Time is running out. What time? The time I don’t have, but will somehow stretch. It’s the power of a self-imposed deadline. When I launched into Essence Stone I was rather casual about finishing, believing it’d go quickly, but then time started disappearing.
I take deadlines, no matter their origin, rather seriously. No one will die if I don’t complete this rewrite by October 1st, except maybe I will a little inside because I need every bit of October. Next month NaNoWriMo preparation, especially for world building. That in turn is tied to Essence Stone, given events in it and Riparia’s Bk3 are connected. Thus, I’m fixing this novel so as to do preliminary exploration of a number of issues.
First of all, there’s the city of Thain, once a jewel of the north, later a headquarters for the rebellion, and later beaten down by occupation. I wanted a better idea of setting, the city’s condition, and what it’s like there. I’ve made a lot of headway I can build on. For instance, I realized the ancient tunnels beneath the city are like a maze.
Another issue was the people. What’s it like living there? Again, I’m pleased with what I’ve uncovered thus far. The surviving Keepers (rebels) have split into two groups, for one, and there are public executions of Keepers on a regular schedule. If they haven’t apprehended any Keepers lately they make do with who they can find.
Lastly, there are the nearby peoples of the north.
One group are the neanders, the tall, strong stone workers of the mountains who can read emotions, are of few words, and are renowned as builders. I know more about them because a neander character is introduced in Bk2.
The other group, which I haven’t touched on before, are the yettles. They’re the glacial folk who possess magics tied to manipulating ice. They also keep what humans call alpine gargoyles, but which they call sierrans. I’ve already touched on them in a preliminary fashion in this rewrite, but the major scenes with them will be drafted over Wednesday/Thursday.
Am I going to make it by the 1st? If I don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying. If need be I’ll sacrifice a lot to make it. To do otherwise would be to make a promise to myself and not at least try as hard as possible. Already, in true NaNo fashion, I’ve been eating while editing, though increasingly I’m drafting new scenes, unlike at the start when few new passages were added.
Finally—finally!—Amatha has a story that’s worthy of the seventeen year-old girl with no knowledge of her past other than she spent her entire childhood alone on the Astral Plane with only the voice of Teacher for company. When that arrangement went wrong she found herself face down in an alley in the real place.