This is mostly for folk ‘Across The Pond’ in the USA; something to take your mind off of the Apocalypse Now theme which appears to be gripping your presidential election. And within lies the seeds of warnings for the struggles you will face in the aftermath in which not just Unity but Flexibility and Perception will be essential . This account includes a great deal of necessary history so is a long post.
SUBJECT: The suspension of the previous leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn on charges of Anti-Semitism
Now because this news has, is and will continue to generate a lot of glee, wailing, outrage, conspiracy theorising, told-you-so, etc etc from many sections of the UK here comes a declaration on my own stance: I am hard-left with an authoritarian streak mixed with what could be taken as either a pragmatic or Realpolitik outlook. No fluffy folk-lore, conspiracy layered tropes here. In my ‘book’ it is the duty, I stress that Duty of every member of the Labour Party to struggle, by all means necessary to work towards the goal that The Conservative Party does not have a say in Government. It is a very tough world and Compromise is not a Dirty Word (and by the way the State of The World….. it’s all Our Collective Fault (Humanity that is) no use blaming one side or another). Thus on with the commentary.
Overview and History
Corbyn comes from what folk like to call The Far-Left of the UK Labour Party and being of a post-war generation carries the baggage of that time. State ownership, antipathy to large commercial outfits, latent hostility to the Conservative Party (so far so good), suspicions of the USA, tendency to give Russia in whatever guise it is operating a second and third chance, anti-war no matter what and of course an urge for ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’. (by now he and I have parted company). Following Blair’s Bright Future being afflicted by Hubris, Brown left holding the bag but successfully navigating the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, one romantic wing of the Labour Party called itself Momentum, gathered itself together with the sole purpose of getting its man into the top job did that with commendable success.
The first thing it did, which is, to be fair classic Socialist/Communist style was to seriously discredit the predecessors, caste out those who would not tow the line, get its own folk into places of power, and start to intimidate any internal opposition. In this it was doing as would be expected (it’s what I would have done). It then ran out of ideas, the most important being on how to get into government in an essentially conservative (mood not party) nation, Nearly got there in 2017 through a mix of dislike of Conservative Austerity and possible hope placed in Labour, BUT thanks to the historic intransigence of Sinn Fein ( When it comes to politics They do things differently in Ulster) not taking their seats in the House of Commons Labour failed (‘Close but no Cigar’ as was the saying in the USA). And this is where it all goes wrong. When history, heritage and a lot of murky within the Human Nature start to play their parts.
One of Humanity’s dirty facets is prejudice and it is no use denying that ‘you’ are not prey to it. Be honest you do judge some folk by labels and without knowing them dislike or are suspicious of them… Yes, yes I ‘know’ some ‘deserve it’….. See what I mean?. Anyway, one ingrained in European history, folk lore, warping of religious beliefs, social outlooks and politics is…The Jews . Oh, yes we have decided that they are so different and so inward looking, you never know what they are thinking…..actually if you had been persecuted, pogromed, vilified and mis-represented for several hundred years you wouldn’t exactly be going out into the world with a happy innocent smile on your face would you now? And not even the horrors of WWII have cleaned that stain out of our collective consciousnesses. Thus in every European there is a sensitivity to ‘The Jews’ . Where the toxicity was allowed to flourish on the Left was when it was the USA and not the USSR who got to support Israel. You see another prejudice in Europe, particularly on the Left is that the USA is bad. For instance -never mind that the majority of Americans voted against Trump, many on the left promptly labelled every American as stupid and White Fundamentalist Evangelical. Never mind that to be Jewish can leave you open to vilification in the USA, somehow Israel, Mossad and so all ‘the Jews’ were also behind Trump.
