Lack of sleep finally caught up to me. I slept in this morning and was almost late for work. Breakfast was boiled down to the basic need for calories and taken in on the fly courtesy of a pit stop at the 7 Eleven near Flagstaff Station.
As hinted yesterday, I was able to do some outlining and note-taking on my commute home and in the reception area of my physio's practice. Trouble was I wrote too many notes.
Weaver of Dreams has a strong metaphysical theme running through the central narrative conflict. It tells a story against a backdrop two cultures in conflict and a significant part of this tension arises from their very different religious beliefs. There's magic in my world, but its not the systematised, pervasive variety you find in a lot of high fantasy. Magic is diffuse, organic, wild and deeply tied to the religious practices of the cultures that inhabit it.
Despite writing fantasy, writing metaphysics and magic is not my strongest ability — I'm more the historical-fiction-set-on-another-world type. This tendency plays to my strengths as a history and archaeology graduate but it's a common enough trait among the titans of the genre, including George R.R. Martin and Raymond E. Feist.
I look at my writing as 'historical novels about a place that doesn't exist'. ~Raymond E. Feist
I find religion, the occult and the supernatural fascinating topics but as an atheist, I'm very much an outside observer. Spirituality to me is a by-product of my physical experiences: the emotional bond with my wife and children, the meditative trance of running, the practised focus of martial arts, the quiet, introspection when reading works of philosophy, theology or historical enquiry.
Occasionally, I make a break-through and things fall in to place. I say fall, but perhaps gush would be a more apt description. Deep-seated ideas that have fermented for years, suddenly bubble up to the surface.
It's like trying to capture the stream of a firehose. Is it the muse or is it the logical processing of something that's always been there?
Regardless, it meant that in the space of about an hour I fleshed out a huge amount of metaphysical concepts and backstory. I made solid connections between characters, events, locations and belief systems, whereas before they were vague concepts drawn from historical analogues.
As a consequence, I now have a lot of ideas to process and fold into the appropriate scenes of the novel. Some of it will effect material already written but I'll deal with that in revision. The rest will end out in the new scenes I'm writing in Act 3 and they will serve to tie these long running strands together.
As for the word count...well, by the time I started writing a scene, I could only manage 300 or so words before my infant daughter decided my shoulder was a more comfortable place to sleep than her cot. I love to write, but it doesn't come close to these precious early years of fatherhood.
I'll try again tonight.