Monday, June 28, 2010

Battles

So, I've made a start on Chapter 8, the first big battle scene in the novel. My characters are readying themselves for what will be a hectic, frantic, bloody, violent clash (at least, I hope so), and since I've stopped for the night, I thought I'd write a blog post about battles. You see, I know absolutely bugger-all about writing battle scenes, but the thing is, is still cool knowing I'm going to try my hand at one.

I've drawn some diagrams and maps, detailing what the battle-ground looks like and how the attacking troops will move and what they'll attack. I've also done some reading-up on siege tactics and the kind of weaponry that was employed in a siege. So I think I'm pretty much as ready as I'm going to ever be (at least for now) to write this chapter.

I have to admit, though, that I'm slightly bloody intimidated. Scared shitless, even. I know what I want to accomplish with this battle in terms of plot and character-arcs, and the battle is necessary (for the moment) but it's still scary knowing that I have to write this, that I have to trust myself to translate the thoughts and imagery and notes and maps into words and that those words have to convey fear and action and movement and and and... Added to this is the fact that, after this chapter, my main protagonist is going to be set on a path that's going to remove him from the main plot-arc for quite a good chunk of the novel. This too is necessary, though I'll probably only be comfortable with my decision to move him aside for a bit (he's still doing something hectically important that'll have major repercussions for the rest of the novel, by the way) once I've reached the end of the novel.

In some way (scratch that) in many ways, it's absolutely awesome to be a rookie / newbie in this game. There's a certain hectic amount of freedom that comes with writing your first novel - no editor or agent keeping you focused and on-track, no deadlines, etc - but there's also a major case of AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? That irritating worm of a question is dogging me, I'll admit, but that's okay, too; after all, one of the 'rules' of writing in a certain genre is that you have to at least be familiar with that specific genre, and I'd like to think that I've got at least a passing familiarity with Epic Fantasy. Enough, hopefully, that when I'm done the novel will have at least a passing resemblance to Epic Fantasy.

I also don't want to rush this battle - you see, I'm missing my other characters; my concubine and my non-human and my politician and my archaeologist... I want to get back to them and continue exploring with them, I want to be surprised again at the choices they make and how they steal the spotlight... But enough of that. I've made a start - focussing on two characters and how they're readying themselves for the battle - and tomorrow will be a day of blood and noise.

Total wordcount for the evening: 495 words
Novel wordcount: 31268

Until tomorrow! :-)

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