14 March 2003

I wrote a little last night. This after deciding not to. I'm reading more of my writing-advice books (one on character emotions and another on dialogue--in which the author suggests you spend one day going around whispering some nonsense word like "monkeys" to see how people react). They inspired me to write and I did a quick overview of what I'd done so far.

I need to make a reverse outline now. I'm going to start the fifth chapter and I'm losing track of the story lines, so I've made myself a little "writer's kit" with the list of words I made up (with the help of Langmaker), put in a bunch of blank notebook paper, and have brought my old printout of the character list out with me. I also have the "tracking sheet" I made using the suggestion of Zette on Holly Lisle--a speradsheet with columns for entering pertinent info on my writing progress as related to words, time alloted, chapters/scenes done, on what day, etc. I did it yesterday, but failed to use it last night. I believe I'll be hitting an office supply store this weekend to get a three-hole puncher, a binder, some separator-pages (you know, the ones with the tabs for labels on them), and a plain folder to make a more orgainised "writer's kit." Maybe even a pouch and some new pens. It's been a long time since I bought new pens. And I need more clicky (mechanical) pencils. I seem to have lost all but the broken one that doesn't hold the lead--it just drops out completely when you press the clicky button.

I'll also have to devise a sort of tracking for what character's doing what and how he/she relates to the others. Maybe by chapter. So I have a better view of what's going on. With behind-the-scenes notes about non-viewpoint characters (which is pretty much everyone since it's in 1st pov). I want to be able to keep an eye on what's going on when Keiki's not around so I can have him react properly, but I'm also afraid I'll let him know too much. Believe me, if I had been able to write this in 3rd pov, I would have, but I just couldn't get into the society. I kept forgetting the Imotinans weren't living like medieval Europeans--very bad thing. I've loosely based their culture on Asian cultures. Their language, too--but I've changed the phonetic rules to reflect their history; they basically "made" their language when the Empire was complete, the people familiar with the new society. To bring everyone into the family, so to speak, the first Zhipei brought representatives from every region and did her best to incorporate at least some of the phonetic rules of them all into one, unified language. Mages, priests, Tanahu (priests of the Zhiraikaovei--which are not Gods), and Oshiri (Tanahu mages), Ahaihu (Sabi'Oji who are mages), and priest-mages still must learn some of the Old Dialects, and the more one knows, the more variety one's magic/spells have.

Oshiri and Ahaihu have the Touch of a Zhiraikaovei in their magic, whethter or not the Zhiraikaovei actually works through them. So, Keiki could legally/officially introduce himself as Ahaihu DLachomaogu DLaokeikithei. He doesn't because he doesn't want people to remember he's a mage first thing when they think of him. Introducing himself as "Sabi'Oji" means others' impressions of him remain more innocuous. They won't be looking for any magic from him. Many Ahaihu do this. It allows them to better protect their Shisei.

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