So, we have a little bit of a heatwave around here. I know those who live in hot states will scoff at our high 90’s temperatures. The truth is that we’re not used to it and I don’t think our homes were designed to be cool. Feels like this place was designed more to contain heat, which sucks during this weather. Opening a window resulted in warm air coming and no relief. So, the new air conditioner has been getting a work out. That’s made progressing rather rough too.
Last weekend, I got to do a few fun things with my son. We watched a Netflix movie called ‘The Sea Beast’, which I recommend. It’s like ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, but with sea monsters. We took a walk at a marine nature study area. Got to see the nesting ospreys, who weren’t hiding this time around. The highlight was getting a video of a heron battling a crab. We saw the heron on the side of the walkway and were going to sneak by, but it moved about ten feet away from us with the crab. So, we watched the battle until the heron managed to swallow its prey. My son was telling every photographer and visitor about it. Can’t say I blame him.
Rest of the week has been the usual. I’m still having days where I’m worn down and get rather forgetful. They’re not as common as they were last week, so I’m definitely getting better. Had a midweek scare when I woke up with a cough and panicked myself into thinking I caught covid again. Took a test and it was negative, which relaxed me enough that I went back to normal. So, I need to make sure to think things through. Hard to do when I wake up and have to move quickly to get my son ready for camp.
Let’s get to the big event:
I finished writing Darwin & the Halfling Hunt yesterday afternoon. I was hoping to finish it midweek, but the exhaustion and a change in schedule threw things off. It didn’t help that I finished a section that was mostly talking and broke down crying because I thought I sucked. Never had that happen before. Guess that was my first real taste of Imposter Syndrome, but I don’t think I’m successful enough for that to happen. It must have been something else that went away as I got to the final battle chapter. Still, it’s been haunting me for a while. Probably should have brought that up in therapy.
Speaking of the final battle chapter, Darwin continues to drive me nuts. I don’t know if I’ve lost my ability to write lengthy, detailed fight scenes or he just refuses to do it. Even when his friends were battling without him, the events went fairly quickly when compared to my older stuff. Not a lot of bantering though, which might explain things. One villain wasn’t in a chatty state and the other got frustrated with Darwin after half a page. The odd thing is that Darwin can have really exciting and big chase scenes. Yet, him actually standing his ground and fighting results in shorter sections. It has to be due to his unaggressive nature and sleep magic. He simply isn’t the type to go toe-to-toe with an enemy like Clyde and Luke Callindor. It’s either luck or a ‘Darwin logic’ plan that ends things abruptly. Now, I’m just rambling.
My plan is to take a few days off from book writing. Today will be resting up and maybe fiddling in a notebook. Tomorrow I’m going to hang out with a friend for the day before my son comes home. I think I’ll take Monday and maybe Tuesday to rest up too. It’s hard to figure out since my son’s 13th birthday is Thursday and the party is being thrown next weekend. I’ve planned as much as I can, so I don’t know what else I can do while he’s at camp or his mom’s place. Darwin & the Avenging Elf might get tackled earlier just to keep my mind busy.
I’ll probably be binging a few shows too. I got 7 episodes into ‘Vinland Saga’ and got too bored to keep going. I switched to an anime called ‘Ranking of Kings’ where the main character is deaf and mute. He’s a cursed boy who is very small and can’t increase his physical strength at all. Yet, he’s finding other ways to become the strongest in the kingdom. I really like it. Not sure what I want to tackle after that. Keep coming back to ‘Umbrella Academy’, but I also keep thinking that I’m not in the mood. Not sure what I’m waiting for, but it could be that I’ve still got ‘The Boys’ clear in my mind. I might finish up the ‘Food Wars’ anime even though there’s nowhere I can find season 3. Just to get that one off the list.
Plan for the week?
- Plan and celebrate son’s birthday.
- Get tickets to ‘DC League of Super-Pets’.
- Hang out with friend tomorrow.
- Sleep in a few mornings.
- Start writing Darwin & the Avenging Elf.
