Overall, 2022 was a good year. I made a lot of progress in most areas of my life, from work to my personal life, my dogs, my reading and my writing. But we’re not here to talk about that now, I’ll give you a full life update later. For now, I’m going to be talking about the parts of 2022 that were bad…
Because yeah, I read some bizarre books this year.
This book is absolutely bizarre, and its literally like one of those horrendous dreams you have when you have the flu (or covid) and your temperature is 40 degrees Celsius and you wake up sweating and immediately forget everything about the dream except that it was weird and you never, never want to repeat that experience.
Ok. That’s enough rambling. I read this book for a reading challenge for the category of Asia. And I still have no idea what it was about or why I continued reading it. It was also my first book of the year, which I guess means I started the year with a bang.
In fairness, I believe this book was originally written in Mandarin and satire often doesn’t translate well, which may have been the issue here. Whatever it was, reading this was more of a nightmare than a dream.
Welcome to the next instalment of the Know the Novel linkup! Unfortunately I was a bit behind on schedule this month, so I missed the actual link up, but if you want to check out everyone else who did participate, you can find it on Christine Smith’s blog ! All right, let’s get into it!
1. How’s the writing going overall?
It’s very slow work, it honestly feels like slogging through a tar pit like some poor baby mammoth some days. But yeah, I’m making progress, slow progress is still progress. It’s also a very thorough rewrite, trying to smooth out a lot massive potholes and bumps in the road, which is a lot of work, so of course it’s going to be slow and hard.
2. What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?
Definitely hanging out with my characters again, and being able to develop my world more. Everything about this story is so fun, it’s kind of like wish fulfilment for everything I want in a Celtic fantasy book. I love all of it and just being able to immerse myself in this world of Gaelic, werewolves, fae, cults, and my sweet neurodivergent boys.
Hello all! Today we’ve just got a quick book tag (does anyone even do these anymore? I’m so out of the loop) because we’re in the first few days of NaNoWriMo, which is always a bit of a slog, especially if you’re a slow writer like me. Anyway, this tag has been sitting in my drafts folder for months and months at this point, so I think it’s well and truly time that I posted it.
(Also, please let me know if you’re the creator of this tag! I stole it from somewhere and my sieve brain forgot where, I’m so sorry).
What Is Your Fantasy Origin Story (the first fantasy you read)
My mum loves fantasy, so most of my earliest reading memories involve fantasy. Probably the very first books I read (or were read to me) were The Chronicles of Narnia. Obviously I loved these and I was hooked from then on, I really didn’t stand a chance, fantasy was literally introduced to me in the womb.
After Narnia, I think was next introduced to The Magician’s Daughter, a self-published Australian fantasy trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon, The Little White Horse, and Emily Rodda’s books, including Rowan of Rin, The Key To Rondo, and of course the Deltora Quest series, the staple of every Aussie kid’s reading life. When I was in my preteens, I started on the Warrior Cats series, Rick Riordan, Lloyd Alexander, Stephen Lawrence, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis’s adult fantasies.
Can you believe that next month is NaNoWriMo? I’ve been doing Inktober all month so I’m not sure my brain is quite ready to kick into gear and think about a completely different challenge just yet.
But, nevertheless, I’m here to introduce (or…uh reintroduce ) my NaNoWriMo novel for 2022. I’m going to be participating in the Know The Novel linkup, which is now five years old. Absolutely wild, I remember doing it for the very first time, so that makes me feel very old now. Anyway, let’s move on!
If you’re a dedicated reader of my blog, you may recognise this novel as my project from NaNoWriMo 2020, known then as “The Darkest Night”. Because yes, for the first time I am actually working on an established novel rather than a brand new first draft!
However, I’ve obviously developed this draft quite a lot since I pantsed it back in 2020, with absolutely no outline or anything. So I’m taking a second crack at this story to work on it some more and hopefully get a complete second draft (that has a more coherent plot line, fingers crossed).
Anyway, if you want to check out my original Know The Novel post for The Darkest Night you can find that here, and if you want to check out Christine Smith, who created this link up, you can do it here.
Let’s get into it!
What first sparked the idea for this novel?
The first inkling (pun intended) of this story came from listening to a YouTuber (I can’t remember who it was, so sorry about that) talk about and read excerpts from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings sequel, which he called “The New Shadow”. Unfortunately, Tolkien found the story bitter and depressing (fair enough) and abandoned it 13 pages in.
The story revolves around the land of Gondor, over a 100 years after the downfall of Sauron. Aragorn is dead, and his son now rules. But men have forgotten the true evil of the time when the Lord of the Rings ruled and have grown complacent, which disturbs the main character, Borlas.
Essentially, Borlas and a much younger man, Saelon, get into an argument about the true nature of evil, and Saelon mentions that a cult dedicated to the worship of orcs (and I suppose Sauron or Morgoth by extension) is now rising. Borlas immediately concludes that Saelon is part of this cult, which offends Saelon. Saelon invites Borlas to come to a clandestine meeting that night. Borlas is one of the very last people left who can remember life before the Great Peace, as it’s known, and he believes he would be able to recognise the scent of evil, so he agrees to come.
When he arrives at his home after his argument with Saelon, Borlas steps into his house and is immediately greeted by a “dead silence”, and he smells the old Evil “and recognised it for what it was”.
And there it ends.
Obviously that was not good enough for me, so I decided to finish it.
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