative door. (And having read a lot of books, taken and taught a lot of classes, I’m all for them–I think they’re great, and they help you learn–but they’re only part of the process). 

If you want to be a writer, a creator, a life-liver, this is the only way I know how:

Be okay with the fact that you don’t know what you’re doing.
Sit down and do the thing you don’t know how to do.

It’s a catch-22, but the very best kind: Because every time you sit down and do what you don’t know how to do, you start to figure out how to do it. Rinse. Repeat.

To do it is to learn how to do it. So, the sooner you start screwing up, the better.

Today, I screwed up 2500 words of this novel. Tomorrow, I will screw up even more.

Go. Start screwing up. Right now. I dare you.

~iadace~

Shanna

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Follow along! If you’re interested in learning how this novel (or, really, any novel) comes together, feel free to subscribe to this blog. Over on the right in the sidebar, you can subscribe to JUST posts that pertain to The Poison Eater, so you don’t get all the other stuff. Or just click The Poison Eater category to get a list of all the previous posts.

Day 23: The Poison Eater

posted on: January 23, 2016
in: The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

The Poison Eater Cover-2015-08-05

Just put the nail in the lid of the draft of the first two chapters (yes, two!) of The Poison Eater for Kickstarter​ backers. I’m very very happy with them (even though I know that a lot will change by the time I finish the book and go back to do a rewrite).

Also, I apologize in advance for breaking your Ninth World heart.

~iadace~

Shanna

 

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Follow along! If you’re interested in learning how this novel (or, really, any novel) comes together, feel free to subscribe to this blog. Over on the right in the sidebar, you can subscribe to JUST posts that pertain to The Poison Eater, so you don’t get all the other stuff. Or just click The Poison Eater category to get a list of all the previous posts.

Day 21 The Poison Eater: Write and Rewrite

posted on: January 21, 2016
in: The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

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I have started this blog post three times. Four, now, by the time you read this.

I had what I thought was an awesome idea for a blog post, which was to write today’s section of the novel in Word (I usually write in Scrivener) with the Track Changes on, so that I could take a screen shot of it and you could see all of the changes that I made as I worked on a single section. Because I don’t have an internal editor, but I do have an internal voice. And I’m always adjusting the words to get the voice right. One line leads to the next and the next, and there’s a delicate balance. Writing a book is, for me, like building a house. If every brick in the foundation isn’t right then it will fall in the end. (Of course, I’ve written enough books to know that I never get every brick right and it will fall at the end, and I will have to rebuild it, but the closer I get to being right, the less rebuilding I have to do later).

Sadly, for whatever reason, the track changes wouldn’t take. So, here is a section without track changes. But let me tell you, if I was writing with pen and paper, this entire section would be so slashed through and rewritten and torn apart that you couldn’t read it. Thanks be to the god of the delete key.

There was very little in the room other than herself. A bed. A small table topped with a hexed arm band and a broken blue-black blade. A cobalt cloak upon a hook. Two doors, one to the street and one to the clave. And Khee, curled about himself and snoring lightly on a blanket in the corner, the creature’s weirdly angled legs and long neck forming an impossible circle.     

Talia picked the hexed metal armband up and pulled it over the space where her hand used to be. It glowed blue as it settled around the skin of her upper forearm. Emont’s handiwork. He’d wanted to recreate her a hand, but she’d refused. She had reasons for wanting to remember her loss. That negative space was as important to the entirety of her self as her face or the streaks of red hair that had grown from the scars on her scalp. 

She had not been able to turn Emont away from building this, though: As she reached for the cobalt cloak hanging on the wall, the hexes covering her forearm spread apart and reworked themselves into a semblance of her former hand. The transition was silent, and took a mere second—barely long enough for her to marvel, as she always did, at Emont’s skills—and then she was using both hands to pull the cloak over her head.

The cloak was not hers. It belonged to her station—those who had worn it before and those who would wear it after—but the metallic fabric settled and shaped itself around her as though it had been made for her. It had taken her weeks to figure out how to flow the fabric with a thought, but now it was second nature, a passing trifle in the small ritual of getting ready.

~iadace~

Shanna

 

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Follow along! If you’re interested in learning how this novel (or, really, any novel) comes together, feel free to subscribe to this blog. Over on the right in the sidebar, you can subscribe to JUST posts that pertain to The Poison Eater, so you don’t get all the other stuff. Or just click The Poison Eater category to get a list of all the previous posts.

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