I’ve had these before, but today, it’s pretty bad. My head, for once, feels heavy and overused. How on earth did this happen? Well, it’s exam season, assignments have been finalised and submitted, I’ve been busy with cycling, and I’m at a scene where I have to really think about the story. I do anyway, but this is intricate, like the bottom of Jenga, f*ck up the bottom, and it all comes crashing down. Plus, there’s a lot of explaining to do and I want write about the scenery and stuff, but the cavalcade is in the middle of plains. So that’s a bit boring. Anyway, my head hurts and I’m stopping for the day. I only wrote four pages! This is slow progress!
It was the late afternoon, and preparations were well underway for the dinner celebrations. After Faizel had announced that his daughter would be his successor, he called for a momentous celebratory dinner in honour of the future queen of Integer. Maral, the petit, long ginger haired, blue eyed, girl was sitting quietly in her quarters looking out beyond the capital city to the large plains that seemed to be never ending. She had requested that she be left alone to consolidate on the events of today until she was ready for the maid to prepare her for dinner. By her right side was a small round wooden table, with a glossy coating, with a glass and a jug filled with her favourite wine on top. It was a gift from her mother after she had been named her father’s heir, and hadn’t been touched. Maral wasn’t crying, she didn’t know how she felt, she was neither happy nor upset about the decision, her mind was a void and she couldn’t quite compute what had happened in the Great Hall. Wearing her favourite dress, an embroidered purple and white dress that hung loosely over her legs, and tightly around her chest, leaving her arms and shoulders exposed. She looked over at the jug of wine and the glass next to, wondering about having a drink, her mouth dry, she didn’t feel particularly thirsty, or hungry, but reluctantly leant over and poured herself a large glass of red wine. Holding the bottom of the glass between her middle fingers in her right hand, she swished the wine about and took a big gulp. The taste softened her throat and calmed her nerves slightly. She continued to drink the wine until her throat was no longer dry. Feeling slightly better that she had drunk a couple of glasses of her favourite drink, she stood up from her chair and walked over to her armoire to look at her various outfits. Loose and tight fitting dresses along with her night-gown and horse riding outfit, so many, so pretty and elegant, and yet, she had still not found someone to admire her wearing them. She stroked the width of all her dresses when there was a knock on the door.
‘My lady, are you ready?’
Maral looked over and closed her armoire doors, ‘Yes, do come in Beth’
Maral’s maid walked in, closing the door behind as she did, ‘How are you feeling now my lady?’
Maral sat at the end of her bed, he hands clasped between her legs, ‘Better now thank you Beth’, she said, forcing herself to smile
‘I’m glad to hear it my lady. It’s always worrying when you’re not yourself’
‘I’m fine, I just needed some time alone to compose myself…I can’t quite believe father chose me to become his heir’
Beth gestured for Maral to stand up so she could be undressed and dressed in her dinner clothes, ‘You are a strong woman my lady, and he is proud of you and what you’ve achieved in your life’
Maral looked reflectively at her maid, ‘And what would those achievements be Beth?’
‘You have followed in the footsteps of your father, you have represented him when he is away from the city, you have proved yourself to be a strong woman’
Maral smiled at her maid, this time genuine, ‘Thank you Beth, you are ever so kind’. Maral always liked the company of her maid, even though it was her job to serve her, she always appreciated Beth’s kind and considerate words of support when she ever went through rough times.
Across the Faraday sea lie the eastern lands of Integer. The hotter, varied topographic and diverse lands hold many secrets in every community. Secrets not understood, and legends only told by the wisest of wise men. The lands were lush with rich harvests and vast green fields. Ruled mostly by the Ghadia’s, the isolated landscape is protected by the remaining three powerful families. The eastern region had seen many battles and wars over the centuries, some of them resulting in illustrious victory, some resulting in catastrophic defeat; there is no doubt that the eastern region is tainted by bloodshed and horror. It no longer resembles it’s past, now, Integer is a land full of hard working and committed people, ruled by powerful families and authorities.
