Week of 02 October to 08 October

It seems as if I was just writing last week’s writing update, which is perhaps because I have so little progress to report this week. I wrote a measly one thousand words for Balancing Act, which is definitely not enough progress. Next week will need to be extra productive to make up for it if I want to stay on track with my targets.

Was I not productive on Balancing Act because I was distracted by writing other projects? …Not really. I did finish revisions on Older Than Stone, which will be re-released on Saturday (October 15th), and I made some more progress on Principle‘s revisions, but I did not add to any other word counts in a meaningful way. The problem, other than that I’ve been on a weird schedule that has precluded writing at my usual times and left me more tired than usual, is that the lead-up in Balancing Act is proving very difficult to get right.

Many Blood Magic episodes begin with an inciting incident, like farmers spotting dragons in Older Than Stone, or Vere being sent off on his mercy mission in Bread and Steel, but that’s not how Balancing Act‘s plot works. I need to build up to the pivotal moment when the characters realize that something is very amiss and start trying to solve it. Which sounds very logical in theory, but in execution it means that I need to somehow write at least half the episode of the characters going about their lives while I drop hints that there’s some major, developing problem that is coming to a boil in the background.

The solution in a longer work would be to throw in a nice sub-plot, which I might end up doing some variation of, but I don’t want to open up too much of a sub-plot in the last episode that I will then have to resolve, because once things are incited, there’s going to be no shortage of content about which to write. I can work on tying up loose ends during this rising action, but getting the characters and timing right for many of those so early in the episode is difficult, and might detract from the eventual climax.

That’s what I’m working through, and by next week’s update I will hopefully have reached the inciting incident, at which point the writing should go much faster. In the meantime, you should go read Executioner, which we released this past week. Or maybe you’re already occupied reading Areopagitica.

Coming up this week, we’re going to talk a little bit about the modern trend of “magic is science” and conversely “science is magic.” You can see some of this in Blood Magic, where Doil and Arval in particular think that they can explain Blood Magic as a product of the natural physics of the universe. We’ll also be reviewing Phantastes, an early fantasy novel from the mid nineteenth century by George MacDonald, which is described as a “faerie romance,” and was one of the books that inspired CS Lewis to become a writer. And, of course, we have the re-release of Older Than Stone on the fifteenth.

Another busy week, in other words. We’re still conducting our poll, so head over to the homepage to vote on what you think I should write next year. Don’t forget to follow the site to stay up to date on all of the new happenings here at IGC Publishing, and I’ll be back next week with another writing update.

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