25 Jul 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Commentary 38

The sudden stop, Chapter 38.

Not much to Chapter 38, is there?  I reached this point in the final days of NaNoWriMo 2015 and the creative well was empty.  It wasn't a block.  I had a sense of where I was going.  I just didn't have the creative juice to keep going.  I not only was creating the plot, I was creating the world, and I realized that I didn't have enough in my to flesh out dwarven culture.  I considered myself lucky to figure out the naming convention for dwarves.  (For the record, Aztec/Mayan names.  Because no one has done that before.)

There's not much to talk about.  Nyssa's using some linguistic tricks to get away with having Jyslyn, Leo, and Wren at the meeting.  The dwarves aren't going to hold Jyslyn's home against her; they're not going to let her make any mischief but they'll give her the rope she needs to hang herself.  Having all five, though, sends a message that the problem is bigger than imagined.

The goal of the meeting is to find out if the dwarves have a problem with Count Varin.  None of the heroes believe there is one, but getting it confirmed by the dwarves is key.  Nyssa can send a missive back to the Count and to the King and be considered to have discharged her duty with this mission.  That leaves her free to pursue the investigation.  She's there under orders of the King, not Varin.  The King likes results.

/The Elf's Prisoner/ is not something I'd want to do again, not the way I did it.  Worldbuilding is something that should be done in advance, even if it's just where the story is happening.  Steve Savage, who runs The Seventh Sanctum where I have Lost in Translation, has a series of books about worldbuilding and the different elements that go into it.  It's not something that is easily done on the fly.  Quite frankly, I am surprised that The Elf's Prisoner got as far as it did.  Lesson here, it helps to plan a bit, even if you pants the story.

I don't think I could have written The Elf's Prisoner even five years sooner.  It was my tenth NaNo, and just being able to tackle a large project with little prep helped show me how far I've come since Lethal Ladies, my first NaNo project.  The plot is more complex.  The world is deeper despite the rapid development.  Everyone has a motive.  There's a sense of a world outside the pages.  I can live with what I wrote.

Tomorrow, what could be, the future of The Elf's Prisoner.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, advertising, adaptations, and Wacky Races.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, The LEGO Batman Movie.

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