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

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

JAM_9583ac48-f8c7-409f-9dd9-4afcbd176282

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.

Day 15-17 The Poison Eater: On Choices (and the End of Choices)

posted on: January 17, 2016
in: Blog, The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel

 

Day16-TPE

 

Some days, you have to choose between writing a blog post and writing another paragraph on your novel. Or between writing a blog post and working out. Or, on the really rough days, between writing a blog post and taking a shower. The past few days have been like that for me. Blog posts got scrapped for more novel writing, an hour-long walk with the dog along the nearby Cheasty Trail, a shower, and even a little Fallout. This is the trade-off you make, every day between now and the day you die. Every day, small decisions. Do I write? Do I spend time with loved ones? Do I take a nap? Every day, words that you give up in lieu of other things. There’s no right or wrong. There’s only today and choices. Tomorrow and choices. Until all of your choices are behind you. That’s how stories work too, I think. The character makes a choice every scene, and those choices inform the next scene, and on and on until someone (the writer, in this case) says, “Okay, you’re done. You’re out of choices. How do you feel about your life?”

In general, I don’t take much time off. It’s the danger of being driven, of hearing death’s pen coming for me, of owning and running a fairly small, fairly new business where people (both fans and employees) are counting on you, of thinking you can do it all. But on Friday, I checked everything off my to-do list for the day (a rare accomplishment), played some Numenera with the Monte Cook Games team, and then took the rest of the day off. I needed it. My creative sponge was wrung dry, and there was nothing else to get out of it.

I thought I’d jump back into the book on Saturday morning, raring to go. Let me tell you, that was not to be. I was like a school kid who’d gotten the taste of playing hooky in my mouth and who never wanted to go back. “Snow day!” I cried (even though it wasn’t snowing). “But I’m sick…” (even though I wasn’t). “I just don’t feel like it.” (that one, at least, was true). Most of the time, tight deadlines don’t allow me to listen to that whining little voice. I have to wrestle it into submission, lock it in a cage, and refuse to let it out until I’ve done the work. But sometimes I just let it run wild and I listen to it, deadlines be damned (yes, yes, I know that the odds are very good that past Shanna has just screwed over future Shanna in a very big way, but she’s done it before and I know she will give me cookies and I will forgive her).

So I decided to read instead. I am very careful about what I read when I’m writing a novel. I unconsciously steal other author’s voices the way that some people unconsciously mimic other people’s accents. Short stories are okay. Non-fiction. Graphic novels. So I read The Art of Language Invention. I read about the deadliest rocks on the planet. I read a paragraph or two out of every book on the coffee table (it probably doesn’t surprise you to know that’s a lot of books, and if I didn’t love coffee so much, I would call it a book table instead).

And when I had read enough that someone else’s words had filled me to the brim, I put down the books and started writing again. Because the writer that is Death gave me the choice, and who knows how many more I will get before he decides my story is at its end.

~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 14: The Poison Eater

posted on: January 14, 2016
in: The Poison Eater: A Numenera Novel
Photo on 1-14-16 at 4.28 PM

Butt-in-chair face.

I locked myself in the coffee shop today for four hours and wrote a lot of words. I currently have 24,000 words. Probably half of those will be changed, cut, or expanded upon before I’m done with the first draft. I currently anticipate that the novel will be about 80,000 words.

Here are a few of those words, in very particular order:

Poison never lies.

But Tali does. Every time she takes the poison, she lies. False words are the only weapons she has left, and she wields them with precision, but not with pride. She tells the ormess that she sees danger in the woods, creatures in the clouds, something coming, something dark. Not too specific. Just enough menace. For those who are looking, those who believe, there is always a danger to be found outside Enthait’s walls.    

She would lie this time too. She had to.

In the small room that she’d come, over time, to think of as hers, Tali marked another circle on the wall with a small spray pen. Five silver circles. Five moons. Five poisonings. Five lies.

~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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