Commentary III:70

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Sometimes A Metaphor is More

I have my doubts in playing out a game and full game and a half of chess in a novel, but it felt right. In my first draft I winged it, and imagined it all inconsistent, and dreamy, but then for giggles I set up a board, and tried to make the moves I described. Amazingly it almost made sense with only maybe three or four modifications till the half way point, but then it started to go in new directions, but I still made most of the existing dialogue work.

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Commentary III:69

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So About the Obligatory Joke

Some day the chapter numbers will be different any way, and no, this really happened by chance. How often mirroring and opposite forces come up in this world didn’t even make it unlikely. The point being that the number of this chapter is actually as closely related to the Ying-yang as any more childish (adult… childish… which is it?) interpretation, that can also be drawn from the symbol itself.

Slight variation in pattern this week, did final editing Saturday and doing a touchup pass Sunday with commentary. Might be the best way, but maybe more time intensive. Eh.


There are two reasons I usually name characters. One they are significant to the larger story, or two, they are significant to the moment, and to ease dialogue/action. Sometimes I just do it on a whim. One unnamed character is however easy to deal with. Of course it does sometimes happen as a whim, or just feel right.

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Commentary III:37

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By Every Path Betrayed

A short chapter this week. I considered cramming more in, but it didn’t feel right to jump into the deep vaults, which would have likely run way long. Definitely one of those secondary character kind of chapters, where we only catch up with some of the main characters briefly in the middle.

Liora’s manner in the opening section is interesting, not sure I nailed it. Stoic, and glib, but there are some cracks in the spiteful facade. It’s not covered, but the other two paladins wound up at the precinct looking for her, with no idea she had been taken into custody. Such a creature of punctual habit missing till midnight sent them out looking. I suppose some day going back through I could pad that into the dialogue. Maybe. Eh.

“How did you even find me so quickly?”

“When you didn’t show up, we went looking, didn’t expect when placing a report that you would be in custody.”

Not a lot to say about the second section for now. The simplest explanation finally wins, probably. Bits and pieces keep resetting to an earlier point, the whole world does, and entire years have gone missing to put everything out of position. As Selene notes, whatever the laws, this can’t be kept a secret.

Haven’t heard from Myrn in a bit. He takes the news well. We will hear more about Mayari some day, but it probably won’t be in the main Storm Cycle. She just kind of wanted to come up.

The closing section bares the most comment. Very much me trying to sort through what should happen, and winding up places I’d not entirely intended, but which felt consistent with the direction of things. In the first draft I just opened on the line about traitors, but the chance to catch a glimpse of the evolution of the woman in white, and Zale made more sense.

The healer moves to help instantly, only to feel how deathly out of her depth she is, and immediately retreat from the corruption she feels, afraid that it might spread.

Liora’s power is like mage-iron, but far more destructive. Mage-fire might be the natural extension but is completely contrary in every linguistic sense. She is not a mage, it is not magic, it is more bubbling fury in raw energetic form. It is incredibly destructive, and those caught by the blast have suffered far worse than burns. A corruption of the very genes. Liora has now idea her power does this, she’s never tested it on a living target before, that didn’t have defenses that could withstand the attack.

This leads to the conclusion by our progressively creepier Archshaper, that remaking the flesh as something new is the best solution. Though what to make of her remains unclear. Her acts seem mostly benevolent, her words less so. Certainly there is something concerning lurking under there, and things she definitely does not say.

Eastern Sylvans have always just kind of been there, even more reclusive than the western variety. They bare almost more of a mythological impact on the world so far. Then a shaper made one anew. Eastern sylvans probably do not normally have the cat claws, but Aster is a thoughtful mixer of traits. Understanding how inconvenient claws might be.

I’ve been back and forth for a while about what would happen with Elise. That Liora would wound her in the attempt to grab her has been the intention for a while. First version was a mage-iron sword through the shoulder, but then the natural course of events brought us to her aether-fire. Yes, lets call it that.

