Ink-Stained Scribe

On Writing


I can't believe the point I'm at right now. I've got another half of chapter thirteen to write, chapter fourteen is finished, and chapter fifteen is probably going to crank out pretty fast since I know exactly what is going to happen.

I want to talk about the migratory chapter fourteen for a moment. At first, it felt important for me to write Shiro's first success with Magic (and his first success with women) occuring around the same time as the attack on Arianna. The problem was, that bit tied immediately onto the tail end of chapter eleven, which meant that it would have only been about a day between Shiro's first shield and his first competant shield. That, in my concept of the way Marks and Magic work, just was't going to gell with the rest of the story. Besides, after that bit was over, I didn't have anything planned for Shiro until the huge shift I have planned between chapters 15 and 16. Three chapters of Bay and Arianna, two for which they are re-united, seemed like it could make the pace a bit sluggish since there's more intrigue than raw action.

It also didn't seem like a good idea to let Shiro's first success be buried in the mire of Arianna achieving her own success at the end of chapter 15. Thus, I decided to take the bulky chapter 12 and shift it to 13. Upon writing 12, I realized that I had left an important plot point out of my outline (it wasn't in line...) and decided to extend 12 into 13. That required another shift.

At this point, the front outline page of my writing notebook has a lot of colorful highlights and arrows and notes, which sometimes even confuse me. Anyway, for those who want to kind of see the lineup for chapters 10-15, here they are.

10 - Leiner's Tale (Bay and Fieluen head back to Rizellen, but receive an ill-omened message along the way...)
11 - Small Victories (Arianna struggles to discover the truth behind her attack, while Shiro gets his first lesson in steel and Magical Shields.)
12 - A Bitter Reward (Bay and Fieluen return to Rizellen, but it seems their news is not the only somber information the queen must receive...)
13 - Recovery (Arianna receives proposal gifts from her suitors, but she has already made her decision. When Bay arrives, their reunion is strangled by Seina's tightening noose.)
14 - A Good Man (Shiro and Alukale take a trip to Welden to resupply, but they never expected a fight on the roads...)
15 - ? (When Seina strikes, Arianna's very life is at risk...but it is not Arianna whose life is forfeited in the struggle. After the disaster, she returns to Rizellen with new fire, declaring her decision on the matter of her future husband to a court filled with shock...)

...then there is a time segue, where the next year will be told in short glimpses, and a few scenes of Shiro and...Ciele.

Okay, so it's a lot more dramatic in my head than it will likely be on paper, but I'm excited. After I finish 15, I have no idea how many chapters it will take to the end, but we're likely looking at about 13 crucial scenes...and who knows how many chapters I will accomplish that in. To give you an idea, the word document for Sun, which does not include the un-typed chapters 12 and 13 but does include 220 pages long. The entirety of Flight is 300 (though with the new scene I'm planning to add, may arrive at an easy-to-subtract 330ish). I'm estimating about 350-400 pages for Sun in total, before editing. I won't finish by the end of Summer, like I planned, but I think I may be able to finish by the end of the year if I keep going at the pace I have been recently.

I have a lot of plans.

Once I finish writing Sun, I'm going to add a scene to Flight in which Arianna sees her kingdom in its true state while she is with Tashda, and receives the shock that makes her truly begin to doubt her mother. I think that is crucial, and I think, now that I have shifted the direction of Arianna's journey, she needs to doubt what she has been brought up to believe. Not only defy tradition, but doubt the positive things as well. She needs this disillusionment in order to understand what is really wrong, and what really needs fixing about her country.

I've been developing two inextricable and interesting characters with this trilogy--one is Alukale, and one is a character who does not show up in name and form until the very end of the trilogy. His name is Verissande. Alukale's past is very sad, and I've been considering more and more lately the likelihood that I would write a prequel to the trilogy, mostly centered around him. It would not only show how the war between Centoren and then-Rizell (not yet joined by the other 17 states to make Rizellen) began, but also show how Alukale went from being the disaster-heir to being the hero of the Great War, and the tragedy of his existence beyond his true lifetime. Alukale's true love died when he was in his early 20s, and he lived for another five centuries out of obligation. I want to write this for him, to tell his story and why, to me, he is the greatest hero I've ever created.

The other character is Verissande. I want to talk about him, but if you do not want to know bits of the end of the Markmasters Trilogy, I don't want to spoil I will be vague. Verissande is a character who will tell the story of the Marks--a story that not even Alukale or Bay know. Verissande is the young man who lives after the events of the Markmasters Trilogy, but discovers the forgotten history of those who walked Rizellen and Centoren long before Lenis or Alukale, before even King Norvad of Legend. Verissande is a bit like the Alukale of his time, and they are linked in a way that is very elemental to Verissande's journey.

Just like Ciele shows a different kind of existence in this world, I hope Verissande can show several more flavors. He is a traveler, rarely staying still, and I want to show some of the untapped wonders of the landscape with him.


Alukale is kind of my Vanyel, though. I guess.