Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Locke Lamora Read-Along Bonus #4

Scott Lynch continues the series of articles about his first novel The Lies of Locke Lamora.  In this piece he writes very frankly on the elements of the novel he thinks could be better than they are:
I think the most obvious structural incongruity in The Lies of Locke Lamora is that the interlude chapters, which start out as fully-developed narrative episodes, inelegantly transition to historical lectures and omniscient anecdotes. While I'd argue that most of them are still very relevant, and a couple are even essential, there's really no reason I couldn't (with a little more reflection) have made them in-universe infodumps rather than Voice of God. They could have easily been stories or lessons from Father Chains; a little diligent framing on my part and the incongruity would have been ironed smooth. Alas.
Very interesting stuff.

Full article: HERE


Monday, March 19, 2012

Second Last Words - Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie provides more fascinating insight into the first draft process of his newest novel A Red Country:
Traditionally I’ve used six points of view in every book.  Just seemed a good number to get the right amount of variety and options for covering the action without the whole thing becoming too diffuse.  With The Heroes, as well as the six principals, I did some scenes that strung together quite a lot of additional points of view in one way or another – extras, you might say.  The idea was to spread out the scale, give a feel of the whole battle developing, take brief looks at people on both sides and at different levels of the chain of command and flesh out some characters seen at a distance.  On the whole they were pretty successful, I think.  With Red Country I wanted to try something slightly different, and work with two central points of view plus an occasional third.  By the time I’d written two parts that way, though, I was starting to think that was feeling a bit claustrophobic, and that even though I was aiming at a more stripped down, simple, focused style of story, I was missing a trick by not applying that extras approach to some sections of this book.  So in the third, fourth, and fifth parts I did some major scenes in that style of rapid movement between minor players.  Now I need to write a new sequence in that style to go in the second part, and rewrite a sequence that was previously from one point of view to be from many.

Full article: HERE


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Steven Erikson's 'The Forge of Darkness'

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has the cover art and blurb for book one of Steven Erikson's new Malazan trilogy The Forge of Darkness:

Enter the New York Times bestselling Malazan universe... at a time that sets the stage for all the tales already told.

Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut Gardens of the Moon. Now Erikson returns with a trilogy that takes place before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The Forge of Darkness takes readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, and tells an epic tale of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in the fall of the Malazan Empire.

It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power… and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, longs for ascendency and Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but she has taken another Consort, Lord Draconus, from the faraway Dracon Hold. The idea of this union sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Adarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold.

Steven Erikson brings to life this ancient and important tale set in the world he introduced in the Malazan Book of the Fallen in a way that should appeal to fans of George R. R. Martin.

 Source: PAT


Even More Lynch on Lamora

Scott Lynch continues to provide insights into the building of his novel The Lies of Locke Lamora. Now he's posted his casting choices:

For the Gray King, I always had an eye on Michael Wincott. It's cliche to call an actor like this "underrated," since he's not underrated by anyone who actually looks for his work. He had a part in several major cult films including The Crow,the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, and Alien: Resurrection (in which he and his rag-tag band of extremely watchable rogues were the only bright spot). Come to think of it, he was Alan Rickman's straight man in Costner's crap Robin Hood flick, helping to anchor the only palatable bits of that movie, too. He was also superb in the otherwise bleh Along Came A Spider, one of those millennial "super serial killer" films that were stamped out by the half-dozen. Curriculum vitae aside, he's got wolfish looks, a gravelly voice, and a sinister presence he can turn on or off like a smile. 
Full article: HERE


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Joe Abercrombie: A Red Country

Joe Abercrombie reports he has finished the first draft of his new novel 'A Red Country':
Finished the first draft of A Red Country today.  Well, kind of finished.  Any of you who’ve been through this process with me before will remember that there is a lot of work to do between writing the final words and seeing the book on the shelves.  Some of the most important work.  But also some of the most satisfying.  This is the part I really enjoy, cutting, refining, seeing the poor parts chopped away and the good parts refined and the whole hopefully coming into shape.  This week I’ll look over and tidy up this last part before sending it off to my editor, and then it’s a quick read through to see what I’ve got, some additions and heavy rewriting of one of the two central characters.  But hey, it’s a step in the right direction.  I can remember finishing the first chapter and thinking, bloody hell, there’s a long way to go, and before you know it, here you are.  171,000 words at the moment.  I have a considerable chapter to add, but some heavy cutting to do in other areas, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up somewhere in that region, which will make it my shortest book by some considerable margin.  The Blade Itself was somewhere around 190,000, as I recall.  Last Argument of Kings the longest at about 230,000, in case you were wondering.  Oh, US publication looks like November 20th this year, UK publication will be a little before that, precise date to be announced, but probably somewhere in September/October.

