Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Europe v 3.11

me was wondering: "It's nice to see that there are upgrades, add-ons, plugins, etc [Europe v3.11, perhaps?]. in the half-continent. Are these upgrades limited to internal organs only? Are there pugnators out there who figure an extra eye/arm/thorny-bark-like-skin-in-sensitive-areas/claw/magic-big-toe in addition to their modified innards might improve their trade [and fees]?."

You have hit the nail on the head about the "upgrades", (actually called scirrhitus) I do have a list of rare but existing outwardly editions to a person's self - not so much extra limbs but claws (actylls), thorns on back (which might even shoot out of the person- I forget their name off the top of my head and am not sure they quite fit the H-c "vibe"), different kind of teeth for a bit o' combat biting - known as sagital (sharp) or trenchant (blunt) maws, toughened skin, weird snapping jaws a bit like Aliens TM (called labiachus - though I am not so sure about this one, either), foul spit, and some other stuff. I have been thinking this might be a bit more in the Half-Continents future rather than right now in Rossamünd's time (HIR 1601) - we shall have to wait and see.

Interestingly enough I was just talking to Will and Mandii last night about how the Europe of Book 2 and 3 is a v 2.01 fulgar - she went and had her organs checked after vaoriating (spasming) in Book 1 and while the transmogrifer is there having a gander, she has the funds to have him do some major improvements... She gets to "kick butt" (as they say...) in Book 3... or was that too much of a spoiler?!

edwarrd asked: "With the spoors, is it something that a lahzar has to have, or is it something they choose to have to promote what they are? Also, can they have variations of the spoors?"

Some lahzars will chose to hide their nature, yes, or not make it obvious and so go without spoors or have them places not easily spotted. Others like to mark themselves with more than the usual signs, so that faces and bodies will be patterned with all manner of markings. As with our world such spooring is considered a step into the wilder side of society.

Just adding a bit more to anna's enquiries about literary traditions, I wrote this recently to a friend: The longest standing literary tradition is plays and folk songs... (I am thinking epic poems of the Attics and Tutelarchs would be included in this too) Novels - as Threnody reads - are a more modern innovation and are yet to be seen as a "literary tradition" as such.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Advice for young players

This weeks piece of folksy wisdom: do not stay up way past your bedtime, tap yourself a glass o' water when overtired, go to bed and have your wife/partner/flatmate wake up 3 hours later to find that said tap (faucet) has not been properly turned off and the kitchen bench, floor and draws are all swimming, then spend next hour+ ladling water out of draws that can not be removed and towel dry every stinking piece that dwelt in said drawers. If you can avoid this, I would recommend it.

Noelle asked: "Is it possible to be both a wit and fulgar? This just occurred to me and it's going to bother me."

Well Noelle be bothered no longer! It is indeed possible to be a wit and fulgar in one person - a super-lahzar, such maddened souls are generally called dexters and typically have short lives full of violence, pain and a whole lot of treacle-taking. Not recommended for any but "power players".

Anna asks: "By the way Mr Cornish, how is the culture-life in H-C? Authors, painters, genealogy ..?"

There surely are these things, I touch on such a little more in Book 3 - though Rossamünd not being overly cultural does not give me great play with such things. However a brief mention in the story does give me licence to go too far in the Explicarium, which is yet to be properly worked up. I tend to add brief entries as I write the main tale, points to be elaborated while the main text is in Celia's/Tim's most excellent hands.

Ah, Monday, you spotted my H.P! I feel like I have been caught with my petticoat showing ;)

Thank you all! for your encouragements last post, I clearly see you all know full well the personal insanity that is writing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Going back to go forward...

Something I find frustrating when I write is those times when I am keen to press on with the story but it occurs to me that one of the characters (usually Rossamünd, bless him) is not being quite true to himself in an earlier chapter. Sometimes I will try to write on, enjoying too much the sensation of the word count increasing and chapters being marked off (especially with the hot breath of deadlines panting on my nape).

Inevitably, however, I can avoid it no longer and must put the advance of the words on hold and correct the earlier discord, work the changes all through the text until I am satisfied - which can cost frustratingly large amounts of time. Yet once the agony is grappled the text invariably is far improved and my sense of direction stronger, and I leap off once more into 'storm front' of the tale with fresh vigour.

Sometimes I also just get stuck...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Map Prototype

Just a quick heads-up that there is a prototype version of the Zoomable Map of the Half-Continent up and functioning. My esteemed comrade G.R. Morton and I shall be working to make it a tad more Halfcontinenty over the next x period, but I figured folks had waited long enough, so sneak preview away!

(oh, and if it seems to stay blury, just give the map some time and maybe a click and it should focus)

Ok, back to writing, writing, writing...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Words, Invented & Real

A great little post I found over at Whatever by John Scalzi (and its original source @ xkcd - thank you Tom) regarding word length of a book as being conversely proportional to is unreadability. The comments are illuminating too, MBT even gets a mention from a Seattle-based bookseller friend of mine in comment #51. Have a read if you will and come on back...

In reading the aforementioned blog and its associated comments, I too had the guilts for insisting on such circumlocutions as pediteer instead of "infantry" or leonguile instead of "cheetah" etc etc etc... though I tell myself I have good reason to alter these: sometimes the existing word/s are too our-world specific in their etymology or too modern-sounding to be appropriate in the H-c. I do not know the origin of every word but those I do I change - language is key when making otherworldliness, the dilemma is knowing when to reinvent, how much to reinvent and when to just go with the real stuff... I certainly won't be re-doing the parts for a flintlock, for example, they are perfectly acceptable as they are, cheers.

I recall someone railing at me once for daring to have a type of fly called a wurtembottle - "why can't he just call it a fly!" she said - to which I reply:
a/ know just how many species and therefore different names for flies there are in the real world; without even reaching for a textbook let us just try to name a few: house fly, blow fly, bluebottle, vinegar fly, horse fly, bot fly...
b/ why the heck not!

I tell you, the thoughtlessly contrary fun-crushers get a tad tiring; like Ayn Rand says, those who can't create, destroy.