Thus to a section of the Labour Party be Jewish is to be associated the corrupt, and horrific Israeli government of now, and all Palestinians are victims, and let’s not go into what happens to those Palestinians who speak out against their own ‘representatives’ in Hamas. Now this outlook is an obvious weak link in the Party which espouses equality and claims to be opposed to discrimination, and something which the Conservative supporting media can work with. Conservative spokespersons can be ‘horrified’ about (while hushing up the Islamophobic tendency of its own ranks…nothing to see here folks…move along please).
Any half-astute hard-nosed operator within the true ranks of Socialism would have seen this happening, and knowing it was a problem would have confronted it by one very simple manoeuvre. Criticise the Israeli government and announce talks to affiliate with one of the left wing Israeli Parties : Meretz for instance who does have seats in the Knesset or Da’am Workers Party (very, very Left wing) to name but two without even trying. Embrace indigenous UK Jewish groups who are opposed to the Israeli government and its policies. Make it very plain to folk who are not on board with this policy to either get on board or quit Labour and set up their own little group (with a sub-text that such an outfit with be vilified by Labour by all means necessary). Tell all those fashionable personalities who raise their profiles by announcing their are boycotting this or that to shut up or also get on board. Although that would seriously annoy the Israeli Government and their UK supporters this would defuse the situation. So simple. All it needed was determination and a few threats to those who stood in its way. But no, the Party Split over the issue, it lost its traditional Jewish base and looked all kinds of Nasty in the media. And in defence of their Anointed many of Corbyn’s supporters took on the mirror image of the supporters of Trump, blinded to anything but support and visceral hate for those against them. Absolute bumbling, rank amateurism, blinded with prejudice and out-dated tropes of warped folk-lore. Although hard-left I am also a Christian and did often mentally cry to the Lord God ‘Give Me Strength Lord! Give me Strength!…
You had it all. A divided unpopular weakened Conservative Party and you still failed, in fact seen to be failing. And all you and yours could come up with were excuses.
And now the proverbial chickens have come home to roost, and while all those who still cling to the notion that Corbyn is but a victim of a vast conspiracy do rend their garments and caste ashes this way and that, I can in all honest anger and reproach say:
‘Jeremy Corbyn by your own narrow-mindedness, inflexibility, adherence to out-dated concepts have played a major role in this unhappy collection of Islands being administered by the most inept collection of people in many a long year to sit around a Cabinet Table at Number 10 Downing street. In this I judge you guilty of that most major crime any socialist can commit you complied in allowing a Conservative Government. In the words of Oliver Cromwell to The Long Parliament on the 20th April 1653:
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
“If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?”
This is a very old question, comes in several forms and people go into all sorts of philosophical arguments on the subject while there are branch ‘ofs’ explaining the processes which cause sound and how the Human senses process these.
There’s the warning word ‘Human’
Y’see we, in our indoctrinated and quiet, paradoxically modest arrogance, assume that the only important point to this question is whether a Human hears the action or not. We in our perceived positioning upon this planet have taught ourselves to believe only our perceptions truly matter. We may in our patronising or caring ways acknowledge that our creatures have senses and feelings but at the end of the day, only our perceptions count on the higher level, ie our level.
Yet when you place this question in the context the entirety of all Life upon this world then the question becomes a small piece of introversion and of no consequence to any dweller in any arboreal landscape.
Of course the falling tree makes a noise, every animal within the area will hear that sound and will react as its nature, perception, physical well-being, skills and experience will enable it to. As far as I know every other form of life will respond. And thus the sound will have a relevance. Maybe a creature down the food chain will be alerted to a surprise sound.
Maybe a tree dweller will appreciate this means a change in the dwelling spaces and availability. Just two in a myriad of possibilities. Thus you can be certain when that tree falls over the whole neighbourhood will know about it. Yes there was a sound.
Now some folk might say I am getting environmentalist panties in a bunch and the whole thing is allegorical anyway as it relates to the Human Condition only. To which I say, The Human Condition is only conditional depending on the rest of the planet. Ask anyone in the path of a hurricane as to whether if they were not there would there be a sound and they would give you a rather salty reply about asking such a damn fool question.