Things are mostly on track, but the satellite consequences remain at times unexpected. I’m pretty sure I know all the things that happen in the remainder of the Mordove sequence, but when, is a more interesting question.

Commentary III:32

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Suns, Moons, Stars, and Other Details

Too much is trying to happen at once, and figuring out the timing is proving difficult. An n-body problem indeed. The rest of the previous day petered out, and I’m not sure I’ve expressed that well enough. Katrisha finally drags herself out of the apartments to go face Selene again, or the puzzle of world spell theory. Which I mean to imply is where she wants to look, while Kiannae is staring at the past, and others are focused on the future, she wants to understand what is in front of her.

True to form, one often stumbles on the answer they aren’t looking for. The scenes in this chapter originally occurred in different orders, and were rearranged and rewritten till they made the most sense. Obvious hiding place is obvious. A black box that confuses those most likely to be looking, and that most don’t even know is there.

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WordPress Quirks

I really am ambivalent about many things in the new block editor, but the commentary for III:28 kind of takes the cake. For anyone who got confusing results (cause I’m not sure what it might have looked like, it looked fine on my end till I went back to review it) WP really put it through a grinder.

Multiple paragraphs wound up with nested paragraph tags. These seem to be an artifact of working with the app on content in the new block system. Don’t do it, you will regret it. Apparently the way you have to fix this bug, is to remove all paragraph tags in HTML mode, not just the extras. The “Resolve” action at least twice just ate the paragraph and removed it from the document. Which is not a resolution.

I also got into a special kind of hell where I would right click a typo and it would turn all the other text in a paragraph on either side red, and leave spectacular nested font or other style tags that nothing should have created. Those were tedious to clean up. I don’t think I lost any of my content but don’t have time to completely review this morning, but at least got it cleaned up. In multiple passes, submits, etc.

I’m also deeply frustrated that it’s taken to setting the publication date to whenever you first start writing a post unless you manually update it. I’m also still not sure that changing deep down in account settings where it uses UTC offsets has made my date and time selections actually representative of what I intend them to be. I had one post happen some time mid day on a Tuesday a while back when I’d scheduled it for early morning on a Wednesday because UTC+0 is somewhere in Europe I think? I forget, and I’m not even convinced that explains it.

The offset post dates concern me, because I’m not sure how much it impacts discoverability. Will my content wind up completely buried in their system because the post date was wrong? Is there a real and displayed post date? So many questions.

They’ve also removed justified text as an option, which I rather like. I hate ragged right so much, it’s so messy. Of course this falls off of some study that said justified text is bad for phones, but then again justified text is used in newspapers that have as narrow or narrower columns. So, not sure I buy that.

Undo and navigation in large posts has also gotten very squirrely, and undoing something does not necessarily get you to where you were at, you can lose track of your cursor which means errant keystrokes when just scrubbing through can be hard to find. On and on, and other than proper table support, I’m not sure there are many real improvements to the system. Yes it’s easier to rearrange individual paragraphs in short distance, and vastly harder to rearrange multiple over long distance.

Oh well, things are what they are. I could do with a lot less bugs.

Commentary III:22

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It All Adds up in the End

Trying to make the boring parts of life interesting is always a delicate balance. Mordove is one of the largest, and most advanced cities in Thaean civilization. That comes with advantages, and bureaucracy, stability and annoyance. My intention with the two opening sections is on some levels really that there is a procedure for everything, even that which has no procedure. First step, try and make it work by the book. Second step, throw up your hands and innovate.

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Commentary III:21

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A Borrowed Title Backwards

For the record, Wren’s name has no relation to a book about bardic magic, but that book may have something to do with how I write about cities. Yes, the title is intentional beyond that point, just reversed, because it amused me.  I’m also probably misusing Lark a bit, but given the direness of circumstance in that other book, so did it. I think that was the first full on fantasy novel I’d read (there were a couple in short order,) and I’ve oft meant to go back and finish the series.

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