I spent a lot of yesterday playing around with maps. For research purposes of course.
Did you know you can walk around at ground level in Google Earth? It’s far easier to control than the flying simulator, and looks just as cool.
Anyway, lots of pieces have fallen into place for ways I want to rework the magic systems, setting, and pacing of Featherfolk. There will be more research to do as I go along, but I’m to a point where I can start. Today I tackle chapter one.
I’ll be doing my best to finish the second draft before November, so that I don’t have to take a break of indeterminate length in the middle of the draft while I figure out how to care for a newborn.
Now go play with Google Earth. I dare you.
I just finished reading over the first draft of Featherfolk! When I began, I wasn’t sure if the manuscript had sat long enough for me to gain the distance and fresh eyes I need to revise.
As I read, I realized enough time had passed. I kept discovering small twists and turns I forgot I wrote. One bit the other day was so perfect and unexpected. It made me feel very clever indeed.
Thinking back, that particular twist was not part of my original outline. It came to me as I wrote, following naturally from the words and scenes I’d already typed.
I want to do that. Over and over. I want to surprise and delight myself.
Because if I can do that, I can surprise and delight others.
And that’s why I wanted to tell stories in the first place.
Remember what I said at the beginning of the month, about going back to finish Gwen’s story?
Well, I decided it’s not the right time yet–for a number of reasons.
I’m going to rewrite Featherfolk instead. The plot is solid. I forsee mostly tweaking the cultures and magic systems, fixing character inconsistencies, and addressing pacing/POV issues, but we’ll see what else comes up as I re-read the whole draft.
I’ll give myself part of August to research and plan, then spend September and likely October rewriting. I definitely want to have the second draft finished before our baby arrives in November.
I’ve known since early on in the first draft of Featherfolk that the setting wasn’t…well…settled. I covered the mountains with familiar plants and animals because that was the easiest thing, but I knew I wanted to give it a more exotic feel. The only problem with exotic locations and cultures is that I know next to nothing about them. Hence, exotic.
Ever since I hit on the Andes Mountains and the Incas as a possibility for re-flavoring the world, I’ve been checking out stacks of books from the library, searching for documentaries, and scrolling through pages and pages of Google images, just to try and get a taste of the history and culture and climate and flora of such a place.
If I base the Featherfolk on another culture, I want to know more than just the tropes. Shallow knowledge would result in parody, which I feel would be disrespectful to that culture and its living descendants.
It’s quite overwhelming. How do you immerse yourself in a culture long dead, on another continent in another hemisphere, whose languages were not at all related to your own?
How do you start?
Well, there should be a hug-a-griffin day. Unfortunately, finding griffins is rather hard, even here in Europe. This is a big change from hanging out with the Featherfolk. Every day with them is hug-your-griffin day.
But I found several very friendly griffins in Potsdam at Sanssoucci (which really should have been called “Sanskleidung” if the other statues were anything to go by).
Basically, all the above nonsense is so I can post this adorable picture.
Have you hugged a griffin today?