The capital of the region, Integer city, was built centuries ago at a time of great slavery and greed. Located in the middle of the region, it’s towering central castle, and limestone buildings are a landmark for a safe haven, riches, and competition. Blocks of houses, tightly packed together within a small vicinity of one another, are inhabited by large and ever growing families. The streets of Integer are constructed from rough, uneven cobblestone, topped with a layer of forever present dust, which made living around the worker’s streets unbearable. Family sizes range from at least three, stretching to ten children, many of whom are tainted and plagued with deadly diseases. The worker’s street are dangerous places, countless numbers of pickpockets, aggression, beating, and sex workers, the poverty stricken part of town is swept away by the avaricious family Ghadia. The issue of the worker’s town is always ignored in council meetings, many state that trying to restore order and stability is a ‘lost cause’, in truth, the Ghadia’s want to spend their money accordingly, either on their army, or for themselves. The slave trade was abolished many years ago during the Guardian Age, until the Ghadia’s rebelled against them to regain independence. The corrupt house won the war and took back control of their lands, and in turn, took control of the people, the majority of which work as slaves to serve the monarchy.
Away from the slums and worker’s towns that riddle and rage within the city walls, lies the central castle and home of the Ghadia family. The castle is a combination of spiralling towers, with a large central column, where the most important occupants live. The castle itself is blocked from the rest of the city by its’ own walls, which stand high above the slum towns. Dotted around the wall are guard towers which ensure no imposter or conspirator enters the castle grounds. The only way into the unnerving castle is through the main, or side gates, protected by squads of highly disciplined soldiers, whose loyalty to the house are so high, they swear themselves to silence for the rest of their lives. Of course this regulation is impossible to enforce day-in, day-out, the authoritarians cannot constantly watch the soldiers whilst fulfilling their own duties. The soldiers are kept in check by their own peers, they sleep together, they eat together, and they guard together, becoming a soldier for the Ghadia’s, turns a free man a slave.
So yesterday I made a small post about why I hadn’t done much writing recently, and at the end, briefly mentioned that I am halfway through writing this book.
Thinking about it last night, I didn’t emphasise how important this was, and was only made aware when I told my editor and my friends about it. So this is a special post to say thank you to all my followers, visitors, and viewers for all your support! I hope in the coming year that I’ll further build up my fan base as the book progresses, and the content I post captivates yourselves as much as your favourite book (maybe a bit too ambitious)!
To finish off with, I’ll quickly update you about where I am with ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’. We’ve finished with the events taking place in Pravum (the main plot for the series) and are now heading to Integer for an event of mourning and sorrow for a character that died fairly early on (I won’t say who). The story surrounding Integer won’t be as intricate and meticulous as the plot in Pravum, but will still be desire and supremacy orientated, with people fighting for power.
Keep tabs on things!
‘Stay cool, hot one out there today!’ – Parks and Recreation, Season 5
So it has been a while since I wrote something about the book, which is what this blog is all about. But, again, I have been busy with both cycling and Uni work, however, last night was different, last night I got things going, starting to wind things up now! I have finished the negotiations chapter, and the chapter after, describing what the other people were doing briefly during the treaty signings, now, Palt and Scott have become ‘temp investigators’ trying to decipher one of the militias at Dalimaey, using the information Scott acquired from Nathanial. Everything fitted into place, like an intense game of tetris. Loose ends now have meaning, and the setup for the rest of the book, and the books to come are now in place, it’s just a case of executing it well enough to keep you interested.
The Plysters and Fermata leaders have now left Praevalidus, to travel to Mentior for the coronation…which I’m really looking forward to writing. However, this won’t happen until summer, at the earliest! But fingers crossed!
