Writing reboot progress report, 7 May 2014

Music: Shiver by CN Lester (on the album Ashes)

I love this track. There’s an eerie beauty to it. There was one story I was working on maybe three and a half years ago which was inspired by the combination of this track and having just visited a hill fort in Leicestershire on a day thick with fog. It was a uni field trip for the first years in the archaeology department, and the masters students like myself were invited to come along since there were spare seats on the coach. When we first approached those earth embankments around the gateway, which loomed through the fog, four or five metres high, I knew there was a story in it. Maybe one day I’ll return to that story, or at least that atmosphere.

Anyway, time to focus on the story I’m writing now.

Thoughts and Plans:

I didn’t get quite to the point where Fiarra confronts Laik about Prentor yesterday, but I did move in a different direction I like: Laik sent Fiarra to familiarise herself with the palace and grounds, so Fiarra is on her way to find her friends who now work in the wash house. However, disappointed since they’re too busy to chat, she’ll poke around instead, ask questions, that sort of thing. If I get to the confrontation, I’ll try to keep it fairly brief. I want a bigger confrontation later on, a huge argument. This will just be a practice run as Fiarra tests the waters

Starting writing 20:53.


Finishing 21:45 with 1,092 words. I got half way into the confrontation, and gave Fiarra some anxiety to boot. I want to make it clear that she does have some mental issues as a result of what she’d suffered in the mine, so I’m giving her problems with anxiety, coping mechanisms, that sort of thing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a protagonist in fantasy suffer from anxiety attacks in a novel before, and considering how often fantasy protagonists have seen some serious shit, that’s quite surprising. And this is not something I plan that Fiarra will get over or get past over the course of the story, it’s something that’s going to crop up again and again where appropriate in spite of her attempts to conquer it, because anxiety isn’t something that’s easy to get over, and while you might be able to overcome it on one occasion that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be triggered again. I think it’s important to recognise the full range of human weaknesses in fantasy, not just everyday stuff like jealousy or stubbornness or rashness or lack of skill like we see often in fantasy, but also the mental problems that can undermine us and control us.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll finish this little confrontation and work out where best to go next.

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