We cannot by intellect, philosophical arguments, pleas to rhetoric or applications of logic separate ourselves from the workings of this planet; Ip So Facto; Quid Pro Quo (and any other Latin phrase you care to use in and out of context but only wish to employ to impress or distract.).
Thus the tree falls and there is a noise whether there were any humans around is quite irrelevant to the fact, everyone else in the vicinity heard the event in one form or another and couldn’t care less whether a human was within sensory range or not.
So, the danger is to Us, Humanity assuming our Supremacy in the Overall Scheme of ‘Things’. In this case, there is only ‘Sound’ if a Human can testify to it. Instead of realising we are but part of the entire Life Cycle of this world, we have set ourselves up as Sole Arbiters of the Validity of Events. We have decided the world is ours to preside over. (Now if only we can do something about those inconvenient Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Extreme Metrological Events, Wildfires, Tsunamis etc which do tend to spoil this view).
If we continue on our profligate path, we fail to evolve beyond simple consumption then we will go the way of many life forms before us, and take down a number of others with us. Yet Life will go on, in one form or another. Trees or their equivalents will fall and the sound of their falling will be noticed and recorded by other creatures.
And that question will have vanished, along with its originators.
Beware this question, therefore, as shown, it is loaded with dangerous assumptions, turn your minds away from these vanities.
This question of falling trees and sounds always niggled me but I could never quite formulate the exact detail of my annoyance much less put it into words. It was only when I recently listened to this book :
Other Minds: The Octopus and The Evolution of Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith
That the words I had been searching for began to fall into place. The author is a philosopher with an practical and deep interest in marine life thus approaches the subject from the perspective of two disciplines. This is a work which gives a very interesting view of Life in general and our place.
Sometimes your have one volume with a very complicated plot which requires a foundation so the reader isn’t pestered with blank spaces which are filled in some stage down the narrative by one character suddenly breaking into a quite out of context explanation or the sudden desire to give a back story.
There again you may have embarked upon a multi-volume work and are up to your syntax and continuity in characters of various degrees of importance, plots, sub-plots and conflicts of interest. Whereas you may be living a portion of your life in this world you should not expect your readership to so and thus remember whether this character vital to Volume III had had a walk-on part in Volume I.
In these situations The Prologue is a useful device. If you are writing Fantasy…
… it is almost a necessity otherwise you do have characters indulging in long explanations to another character which in normal circumstances the latter would not require, being it is hoped familiar with the nuances of their own world. In this genre you will have enough of a problem fitting in those explanations or discoveries which are generally unknown without having to include a running commentary for the reader. Prologues set the scene. Many successful authors use this device. As did many before The Bard and contemporaneous with Shakespeare. For instance he has a Chorus in the opening Scenes of Henry V and in Romeo and Juliet and you should not quibble over the fact this is one person, it would only sound confusing to have a lot of folk saying the same thing. Thus, if you are paying attention you will have an idea of ‘what’s what’.
A prologue can take many forms, a piece of action or dialogue before the main narrative. Sometimes it can take the form of a potted portion of history, this type should be approached with caution, lest it morph into a style which would be better suited to a factual history book. I had this problem upon reaching Vol III of my Fantasy trilogy….
….. I was simply going to record because the overall plot was reflecting the many facetted aspects of conflicts political and military when more then two parties are involved. There was by then a great deal of detail swirling around and this begged a summary. So I tried a few ‘historical accounts’ by various anonymous writers and none worked (See above-History)
It then occurred to me, at least one character would be in a similar situation trying to make sense of everything. The natural choice was Arketre Beritt, being military and without particular ‘Ethereal’ Powers she would be short of the extra perceptions Karlyn & Trelli have, and since she was military would be wary as to where the next crisis might come from. Thus between us (I always work with the characters, they have a far better insight than I do) we put together an incident where she attempts to chart and list all the possible threats, influences and problems on the various horizons.
