gwynhefar: (Default)
The Secret Keeper by Kate Coombs

Good lord! Guess my Liath story isn't really very unique any more.
gwynhefar: (Default)
I think I've determined that the part of writing I suck most at is character development. The problem is that the characters mostly show up in my head as fully fleshed out people. I forget, sometimes, that they're not in the *reader's* head.

I was writing a scene yesterday for Keeper of Secrets (yes, I *am* still working on that) and it occurred to me that if someone who had been reading what I've posted of that story so far had read that scene, Tommy's involvement would seem like it came from left field. Because I'm finally getting to the part of the plot where Tommy becomes important, and yet I haven't laid the groundwork yet. Y'all don't *know* Tommy - he's showed up in what, two scenes so far?

I get too focused on the "and this is what happened next" part, and I forget that in order for it to work, the reader has to *see* those little daily interactions that let you get to know a character *before* the character does something important that only makes sense if you know that person.

So here I am writing this really important scene where Tommy does something that has all these profound implications, but only if you know his history and his personality and his relationship with Annie - none of which I've actually *shown* yet.

*Sigh*

Character bio sheets for RPGs sound so much easier, why don't novels work that way?
gwynhefar: (Pirate's Alley)
[livejournal.com profile] s00j concert last night was wonderful! It was a small venue, with only a handful of people there, and while I could have wished s00j a bigger audience, I actually really liked the intimacy of it. I got to meet some great people, and the other two members of the Traveling Fates were wonderful. I shall be buying CDs from them as soon as I can afford it again.

Also, while in New Orleans, I made a point to go to Pirate's Alley. I cannot describe the feeling of being there, on that street, where my novel takes place; of putting my hand on the wall of the building that *is* the Black Rose; of smelling the unique scent of New Orleans mingled with the fragrance from the Cathedral garden; of sitting drinking rum and cranberry juice in the bar whose interior will inform the layout of Liath's bar. I took tons of notes. It was incredible, and surreal, and wonderful. I need to go back!
gwynhefar: (Default)
Here is the Contents Page for Keeper of Secrets, aka the Liath story.
gwynhefar: (Pirate's Alley)
So the building in Pirate's Alley I was thinking of using for Liath's bar? It's the Faulkner House, where William Faulkner lived when he wrote his first novel. Which is really cool, except that I would feel weird about co-opting such a historic site for my own uses, if that's even legal -- do you need a building owner's permission to use it in fiction? So I think what I'm going to do is (fictionally speaking) pry open the alley between the Faulkner House and the building next to it, and insert the Black Rose there. Problem solved. And if people actually end up reading this (assuming I ever get it finished) and go to Pirate's Alley searching for a building that's not really there, that's just icing on the cake :)

Oh, and I totally need a Pirate's Alley icon.


EDIT: I have a Pirate's Alley icon!!
gwynhefar: (Default)
Well, apparently I have pretty decent intuition. When I first started writing the Liath story, I hadn't moved to Louisiana yet, and so the Black Rose was located pretty much in an as-yet-unnamed random city. Once I'd moved here and been to New Orleans a few times, I realised it was the perfect setting, and I could tie in all kinds of Post-Katrina stuff that really worked well with the plot. After all, if you were a magical being compelled to ease the emotional burdens of traumatised humans what better place (assuming you were in the US) than New Orleans after Katrina -- practically an entire city suffering from PTSD. I'm not trying to be flippant - I was close enough to what happened to know some of what Katrina did to people around here emotionally, and it would make sense for Liath to move to a city where she was most needed.

So once I'd settled on New Orleans as the location (and where else would you put a bar like the Black Rose but in the French Quarter?) I started looking for an actual address to give it. The wonderfully named Pirate's Alley jumped out at me from the map, and I *really* wanted to place it there. However, I'm big on being as realistic as possible, and I've never actually been to Pirate's Alley. So it was there in the back of my mind, but I hadn't put it down on paper until I could get a chance to go down to NO to check it out.

And then today I find this:





That's an image of Pirate's Alley. It's *perfect*. I don't think I could have chosen a better street for the Black Rose if I'd designed it myself. I still intend to take a trip down there to see it in person, but really. You can't get much better than that.
gwynhefar: (Default)
So, this is a story I've been working on for a long time, and for the past year or so, I've finally been able to get some actual scenes written. Some of you have been following my I'm sure frustratingly sporadic posting of this story for some time. Others may not have read any of it at all. I decided that since I've been skipping around so much it's high time I gave y'all a guide at least to what order the bits that have been posted so far should be read. Keep in mind that not only does the narrative itself skip around a lot (among other things it switches back and forth between post-Katrina New Orleans and 1st century AD Ireland) but there are also a lot of scenes in between that have not yet been written. So I'm not promising true coherency, but things will probably make the most sense if read in this order.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: such as they are. Liath is pronounced the same as Leah. It means 'grey' in Irish. I don't know if it's actually ever used as a name in Ireland, but assume for the sake of my story that it is. Any historical inaccuracies in this or any other bit of the story (which I think will end up as a novel if I ever actually finish it) will be covered under the 'no one really knows what Celtic society in ancient Ireland was really like, so I can make up whatever I want' excuse. I'm also claiming artistic license in having my ancient Irish characters using modern Irish words and phrases, since I don't know Proto-Celtic. Actually, I don't know Modern Irish either but I have a dictionary and a grammar book. Anyone who *does* know Irish please let me know if I got something wrong.


Introduction: The Black Rose
Meet Liath
Meet Annie
Liath has mother issues
Liath's Interlude #1
Meet Bruce
When Liath met Bruce
Liath in 1926
Annie's first day
Annie's impressions of Liath
Liath's Interlude #2
Annie gets a phone call
Liath's Interlude #3
Liath's liberation
Meet Annie's parents
Liath's return
This takes place waaay later



More will be forthcoming. Really.
gwynhefar: (Chaos Theory)
Ok, this is less a holiday update and more of a stuff-you-may-have-missed post.

First-off, for those of you keeping up with the Liath story, there were two new bits posted. Just click on the 'liath' tag at the bottom of this post to get everything written there.

Secondly, for those who missed my original post last week, I am officially hiring myself out as a genealogical researcher. Caveat -- I have no official training in this area. I have a subscription to Ancestry.com that I have been using for myself for almost a year. And I have a Master's degree and several years experience as a librarian, so I'm good at research in general. I've done some trees for some friends and they've all been quite satisfied, but it's a time-consuming process, so I figured I could do something I enjoy and earn money at the same time.

If all you want me to do is look up a name or two and get information on them, it's $5 per name. For more complex genealogical research, including actual trees, I'm charging $20/hour. I'll need full names and at least approximate dates for you, your parents, and your grandparents at least back to 1920 or so to get started. I can make no guarantees on what I'll be able to find and the more information you can give me the easier it will be. I'm also pretty good at knowing when a tough nut will crack with just a little more work and when a dead end is simply beyond my ability to get past. If you prepay me for a certain number of hours and I hit a dead end before the time is up, I will refund any unused time and let you know what resources I exhausted in case you want to take it further with someone else. Just let me know.

In addition, I'm going to try to get back to my jewelry making and start posting stuff to sell - probably on a separate journal or at least under a filter. Let me know if you want to be included in those posts. I also take design requests, assuming I have or can get the requested materials.

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