November 16th, 2009

Macbeth the Usurper

Writing and Reading

I woke up early on Sunday and wrote until the girls woke up. I wound up getting two hours of work in before 8am. I busted out to the end, then I resketched the end. Things may still change, but I think that I got the mid- to late-book sorted back out.

I've made some use of interpolation. In essence, I had three events going, but none of the sequences work. My solution was to break up one sequence between those other two sequences, which really helped create some tensions. I also move one event from off-stage to on-stage.

Meanwhile, I've been reading the poster-child for wordy fantasy, Stephen R. Donaldson. His latest work weighs in at 350k words, which is more than his entire first series. My strategy for reading it is just to skim for dialog. My guess is that I could randomly delete 1/2 of all paragraphs and still come out with a coherent book. I do believe that SRD is using the RAID method of writing - redundant array of inane developments. Quite honestly, I could cut the first half of the book and have almost no impact on the work.

First half: main character goes on a side-quest, gains a level, a weapon power-up, and a one-use ally, all in 175k words.

And this, my friend, is a shining example of why I think that fantasy literature has done a double-backflip into the empty swimming pool.

But really, no, that's not it. The real reason is that SRD invents new people and new magic, but the world itself has nothing new to offer. It feels as if he's touching all the bases or phoning in the development.