Aside from this prologue having an element of acerbic comedy, which is Arketre’s forte, it would also serve to show the reader just what a convoluted hoo-hah everything had become. This state of affairs being a visualisation of the tangle which became WWII, Vietnam in the 1950s-1970s, Iraq in the previous decade and any patch of European history between …..well any time …In short no one was every truly in control or genuinely working with each other. We decided italics would work best to illustrate when she was writing or maybe having particularly vivid (polite alternative) thoughts.
Thus Arketre and I give you…The Prologue (aside from the initial physical scene setting and Arketre’s brief look-back, left out as not truly pertinent to the post). The romantic ending is deliberately left in as that plays several very important parts in the narrative….No, not The Relationship in general, causes for banter, noble sacrifice, tensions and scenes of an intimate nature. You need the book to find out…
……. Late night in the town of Yermetz. The air chill, a reminder Spring was still young. A figure seated at a desk, candle flickering due to a draft whose source still evaded detection.
As satisfied as she was Beritt was not inclined to be complacent and expect things to go on this easy. There were wars brewing, wars happening, wars in places far away and wars right under your nose, most folk could not see those last sort of wars. Beritt was realistic enough to appreciate she could only see a fraction of them at any time, so all the more reason to make sure she would be alert to anything coming her way.
It was a simple task really. Sit down with a large sheet of parchment, in the centre draw three circles with their first names written therein, then around them draw more circles with the names of all the organisations and people she reckoned could affect them. Once this was accomplished draw lines from these others to Me, Kitlin and Trelli, then lines which would link each of the organisation or people to each other. It would be like drawing a map, on scouting missions, you just had to keep a clear head and be methodical.
She carefully inscribed their names, adding extra curves to the letters K-I-T-L-I-N.
Then those to watch out for. The LifeGuard were, naturally, her first choice, only she found herself writing under its big circle, smaller ones to hold the names ‘Centre of Command and Decision- Drygnest’, ‘Colonel Rachteg’ and ‘CaptainDekyria’, because all three had been in contact with her or once through Kitlin at differing times with differing messages or in the case of the amorphous first trying to incinerate her as an acceptable loss. She didn’t feel inclined to draw lines yet.
Next came ‘The Libratery’, she had once been a member; a humble Novice Devoted. Take into account Trelli had grown up in one of their orphanages and of late had been at their tuscatalian fortress Altoviani Settentrionali, working for them. Bear in mind, last year when seeking out Trelli, apparently Kitlin had annoyed a Surveyoress Coltello who Trelli reckoned was up to more than she seemed. Thus once more two separate circles under a bigger circle. The lines would certainly take some careful work. Then she remembered The Devoteds had Ragithyl sort of imprisoned or something. So she had to add his name, grunting to herself for he would cause a tangle.
She then wrote ‘Decoryx’ the land of Prince Atherlin. She had been based in his realm and Trelli came from there, and he seemed to be held in‘Fond Regard’ with The LifeGuard. Not actually pressing into her space, but worth putting down because for her that was where everything had begun. This was going to be more involved than she had reckoned. Some lines would have to bend all the way around the parchment if they weren’t going to get in the way of others. Some might intersect, she would have to think of symbols to indicate what sort of intersection. She frowned, sipped cooling coffee.
‘Elinid’ came next. That was where Kitlin originally claimed she had come from. Trelli had ended up there for a short time, so had Ragithyl while Wigran part of Trelli’s earlier life and deeply involved in the original mess now worked for The Silcs, and when you mentioned The Silcs it seemed they were in contact with Captain Dekyria. Another long line which would have to curve. Now there were several more circles all in a little huddle as if they were keeping a secret from her….Oh yeah and the Silcs were probably involved with that Coltello girl……Frib!
