Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Game Designer. Vorpal Blonde. Bisexual Brainlicker. Midas's Touch. Schrödinger's Brat.

The Poison Eater: Have a Chapter!

posted on: February 14, 2016
in: The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

Photo on 2-14-16 at 10.24 AM #3

You can now download and read a draft of the first chapter of The Poison Eater

I talked about the chapter and my process a bit in our recent Kickstarter update:

The Poison Eater is a story that is deeply immersed in the Ninth World. Along the way, you’ll encounter places, creatures, and numenera that you recognize, as well as a lot of weird stuff that will be entirely new. Talia, the main character, will be your guide through the dangers and delights of the Ninth World.

I say all of that as though the novel is complete, and of course it’s not yet. I’m an organic writer (a process I do not recommend, by the way); I don’t start a novel on page one and write it chapter by chapter. And so I’m always tweaking and changing things as I go, making them better, upping the stakes, breaking more hearts, kicking more ass.

This first chapter will likely change a bit by the time I finish writing the rest of the book (this is just a rough draft, after all), but I’m happy with how it’s coming along so far. I hope will be too.

~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 33 The Poison Eater: Finwa, Poison Eaters.

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.23.21 PM

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 without 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

Photo on 1-24-16 at 5.24 PM #3

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

 

~~

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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