No book review this week, my friends. At this stage in my life I really want to concentrate hardcore-like (I know how it sounds XD) on something that’s both important to me and that I want to finish soon. Namely, my fanfiction, and even more namely, the novella and “epic” novel which will finally mark my full departure from the Fire Emblem fandom: The Last Red Shoulder and Wayward Son.
I’ll begin by speaking of what’s going well with it. First, I’ve been following my own advice pretty loyally. Remember when I said, “If you’re keeping a release schedule, always try to stay a few chapters ahead?” Well, 63 chapters of Wayward Son are about done (58 have been released so far) and 16 chapters of The Last Red Shoulder are finished (12 have been released). I’m pretty safe if it comes up I need to make any sudden changes, I’d say 8)
Secondly, I think I’ve done a decent job in fixing up some plot issues for The Last Red Shoulder, at least. I can’t get into too much detail here, as I don’t want to spoil stuff for chapters as yet unreleased, but in a few respects I think I’ve done an *adequate* job of tying up some plot threads and advancing the story to its end within a reasonable span of time. Note I didn’t say satisfying; I’m not entirely pleased with TLRS, but that’s a subject for a decent post. Still, I think I’ll be able to complete the story without leaving any massive plot holes, and also conclude it within a reasonable span of time. The Last Red Shoulder is looking to be 20, maybe 21 chapters, no more. Thankfully, it’s not blowing up like Wayward Son did. XD XD
Now, for things which haven’t been going so well…argh, despite what I said in this entry, I think I still have some writer’s block 😦 Even with the good music I’ve described, my writing’s been crawling at a snail’s pace. It’s hard for me to crank out 500 words a day when I used to be able to march at over 10,000! I wonder why this is. Maybe it’s how I’m really no longer interested in Fire Emblem, maybe it’s a loss of confidence in my writing abilities, or maybe it’s that I haven’t solved the plot problems in my stories as much as I’d like to think I have. Maybe this is like an obstacle in the path of my writing…a “writer’s roadblock,” so to speak. XD
As I said, my solution for TLRS was just adequate, not truly satisfactory. While Wayward Son is going along a bit better, I am having trouble with the portion of the story I’m currently plowing through. It deals with the main character (Renault)’s transformation from a cruel, thoughtless warrior into the reserved and wise holy man we see in Fire Emblem 7 itself. Such a task is easier said than done, I suppose XD This, however, involves a much more in-depth “worldbuilding” project than I originally envisioned. I’m gonna have to come up with a convincing holy text, a history of the world religion and its structure, think about the various branches it encompasses (like how IRL we have different orders such as Benedictine, Cistercian, Franciscan, etc. ), and perhaps even an account of its soteriology (theory of salvation), eschatology (theory of the world’s end), and hermeunetics (study of textual interpretation). All that might be a pretty big bite to chew, even more so than Wayward Son actually ended up becoming!
Also, there was a clearly defined conflict or quest in the first parts of Wayward Son up to now. At the beginning of the fic, Renault wanted to defeat his foes. When he succeeded, but lost his friend in the process, he embarked on a new quest to revive his dead friend. At this point, however, he’s found that his quest was fruitless and self-defeating. So what does he do now? I know, in the end, that he has to resolve his *inner* conflict, that is to say, triumph over his apathy and despair, but the problem is there’s no outer conflict which really drives the story at the moment, and as we all know from writing 101, we all need a conflict…right? ^^;; I originally thought this part of the story would be a much more subdued, ‘slice of life’ affair, that is to say, a type of story where there’s no overarching conflict that concentrates more on the development of a character or even just portraying their day-to-day routine. There have been some animes which do this well, like Azumanga Daioh, so I thought maybe a religious version of that set in Fire Emblem=-land might work. Maybe not, though…maybe I need to add something more. But what? I planned out the conflicts/quests of the previous parts in great detail, but haven’t done that yet here. Maybe I should..but that’s gonna be quite the undertaking, and delay the actual writing of my fic even further, which might discourage me, as I find delaying writing to make actual writing even harder cause I get discouraged! ;_; Still, we’ll have to see, I guess.
Ahh, the travails of a writer…how much simpler everything was when Renault was just a wandering sellsword. XD XD XD