Another late post, but this one is for a different reason. We went to the woods yesterday to cut firewood and look for morels. Well, we found some good lodgepole logs but alas, no morels.
This past week in writing was kinda meh. I wrote a post about a rejection which illustrated one of my current pet peeves, which is the equating of in media res with “must open with actual physical action scene.” Yes, opening with ten pages of backstory is a bad thing as well, but dumping characters into a complex fight scene without giving us a chance to get to know them? Equally problematic. I like to open my stories with a little introduction to the characters to make the reader care about them. Which does not mean elaborate description of the character or setting, but does mean getting to the main conflict that the character is going to be facing pretty quickly within the first few paragraphs. Or at least a main conflict, as well as showing the reader what the character is like.
The number of rejections I’ve received emphasizing that false conceptualization of in media res just sets my teeth on edge. It’s sloppy application of critique group cliches (one reason why I growl at the Turkey City Lexicon is that it is full of aphorisms that have now become cliches themselves–and look, I was in a critique group that absolutely raved about the Lexicon when Turkey City was new, folx, so I know what it’s about).
Between catching up with necessary household tasks after spending the week in Portland the previous week, and feeling blah and down because of various things, including the formation of claques and cliques on a new social media platform, I didn’t get a lot of words down. However. I did spend a bit of time thinking about The Cost of Power and where it’s going, which meant I went back in and added stuff. I’m throwing in a “mystical origin” history for the Martinieres loosely based on the legend of Melusine and the Lusignans, because why not? The Lusignans are ancestors of the Valois, and since the Martinieres are an illegitimate branch of the Valois, why not? I’ve also been thinking through some backstory notions involving Philip and Gerard, including the scene between them after the deaths of Saul and Angelica, and I’ll probably write that down today. The other piece is that the ultimate reason the Martinieres and the Brauns are feuding is that the Brauns are longtermists for whom posthumans are a goal…while the Martinieres embrace their humanity, and fixing things in the here and now. That’s the key to the multiverse struggle, at least in this series.
I also put together the loose final form of Fabulist and Fantastical Worlds in Scrivener that required me to track down appropriate versions of the stories I wanted to include in that collection, and I made a preliminary cover. A few weeks ago, when family was visiting, I took a rather cool picture of the East Moraine that my camera filters turned into something different. Since I’m now skittish about resorting to stock photos due to the AI stuff, I went digging through my old art shots to find something that might just work. This one was what popped up, and since so many of my stories are based on experiences out in the woods….
Here’s the first draft of the cover:
We’ll see how it plays.
And now it’s time to get to work.