Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Factotum 1st Draft is DONE!

Yes, just as the title says, it is true, finally (*rolls eyes*) filled with self-doubt and trepidation, I am finished climbing the mountain. Factotum MBT Book3 1st Draft is complete! Now all that is left is to climb all the way down the other side.

Now for some celebratory answers!

Sylvenger was wondering ... 'in the video from Youtube for Lamplighter, it pronounces Europe's name exactly like the continent "YUR-up". I don't know, when I read the books I just thought it would be pronounced with a little more sophistication, like "yoo-ROE-puh".'

Actually, when used ordinarily it is said "YOO-rup", though for more formal situations you will find it written Europa and said "yoo-ROE-puh".

Ben Bryddia was wondering "... how nearly the present editions of Books 1 and 2 match their original drafts. In hindsight, would you have written them very differently?"

The final volumes you all have read bear marked differences from the very first drafts, pace, detail, the fleshing out of a situation to enrich events and characters, the reduction or moving of detail to the Explicarium, the tightening of my language, refining refining refining have been the usual process for making a final draft of both of the previous two MBTs. Friends how have had the dubious 'honour' of reading the first and final drafts inevitably comment on the general air of tightness and little improvements throughout the final text. I am looking forward to the process of improvement for Factotum upon whose threshold I now stand.

We are getting there folks; thank you all for sticking in there with me and for you most excellent minds and your support.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I would just like to take this opportunity to correct the doggerel that Rossamund recalls of Swill early in Lamplighter. I got the metre all out o' whack and would like to offer to you a slightly improved version (and so let you in on my restless and constant polishing of the H-c)

Honorius Ludius Grotius Swill
Will saw off your limbs, but eschews the pill;
For coughs he takes fingers, a sneeze he'll take toes,
But fevers will cost you your ears and your nose.

So no its syllable count for each line is 11, 10, 11, 11 whereas before it was 11, 9, 12,11 - which does not sound like much but I like the rhythm in the more even structure of the new version better - sounds more lilting in my head.

If at this point you think I a little nuts, you just might be right...

To answer a couple o' questions:

Yes Jenny M, MBT will be a trilogy but I truly intend and hope to bring you other tales from the Half-Continent over the years in what, Lord willing, will be a long term relationship between me and you all, an ongoing expounding of this pretend place through story and reference, a picture book (cheers Differlot) maybe film, and what ever else can express it best. What the next book after Factotum will be, I can as yet not really say... I do have ideas though.

Kathryn I will be showing the little man's face in Book 3.

And right now Portals I am just about to finish the 1st draft of Book 3 (such as it is), and for most f this year shall be editing it (several times), drawing character illos, writing the Explicarium for Book 3 (which may need to be shorter to make room for the story), complete the cover for the US edition and tweak the ANZ cover, attend various public events, finish off the map for Book 3, finalise the Appendices for Book 3, make all necessary corrections to all of the above... And in the period between handing everything up and it going to the printers I will be taking a great big breath.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

European Refinement.

This is an updated, slightly more "polished" design version of a previous rough for Europe's final harness in Book 3.

That's all...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Quick Break & An Idea.

You might be wondering what the new poll asking about a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure [TM] style story is all for. Well, I was reckoning that when Book 3 1st draft and maybe edit passes are finally done we could embark on a project together where I write an entry upon a certain Half-Continent character, list a poll of options for their next action, give you a week or two or three to choose which way next, write that, give you more options to choose for the next bit and so on (am I making sense?) and maybe build story together. So I have put up a poll to start and we shall go from there.

Thoughts anyone?

To add a little spice to the entry I am also including some sneak peak appendices proposed for Book 3 (though constraints of book length might mean some do not make it in... we shall see) Until then, I hope you enjoy these.

If you find any errors (such as the one for "parry" on the sabrine adept image) don't fret, these have yet to go under an editor's scrupulous eye.