- Notebook work.
- Fit in as many ‘One Piece’ episodes as we can. Our plan to reach a specific story arc this summer might come up short. (42 episodes to go and maybe a month to watch them.)
- Start making a topic list for November.
With your busy schedule, Charles, I think a couple of days off would do you a world of good!
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Probably. I got an email last night that I have to do 2 days of training in a few weeks. Should rest while I can.
I’m interested in your problem with Darwin and the fight scenes. For me, my characters in Minstrels of Skaythe are mostly pacifists who defend themselves, and manage to turn the enemy’s attacks against them to resolve the fight. Darwin being able to put people to sleep is kind of similar. He can just stop the fight at any time.
In a lot of our story structures, we expect the battle scene to be the big climax of the tale. But for one of my stories, I experimented with having the characters come to a point of confrontation but then… talk instead. I had built in back story that allowed them this outcome, but even so the ending felt weird.
Darwin having a power that puts people to sleep short-circuits that typical structure. This requires thinking differently about the whole thing, right? I would urge you not to reject your character’s main ability. When you prepare to revise, try to look for ways to explain that every battle is not necessary.
We’re creative writers. We can be creative. Even with a character who’s goofy and tends to win by accident, I think we can offer the world other visions of problem solving. In this current political climate, there could be real value in that.
Darwin isn’t really a pacifist. He’s just not aggressive and he’s more likely to panic. So, he won’t always cast the right spell. The other issue is that a sleep spell would end the scene immediately, so then I’m stuck with only half a page and no way to carry on to the next point. So, I can’t have that happen all the time.
The villains Darwin is facing aren’t talkers unless they’re gloating. The major theme is that he stumbles into their plans and becomes a chaotic monkey wrench. They just get frustrated with him and there’s no talking them down. Not that he doesn’t try, but his arguments are child-like. These villains aren’t swayed by him saying ‘stop being bad because it’s wrong’.
Darwin also has ice magic, which gives him some offensive behavior. Though he uses it mostly to launch villains away or freeze them. Then he runs. As I said in the post, he does better with chase scenes.
I’ve actually trimmed down a lot of battles in this previous book. Turned as many as I could into chases. I’m left with the bare necessities at this point, but Darwin still makes it tough to draw them out to more than a paragraph. The flow is different than my warriors, so I have to make it more of a Tom & Jerry skit than a boxing match. It’s still new to me.
For example, he had to fight one villain in a magic duel. He just wouldn’t do it because it made no sense. It turned into a 3 round contest that the villain agreed to out of curious amusement. That worked much better than spells going back and forth.
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Congratulations on wrapping Darwin & the Halfling Hunt. That always feels good. I never write a book without crying so maybe there is no need to question it further. Hope you get some rest. This heat kicks the crap out of us.
Thanks. Definitely being a bum today. Keep needing a nap.
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I wish I could take one but it is too late now.
Congratulations on finishing. I have to update my site today and have nothing. I got all my internal graphics for Midnight Rambler and need to insert them. I might give that a try, then declare victory.
Thanks. It’s hard to get writing updates going. Especially since I don’t know what to say that isn’t a spoiler.
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I’m burned out on promo, too. That’s not helping.
We’re having a heatwave too, and our homes are definitely not designed to deal with it. We don’t even have air conditioning. Yeah, it’s not been fun. Anyway, glad you finished the book. Hope you get to start writing the second one this week. If it helps any, a lot of people I know who got Covid mention a cough that lingers for a long while after they’re officially supposed to be recovered. Tiredness too. I mean, I know that won’t help with how you feel physically, but maybe knowing you aren’t alone with that might help when it comes to the anxiety-related side of things… A little anyhow.
I know a few people with long covid. It really sucks when I want to do things. I might jump into the second book tomorrow to compensate for days like this.
Well done for completing Darwin and the Halfling Hunt.
I’ve just finished reading Prodigy of Rainbow Tower. I enjoyed your shocking plot twists. I’ll be writing a review very shortly.
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the book.