dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
The tag containing the previous 10 entries is here (I post a link mostly because it's easiest for me that way, LOL, when I come back to find where I left off)

So this is where it being an alpha draft starts to be noticeable, I think. At this point I wrote about 20,000 words that I later cut, and started again, and stopped again, and decided, well shit, how about a scene break/ time jump. So here we are.

Also this past week I've written a lot and changed some assumptions about Ula's character, so she will at some point slightly shift and I'm not sure where. I decided her mother should have backstory, so. I think I must have mentioned her mother before, and it'll be wrong now, but I haven't gone back to fix it. Oh yes I think this section actually has some stuff I'll have to come back and fix now, but it's all right, I'll leave it as is for now because I'm still not sure how it'll settle out.

I have the feeling that as I'm writing this in disjointed chunks and then trying to join it back together, there are a lot of things where I had the idea, wrote about it, then later was writing again and wrote about the idea because I didn't know I'd already written about it. The story's long enough now that I can't go back and reread the whole thing every so often; you can do that with shorter works and use that to build momentum for your next bit of writing, but once the thing's big enough if you try you'll spend 110% of your allotted writing time just reviewing. Anyway at that point I feel like you can start to feel the subtle rings around the story where it calcified and got hung up and the author had to try to work backward past the block instead. And this is one of them, right here, the break between this scene and the previous one; it's a big mark on the side of the mug where the tea level was for too long, and maybe it got microwaved like that, and anyway it's going to be a devil to get off of there and it may never come off.

So with that ringing endorsement, let's move on.

The first benefit of traveling with a mammoth was that, if she was properly motivated, she’d delightedly wind up your kinetic banks to capacity every day without any of the members of your party having to lift a finger. The caravan they joined at first was a large one, with most of its members only going to the nearest settlement, and it had among its members several troubadours.

Apparently they didn’t get many troubadours out as far as the winter pastures where the mammoths met Ula’s people, because Edurni was absolutely enchanted with them, and it was the promise of performances from them that got her to wind up all the kinetic banks every evening without fail. Alik improvised her a new winding lever, because she had such enormous strength in her trunk that she could easily take advantage of some absolutely brutal gearing, that Alik took it as a challenge to put as much efficient resistance into as possible. He built the new lever their second day of travel, sitting in the back of one of the wagons and gearing it up so that one turn equaled several hundred turns of the regular, meant-to-be-used-by-humans lever.

Edurni turned it pretty easily, and so it took her about thirty seconds to wind up the kinetic bank that the one troubadour’s traveling companion had been prepared to spend an hour pedaling to charge. Which was better than her spending half an hour turning a lever that was so easy she could barely keep a grip on it.

“It won’t stand up to a lot of use,” Alik reflected, poking a little ruefully at the cobbled-together assemblage. He had a proper welder with him, but it hadn’t seemed right to break it out-- he’d have to stop to set it up, and didn’t want to give up his evening’s rest. This had been a nice break from riding, because it turned out he was sadly out of shape and already sore from their first day.

“It doesn’t need to,” the troubadour whose bank Edurni had just effortlessly charged said, eyes shining a little as she jacked her equipment into the generator.
A 3200-ish word section )
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
So I started on January 1st posting the alpha draft of an original novel I have in progress, and I'm collecting a list of people who want to be added to the privacy filter I'll be posting under henceforth, but I figured I'd do at least one more unlocked since I've been building up the follower list and such, and more people might be interested etc. So this is the continuation of that!

What's this about, you say? Intro Post
Missed the beginning? Well, Chapter 1 part 1 is here, and will remain unlocked; if you have a friend who you think might like this, feel free to link them to it! I'm still working out how subscription filters and such work, so like uh, join me on this journey, eh? (By which I mean, let me know if you want to keep reading, and I'll add you to the filter, and we'll figure out what to do from there.)

