Back in business!

Very good update for you today, my friends: Just posted the latest chapter of Wayward Son!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3133712/74/Wayward-Son

For today’s entry, I’d like to talk a little bit about it. Major spoilers ahead, so be careful about reading between the asterisks!

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The first thing to note about this chapter is that I wrote it fairly quickly. Not as fast as I wrote other chapters, at 7 to 10k words a night, but I wrote it in about two days before March 1, at 3k words a day, for a total of around 6000 words, making it a fairly short chapter.

I always knew it’d be comparatively short, though, and I don’t think I’d call it overly rushed. I caught a few spelling errors, I think, and I’ll correct those, but nothing too egregious. I *did* cut out a lot of content, though. Some of it I think I’ll include in the next chapter (Renault was supposed to get a couple of items, which he didn’t here), but others I think were just cut out completely. I may mention this in a future authors notes, but there was actually supposed to be a plot line where Renault helps to stop an outbreak of the black plague, “Bramimond’s Warts,” as it’s called in Elibe, but not before Varek succumbs to it. I thought that might have been a little too harsh, though…while I’m not opposed to treating my characters terribly (look what happened to Braddock), I just couldn’t bring myself to do it to Varek ;_; I *might* bring back the plague plotline later…we’ll see. 😮

Anyways, there were a couple of themes I wanted to get across here, that I hoped I did well.

First, was aging. This chapter, 74, ends a relatively long story arc in Wayward Son (and begins the second-last, too). For the past 20 years, Varek and Renault have been wandering across Elibe, searching for Varek’s friend Juge. Now, as it turned out, Juge died some time ago ( ;_; ) but at least over the course of their journey the two of them were able to do good work for people. However, Renault is ageless, while Varek is a normal human, was already old when Renault met him, and just kept getting older before finally expiring. I wanted to show how his physical condition slowly deteriorated over time; when we first met him in chapter 62, he was blind in one eye but still in OK health. By chapter 72, though, he was getting less and less tolerant of cold weather, and by the beginning of 74 he was completely blind. The chapters from 65-74, again, take place over the course of about 20 years, so I hope I was able to portray the physical effects of aging convincingly. I also hope, though, that depicting the process of his aging made things a little easier for the next subject I’ll talk about.

Secondly, this was the second chapter that dealt with the death of an important and sympathetic character. While Varek and Braddock (despite looking a little similar) were quite different characters, I hope my readers grew as attached to him as they did to Braddock. Or at least as much as I did. Though not the most personable man in the world, I do think Varek was one of the wiser and kinder characters I created. We’ll have to see if he’s as much of a fan favorite as Braddock, but in both cases the deaths of the characters were very much expected. In Braddock’s case, it was because Renault mentions in game that he lost his best friend, while in Varek’s case, it was due to his age and declining health, which I hoped I portrayed well so it wouldn’t come as a surprise. I hope everybody was expecting his death, both so the blow would be softened and because that was my intent, hehe.

There might have been a couple other things I wanted to say, but eh…that’s good enough for now. Hope you liked these authors notes! 😀

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Anyways, phew…remember last week when I said my struggle wasn’t over? That was right…I still got a TON of stuff to do! My responsibilities:

1: Grade the last few things for my class this semester

2: Continue reading and reviewing fanfic on FFn 😀

3: Still doing registration and moving out stuff

4: Work on Dragonar a little!

5: Make a bunch of restaurant review entries I’ve been meaning to post for a very long time

6: Continue working on WS, of course 😀

7: Work out and lose weight!

8: Work on muh dissertation D:

9: Add more stuff to the Wayward Son Character Data forum! D:

10: Finally, I actually have some reading to do before I go home on the 22nd and enjoy all the books I got from Amazon.com. I have a bunch of books from my university library that I haven’t gotten to reading yet, but I’m gonna start on them. Manospambots have begun to annoy me again, so I thought I’d do some research on the thing they keep bitching incessantly about: Marriage. I don’t want to get married myself, but I figure a little bit of historical background and perspective might reveal their more hysterical pronouncements to be more than a little unfounded. So here’s the stuff I’m planning on reading:

1: Marriage, morals, and sex in America; a history of ideas [by] Sidney Ditzion.
2:  From bondage to contract : wage labor, marriage, and the market in the age of slave emancipation / Amy Dru Stanley.
3:  Subversive family : an alternative history of love and marriage / Ferdinand Mount.
4:  Age of the bachelor : creating an American subculture / Howard P. Chudacoff.
5:   For better, for worse : the marriage crisis that made modern Egypt
6:  Citizen bachelors : manhood and the creation of the United States / John Gilbert McCurdy.
7:    Family in ancient Rome : new perspectives / edited by Beryl Rawson.
8: Man and wife in America : history / Hendrik Hartog.
9:   Marriage, a history : from obedience to intimacy, or how love conquered marriage / Stephanie Coontz.
10:   Public vows : a history of marriage and the nation / Nancy F. Cott.
11:   I don’t : a contrarian history of marriage / Susan Squire.
12:  Way we really are : coming to terms with America’s changing families / Stephanie Coontz.
13:   History of marriage systems / G. Robina Quale.
14:  Family politics : the idea of marriage in modern political thought / Scott Yenor.
15:   Medieval marriage : two models from twelfth-century France / by Georges Duby ; translated by Elborg Forster

Haha, that might pass for a small marriage orals reading list! I’ll tell yall how it goes 😀

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2 comments

  1. Cormag Ravenstaff · · Reply

    You did good work on Varek. First off, the reason why it wasn’t nearly as sad as Braddock was Renault. You spent over 300k in Part 1 showing us how Renault depended on Braddock. In Part 2, Renault is better off.

    Secondly, at least for me, Braddock was such a good character, he wasn’t 3D, he was 4D. Varek was good, don’t get me wrong, but he lacked something that Braddock had. I can’t give you a difinitive answer about that, but I think it might be just how relateable Braddock and his relationships were. Varek was an older guy, and for me (Being a teenager) it was harder to connect with.

    Thirdly, Braddock killed things. Instantly more likeable ;D

    1. Thanks, friend. Yeah, I think Braddock was more relateable than Varek–he was a kind of normal guy, in his way, while Varek was both older and lived a more esoteric lifestyle (that of a hermit).

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