Growing Stronger

I’ve been thinking about how I’ve grown as a writer since I wrote Warlock For Hire. There are things that I did back then that I wouldn’t do now. One thing is the scenes I added about Doris and Gavin. Those scenes were purely for comic value and add absolutely nothing to the story. Readers have enjoyed those scenes and nobody has ever complained about them, but they don’t need to be in the book. I think everything else in that book is quite tight in regards to the plot. They add a bit of flavour to Eddie’s life, I guess, so they’re doing no harm by being in there.

These scenes with Doris and Gavin feature in the first three books, but you can see I’ve learned a lesson as early as the second book, Warlock Wanted. In this book the D and G scenes lead to a conversation that actually helps Eddie figure out what is happening to his friends.

Something else I used to do in my earlier days as a writer was something that the Game of Thrones writers tend to be doing in season 8. Having things happen for shock value. Is a reader, or viewer, I do like to be shocked by something that happens, but that shock has to be earned and it has to make sense. Something should only happen if it serves the story. I don’t think I knew that in my early books. The Eddie Lancaster books are fairly safe, but the Cedarstone Chronicles I think did suffer from unnecessary shocks.

My skills have developed a lot since I started out with my first book, Cursed, and they will continue to develop more. At least I hope they will. When I started writing about Eddie I made sure that my writing was a lot tighter and neater than when I wrote the Cedarstone Chronicles. And now that I’m preparing the Jacob Graves series (more on that later) I want to make sure I carry some of the lessons I learned from Eddie to this new project.

The Calm Before the Storm

I think the title of this blog . would have been a better title for this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, which was instead called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. It was also an hour in which nothing really happened. I understand the need to show all the nice, cosiness before the Night King turns up to kill everyone, but a whole hour of it? Bit much. We’ve only got 6 episodes left until the show is done forever. 6 precious episodes of the best tv show to be on in years and one of them felt like it was wasted to me.

Since the show ran out of source material (George RR Martin’s novels), the writing has taken a plunge. We’ve seen truly atrocious storylines in the show since about season 5. What the fuck was that Dorne storyline? What’s worse is that there was enough of Dorne in the books so far that they could have used. Without George’s books to go from the show has lost its subtlety. It’s lost all of that carefully, intricate threads that were woven together in such a way that you didn’t notice until it was already too late. Now it's written in such a ham-fisted way that I wonder if it’s even the same show at all.

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In this week’s episode, we had several characters proclaiming that everyone will be safe in the crypts. They said this several times in the episode. Too many times. It is a stupid thing to say. The person coming can literally raise the dead, so why, oh why, would you hide in a place filled with corpses????? I honestly cannot believe that Jon Snow of all characters has overlooked this fact. Let alone everybody else.

This is also another example of there being no subtlety. They said it would be safe down there so many times that anyone watching will have started to question it. The idea, I’m guessing, was to lull us into a false sense of security so that when the dead do rise it will be a shock. But the characters kept going on about it, so even the most oblivious of viewers will be clued up as to what is going down in episode 3.

We had some lovely moments this episode too. Brienne defending Jaime. Jaime knighting Brienne. Tormund telling his giant story and then glugging a horn of ale. There were some great scenes.

Moaning aside, I love Game of Thrones. It is the best show I’ve seen in years. This episode disappointed me, and some of the writing is inelegant these days. I still love it. And despite all my moaning in this blog, I know that episode 3 is going to be legendary.

Also, Daenerys was a massive bitch to Tyrion in this episode. She needs to stop that.

Emotional Writing

I've just finished writing for the evening (Arcane Inc. Book 4) and I am emotionally drained. I'm not sure that's the right wording for this feeling actually. I feel the way my character does in the scenes I just wrote. Eddie has had a tough evening. He's just lost someone dear to him, or at least he thinks he has anyway. 

I'm not surprised that I've made myself feel his emotion. When I write I put myself in the heads of my characters so that's normal. What amazes me is that I can't shake the feeling off. I know that it isn't real - I made it up. What's more is that I know that it didn't even really happen within the story universe but I still feel like it has. 

It's good, I think. If I can make myself feel this way then I know that I got into Eddie's head properly. I only hope that I conveyed everything he felt (and I) through the writing. It's no good in my head. 

Sorry about the vague stuff above but I don't want to put spoilers in the blog!