And while she’d been thinking of Kitlin, Custodian Meradat loomed into her head, he was supposed to be of the Office of Custodians (or whatever they called themselves) but didn’t appear to get on with his seniors. Also neither he, his seniors nor The Libratery didn’t seem to pay any attention to the Official top of Religion The Ecclesiastes. She scowled at the thought of the fresh number of circles ,which in a fit of resentment at this intrusion into her military and civil world she placed in the far away bottom right corner of the parchment ensuring they kept out of her way until she was good and ready for them.
Of course she had to include Terasonia. Of late the land had loomed large in the three women’s lives, this led to her having to include separate items for the Four Grand Dukes, the new prince, More-Than-He-Seemed Zweideutig and The Terasonian Church. Hoping they were no longer her problem she placed them off to the far left in the middle. Her modest amount of satisfaction at this arrangement soured when she remembered Osavus Trelli’s lover. He would have to be included because you could never tell with love what might happen. Beritt was glad she did not know the name of the girl he was betrothed to.
And when you mentioned Terasonia, you had to mention The Shadow Lords; she put them next to the terasonian collection. She couldn’t really remember if there was more than one lot of Shadow Lords, she decided not to press the issue. Between that grouping and her, Kitlin and Trelli’s names she placed the evil The Zerstorung, got more confused and found she had had to put a separate entry for each group of them, being Air, Land and Deep. She glowered at the name Ragithyl for his previous involvement with at least two of them and cursed him for reminding her of at least of the Silcs being, possibly attached.
At this stage she sat back and huffed, then grimaced in spectacular proportions. Several of the circles seemed to want to be somewhere else. Maybe she should have put all the names on small bits of other parchment and shuffled them about on the larger piece. The ever growing numbers of groups and characters caused her to relate it to the patchwork of The Oakhostian Empire. At this thought she ground her teeth, she now had to make one entry for The Oakhostian as an empire and one for the Emperor Loosiderue because if you were a LifeGuard you didn’t think an Emperor as half as important as the whole. An image of the court and the princes came into her thoughts. Princes made her think of Henrich (The Useless) of Valeneg (her current location) and to his eastern borders, Prince Habgierig of Krenderenberg of whom Prince Atherlin of Decoryx had very unfavourable opinions. More circles. More lines. She shuddered at the notion of just how many little coded symbols at the intersections she would have to make. She forced down other names bubbling up, some from the winter’s activities around Terasonia and others due to the possibilities of ‘unpleasantness’ on Valeneg’s borders. Irritation invited her to vent its smouldering by her petulant drawing on the bottom central edge of a very untidy circular shape into which she inserted the phrase ‘Other wobblers and sheep-chasers of the Nobility’
This done she dropped her elbows onto the table and her chin into her clenched fists, glaring at the confusion of circles whose numbers and arrangements had there been any further additions these might have been set to form a mocking grin. She looked to ‘Kitlin’ for comfort and fond memories, only to remember her bride had mentioned that evasive fellow ‘Krongar’ in terms which had suggested his own entry and his presence of course reminded her of the danger of Karlyn’s Shadow Lord’s family. With a growl she found a place far from any other and attacked the parchment, the circle was bigger than that of Loosiderue’s for whom, presently she didn’t give a mouldy carrot. She savagely addressed the circle, got as far as ‘Krong-‘ and the tip of the quill snapped off.
In fact due to impact coupled with the snapping the word looked like ‘Kronpf’ which was a type of honeyed oat cake favoured in the most central regions of the Oakhostian and suggested she might be the clerke for a bakery cartel which had a ridiculously grandiose idea of marketing.
Cursing quills in general Beritt turned her anger into determination. She had spent precious bedtime on this, her investment would not be lost. She would not cut up the parchment into strips for use in the privy, something Trelli disapproved of, saying used parchment aside from being rough left ink stains on places you did not want ink stains. Also Beritt resolved she would not take the infernal work outside to tear into small bits, an act which might provide interest to the local cats out on nocturnal patrol. No, she could take up her charcoal stick and draw fribbing lines!
