The Redemption of Erâth: Stalling

As I sit here in my basement, cold and hungry, four empty mugs sitting on the desk beside me, it occurs to me that I’m doing just about everything I can to not write any more of The Redemption of Erâth: Ancients and Death. I tinkered with this website all morning (do you like it?), updated my status on Facebook and Twitter a bit, watched some of Alexandra Corinth’s book videos (well-worth the watch, by the way), and twiddled my thumbs.

It seems I’m stalling.

I feel depressed about the whole thing (outside of my usual depression). I don’t like where I’m going with the book, which is unfortunate because it all started so promising. Elven was on his own, there were some very disturbing deaths, and he came to a new kingdom and became a part of the country there. I enjoyed the writing, and enjoyed the story. Elỳn’s magic came to the front, and was spectacular.

Then I returned to Brandyé. He woke up alone in a forest far removed from where we last saw him (both in time and place). Slowly he becomes aware of a world far more magical and advanced than the one he (barely) remembers. It should be awe-inspiring, but it just … isn’t. He comes to a city of glass and steel, spires that tower over all the world, and I have him engage for an entire chapter in dull and directionless conversation. I feel like I’m forgetting why Brandyé came to this place at all (if I ever knew in the first place).

I know I have to power through it; I have to write, whether I feel like it or not. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this update (at least it’s writing, of a kind). I have a minimum of 4,000 more words to write for chapter nine, and 6,000 for chapter ten. I’m struggling to think of what’s going to even take place in these chapters.

I have it all worked out for Elven, when we return to him in chapter eleven. I think that when we revisit Brandyé again in chapter sixteen things will be different. But chapters six through ten are slow, and I’m finding them dreadfully boring. That isn’t a good sign as a writer. I know perfectly well my own mantra—you can edit crap, but you can’t edit nothing—but I feel that once editing time comes around there’ll be nothing left to work with. I just don’t know what purpose it all serves.

Have you ever come to a point like this in your writing—where you feel you’re plowing through nothingness for the sake of getting to the next chapter? Tell me I’m not alone …

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9 thoughts on “The Redemption of Erâth: Stalling

  1. Oh yeah. I’ve so been there. Sometimes the boring stuff brings light on what should be going on. I’m right there with you on the boring conversations – in the past I’ve gone back to where it starts to get dull (or just before) and thought about “what if something else happens at this point?” or I’ve had something happen (in the story) at the end of the boring bit, allowing me to just edit it all out and jump from interesting to interesting. Does this make sense?
    Regardless, what I’ve found the need for is to step away. Go for a walk or have a shower, but most of all, look around for different things that inspire me within my own environment – meaning not in another book or a movie or on the internet. It can be something as simple as a word. “Run,” for instance. What could my character be running from? Or to?
    The thing is, you never know where the inspiration is going to come from. But it’s there. Sometimes you just have to stop trying so hard.
    From what you’ve described, your story sounds amazing. You’ll get through this. 🙂

    • Well, thank you for your support! I’ve had good feedback on the first book (though not much of it, sadly), and I’m still working hard to make the second one the best I can. The third one is the one I’m struggling with at the moment, with plot points that are starting to seem inadequate or senseless. But … I have to write, no matter what. I can always go back and change things afterward, but I can’t change what isn’t there. I’m the last person to say, “this conversation has to be in there, because plot reasons”; I always like to think there is a way to get the plot across whilst being interesting. But sometimes it’s difficult to find the way to do it. We’ll see where things end up!

    • Oh, I’m not giving up, not by a long shot. Sometimes I need to take a step back and look at it from a distance. I wrote a wonderful scene (I enjoyed it, anyway) with Death and a rat, so something good came out of my forcing myself to write! It’s just frustrating when the story doesn’t go the way you expected it—planned it—to.

  2. Hey man, don’t worry about the slow pacing.
    As a reader, it hasn’t put me off. Diplomacy and character exposition always feel slower than dramatic plot., isn’t it? And yeah, I can definitely understand how you would feel bored too. Maybe it’s been too long since I read it, but I don’t have a feel for the city of Viura Ra yet that differentiates it from other big grand cities. I think your visual descriptions are fantastic, but I don’t hear or smell anything. This may very well be me not remembering those descriptions though. But if you want to throw an interesting little wrinkle somewhere and have someone rob Brandye or some other sort of action sequence, why not? Surely the grand council isn’t the only purpose of the city?

    It’s your story, it’s your world, it’s your oyster. I personally think I’ll enjoy it no matter what you write, you’re just that good

    • Gosh, you’re too kind! Truth be told, Viura Râ is something of an antiseptic city; there’s no crime, no poverty, no suffering of any kind. It’s a city of glass and steel, and there aren’t the smells and sounds that one would find in any other bustling metropolis. This is its greatest flaw; in their attempt to attain eternity, the people of Viura Râ have lost their humanity. You bring up an interesting point with the ‘purpose’ of the grand council. I’m struggling with the purpose of nearly everything Brandyé is doing in this book, and I think it’s because it wasn’t clear to me from the beginning. Brandyé is witnessing the downfall of the world, but I have to admit I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps the answer will reveal itself as I keep going …

      • I can imagine that witnessing the downfall of the world will either crystallize a sense of resolve in Brandye or drown him in untold despair. I’m interested to know where this is going. Do you absolutely have to write for Brandye for the next few chapters before returning to Elven? I’m assuming that you have things lined up to happen to Brandye, then. It’s just a question of getting to the things happening.
        Hint hint: I would not mind a vision or a hallucination of Reuel or human Sonora again, no matter how cliched it was. 😉 Maybe he sees a vision of one of them throughout Viura Ra periodically, acting strange and invisible and all warning-like, but he doesn’t remember them?
        So Vuira Ra is a perfect city, without being a joyful city. So there are no sidewalk bards or musicians, or the clamor of people moving along? Sad. Maybe people there are just more stilted in conversation and motion anyway. Maybe there’s a secret fear among the people of their own dark sides, swaddled in a suffocating shroud of perfection. I have no idea, but that’s what my mind is turning to.
        I guess my question regarding the grand council led to this: I think I understand that Viura Ra was built to be a perfect city, but why in that location? How does it feed itself, how does it govern itself, and what does its people do? Is it a trade hub, for instance, and/or a cultural center?

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