brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Summary: Kestrien is a world imbued with magic - except in the city of Thari, where the great Shield cocoons its inhabitants in a haven of logic and science. Jenna de'Sorres can think of nowhere she would hate to go more - but she may have no choice.

The Calm Before
1. Low Tide // Jenna
2. Cracked Glass // Alla
3. Missing Wings // Mikhal
4. Box of Secrets // Aethe
5. Spectator Sport // Kerne
6. Locks and Keys // Viridian
7. Waiting for the Rain // Rhinn
8. High Tide // Jenna

Notes: A sequence of short stories touching on the viewpoint of each of the major characters in the "City of Glass" series.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
I went back and forth for a long time on whether to include Rhinn in these stories. The actual novel is written from Jenna's viewpoint, and Rhinn is something of a mystery to start with, so I didn't want to get too deep into her head. I think I've managed it...

The Calm Before - 7. Waiting for the Rain )
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Finished the last three parts, so I might as well throw them all up here now. I'm keen to get going on the novel proper - which was half the point of writing them, so, success? :)

The Calm Before - 6. Locks and Keys )
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Interestingly, this has turned out to be less about Kerne than about the people Kerne is interacting with, but that doesn't entirely surprise me for various reasons.

(Also, my new icon is because I have a music video in my head that WILL NOT GO AWAY. It is from this universe, but from the Big Important Backstory stuff that comes in later, and thus I cannot particularly elaborate on it. Except to say that Arellia needs hugs.)

The Calm Before - 5. Spectator Sport )
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
I'm having fun writing these, but the more I go on with them, the more I think they wouldn't work as the start of the story. Skimming through seven viewpoints so quickly is likely to be confusing for someone who knows nothing about the world, I think. For me, these are kind of like fanfic vignettes - I already know these characters well. I hope that reading these in isolation would make someone think "ooh, I want to know more about this" - but I don't feel like this should be the start of a novel.

The Calm Before - 4. Box of Secrets )
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Gap due to being in a field interacting with a different set of fictional characteres, but I'm hoping to get the rest of this done this week/early next. Not all parts will be as long as this, for one... my favouritism may be showing. :)

The Calm Before - 3. Missing Wings )
brightwanderer: Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Ariel)
I've been going back and forth on whether to post this as I write it or finish the whole thing, but it's been getting longer the more I work on it, so I'm going to start posting. This is a prequel of sorts, a series of character sketches/worldbuilding exercises to set up the first novel set in Kestrien. I'm not sure yet how it will end up fitting in - if I'll later cannibalize it for parts, or if I'll have it as the first story in the series, or what. I'm partly writing it to figure things out for myself. :)

The Calm Before - 1. Low Tide )
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Worldbuilding question of the day: how do you hide your bright, shiny crystal city from the people on the moon?

Answer: [redacted], for reasons of plot.


Mar. 12th, 2013 02:09 pm
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Sometimes, I really want characters to just "talk among themselves" for a bit, to pass some in-scene time while I rearrange the plot furniture, and they inevitably just stare at me blankly and shuffle their feet. And sometimes, I want to throw in two pieces of information and move on, and they decide to spend 1,500 words speculating about giant catapults. I am starting to think I should learn self-hypnosis and convince them all that at any given time I want the opposite of whatever I actually want.

(Though I would always, always rather have the second problem than the first. I can at least put excess chatter into a scrap file and mine it for later use.)
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
On the bus the other day I saw a girl reading a book. Which isn't particularly noteworthy. Except that it was a journal-like book with a cloth binding, and the pages were handwritten.

So it was probably her diary or notes or a novel in the works or something. Except, somehow, she gave the impression of someone reading a book - turning the pages regularly, consuming the contents as if it were narrative.

I can think of half a dozen unexciting explanations, but I'm preferring to speculate on the exciting ones. Did someone handwrite her a story, like Lewis Carroll writing for the Liddell sisters? Did she find it in a charity shop and buy it out of curiosity? Were the pages blank when she first picked it up, only to be filled with writing the next time she looked? Is it the lost diary of a relative or a missing friend? Is it somebody's vital notes on the magical ritual that will eventually save the world, and she started reading it absently on the bus only to realise that this was The Plot Device she and her companions had been looking for??

