Sunday 30th July 2017
Today was a good day of progress on a number of fronts.
First there was good news on the swordfighting front. The results from Astolat have been added to the world rankings and it’s seen me rise 68 places. I’m still outside the top 100 – which is my short term aim – but with a number of rapier & dagger tournaments coming up in the next few months there’s a good chance that I could improve on that.
I also fenced well today. Sunday sparring had some different faces to the normal ones we tend to see and I’m not sure if it was a lucky co-incidence or whether our fantastic results at Astolat have inspired a few people to up their training.
I’m still playing with aggressive fighting but the confidence that Astolat has given me has resulted in me taking more chances, and for the better. I think there is a fine line between assertive fencing and being sloppy and bullish, but – so far – I seem to be the right side of that line. Fighting Mark though, I am aware that I have a general weakness against rapier cuts. Thankfully most don’t do them.
I still need to work on my Sword & Buckler but I was surprised to see the results from Astolat. Not only does that mean I now have an official world ranking in two weapons (and both in the top 200) but I now know that I drew with the tournaments’ silver medallist. I didn’t do as bad as I thought.
Still, I feel there’s much I need to do with sword & buckler. It’s not my main focus (and thankfully the world rankings reflect that) but, just for the simple reason that I teach it, I’d like to be a little higher.
I returned home feeling good with how my fencing is going at the moment. I’m currently exceeding my expectations but I had put more emphasis on later in the year, so it’s possible that my forecasted frustration will come later than originally anticipated.
The second thing I made progress on was the new early chapters of Black as Knight. It’s no lie that making these changes is a scary thing, but re-reading them I am convinced that the first chapter in particular has got overladen with exposition.
I’ve put in a new scene, as our hero disembarks the boat. It’s only about 1000 words and steals a lot from the old chapter, but I think giving it a little more show, helps break up a lot of the exposition.
I’ve done it in micro stages. Something as complicated as this breaks me into a sweat just thinking about it, so I’ve taken it very slowly. All the time I’ve been reminding myself that it’s OK if it’s crap. I also have the old draft if I need it. That’s helped a little but still it’s been some scary work.
I broke it up with some World of Warcraft sessions. I completed the class mount quest today and so there’s very little for me to currently do. Probably just as well, as fear was trying to make me procrastinate. I still managed to find some quests by way of a distraction.
Yet, whilst I might not have made a load of progress. I have made some, and some is a lot further to finished than none at all. So in that respect I’m quite happy.
But the novel wasn’t the only writing work I’ve done. I’ve been thinking about this short story I want to tell for the anthology I was invited into and, whilst doing other tasks, have had some of the structure and dialogue going around in my head.
I started to piece it together on the page and it’s an interesting process because I don’t feel I’m writing so much as constructing. The story starts with a IM conversation between friends (yeah, the formatter is going to hate me!) and I’ve been building that up.
The short story is about a conversation at the end of the world. I like the idea of this incredible small and personal drama outweighing this big cataclysmic event, and I’d originally known what the conversation was about. The challenge then was about being able to make it subtle. I sometimes feel that I’m a bit heavy handed with my reveals and the challenge for me in telling this story was being able to use a deft hand. I wanted the meaning almost obscured.
But today I decided that I want the nature of the conversation so vague that even I, as the writer, do not know what it’s about. To do this I’m going to have several possible reasons and ensure the story could conform to any of those. It’s then up to the reader to infer what the conversation was about.
I like this idea better, but it makes the story a real challenge to write.
I got a draft – so rough it’s almost an outline – of the first scene done. It might need a ridiculous amount of work but the fact that I got something down gives me something to work with.
As a result, today has been a good day of progress. Nothing earth-shattering, no major milestones, but instead slow steady progress towards a number of goals. I can live with that.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
- Twitter: @figures
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/
- Instagram: AdrianFaulkner
- Snapchat: adrianauthor
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