Time for a old-fashioned update since I’ve completed a multitude of projects recently. There are other projects in-progress and many others waiting in the wings, but as of late completion has been the word of the day. Let’s begin…
• The rewrite of Bk2, A River in Each Hand is complete. This one is a huge deal. The project was plagued with ill fortune from the start, but I’m thrilled with where it is now. Finally! In the end, I chopped over 30K and added about 75K.
• Backing up, I added a new first chapter to Bk1, Trust in the Forgotten. The original was written over two years ago and didn’t do what a first chapter should: grab the reader’s attention. While still introducing Riparia as a sympathetic character, it’s faster paced and includes more conflict and interactions. A far slimmer version of the original survives as the second chapter.
• I wrote a new Ontyre short story in March that I love and have lavished a lot of attention on it. It’s the first set in Arthune, Pannulus and is about a girl recovering from an assault who’s the best hope for helping someone else.
• As is always the case there’s been considerable editing performed, and not just on Bk2. I’ve gone through the new Bk1 chapter a couple of times to match the quality of the writing with the rest of the novel. In addition, I’m always taking a break to edit a short story or two.
•This was unique: I took a contemporary story and converted it to an Ontyre story while editing it. So much better! Some of the language and other small details had to changed, but the biggest adjustment was removing the airport/airplane element and substituting a landing tower and airship. I had so—much—fun doing this. Air travel in Pannulus is SO much more civilized—unless you’re afraid of flying.
• The Tremjara map I completed last month is finally labeled so I’m including it here. With labeling, the biggest challenge is always deciding what to include and what to leave out. In the end I only named the regions like Carrdia that remained somewhat organized after the fall of the Empire. The Tri-Islands still exist, but the country that occupies them is Pannulus. The name is a made-up word derived from pan (all inclusive) and annulus (ring-shaped).
• Ah, but that isn’t the only map completed. Carrdia is done! To make it I enlarged its region and lowered the color saturation in the areas outside its borders. Mostly this map is for my own reference, but it’s fun to share and I’m hoping the small city labeling will show up online where it can’t be blown-up as much as on my computer. We’ll see. This map is a big deal for me because it finally brings together information from other maps I’d made, all of which were incomplete.
• Speaking of regional maps, I’ve enlarged Pannulus from the Tremjara map, but it isn’t labeled. Pannulus is a new obsession, but barely developed so I’m having to spend a lot of time coming up with location names. Until a week ago there were was Arthune (the capital), Raspell, and Farthing. That was it. Now, there are close to a hundred names (some are physical locations and not cities). For instance, there’s now Thornwillow, Lurkenwood, Diven, and Dalewater. I’m trying to give the names on each of the three major islands a distinct flavor.
An interesting side note: I mentioned last week there’s a Pannulus novel I’m considering writing at some point. Recently, I noticed I could trace the story’s evolution back through my short stories. Pannulus is first mentioned as a safe haven in a tale from November 18, 2015, though the story is set elsewhere. Likewise, in a story from January 2016 it’s mentioned that there’s a school for gifted teens located there.
Since then, I’ve located ten stories in the country (plus a flash fiction). I started out locating my short stories all over the Old Empire, but as time passed my focus locked on Pannulus. Even now there’s another short story outlined and some preliminary writings on the possible novel.