But first to inscribe in angry charcoal letters ‘Kitlin’s Fribbing Interfering Family’. To anyone else a rather enigmatic statement perched in the top left corner.
After sometime of trying straight lines, curved lines, lines which went into loops and lines which gleefully forced her to have them cross over each other and despite the invention of symbols still became confused as to their direction; after the appearance of lines, which on other occasions, possibly when drinking wine, might have been seen to form amusingly vulgar shapes Beritt broke the charcoal stick in two and threw it at the wall.
Obviously the whole business was not one suitable to sane folk. Folk who when attacked by someone simply hit back until that attacker either ran away or stopped moving. Folk who stood ‘here’ and if they had to go ‘there’ went in the least dangerous way. Folk who once in a while would like a very simple set of orders which had a start and a finish. Folk who had not been transferred and thence trained to work in one of the select LifeGuard units. Such as The Office of Expropriation’sLeopard Company, whose members after rigorous training and only having a casual acquaintance with sanity, went out to spy on suspect groups or burn down suspects groups’ habitations or slay as many members of the suspects groups as necessary and slip away, without anyone noticing; all the while not really caring who the groups were or why this group had been selected when a lunation ago the group had been considered allies.
No, she would not scrumple up, stamp on, nor tear up or even bite chunks out of the parchment, each urge briefly considered as feasible. She would roll the whole stupid mess up, tie a piece of string about it and place in her backpack for later use. Either as a point of reference, or if the need arose to symbolically wave under the nose of any senior officer who asked her for a report, or in very trying situations she would threaten (at some later stage) to insert up their backside if they dared asked her some damn fool question when she was otherwise engaged.
The lesson learned. She would simply have to stay alert for danger from all sorts of directions, trusting only in her friend the ever maturing Trelli and, smiling fondly in the direction of the bedroom door, her darling, funny, caring, wonderfully unpredictable Kitlin.
And she would go back to the easier task of studying the manual on infantry company tactics which she had found in The Translator Pastoral’s library. He had feigned surprise at it being there. She did not ask.
Stowing away the parchment roll in a less than tender manner, and disrobing she padded to the bed. She paused to smile fondly at her Kitlin. Maybe the girl was of Shadow Lord’s blood. So what? She was still a beautiful woman, and Beritt congratulated herself on having ensured the girl had finally discarded those concerns, dismissing the pleas made by folk they had encountered who claimed to be relatives. Yes, her Kitlin had spouted off some references to her heritage and expanded on that to those Shadow Lords soldiers but that had all been a bit of an act to scare them. Of late discussions on the subject often ended in Karlyn assuming the role of a haughty princess and Arketre Beritt in other guises, all play with one objective.
To fall into bed laughing. And then for loving to begin.
All hers, made formal by a patronising yet useful ceremony. Once more relishing the irony Beritt then as she often did when Karlyn had gone to bed earlier stood and enjoyed the sight.
Her love was in deep sleeping, arms wrapped around Beritt’s pillow. She gently eased the pillow from out of the embrace; there came a whimper of protest, which she stilled by taking the pillow’s place causing a murmur of delight and a sigh of satisfaction. As she settled in, her Kitlin’s long, lithe arms slipped around her accompanied by a sleepy kiss on the back of her head. Beritt managed to get the pillow back in place and falling into the rhythm of Karlyn’s breathing, joined her beloved in sleep. These nights she didn’t even need the candle still burning. Her Kitlin’s arms would keep the doubts and fears away..………..
End of Prologue……
If it has worked readers will now be prepared for the lot of tangle, and a fair idea as to the number of who are doing the tangling (or untangling)….
PS: Any long term followers and kind supporters/contributors to my posts and books are more than welcome to ask for a PDF version in advance of the official publication: All enquiries to email@example.com
Autumn is a good time to complete a book upon which I had but one certain intention and that was a feel-good happy ending. In my part of the world when as season grows there is a stillness settling in.