And another thing, I am now, officially (according to mine storyboard) halfway through the book! 😀
The day was warm in Praevalidus, the population busy with their daily routine, many of whom work for the stronghold as either blacksmiths, hands of the council, or selling their own produce at the local markets. The city was a myriad of interactions and appointments, most notably in the underground city of Iron Fall. The mining city was built specifically to supply Praevalidus with building materials for new and improving constructions, and to mine the ore to create weapons, armour, utensils, and parts for farming equipment. Located directly beneath the stronghold, the mining city is renowned for its inhabitants; hardy, no-nonsense, and loyal attitude ensures that when work is needed, it is done swiftly and to the highest standard, there is nowhere else in Faraday like the underground city. The workers and families who live in Iron Fall are well respected by the ‘common surface folk’. Many of the people living in Iron Fall are shorter in stature, but are still as strong as those who live on the surface. The dwarfs are stubby, but incredibly strong and witty, with a die-hard attitude, they come across aggressive Sounds like a pleasant story to tell, and but, in reality, are the most loyal people found in Pravum. They are sometimes stubborn, and are often known to begrudge against the requests of the surfacers but, in truth, they enjoy the work and the tasks they are given.
Osgar Veart, the leader of Iron Fall and the most revered miner in the underground city, commands the mining parties in search for more materials and ores for weaponry, utility items, and for building more structures in Iron Fall and Praevalidus. His short stature matches his temper, when challenged or disagreed with, his calm attitude turns into a raging torrent of anger and frustration when he is not obeyed or listened to. Osgar earned his respect from his prestigious mining technique and achievement, starting his mining career from when he was just twelve, he excelled at finding ores, and picking the best places to mine, and, very quickly, earned much respect from the elder miners. Now, in his mid-forties, he still has his fuzzy brown beard that stretches down to his chest, short brown hair, and many scars across his face from mining accidents. Osgar is a distinguished and easily identifiable character, who still is one of the best miners in Iron Fall, although he spends a lot of time serving at the high council, he is the best representative for the people of the underground city. Whenever called upon in meetings, his loud, gruff voice is clearly understood and always listened to.
A new day had arrived for the mining city, with all the miners and inhabitants scurrying around to their work, Osgar was in his chamber waking up to a day he was resenting. His chamber was a large room, scattered in no particular order, with various objects he had found in his mining career. Items ranged from useless but attractive looking stones, to bones and special types of ores, which never really found a use. The room was an unordered mess of pickaxes, shovels, books, clothes, boots, and his beloved mining helmet, which he had forged himself at the Forgemasters’ Keep. He didn’t care about untidiness, it was his room, and in his mind, a place which didn’t have to be clean and tidy, just a place where he could offload and relax, and block out the world outside his door.
I’m writing this quick post, since I haven’t done an informative post for a while, and feel obliged to do so. Also, its quick cause I’m going to cook dinner in a sec, and rest my brain from writing! This is more of a quick update rather than a meaningful, sincere post about what I think about when writing.
So while I was in Tenerife, my editor had a look through what I had written, and completely scrutinised it! Which is a good thing! Some of the stuff I had recently written I felt wasn’t my best, although she did like my fight scene, yay! But anyway, the main part of the book (now being rewritten) was ripped to shreds as it wasn’t: A. Coherent, B. Engaging. I was told that she was lost and confused at quite a lot of it (bit concerning) with some parts having not enough emphasis, and other parts having to much, so a simple concept of give and take. It was clear to me where I went wrong, and what I should have done, which I suppose is a good thing, if I can acknowledge my work as not in-keeping with what I’ve already written. Another good skill to have, the ability to scrutinise your work, to make it as coherent as possible. Currently rewriting the negotiations, which happens to set the scene and foundations of the series, I feel more confident about what I’m doing, and how I’m doing it.
In terms of other parts of the book that were criticised, were things like: this has already been mentioned, why don’t you change this so it has a better effect, I thought this was this, why have you put this here, makes no sense. That sort of thing. I guess, as you progress with writing, and understand and acknowledge your writing style, you begin to realise how much you need to change in the early parts of your writing/book; and since I’m taking on a load of suggestions, I’ve changed quite a bit in the beginning. Thus, everything that I’ve posted (all the excerpts) from ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’, will inevitably have been changed to sound more dramatic and engaging.
Sorry if you liked the excerpts before, but, I promise what has been scrutinised and edited, and edited again, will be better and more coherent! Exactly what I want!
Now to go and cook Rigatoni All’ Arrabbiata Con Salmone! Yummy!