Montana has awoken and has me thinking of spring and renewal even though winter’s official end is still nearly a month away. The snow is retreating up the mountain slopes, the grass is green, and the squirrels are out in mass.

Gotta love the squirrels.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Misha. Photo: CA Hawthorne

In the apartment there isn’t any wildlife, but the life is wild. The cats are soaking up the morning sun and then stampeding through the apartment. Back and forth. Back and forth. And then Mr. Calvin collapses. He is fifteen years-old, after all.

It also has me thinking about my own seasonal renewal. I’m walking more often now that a warmer (as in kinder and gentler) sun has arrived. I’ve even tackled some early spring cleaning. Not too difficult when you live in a little apartment. Little, but comfy. I’ve never been one for having more space than I need.

I also continue to work on short stories and learn writing in Deep 3rd. My gut, when it isn’t craving pizza, tells me that’s the right choice for me. I’m presently reading Deep Point of View (Busy Writer’s Guides Book 9) by author and editor Marcy Kennedy. It’s excellent and I’m nearly through it. While I was making progress on Deep 3rd, the book is making a huge difference.

A side project is updating my fantasy world. The basics were created 16 years ago and it only exists in hard copy now. The refined world needs updating and moved into the computer. While writing stories I’ve caught myself making mistakes because my own reference materials are a mess.

What I’m producing is more than notes. It’s more like a textbook. For instance, under the section Magic and Its Operation is the following passage that explains just one element that makes up a person’s gift (magic):

Imbalance Potential (IP) — The amount someone can exceed the body’s maximum saturation. For most this is never an issue because they lack sufficient power to reach the saturation maximum. For others, especially wizards and sorcerers, this is an ever-present danger. It’s important to note this is the maximum an individual can potentially exceed the saturation maximum. Situations and people vary. The individual who accesses their IP enters consume and is in danger of initiating degeneration. If they exceed their IP it will kill them. Note: When casting a death spell the person does exceed their IP with their last breath, thus the name.

Whew! That’s some dry, textbook-like writing. Listen up all you world builders: this is the reason why we don’t write info dumps. I need to understand this, but no one wants to read it, and they won’t (except for here). Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m proud of the work I’ve done on the world, but it’s important to understand the difference between writing reference materials and writing a story.

There are even diagrams. At present I’m working on the section about partials and their magic. Partials are gifted whose magic falls into five distinct categories (healers, seekers, seers, sirens, and sylvans). Think of them as specialists as opposed to wizards who are generalists.

And the diagrams? For me they’re like candy and one of my indulgences. I’ll leave you with the one I made for seekers that explains one part of their gift:

Diagram: CA Hawthorne

Diagram: CA Hawthorne

6 Replies to “Renewal”

  1. Pingback: Renewal | Christina Anne Hawthorne

  2. Heh my cat stampedes through my apartment all the time. Love her to bits despite her being totally insane (matches her human).

    Last year I discovered the deep POV for the first time and I used it for the novel I’m editing now. I’m using both first and third person and there is still a lot to learn and I have lots of editing but, like you, I think it’s the correct choice for me as a writer.

    Awesome diagram, Christina. It’s like a mini-infographic, very well made.

    • It seems like the level of insanity often runs deeper in the females. I guess that accounts for me. Misha races to the bedroom where she attacks the cat post, then races back to the living where she does the same. And all the while she keeps up with him. Then I get to hear the cat upstairs do the same and laugh.

      Learning Deep POV has already had such a profound effect on me that I read now and notice how much distance there is between reader and character.

      I love infographics! I’m always evaluating how good/bad they are. I have the same obsession with forms. It drives me nuts when I’m handed a form to fill-out and it’s poorly designed.

  3. You made me laugh when you wrote but the life is wild at your place. Cats can be so unpredictable. Mine just stampeded across the floor and ran up my back onto my shoulders. Crazy!

    I love the Colours of the Seeker descriptions its wonderful Christina I also love how you do all sorts of grids and mapping, such detail.

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