What is done, is done, time to reflect on accomplishments and what may be ahead
In my case, this will be waiting for the cover and Kindling away. Then re-editing and nudging at Volumes I & II so the whole fits together.
I have been posting on this and normally I would enter a link but Word Press seems currently incapable of doing this once simple act……
So to move on to another related topic.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sticking with your writing. Once you have reached the stage where you can admit to yourself that you wish to write, be it to name a few: fact, fiction, observations, poetry, then you should strive to continue, otherwise you will forever be unsettled. Of course not for everyone the writing path, however once a writer, embrace this with a resolve and an intention to write.
There is this theme which surfaces which suggests the only writing worth anything is the writing read by noticeable numbers of readers. And of course we would all like to have a large audience. Sometimes though this is not to be, there will be a variety of reasons and I will not try and list them, for doing that can be misinterpreted that these reasons are actually shortcomings on the writer’s behalf. This reasoning is flawed. Throughout History making one’s views known has always been a struggle, be it because of status, lack of resources and in this day and age the fact that the Public Place is awash with Ways & Means to announce, preach, amuse, inform, misinform and so on. Getting known is difficult, competitive as well; in this there are shallow folk who achieve this by being notorious or outrageous and when you analyse it nothing else and that’s commercially driven because these attention getters are another source of revenue for the Media Systems who are only too happy to use them, until they get too toxic, then bye-bye Yesterday’s Clown.
To return then to the clearer air of writing just Because. Recognition is nice and should not be avoided, but it should not be the measuring stick. The important facet, the very centre of your reason to write, is simply:
You write because you want to
Beyond that, all is consequence. You may attract readership, you may not. You may remain a writer in the shadows, one of millions. Yet what is wrong with this? A brief scan at any Cosmology site will reveal unto you, breath-takingly vast numbers of galaxies which each, themselves contain numbers of stars so vast as to be beyond normal comprehension. And if you are fortunate to be somewhere not bothered by light-pollution you will glimpse a fraction of those stars.
Thus shine on You Writer. One star in the firmament. No matter what else, you are there, and your light is part of a glorious patchwork of Human Creativity.
Foreword….. Take this seriously or with a snigger I don’t mind. Though actually the event has happened to me….. this year…….no kiddin’ I swear on a pile of Brandon Sanderson & Joe Abercrombie books I was not even aware of … Continue reading →
One novel. Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences. (Being Vol III of the Precipice Dominions ) 234,927 words.
(And so follows a discourse with someone who might mean well. They are actually possessed of existence only in my head, because I suspect my answers and the way I would deliver them would drive a normal person to exasperation and the temptation to throw objects at me.)
Person:234,927 Really? Were so many words necessary?
Me: Yes. It’s the last part of a Fantasy Epic Heroic Trilogy. And those sorts of books have to have lotsa words in them. Complain to George R R Martin, not me…By the way there’ll be more if I put titles at the start of each chapter…all 84 of them…there’s a foreword, a prologue and an epilogue too.
Person: Yes, even so should you not have thought it wise to employ a strict editorial regime?
Me: Nope. There are the induvial stories of the three main characters, their interactions as a trio, the love story between two of them, the geo-political world-building you always get in a fantasy/SF work, sly digs at some parts of the genre and the less flexible of the readership, war, romance, rom-com, comedy, satire, politics and more world-building. Ya don’t fit that into 100,000 words without leaving a reader scratching their head at some stage. (And you’ve gotta give the supporting characters their space too, so folk realise they are people)
Person: Be that as it may, dear writer, if you were insisting on embarking on a work of such length should you not have sought out someone to help you with that? Proof reading, alpha-, beta- and editorial reading folk.
Person: That is a rather arrogant response, even foolhardy.
Me: What would be foolhardy would be trying to convince me to change even a sentence. I am fearfully territorial and a self-publishing indie-writer. I would only make the poor soul(s) who took up the task miserable. Reading my books is not compulsory, so I’ll take the hit.