Source: Joe's Blog 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kate Elliot: World-building

Kate Elliot has begun to map out her system for world-building in her fantasy novels:
But who are these people and where are they living? What does the full tapestry of life look like in this place? If I do not think about this, it is easy to fall back on choices that aren’t choices as much as unexamined assumptions about whose lives are interesting enough to read about and what people are “allowed” to tell their own stories. By not considering the totality of life in a culture (regardless of whether I write about it), I am already creating visibility and invisibility in my own head if nowhere else.
Full article: here


Monday, March 12, 2012

More Lynch on Lamora

Scott Lynch continues to harvest his old files for notes and nuggets on the project that became The Lies of Locke Lamora:
From the same cast list, the first roster of the Gentlemen Bastards: Locke Lamora, age 28; "Gentle" Jean Tannen, age 31; "Long Tall" Galdo, age 26, and Venti Loose-Lips, age 22. Father Chains was originally going to be called, I shit you not, "Rude Trevor," age 40. This list also appears to have two younger apprentice characters, Petrava and Tomsa (ages 16 and 17) and a character named "Father Caladon." The words "Father Chains?" are written next to his name. This leads me to believe I had originally meant for a false priest to be some sort of adjunct member of the gang, and from him I grew the notion of chaining this priest to his temple, before finally deciding to roll this character in with that of the gang's mentor figure. 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Steven Erikson Answers Your Midnight Tides Questions

Tor.com has gathered and posted the Midnight Tides Q&A that Steven Erikson took part in last week, and there are lots of interesting nuggets for Malazan fans:
Believe it or not, friendships are difficult to write in fiction. They can easily come across as forced, particularly if they involve too much explication and too many overt gestures of affection. People are both complicated and subtle, and often that subtlety is expressed in subconscious ways: as an exercise, pick out groups of people at a table in a restaurant or café or pub (although in pubs, booze can confound things), and try to work out relationships, and then degrees of closeness and familiarity between people. When two people are paying close attention to each other, check out the others in the group and see who’s observing. Human dynamics are amazing, but so much that you might learn is subconscious interplay. In fiction, one needs to somehow convey all of that with only a few words, for it to work, and one quick way in, is establishing a private language between two characters. Do that and you convey long familiarity, privately shared experiences, and a whole host of other details.
The full list of questions and answers is here.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ask Steve Erikson: Midnight Tides

Now that Amanda and Bill are wrapping up their re-read of Midnight Tides, Tor is running another feature where you get to ask Steven Erikson questions:
The procedure this time around is pretty direct. Steven will do his best to answer your questions in the below thread as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the timing of the answers is subject to Steven’s schedule, of course. 
There are no strict guidelines for questions, but concise and well-composed questions are always always always best! And once again, a big thank you goes to Steven for taking time out of his schedule to engage in depth with fans of the Malazan series!
Head over to Tor and post your questions in the comments.


Scott Lynch on Locke Lamora

Over on his Livejournal, Scott lynch has been writing about the conception and early development of his novel The Lie of Locke Lamora:
The next year or so was spent churning out a lot of those worthless two-page novel fragments I mentioned; I knew at last where to set the story and what it should actually be about, but how the hell to get in past two pages was a tedious mystery. A couple of these fragments survive and they are among the most florid, deplorable, and over-wrought things I ever shat/typed (shyped?). You or your great-grandchildren can read them in my papers when I have kicked the oxygen habit. Eventually, however, I wrote one that was marginally less bullshit than its predecessors-- a languid, directionless opening in which Locke and Jean drift on a raft past the palace of a noblewoman they plan to rob. The description of this palace came straight out of a dream I had; I visualized a complex glass structure like an unfolding rose blossoming over the landscape. When I started trying to describe that place I realized that I couldn't stop. The mysterious glass was the key to Camorr. My exhortation to not create another stodgy medieval dirt town had at last come home to roost! All it took was a few years and dozens of false, unreadable starts for it to finally sink in. 
Fascinating stuff for fans of the series or for anyone interested in a writers process.