Foreign Youth

A sharp crack rang through Baracus a couple of hours before dawn. Alice sat up and looked around. She saw how dark it was and frowned.

“Not another time!”

Most people in Baracus were used to the occasional loud noise and, more often than not, the noise was caused by Drake, a resident Worker and also one of the King’s agents.

The first time Alice had heard the sharp crash of metal, she had jumped about in confusion and wonder. It had been during the day, and Jithin had explained it all to her in order to calm her down. He told her that Workers were field leaders for new Solune inventions, and that they used a lot of metal and springs. Occasionally, he had said, something would go wrong, and the combination of heavy springs and iron would result in noises like what she had heard. And, he’d added, usually it was Drake; especially if it happened after dark, since Drake liked to work into the night. Continue reading “Foreign Youth”

Span

Like most other things here, this is a working project; a first draft. Here is part one.

When I was young, very young, it was my mother who took care of me. She taught me to walk, or so she tells me, and she was the one that infomed my early actions. But, as I grew older, my father’s frustration changed how it was our family functioned. Understandably, what he wanted was a pupil. He would talk about this, and about hunting over many afternoons. It was because of him that I learned of my unusual nature.

When I was old enough, my mother began to teach me our domestic duties. I would clean the hearth, I would weave with her, and also, I would help her raise my younger sister. There were also duties for us to do outside the family. My mother and I would help around the tribe when people were sick, or needed their children taken care of, or needed to build something. The children, just like you two, enjoyed my stories and I liked to tell them. I would talk about the forest, about the wargs, about the awful basket I once made that lost its bottom and dropped all of my fruits. But my favourite job was shearing animal skins, and cutting and eviscerating the meat. I volunteered for this task often.

When my father’s agitation began to spill into the family’s afternoontime discussion, something within me became very interested. He would speak with Continue reading “Span”

Alice and Finch: The Archetypal Recapitulation

In this article, I write about Northrop Frye’s theory of myths and archetypes, specifically comedy, using my manuscript of Alice and Finch as a comparison and example. It may contain spoilers, but nothing I thing would ruin the experience of reading the novel.

Nine months ago, I powered through the first chapter of a three-part short story series. (I’m not sure what it is I have with short story series’.) That series is what later became the “Dawn” section of Alice and Finch. It was a very strong trilogy compared to my other work, and it eventually spawned my current best piece of writing, Inck. But then, three months later in late July, I finally finished the first draft of the novel. After that, I started tying up loose ends with a few epilogues, and I also realized major a flaw. As I looked back, I realized that I hadn’t really finished the story properly.

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Northrop Frye 1912 –1991

According to Canadian literary theorist Northrop Frye, “The theme of the comic is the integration of society, which usually takes the form of incorporating a central character into it” (Frye). The integration can be broken down into individual, family, and society. I’m not so sure that I succeeded in this regard, but I think I made a good effort. In fact, in my own epilogue for Ilias, I somehow managed to subconsciously notice my own mistakes! Here’s a clipping with a limit on spoilers: Ilias came up with something of “… a solution neither Finch nor Alexandre had thought of …” (Triumph). This is an example of one of the many loose ends that I want to tie up; not in the band-aid epilogues, but in the actual story. Continue reading “Alice and Finch: The Archetypal Recapitulation”

Notes and Plans – The Solune Prince

The Solune Prince chapters I’ve completed are… kind of meh.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a reader, I might think: This series is kind of boring. And it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. And if it is, it’s going there very slowly. There situations and characters seem a little lacking. Some of these chapters go nowhere, or add nothing to the story. And why did it take so long to get here?

These are pretty serious concerns, right? I mean, it’s been 20 chapters and not much has happened. If the average chapter is 1000 words (and it’s actually a little more), then that means I’m 20 000 words in and I’m still only at the beginning.

It’s overwhelming. I feel like I’ve sort of shotgun-vomited and pantsed myself into a narrative about nothing, filled with boring characters, and then insulted the reader by adding a “first draft disclaimer.” I mean, maybe I should actually put a little more effort into making my pieces of a high enough quality that I don’t feel the need for disclaimers.

I was at a point where I was almost ready to throw up my hands and drop the serial altogether.

That’s what I was thinking.

And then, on the way to the library, I listened to Falter.

See, that song was one of the biggest inspirational pieces for The Solune Prince, and hearing it again, I remembered a lot of what I was feeling back when I started. I decided to return to The Solune Prince project for sure after that, but with a different mentality.

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To practice, to learn, to improve.

This is a first draft, I’m sure there are a lot of people who write a first draft by the seat of their pants, read it over, and then think, “man this is awful.” And, that’s what I’m thinking. It’s pretty awful! But that’s okay, because it’s a first draft. A second draft can (and if it’s got glaring faults, should) be drastically different than the first.

I’m not going to go back and fix the first twenty (geez, twenty?) scenes until I’m done though. I’m not even going to try to fix every single problem I’ve had with those scenes going forward.

I’m just going to focus on one thing at a time, and this time, it’s planning. So, I’m going to do a lot more work planning the rest of the Solune Prince. You know, it was going somewhere, I just kept getting into tangents, and hopefully with a plan, I can avoid that.

In addition, outlining will allow me to know a little bit better where each scene is going, and what it’s trying to do. I may end up with less frequent, but higher quality scenes as a result of planning. Maybe I’ll even outline individual scenes, I don’t really know.

I actually drew out a basic outline before writing this. It looks like I’ve got seven acts to go. Seven acts to get my act together haha. I’ll work on the outline a bit more before posting another scene.

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

P.S.

On a side note, I really need to update my categories.