Archive for the ‘Background’ Category

First post on the new system

Posted by arnaud on January 26th, 2010

After like two months of rambling semi-privately, I’ve decided to move my thoughts on a new, more open system.

I had started on Google Wave to provide some interaction between me and the would-be readers. The thing is that every time I sent an invite through Google Wave for people to join me, they didn’t respond. In fact, you have to be a google user in order to play in Google Wave and most people don’t want to create a google account when they already have more email systems than they can cope with.

So, I stayed desesperately alone in my wave, waving at no-one. That kind of negated the whole waving idea.

After some thought, I installed the first blog system I could find and started to copy-paste from the wave to the new blog. Every old “wave” post is here with a number and the date that entry was originally made.


Small recap here : the novel I’m writing has a few characters whose names may appear in those posts. These are included here for reference.


Dramatis Personae (No, I’m not imitating anyone here 🙂 )

Ciera – A librarian

Onmk – A special entity

Lorn – A watch repairer

Listeria – A politician

Morn and Fit – Friends of Lorn

Camlin – Ciera and Listeria’s father


Post #48 – Written on January 25th 2010

Posted by arnaud on January 26th, 2010

Impressions after a weekend writing. Well, writing, I only got about 3k (approaching the 60k mark!) and have a new finished chapter.

The chapter is basically an introduction between the two bad people of the book. Totally different characters, different motives. They are not going to get along well! In this chapter as one of them is a powerful woman and the other one a lowly man, things might seem to go the woman’s way, but in fact, she gets nothing – which is uncharacteristic of her – and she comes out as the looser (well, to me she’s the looser. If she’s not to my alpha reader, I’ll have to fix that in the rewrites).

Nice scene to write – lots of tension (including physical 🙂 ), lots of potential for conflict.

I’m a little concerned that I might be making the male viewpoint more likeable than he should really be. This is a bad guy, willing to do anything it takes to acchieve his goal. Sure, you can understand him. In fact, I want the reader to understand, but you shouldn’t come to like him. Right now, he’s looking like a lovesick boy who only wants to go after the girl he likes. That’s becoming a little tiresome. I guess that’s my reaction to the alpha reader stating that “she doesn’t like him at all” from the first chapters. I’m afraid I’m actually making up for that by making him too likeable – and less interesting right now. Rewrites, rewrites…


This is writingexuses day, so I’ll ramble a little about today’s topic : how not to be influenced by others. This is a big topic for me. Not so as a writer – I don’t think I’m writing to look like someone else (well, I don’t have the required skill for that, not yet anyway). The real trap for me here is voice. I’m very conscious that I’m tending to speak like an assemblage of people from series. I often quote others intonation for intonation. Be it Chandler from Friends (“Could this be any awkward?”) or O Brian when I’m swearing (bloody computer!). My conversation is a patchwork of other people’s phrases. I think I’m picking up some of Howard Tayler manierism too (“panel, panel, panel, punchline”).

This could become quite a problem because those character voices I’m hearing in my head as I write actually do sound like people from the series. I already talked about Lwaxana Troi’s unwanted cameo here. This is something I’ll have to be really careful about.

Well, when you know where a trap is, you’re less likely to fall into that trap, but you can still fall into it.


Last topic for the day : I have new ideas coming for the next book. It’s nice to see that other parts of my mind are working on something else. I think those ideas could give something cool – maybe not that original, but still cool.

I intentionally cut out every religious aspect from the current book – this represents the atheist part of my mind – religion is not needed for a society to function.

On the next book, I’ll try to talk about religion and what I think bad religion can come to. I plan to show that through a god’s eye. I know, erikson does it, sanderson does it, and probably others too. As I said, it’s not that original, but I hope that the rendition will be.

I plan to start planning that book at the same time I’m doing editing on the last one. This will give me something else to think about – editing is tedious business. I’ll try to outline more for the next book. Discovery writing is good, but I have to try something else in order to know if I like it or not.

The jury will have to give it’s decision on that – I tend to think that I’ll make a detailed outline only to have my writing completely go astray. Personal opinion before I even try to do it. We’ll see in a few months?


Ouch, today’s comments were big! If you’re wondering, that piece is around 700 words. that’s 1/1000 of the million I’m supposed to write, great!

Post #47 – Written on January 22th 2010

Posted by arnaud on January 26th, 2010

Last night was your regular night. I spent a little more time than usual and made up for the previous session poor count. Overall, the two days are at 2.1k, a regular count for two days writing.

The main character is getting out of her bad place and things are starting to look not that bad. I don’t think that I recovered entirely from the beginning of the chapter – with the character’s nervous breakdown and so, but once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up.

Ciera will be fighting back from now on! Well, unless she decides not to. Characters do whatever they want to do and I have precious little to say on the matter.

The joys of being a discovery writer…

Post #46 – Written on January 21th 2010

Posted by arnaud on January 26th, 2010

Little writing done last night – around 600 words. It’s difficult to write about someone having a nervous breakdown. Lots of physical descriptions – that’s fine, but describing the state of mind of someone having her head with all those half formed dark ideas popping here – that’s tough!

To end the session, I did a funny exercise! I tried to give a title to each of the chapters. Some were simple to find, others are simple and not that good. Some took time but turn out quite witty if you read the chapter (like “Something bad for dinner”). Overall, I like them. I like them so well that I decided to include them in the actual text. That makes about 50 words without even trying!

I also included a summary indicating chapters and their names at the beginning of the book. That should help me noting what chapter I’m on – I’ve had some difficulties with that lately (If you replay part of this wave, you will notice that I had to come back to correct some wrong chapter numbers here).

Post #45 – Written on January 19th 2010

Posted by arnaud on January 26th, 2010

I’ve made it past 50k! Yes, I’ve written quite well tonight (1.6K). Chapter 17 is done and I’m happy.

Listeria really is a despickable person. I wonder if I didn’t push her too much in that session. We can see here all her loathing for her sister and the pleasure she takes in hurting her without seeming to. Now, my protagonist is placed in deep trouble that I will have to treat in the next chapter.

I had thought about resuming the wedding proposal thread now, but the conflict introduced by Listeria is too great, I need to show my protagonist’s reaction right now, so I don’t break the dramatic pressure of the last scene.

Romance will have to wait 🙂


I’m past half book, rejoice!