Queen Maressa… What’s she plotting now?
Sometimes writing a novel takes an unexpected turn and it’s all the writer can do not to fall off and get left behind. That’s when the real fun starts!
I’ve just finished typing up another set of chapters of Ozias, Prince Enthroned. There’s no way I’ll be able to finish writing it this year, it’s too cold outside. But there’s already an indication that it’s going to be good.
When your characters whom you’ve made up start saying, thinking, and doing things that you, the writer, never expected–well, you’ve either lost control, but good, or you’re on to something good.
My wicked queen, Maressa, has an unexpected problem: her conscience is acting up. Crikey, I didn’t know she had one. It was buried pretty deeply, but now it’s gnawing at her.
This is so cool. It’s like the book’s on auto-pilot and I’m just a passenger. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Actually I’m kind of glad my books don’t match up with certain people’s “values.”
I post this every now and then because I’m still shaking my head over it: the man told me he’d never let his children read my books because that would expose them to my no-good evil value system.
Well, Then, Should I Just Change My Value System?
At the time I chose not to inquire into this character’s value system. I thought I could make a good guess at its nature.
Work till Jesus comes–what else can we do?
This was the first time I was interviewed by persons who had actually read my books, and I enjoyed it. Andrea Schwartz was the host.
Here’s the Webinar! ‘Thoughts on Being a Writer’
All my life, I wanted to be a storyteller. Getting together with Bobby and Ellen across the street, the three of us making up ghost and monster stories in their appropriately atmospheric cellar… I was ten years old.
I used to get a fair amount of heat from readers who objected to “all the religious stuff” in my Bell Mountain fantasy novels. As in, “Leave us alone to be our own gods!”
See that raspberry up there? That’s for you.
An Open Letter to My Critics
Sorry, but I just never got the hang of “winsome.” I don’t like their books any better than they like mine. I don’t like what they’re doing to my country, and I don’t like what they’re doing to the world. As for their fantasy novels, they can take their Invincible Female Warriors, All-Knowing (crusty but benign) Wizards, and Insatiably Oversexed Barbarian Big Guys and conduct them in a long walk off a short pier.
It went for weeks and weeks around here without a drop of rain, lawns turned yellow, our poor tulips just gave up and died.
But as soon as I have a book to write… open up the floodgates. Anybody got a rowboat handy?
Forget writing indoors. All that does is make the phone ring off the hook. And look at the time–where does the day go?
Oh, all right… what’s in the nooze? When one is truly desperate, one can always fall back on the nooze.
Book No. 7–that’s Queen Gurun in the bows.
Let me tell you what it’s like, writing a novel.
Writing a Novel is Like…
Probably almost everybody can learn how to put a novel together. And almost everybody thinKs he or she can write a novel. “If only I had the time!”
Lately a question has arisen in my mind: how many publishing execs, editors, marketing consultants, or reviewers could write a decent novel if their lives depended on it?
A medieval wing-ding
I toiled stoically in the sun all day yesterday, getting King Ozias crowned. (Note to aspiring young writers: it’s times like this when you have to make a very tricky decision as to how much detail you should include in the picture.) I finally managed it, setting the table for the coronation feast, today’s assignment.
Looking to Geoffrey of Monmouth, who at least lived in the Middle Ages and wrote about King Arthur, I do have some idea of what these rituals are supposed to look like, and what they mean. But I also know, and you don’t need Geoffrey of Monmouth to tell you about it, something always goes wrong.
Ozias’ feast is at its height, now he’s granting boons… and nobody knows there are serious party-poopers waiting in the wings. Seven of them, all bearing bad news. The captain of the guard should never have let them in.
(Don’t forget to write your Newswithviews column!)
Meanwhile, I have an interesting piece for you from Mark Rushdoony…
Today I’ve started writing my next book, Ozias, Prince Enthroned. Patty asked, “How do you do it?”
Tain’t easy! Today, for instance, we’re bombarded with nuisance phone calls, we have a crew washing and painting our building, and the air is full of smoke from Canada’s wildfires. One obstacle after another. I was lucky to get three pages written.
Anyway, I know from where I left off Prince in Peril that certain things have to happen to keep the story moving. Duke Esdras has a death-bed prophecy to deliver. Ozias, now twelve years old, must go through a Re-coronation ceremony and feast. And would-be Queen Maressa has escaped to brew up new mischief–at least start another civil war.
I have found my muse in Geoffrey of Monmouth (d. 1155), whose History of the Kings of Britain, completed in 1136 or thereabouts, became an international best cellar centuries before the printing press was invented. Geoffrey’s work inspired a still-continuing boom in Arthurian literature. The critics have not been kind to him, saying he made it all up; but a book doesn’t stay popular for 900 years unless there’s something special about it. Herodotus could tell you that.
I missed all of May, simply because I wasn’t ready yet, and now it’s June and it’ll be a miracle if I finish before it gets too cold to write outside. Legal pad, ballpoint pen, and cigar. Such are the tools of my trade.
I ask the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell, to bless my work, and make it fruitful in His service.