Sunday, December 12, 2010


For someone who was absolutely convinced she was going to do some serious editing this weekend, I have done...very little editing. Ha. Which isn't to say I haven't done any, because I went through the first three chapters of Neverboy. The first two are nothing to be excited about, as they've previously been edited anyway; aside from a latter snip about Kit's first meeting with the infamous Magistrate-General, the first two chapters are the only parts of the novel I've shown to people. One of my local writing groups -- Scribes -- had expressed interest in seeing more beyond the second chapter, but I never got to it because the third chapter is a bit clunky and I wasn't really sure what was going on. I knew it had to be changed. And yesterday I finally made some of those changes, so while I still don't like it, exactly, it fits better with the story as a whole. And it means I can start sharing it again, ha. Only twenty-two more chapters to go...? With that said, some of those chapters are ridiculously over-long and need to be broken up differently. That's going to be fun...

So, if I wasn't editing, what was I doing? Being December, I've been distracted by the auspices of Real Life; I ended up having to work for a couple of hours, I needed to do some shopping, I had to wrap gifts, and I got a bee in my bonnet about vacuuming (mostly thanks to the glitter all over the floor). Today promises Adventures In Glue-Gunning. But if I am to make anything of this writing malarkey, I need to make time for writing. I think I said the other day that Scribes is having their last meeting for the year on Wednesday, and it involves writing a Christmas story. I'm not so hot with those. I think I've written three that I can remember? One was just a sob-fest because it was written the Christmas Day that followed the Christmas Eve when my grandfather died; it makes no real sense, it was just catharsis. Another one was about D'Arcy and Wills spending an odd Christmas with Elaine and Damien; I honestly don't remember well, which likely means it was crap. The other one I know of was about D'Arcy and Tess a year and a half after Wills' death, and was...ambitious? Ha. I don't even know anymore. I quite liked it, but I'm not sure anyone else ever did...

At any rate, I wrote a Christmas story yesterday -- I aimed for three thousand words, got almost four. Oops. But considering I started with no actual plot, just the idea of "Luchandra and Kavaan talk about the Nylurean winter holiday," it came out...rather nicely? I'm not sure. But yeah, it's certainly no traditional Christmas story. It was probably more a world-building exercise, than anything else. I'm not really built for short stories, but when I was in high school I learned to write them with a friend of mine; she lived in the States, I lived in New Zealand, and we were writing a massive pseudo-fanfiction epic monster THING. The cast of (mostly original) characters got way out of hand, and we ended up writing lots of short stories sent in the past, the present and the future in order to get background and perspective on each of them. Ever since then, I've kept the habit, as I find it useful for both character and world development. So the point of this story, for me, was finding out a little something about Nylurean culture, as opposed to Sarinian (as Luchandra and Kavaan at this point live in Deseran, an academic city in the Sarinian province of Lonan).

The thing is, though, I ended up learning a bit more about Kavaan, too. And that's where the idea of evolution comes into this entry. Some of my characters have been in my head for a long time. The other day, actually, I was commissioning a drawing of Luchandra and Zurin, and it occured to me that I've known them both since I was fourteen. That's...over half my life, just. Which is a bit scary, and just a little bit wonderful too. But while Luchandra and Zurin have stayed pretty much the same, Kavaan? Kavaan keeps evolving. He's the third apex of their love triangle. When I first drew this triangle I assumed that Luchandra and Zurin were The One True Pairing and that Kavaan was just a bump on the road, but these days...I just can't work that one out. Luchandra and Zurin are certainly the Star Crossed Lovers trope, but does that entitle them to be the One True Pairing? I think I've finally come to realise that one does not necessarily equal the other. And so, that brings me to Kavaan.

He actually did the bulk of his evolving last year, during NaNo 2009 when I wrote fifty thousand words on the Hibernaculum draft that still languishes unfinished on my harddrive. Back when I was fourteen years old Kavaan was the stereotypical elf archer warrior thing, and when he developed a personality he became...a bit of a dick, in all honesty. He loved Luchandra, but it was a possessive love that led to him murdering one incarnation of Zurin and raping a girl for reasons I still don't understand (!). I think it was a teen angst thing on my part, I don't know; certainly these days the Rape Is Love trope really pisses me off whenever I see it (because of course the girl he "raped" was in love with him anyway, wtf). I suppose I should just be glad I got it out of my system when I did? But...yeah. When I began to reimagine the story of Hibernaculum in order to put it in the history of this entire world -- because all my stories are linked to one another -- Kavaan really started to change quite dramatically. Some things are the same, sure. But instead of an arrogant possessive SOB, he's become a mildly clumsy, eternally cheerful diplomat with a talent for both music and conversational callisthenics. He's just...a much happier person, though in some ways he's less confident and...more submissive, almost. But then he's not really submissive, he's just more...thoughtful, I guess? Actually, I really liked something that came to Luchandra while I was writing What The Fire Said, the Christmas story for next week:

She had to love him for that. While others might have thought from his ridiculous conversational habits that he had no idea of what went on around him, she knew he was very observant. In fact, he was intuitive to a fault. Sometimes she thought that was why he talked so much. Perhaps he just hoped that the sound of his external voice would drown out all that he didn’t want to hear from the internal.

 So...yes. When I was NaNo-ing last year, I fell in love with the newly evolved Kavaan. I hadn't really written much of him since, but now...I am falling in love with him all over again. And wondering. I often find that my characters do what they want, especially when it comes to love (I learned in Mexico that Eliot and Morgan, certainly, have very odd ideas both about each other and then love in general). It's a little bit scary to think that when it comes to the Zurin-Luchandra-Kavaan love triangle that I really don't know what's actually going to result from it. But then, I suppose that's half the fun...

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