I hope that you've been following along with Blood Magic this year, because it's already been pretty exciting. I'm very pleased with how the revised editions of the first season episodes are coming together (revised versions of the first two episodes of season one should now be live here on the site), and the first two episodes of the second season have been pretty strong, as well. At least, I think so, which is mostly based on how the writing process went for them. Usually, that's a decent guide.
Between working on Blood Magic and Fo'Fonas, which while very different are both larger-scale projects than anything I've attempted before, I'd like to think that I've been getting a lot better at building characters and plots. Certainly Blood Magic has forced me to stretch in this respect. Since I've been working a lot on them, I decided that I needed another, newer project to keep my writing fresh, since I find that if I sink too much into one or two projects I start to get too deep into the world and the storytelling suffers as a result.
Of all seven Cradle books that have been released so far, Ghostwater was my favorite. This novel delivered on all of the promise that I perceived when I read the first book. It has the most robust character development of the series so far, digs into the technical details of the magic system, instead of just building out to the next level, and it gives insight into some fascinating aspects of the world and the story that have only been alluded to before. Perhaps most strikingly, it is drastically more imaginative than other books in the series, which is a testament more to the level of imagination involved here, than it is an insult to the imaginative level of the other books.
About a year and a half ago, I had an idea for a magic system, inspired by how a relatively primitive culture might perceive the four fundamental forces of nature. Just to explore the magic system, I decided to write an expository scene. When I finished, the scene was almost twenty pages long, involved the main character climbing a really, really long staircase, and I realized it was chapter 1, and that I had a chapter 2 to write. About seven months later, I finished the rough draft of what I realized would become the first novel of an epic fantasy series.
I don't want to spoil anything in the excerpt, so you'll actually need to click on the post if you want to know what this one is all about...
Writing on the third episode is coming along, although more slowly than I would prefer; I've been pretty busy recently. Still, I'm about 1/3 done. I've also been working on some other projects, which I'll detail below. Hopefully this will reassure those of you who have read some of my rough drafts that I haven't forgotten about these other stories, and give all of you a better idea of what some of the features on the My Works page are all about.
If you've been a follower of the site for awhile, you may remember the post "Written in a Corner." In that post, I mentioned that I would write another post addressing the topic of plausible impossibility, which is an important concept in speculative fiction writing. Of course, if you've been a follower of the site for awhile, you probably also have realized that I'm not always very good at following up on these post ideas that I drop in my posts in anything approaching a timely fashion. Don't worry, I'll get to it eventually. In this case, it's only taken me a couple months.
I will fully admit that I devoured The Burning White after my re-read of the Lightbringer series, by Brent Weeks. I'll be posting a review of that book, specifically, here, and will also make a later post reviewing the series as a whole. Now, I'm not some kind of literary critic, but I have read a lot of genre fiction, and I have a good idea of what I like to see. That being said, what I like to see may not be the same as what you like to see.
There are really some interesting considerations going into this Blood Magic project. Since it has this episodic nature, the project as a whole requires a great deal more pre-planning than I tend to do. Not that I don't plan out my writing; I just tend to do it in my head, and then revise my plan as I write. Fo'Fonas, for instance, began as a single chapter exploring an idea for a magic system I liked, which blossomed into my first, complete novel (it's now in the review process).