Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Author’s Blog, August 31, 2006

I’ve been agonizing over the same fifty page section of work for the past two weeks, and I know part of my problem is the lack of good conflict. I think that section is languishing because I’m spending so much time trying to get my characters where they need to be for the next section that I forget to carry on the engaging parts of the plot. I suspect that my characters are having conversations like this behind my back:
“Good morning, Seraph Davian. Would you like some tea?”
“Good morning to you, my dear Marcus. Tea would really hit the spot. You know, I just love wandering around in the woods with absolutely nothing to do.”
“Sugar, sir?”
“Two lumps, please. What I like best is hiding from all of my enemies, who are too far away to be a bother right now. They’re so unskilled, and we’re so skilled that they have no chance of even finding us.”
“Please. Makes me wonder why I even carry this heavy sword around.”
“I agree, sir. Your sword does make you look a little too rough. And you should shine that breastplate up a bit. It makes you look like you’ve seen too many battles.”
“Quite right, Marcus. I was thinking of cutting my hair and shaving so Seraph Salla would respect me. I notice you took three baths yesterday.”
“That I did, sir. You know how much I hate smelling like the woods. So what future battle should we talk about today?”
“Oh, I don’t know, Marcus. Those battles won’t happen for such a long time. Maybe we should discuss logistics and weaponry.”
“Would you like a crumpet, sir?”
“Crumpet? Do you have any brambleberry tarts from yesterday?”
“Plum out of those, sir.”
“Plum out? Dear me. Crumpet it is then. You know something, Marcus. I think I like being in this book more that I liked being in the last one.”
“Why is that, sir?”
“Because nothing seems to be happening right now in this one. I’m not tracking down clues to a conspiracy, my life isn’t on the line, I haven’t seen the enemy in ages, and I’m getting along with you and all the other soldiers in my unit just fine.”
“Jam, sir?”
“No thank you, Marcus. I must say, this really is a splendid tea.”
Grab your swords, boys. All hell is about to break loose. (Excuse the cliché. I’m not yet done cutting the crust off my watercress sandwich. Tea anyone?)

P.S. Thank you to Michael Campbell for giving me the idea I needed to bring in some good, old fashioned conflict. And if you don’t know who Marcus and Davian are or why the idea of Marcus taking three baths a day is about as likely as me becoming the Pope, you will just have to read my first book, A Prophecy Forgotten.

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