Incidentally, I'm planning to get this journal running more regularly from now on. As mentioned previously, I've been gearing up to write the stories set in Kestrien, and for various reasons, now seems to be the moment to seize.
brightwanderer: Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Ariel)
The weird (and awesome) thing about writing a story that's been kicking around since I was a teenager is that I periodically find very old pieces of fiction or worldbuilding that EITHER are spookily still accurate OR... make no sense whatsoever. Not just "this isn't true anymore" or "I've changed everyone's names since then" or "no, no, it didn't fall into the sea, it exploded", but "I have no idea why these characters are doing this, or what the hell is going on, and it's entirely possible that I didn't know at the time either and was just writing it because it was cool".

Also, I had an embarrassing tendency towards song-fic.

So anyway, all of this is in reference to the fact that I'm giving Kestrien a proper go. As in, I'm writing the first book and planning to e-publish it next year. And in the meantime I'm going to be posting some short stories to get a feel for the characters, and hopefully get my website up and running. Woo?


Sep. 2nd, 2010 09:07 pm
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Whether I write it for NaNo or not (please no, it's a trilogy for heaven's sake, although I suppose I could make it my goal to write the first book...) Demira has all of a sudden done that thing that worlds and stories sometimes do, and made a dozen connections to draw itself into a coherent whole. I walked home from work tonight just to give myself time to think. I've suddenly got the 1000 years of history that were missing sorted out, and I now know what happened to Atalan. There is a comet. It is awesome.

Random (related) question: if you were reading a book set in a fantasy world with no connection to ours, would you find it misplaced if one of the characters were called Persephone? Or would you 'translate' it to assume it referenced some similar myth/concept in this other world?
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
It's getting towards NaNo time of year again, and since this year I want to plot and outline in advance, and then hopefully end up with something with a beginning, middle, and end, I thought I'd play around with some ideas. Except that the one I thought I was going to write is just... not working for me. It was stolen from a fanfic idea I had, and very romance-heavy, and looking at it now, it's just not sparking for me. :(

And as I was sketching out concepts, my brain helpfully piped up "OH HEY we could have another go at a story from Kestrien - how about the Fall of Demira?"

And I went aaaaaarghhgarblflargh WHAT no but now the idea won't go away.


On the other hand if I had an actualy outline this time... and at least I know how it ends. (Hint: Boom.)
brightwanderer: Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Ariel)
[ profile] imaginarybeasts is up! I am excited and nervous: this time I decided to have a go at writing in one of my worlds, instead of making something up from scratch. It's a bit like seeing your kids up there on the stage. :D

City of Light - all readers welcome.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Supposed to have my Imaginary Beasts story finished by tonight. Have obtained a couple of days' extension, but I'm trying to get the draft done tonight anyway. Write or Die is proving invaluable.

Fortunately, it has a shape in my head and it's not actually difficult to write, as such. I just keep getting assailed by the Demons Of Self-Confidence: it's my own original universe so I expect much higher standards of myself than I do in fanfic (and I'm still pretty perfectionist there). And I'm constantly gnawed at by my Irrational Fear Of Plotlessness; I keep thinking "AND THEN I HAD BETTER ADD IN A HUGE LONG PLOT ARC HERE" because I am so very afraid that people will just be bored by my characters and worlds without the addition of mysteries and things blowing up. And while this may be true in a novel, I don't think it is for a shorter story, and this one is really just supposed to be a set up for a particular world, introducing a plot concept that will one day form the backbone of a novel.

It is, for the record, Vanrillion in which I've ended up writing; I'm following Skye and Linette as they accidentally and without quite realising it cross from something approaching a normal life into something that will sweep them up and uncover all the old demons they thought they'd left behind. It's an interesting exercise in writing, for me; one of the things I worry constantly about in my original fiction is whether or not I'm putting in enough information about the setting. Fanfic allows you to shortcut this, and as a result I've developed a quite cut-down style of description - which I do like - that tries to give the reader a few pointers to the things I think are important, and leave the rest up to their imaginations. I'm curious as to whether that's going to work in original fiction. I think it can, done right, but I'm very uncertain as to the best levels of detail.

Anyway, I should stop writing about the thing and go back to actually writing it...


brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Helen Bright

January 2017

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