Tag Archives: Auran Chronicles

Halfway there…

So I’ve passed the 50,000 word mark now, and am approaching 60,000 at a good pace. With a target of 100,000 words (Message Bearer was 101,000), it’s looking good.

I’m coming into the back end of the middle section now too, which is a great relief. It’s this area that always sags and where the story seems to meander all over the place as it strives towards that end goal. True, I have my “must have” scenes that link the story together, but the path getting there can be a confusing spaghetti-like mess of random scenes, conversations and characters that appear in one chapter only to never be seen again.

Thankfully, the beginning of the end is in sight. I’ve just written a pivotal sequence of scenes that not only ramp up the tension significantly but also explore in much greater detail the mythology of the Auran Chronicles.  There’s a lot of history behind the magi and the Weave, and it’s nice to delve even more into that, especially when it relates directly to our protagonists. Obviously there’s going to be a heavy amount of chopping, changing and re-aligning for the second draft, but I’m happy the end of the story as envisaged in my synopsis is on track, even if all the stuff in between hasn’t quite so stuck to plan 🙂

The problem now, if indeed, it is a problem, is that not only am I almost certain that the story requires four books not three (although I really want to get in done in three) , but in expanding the world significantly in book 2 I’ve also introduced a new bunch of characters, of which at least two I’d love to spin off into their own series, or at least, to steal a Disney term, an Auran Chronicles “anthology” story or two. Aside from Cade, the half-daemon Brotherhood warrior who so deserves his own story (mental note – Auran Chronicles: Born of Blood), we also meet Shimmer, a Borderguard from the barren lands that exists between shards (the shattered worlds of the Auran Chronicles), who has a fascinating back story of his own that I can’t wait to explore.

So all in all, definitely a good problem, the challenge is, which one to write first?

Anyway, must dash, last night I left Seb several hundred feet up in the air with the ground rushing to meet him. I didn’t know how he was going to get out of this one, so just left it like that. It seemed a good idea at the time, but as I stare at the flashing cursor I’m not so sure. The joys of writing I guess!

 

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40,000+ words reached. Bring out the plot-doubt monkeys

So, progress on book 2 has been slightly slower than I would’ve liked, but hey, that’s the Christmas holidays for you. I did try and get some writing done but in the end family and good times won out, and rightly so, too.

Anyway, I’m back in the saddle now. I’ve been churning about 1000-1200 words a day out for 5 days a week since Christmas so that Scrivener bar is growing nicely.

Unfortunately though, my evil nemesis the plot-doubt monkeys have made their first appearance. These evil creatures tormented me throughout book 1, challenging the logic of the plot, making me think that the story I was trying to tell was too tricky to pull off at my level of ability. I ploughed on of course, but only managed to finish the book after a good few months off inbetween drafts.

It’s different this time I think. I don’t have the same fears I had before. I know once I get to the end of this draft that I can fix whatever issues I’ve created getting there. That’s the joy of editing after all and to be honest I’m quite looking forward to it.

Instead, I’ve made the mistake of doing too much alternative reading whilst I’ve been ploughing ahead with this draft. Normally this isn’t a problem, but I’ve also been reading books in genres similar to mine.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. (To coin a line from Pretty Woman)

The doubts that come from this are such questions as – “Is my world rich enough compared to X”, or “has this concept been done before?”.

I’ve found myself second guessing more than I would normally do. Previously I didn’t really consider other books like mine, or fear that my story wouldn’t match up to those. But reading a couple now as made me rethink certain story elements that I perhaps wouldn’t have before.

There’s no real way to unthink (that should really be a word) what I’ve pondered reading these books, but going forwards I’ve made a decision not to read in my genre whilst head down in a WIP. It intrudes too much on my own world and makes me actively tweak the story to avoid potential similarities to others. Stupid I know, but there you are.

On the flip side I’m generally happy with where I’m at with book 2. The story is coming along well, and Seb and co have just had a massive WTF moment that I really enjoyed writing. This sets the scene for the second half of the book now that hopefully leads into the gripping conclusion (well, it looks gripping in the outline) I’ve planned.

So…*opens a window*…Away with you, plot-doubt monkeys. Fly, fly away!

monkeys

Paperback edition out now – at last

Well, after 14 attempts (and several shouting matches with my computer screen) at converting my proof manuscript into a pdf that looked right in the CreateSpace digital viewer, I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally managed to get Message Bearer out and available in paperback as well as Kindle.