(And there's another snippet from a side story I worked on of this 'verse, here, if you want even more background, but it's not from the storyline of the main novel.)

Yeah in hindsight I should've posted chapter 1 as one 5000-word chunk, but I didn't. Next post will be a more discrete chunk.

Chapter 1 part 2, 2500ish words, in which our heroines arrive at the city:

From her higher vantage point, Ula saw the mills sooner than the others, so she had a moment to stare at them: Huge, long buildings, several stories high, set next to the millraces where the diverted water from the waterfall coursed, turning the wheels whose geared shafts turned long belts, strung all through the huge buildings. Ula had studied them in school, too, and knew how they worked, and she’d toured the mills as a child, had been shown the terrifyingly loud machinery that the water powered, and how many different kinds of machines could be hooked up-- drills, looms, grinders, saws, anything that needed power to move.

Most of the water wheels ran machines, but at least one of the buildings, also studded with solar panels, was a power generation facility, that made electricity to run the city. Enormous bundles of power cables ran out from that one, strung along on poles a distance before vanishing underground into pipes. It wasn’t that they didn’t have electricity, out in the hills, but they didn’t have all that much of it, and lived their daily lives without any great need of it. They had a little solar bank built into the south face of the ridge near the ancestor shrine, and made do with that and kinetic banks that the kids or some of the livestock could crank up. They’d had a wind generator but it had broken and they’d gotten used to doing without it.
Read more... )
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
I wrote up a whole intro post about this already, but to sum up, this is the alpha draft of a novel I've been working on, which I'm posting, mostly under privacy filters, not for beta-reading but just because organizing my writing for an audience is a great way for me to work it out in my own mind, and get to have conversations about it, and in general keep myself motivated with deadlines and such.
So, this is part 1, and I'm posting it unlocked; if you want to read the rest, comment and let me know to add you to the filter.
This does not obligate you to provide feedback! I'm not looking for spelling and grammar, I'm not even particularly looking for structural notes; this hasn't been beta-read yet. I wouldn't mind a conversation, and I have a burning desire to discuss the worldbuilding, but the point of this is not assigning homework, it's motivating me to post and hopefully giving you, the reader, something fun to read.
Tentative schedule is weekly updates of no more than 5k words, but, that's subject to change of course, and the whole story might wind up going a completely different direction anyway. But, meanwhile, divert yourself, and keep me company on this journey, for a little while anyway.
And, as I said in the intro post, while I don't have a good way to do this if you're not a Dreamwidth user, it's okay, stay tuned and check back, I'm planning to post this in other formats in the future.

Chapter One, part 1:

“I know how to handle myself in a city,” Ula said wearily, buckling the strap that held her bedroll to the back of her horse’s harness.

“I’m just saying--” Dotsen said, grinning obnoxiously. He was her second cousin, and she had never had much patience for him. He was five or six years older than she was, and he worked as a drover so he traveled the road between the city and their clan’s territory twice a year at least, but he was only a drover and didn’t know all that much about how the world worked.

“You can stop saying,” Ula said. “I’m not a child, I’m a grown woman, and I’ve been here before.” Her status in their tribal band was higher than his, because she was a mother, but she didn’t need to point that out. Surely he knew that, and it was driving some of his obnoxiousness.

There was really nothing worse than a man who didn’t know his place, but Ula wasn’t going to let him bait her into an immoderate response. She was, after all, a grown woman.

“Well,” Dotsen said, “don’t come crying to me when you get into a situation you don’t know how to get out of.”

“I will absolutely not come crying to you,” Ula promised. In the outrageously unlikely event she got herself into some kind of unforseen trouble, there were several thousand people, most of them complete strangers, she would rather cry to than Dotsen. She checked the saddle girth one more time, double-checked the straps on all her saddlebags, and looked over toward the road. There were six riders in their little group, most of them distantly related to Ula, and she was the only woman in the group. Well, sort of. “Are we ready, Harki?”

