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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

some notes toward a restructured novel.

Well, I made it through the first two chapters of By the Mountain Bound.

Things I have noticed:

there is a deep-rooted prepositional phrase infestation in this thing. I must get a hammer and kill them all.

Muire is a stiff--a complete and utter repression case. She is all about the Matters Of Life And Death. Also, she has no sense of humor to speak of. On the other hand, her first chapter, at least, was better-written than Mingan's first chapter.

Mingan's voice really sucked, but he's probably a lot more fun at parties.

And I can fix the voice issue. In fact, I am having a lot of fun pushing him toward an Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. And sentence fragments.

Gotta figure out what to do for chapter headers on Strifbjorn's stuff, since I am no longer using the Letter From The Future schtick. Which does mean this book has the downerest downer ending in the history of Downsville.

Oh, the ANGST! *pins wrist to forehead*

I have done better since, but yanno, this is still pretty good in patches.

Still like Rannveig.

Wow, I've gotten better at this.

Only 393 more pages to go. I've already gotten 5 pages out of this thing.



Rannveig! Is she named for the mother of Gunnar of Hlidarendi?
Well, obliquely. Mostly, because it's my favorite setting-appropriate name.

hwæt hwæt!

Anglo-Saxonate writing is fun. My sister did a collection of poems a while back based on A-S poetry and really enjoyed writing it. :)

Also, I bought Blood and Iron yesterday! :D

Re: hwæt hwæt!

*g* I like tripart rhyme. Not so much doing that in this one, though.

But yeah.

(And I hope you like it! If not, well, you know where I live. *g*)
Are prepositional phrases bad?
At least 80% of the time, for me, they're clutter and scaffolding.
I want angst.

I mean, in books.
Which does mean this book has the downerest downer ending in the history of Downsville.

Now I'm tempted to pit my Viking epic against yours, to see whose ending really is the downerest. My agent thinks the book is well-done, but she has issues with the fact that Everyone. Dies. (My instinctive response of "welcome to Norse fatalism" doesn't really solve the problem.)
The first book starts with Ragnarok. This is the second book. *g* It's the depressing one.
Hey, there's nothing wrong with Ragnarok!
Curiosity: Is Muire staying a stiff? And if so, what if anything are you doing about it?
She is a stiff. She was born a stiff, and she'll die a stiff.

It's not like I could change her.
Heh. Good morning!

But from a getting-the-reader-to-invest-in-the-character perspective?
Same way I handle any other character. Write her as well as I can, try to show her humanity and contradictions, and either they'll care about her or they won't.

She does have the advantage of being a generally decent human being, and pretty gutsy, and caring deeply about things. That all helps.
Do you better enjoy writing characters who are more different from you?
I've never really written any characters who are very much like me. *g* Where's the fun in that?
Well, something in the post reminded me of Stephen King's On Writing, when he wrote that psychotic nurse Annie Wilkes was more fun to write than the writer she was obsessed with. "He's sane, I'm sane, no four days at Disneyland there."