I don’t expect many sales from this version, the price required for PoD (Print on Demand) seems a bit on the excessive side to be cost effective, but at the very least I get to own a few “real” copies that I can share with friends and family.

Also, I learned a few lessons formatting the word document to be fit for use on CreateSpace, and found a few good links in the process which I’ll add to the blog later as these proved to be a godsend! I thought I knew MS Word until I encountered this particular challenge!

Anyway, I digress, the link is below. If you prefer your books in dead tree format then please take a look 🙂

PS – I need to link the ebook and paper versions together on Amazon, as at the moment they don’t appear as alternate options for the same book. Yet another challenge on this self-publishing roller coaster!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

AuranChronicles_CVR_LRG

25,000 words…

Another milestone reached as Auran Chronicles #2 ploughs on with merrily abandon.

I’ve hit one of those critical “what if”  moments now that always happens and threatens to blow my carefully planned outline to smithereens!  It’s such a cliché but when those characters get formed on your head they really do things that you didn’t plan for!

Annoyance.

So,  on this occasion I’ve decided to follow Cade to see where his way of working takes the story.  So if the novel goes crazy from this point on it’s not me you blame.

It’s the characters…  ☺

 

 

 

 

The proof has arrived!

The proof of Message Bearer arrived this morning courtesy of CreateSpace. I’m very chuffed, it’s great to see it actually “in the flesh” for the first time rather than existing out there in the digital ether!

I might have to tinker with the chapter heads slightly (they appear too far up the page for my liking) but aside from that I’m very pleased with the outcome!

Cover_real

Schrödinger’s Cat, magic and the Auran Chronicles

Perhaps a bit metaphysical this post, but magic, and its role within reality, plays a key part in the ongoing mythology of the Auran Chronicles.

When I first started writing Message Bearer (Book 1), I wanted a magic system that could in theory exist in the real world of today. As much as I love the various systems out there (the stored magic of the AD&D, the Will and the Word from the Belgariad and so forth), I wanted something that you could explain away with actual science.

Well, sort of… (this is fantasy after all!)

The origins of the magic system used in the Auran Chronicles can be traced from my layman’s interest in quantum physics, specifically the “observer effect” often referenced in the thought experiment known as “Schrödinger’s Cat”. I won’t go into the full details of this (look here) now, but the key points, as adapted for the Auran Chronicles, can be summarised as thus:

  • Reality only exists because we “will” it to be so. Literally, if a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one around, does it make sound? Answer = No. There is no tree. There is no forest.
  • Our minds are the decoders of reality, with our senses being the methods by which we assimilate this information.
  • Reality as we know it is basically a consensus of rules, built upon many years of human learning.
  • Those who can use magic in the Auran Chronicles are not only aware of this consensus, but also have the ability to challenge it, with variable levels of success.

Which leads us to:

Computer programming.

By day I’m an IT consultant, and my magic system built upon quantum physics complimented nicely with a concept known as Object Oriented Programming. Again, I won’t go into this in detail, but basically this allows for an abstraction layer above the underlying machine code that allows programmers to plug in to systems without having to know the complexity underneath. They have access to a library of objects, each serving a different function, and then call them as they see fit.

With the Auran Chronicles quantum physics and object oriented programming work in tandem, without actually being referenced as such. A mage has access to libraries of patterns that can affect reality without having to access the actual “machine code” behind it. The only issue then is challenging the consensus maintained by the subconscious minds of the observers.

But that’s for the magi to worry about…

Auran Chronicles Book 2 – 10,000 words reached

A milestone reached last night – 10,000 words in the sequel to the Message Bearer. I don’t have a title for it yet, so “Book 2” will have to do for now. Message Bearer changed names about 7 times during its lifetime, including during the beta read, so I’m not losing any sleep over it just yet.

What is interesting is how easy the words are coming out for the sequel. During book 1, the story was so tricky to nail down (won’t say anymore than that – spoilers) that it was like navigating a plot minefield ensuring all the pieces aligned up correctly.

With book 2 though, this isn’t the case. I’ve got a clear end game for this one, and the way book 1 ended allowed me plenty of opportunity to reach it. In fact I think it gave me too much scope with which to attack book 2!

In summary, I’m enjoying writing book 2 immensely, my only fear now is that I won’t be able to wrap up the whole story in 3 books!

What’s the term for 4? A quadrology? 🙂