Recently, I’ve taken a different focus for my book (working title: Shades of Tha’lassos); instead of writing about the main story, the one that details Naus’s life as a child and young man, I’ve decided to get to know my background information more fully first. As I wrote in my journal last week:
… I don’t even fully understand the geography of Evruse yet, let alone the stories of the people before the Academy. I haven’t thought enough about the magic – types, history, uses of – to even know what the Academy teaches. Listing these things that I do not yet know about has now made me excited and exhausted at the prospect of writing all of it. But a new idea has come to me: instead of fearing the long hours of work ahead, I should see it as a chance for Evruse to finally introduce itself to me. I haven’t given it enough time before now, and when there was time, I was pushy and selfish in what I wanted to know of the land. Now, I can hear ideas forming slowly, shyly, before they come forth and show me their brilliance. But they will come.
The feeling of meeting someone/something new has persisted and rather than asking questions constantly, I have found out more about the history of the land and its people by “sitting back and listening”. (NB: this does not mean I don’t actively think about the book throughout the day — it means that I allow myself to slow down and understand that some ideas aren’t good ones.) I know this may sound cheesy and I could be taking the metaphor too far, but I realized that when I started working on the map two months ago, I was being selfish and thinking only in terms of my storyline. I rushed through the process in hopes of fitting the geography to my own needs. I was going nowhere fast. I wound up feeling like I would be telling the story of Naus inadequately if I did not see all of Evruse with each of its intricacies first.
These days, when I have a bright idea, I don’t run off to my map and draw something in or jump to thinking that I’ve just had a book-altering idea. I think about it for a day or two. If the idea still makes sense after a couple nights’ sleep, then I might consider it for the map or storyline.
As a reward for reading about my writing process, here is a bit of new content dealing with the legends and myths about the early people who came to Evruse.
They discovered the islands first, the ones jutting out of the water just southeast of the peninsula. After the peninsula had been settled, along with the bay on the north edge of the mountains, the groups began to separate. Some moved west to the desert in hope of finding fertile land, others to the south into the mountains on the coast. Lucky thing too, for if they hadn’t found those bright, chilling peaks so fascinating, Evruse would have remained a nearly uninhabitable land.
Up among the highest crowns of the Scriven mountain range lay a massive dark lake near a plateau of rocky land. The people that chose the mountains instead of the deserts never did find the right words to describe such a sight. Here, the south face of the peaks dropped hundreds of feet to the coast below, and carved out along the cliffs was a fall of fresh water from the lake. The people found this and knew they had discovered the way to make Evruse fertile.
They would carve out their own fall. The water would flow north, down the slopes of Scriven, and wind along the yet unsettled land below. The desert would turn to farmland, and the great forest would become even greater.
They would release the Revma.
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Happy last days of October… bring on my favorite month!