Violence in Writing

Madd Hatter's Tea PartyPainting the Roses RedThe Red Queen

All prints are from Arthur Rakham, in a 1907 Edition of Alice in Wonderland. I love his illustrations.

I suppose I should have said violence in my writing. I think I’ve addressed this before. There are no epic battle scenes because I have a hard time reading them–I tend to skip over them. Unless they’re very well written, I sort of find them tedious, and don’t want to read about people getting hacked into pieces. This doesn’t mean I leave it out altogether. In Aithin much of it is “off stage” so to speak, except for the short battle at Port Kaldon. You can see that something is going on at Hovenswold with Geoffrey’s troops and Rory’s because of the lights, but not what. From Geoffrey’s reactions to it afterward, it was obviously bloody and awful and changed his opinions about war, which he was always so eager for. That one event changed him significantly. He became more focused, with a much greater sense of protecting his family and a sense of justice for the sake of justice, although he hadn’t quite lost the desire for retribution. He’s not such a loose cannon anymore, though.

Much of the violence ends up taking place either off scene or either with characters coming in at the end of it. A friend commented that he wanted to see that part. For the above reasons, I don’t think I’d be very good at writing it, either. I think I’m better leaving it out than writing it badly.

The illustrations are mostly because I’ve been thinking a lot about Alice in Wonderland lately. I haven’t read it in a long time. I didn’t know Arthur Rakham had done any illustrations for it, and he’s one of my favorite illustrators. I’d also never tried putting any pictures into a post.

Now, what made me think of all this? A couple of things, but mostly Geoffrey and how things go for him in the second book. Well, third, I guess. I can’t say much, it would give too much away. In the plethora of writing I did over the last year (including the huge sections I tossed and started re-writing) I just found myself empathizing with him more, which I hadn’t expected. He doesn’t like war, but because he grew up seeped in that knowledge and in tactics and strategy, he can’t help but look at everything without that filter. He can’t help but look at a castle and think about how it could be better fortified, where guards should be posted and why, and he filters through ideas as quickly as you can change radio stations until he lands on an idea that works. Even as he evolves, it’s something he can’t shed. I don’t think he particularly wants to–it keeps people safe, and even when not at war, that’s still important to him.

The second book is still mostly Madeleine’s. And someone else’s as well, but I won’t give that away. I don’t know if it comes as a surprise or not.

The problem was, I had finished the second book and was about to publish it on Amazon, then suddenly decided I didn’t like the middle, and would just do a little rewrite of the middle and join it back up with the end. Except it didn’t happen that way–it went horribly wrong. I just kept writing and not finishing until I had this gargantuan file in Word, and then I bought Scrivener and started to use that, and I had a gargantuan file in that…  I think I have the next books in the series all written out for quite a bit. I had to find what I hoped were good places to split what I’d written into separate books, so they are what I hate, cliffhangers, since it was a continuous document. But the good thing is that it’s all written, mostly. I need to edit, but it’s not like it will be a huge wait between books like it was with the first and second one. All because I didn’t like Madeleine’s reaction to something. I didn’t think it seemed like her. So now I’m editing and trying to stick little things in that make it fit with what happens later on better.

A lot of weird things happen. At least, I thought they were weird, until I read Flavorwire’s 10 HBO shows with the creepiest sex scenes, and then I didn’t feel so badly. It could still be considered a little odd, but doesn’t hold a candle to that description (Game of Thrones was number 1). I have to reiterate that it hadn’t been my intention to write a series. I hadn’t even intended a follow up to Aithin, but it just happened one day, and then grew wildly out of control like some mad virus last year.

I think that’s enough for now. I actually did do a little editing today. I need to keep reading. I’ve only read 51 books so far this year, and I set a goal of 143 on my Goodreads Challenge for myself. I was impressively ahead earlier this year, now I’m not much ahead. Well, that’s another subject entirely, but that reminds me I was going to put up a list of recommended books (which is somewhat egotistical, but I guess that’s why they’re recommended, not must reads <g>).

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