“Mostly,” said the group’s unofficial leader. He was an older man, close to fifty, and was the only one in this group not related by blood to Ula-- he was the husband of one of her great-aunts, and the father of several of her second cousins. Not Dotsen. One of Harki’s sons, Eb, was on this trip, and he was a sweet-faced youngster she’d always been fond of. “Not sure about your friend.”

By your friend Harki surely meant Edurni, who was nominally a friend of all of them, but in practice was naturally closer to Ula than any of the others here. They were herd-sisters, after all. “I don’t think we have to worry about her,” Ula said, looking around. Edurni wasn’t anywhere nearby, but that wasn’t surprising; she was neither nocturnal nor diurnal, but kept to her own schedule as she pleased. “She has such a sense of smell, she’ll find us.”
3900ish words, no warnings )
Update: continue reading here! Chapter 1 part 2.
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
So. Part of the reason fanfic has been so good for my writing output is the posting of it, which serves a really important dual purpose for me: sure, 1) it gets me attention, which is lovely, and gets people to say nice things to me, and more importantly to talk about the story with me which is all I want in my heart of hearts. But really, the important thing is, 2) that it makes me organize the story more, because I have to wrap it up to present it, and it makes me think about eventual audience, and all kinds of things like that. The point is, the posting has become a crucial part of my composition process; even without much feedback, I still have to think harder about how I present my work to an audience, and how I organize the loose ends of a story and whether the things I'm putting in pull their weight in terms of advancing the story, and such.

This isn't like soliciting beta feedback, either. I've done that, and it's hard for me because it's so different than this kind of posting. This is what fanfic has trained me to do and I'm finding it hard to adapt to any other method, now.

So, anyway. I think I'm going to take advantage of DW's ability to filter audiences, and start posting this original novel I'm working on, which is still very much in an alpha draft, not even beta yet, on a f-locked filter. I'll put this first one up publicly, and maybe the next couple will be just f-locked, but I'll probably set up a filter just of people who've said they're interested, in the long-term, so as not to clutter the Internet at large and such. And to keep control of the thing, since the idea is to publish it.(Though let's be real, I'll probably self-pub because that involves asking for fewer things and I have to stick to baby steps in my self-improvement, ok.)

So it's a novel, and I have a lot of it written, and I'll come up with a regular schedule for it, but the caveats are, it's not a finished work at this point, it will need revisions, and I may not wind up posting the completed thing (in my experience, the endings of stories usually require heroic efforts). It's not that I'm looking for beta-reading or concrit, particularly-- I will be, but probably that'll be a revision I'll put in a Google doc and ask separately for help with, you know?

I just want to organize something and put it in front of eyes, and those can just be eyes reading for enjoyment, you know? There's no homework. I just want something comfortable, with a deadline to motivate me, and something that I can have conversations about. I get so lonely and locked-in in silence just writing alone.

So-- probably weekly? probably a chunk of no more than 5k words, probably less? Let me know if you want in. I'll post the first chunk shortly, as a separate thing, because I know it would annoy me if I were rereading and kept having to wade through the text of myself trying to think through an idea like this post is.

And if you're not willing to commit to Dreamwidth, don't despair-- I'll post publicly and try to remember to crosspost when the project (crosses fingers) moves forward, like to solicit beta readers on a Google doc of the revision, and when (when!) I'm formatting it for publishing, and so on. (When! There is no if! It's when! Argh! Yes!)

But anyway-- alpha draft, intended to read for pleasure and discussion, comment on any unlocked entry if you want to be granted access to the filter for it. (I could probably write up a brief tutorial on how to subscribe only to that filter of my stuff, if I knew how; probably the hack is, you make a reading filter excluding my journal and then visit the tag, or whitelist only that tag, or something? Clearly I have to think harder about how that works. At any rate, I'm going to tag this, of course, "the solarpunk mammoths novel", and be rigorous about using it.)


dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)

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