Person: I am afraid I don’t understand.
Me: That’s OK. You shouldn’t be expected to, until you’ve tried writing for years. And then you’ll get it….although you still will reserve the right to say behind my back…… Weirdo…..
Person: But you spent….like how long on this work?
Me: That’s a bit of a toughie…..I guess two, it tends to get tangled up with the two previous volumes. I think the whole effort has taken five years, or so.
Person: Won’t you be…well…disappointed…if they do not sell in substantial numbers?
Me: They’re wrote an’t they? Two are Kindled and the last one will be. They will be out there. I’ll do another editorial stint on the first two and maybe make a bit of a fuss on some media corner about their existence. I can do no more.
Person: If you don’t mind me saying so, you have approached the subject like one of ‘follys’ rich English folk had constructed back in the 18th & 19th centuries.
Me: I repeat. They’re wrote an’t they? People can come and read them if they want to.
Me: I guess they must have gone. Oh well. Back to putting numbers on the chapters and experimenting with titles for said chapters while I await a cover.
I will be spending some time going around various blogs and apologising for not visiting the entertaining, thoughtful or provocative sites. The story is long and mostly one a lot of folk can relate to.
The Computer: Well my usual one finally died and I dug out my back up which approached all the requests with the ill-humour you would associate with a bear being poked out of hibernation with a stick (a very, very long stick). Thus I embarked on purchasing a new one. Now being in the Covid-19 era and also wishing to purchase one for a reputable supplier ANNNNNND trying to find one which everyone agreed on was dependable (Don’t you hate those Reviews Sites which are peppered with 5 & 1 stars in equal measure?) this was a journey. One replete with delays, confusions, mixed up e-mails and an incident at a store which was like Kafa had written a Marx Bros script- that has to be a separate post! Anyway I got a new laptop, a cute lil’ 14″ light-weight ASUS which some ‘superior’ sorts may sneer at…to which I reply ‘Like I cared about your HD or your download speed for films and all that stuff you write which I swear is half-made up in an attempt to make us feel like lesser mortals’
So, thus to the other important cause.
NB: Those who might not have read my previous posts should bear in mind none of the following is advice in any form. This is about how I write- you can shake your heads and say ‘Oh dear’ and I will not be offended in the least.
Yes firstly I apologise for mentioning the word Re-Write yet again however this evolved into more than a simply hunting out of mis-spellings, eradications of odd-syntaxes, ironing out those continuity fractures.
This is quite a long process and there had to be several returns to the beginning due to a whole lot of issues not just creative ones but such problems as convincing WORD I was not actually planning on writing portions of the book in Italian (Warning, be careful writers in English should you use another language’s word or phrase…..WORD might decide you are writing the whole book in that language, it will even start narrating in that accent….Yeah I know….Go Figure).
Anyways as I progressed the journey became one of discovery and dare I say affirmation, the proof-reading/editorialising turning into an experience of witnessing the various characters trying to cope with situations which were beyond their complete control; the more successful ones adapting as they went along. Slowly the narrative was definitely slipping away from my influence changing me to the reporter. There was no problem there, if this was going to work for me anyway the tale had to have its own life, the situation described in the narrative snowballing beyond anyone’s authority. Read any histories (good ones that is, no Conspiracies!) and you will see no one is ever in control, the winners are the ones who make the least mistakes or learn by them. If there were any outside influences in my writing then they were all based on military and political history. The comedy and romance interludes were probably me co-operating with the characters.
I have not finished this process yet, hopefully half-way through this month, then it will be numbering chapters and toying with the idea of giving them titles, and of course the glossary. Following from this I will be waiting for a cover from Matthew who produced a stunning one for Volume II ‘Our Skirmishers of Lace, Fire and Steel’
I really am looking forward to his next interpretation.
There we are then 233,000+ words and maybe little chance of it being a successful.
Why do you do it then, some might ask. Others will of course know the answer.