Sunday, 24 April 2016

Dusting off Cobwebs and Building Worlds Anew...

It's been a very long time since I last blogged. The spiders that I've had to clean out of my Google account in order to create this new site had grown fat, had children, and died. Even their hordes of metaphorical children have also died in the period of time it's been since I last used it, littering my out-of-date Google account with their tiny, imaginary arachnid husks. During English Language lessons at sixth form, we - that is myself and my unfortunate comrades-in-arms who suffered through five hours of anti-male hate-speech spouted at us by our miserable teacher each week - were encouraged to start writing our and releasing small snippets of our own work online. As a result, for a few months I wrote my own blog on which I wrote about my love of heavy metal music. I reviewed albums, music videos, and the like. This eventually fizzled out, as a simple lack of interest - both on my part and that of my tiny following of fans.

Now, older (and wiser?), I find myself returning to Internet-writing again, this time in a very different capacity. For a couple of years now, many people have been pestering me to share my creative written work with the world, something I have never done before. The sob-story that I've spun as the reason for this revolves around blows to my confidence, a lack of self-esteem, and a conviction that no-one really cares that much in the first place. However, following some glowing feedback on some of my work, I thought I'd try sharing some of my work anyway.

As it stands, I have one manuscript near-completed and a second almost half-written. The first, I've been working on for around a year now. It is set upon the fantastical continent of Esdaria, and focuses on the stories of two mercenaries. Short on money, these two men agree to escort a blacksmith with a delivery of imperial weapons to where they are needed on the eastern border, where the Vidorian Empire are locked in a bloody stalemate with the Elves of Feldurn Forest. Things are not as they seem, however, and as the two mercenaries deliver their charge and his shipment of weapons to the entrenched imperial soldiers, they come face-to-face with a menace neither of them had ever imagined, that threatens everything the two men have ever known.

But that is not the purpose of this blog. Esdaria, the continent on which these two heroes walk, is massive. Not in geography, mind, but in scope. As I wrote my first manuscript, I found myself establishing characters who had stories just as complex and intricate as those which whirled about the protagonists whom the text followed. But, unlike those main characters, these often faded away as the narrative moved on. I found myself hating the fact that these minor characters, with names and their own intricacies, ended up, to a degree, lost to the narrative. Over the next couple of weeks or months, I cannot say for certain which, I plan to write a number of shorter stories for public release here, that explore some of these more minor characters.

But these will not just be stories that establish the past of characters who come and go like dust on the narrative wind. What of the parts of the protagonists’ lives which the narrative does not cover, yet eludes to throughout the story? Take, for example, Brynt, the younger of the two mercenaries: he heralds from a background steeped in blood and betrayal - why not explore this, instead of confining this complicated and intricate part of his character to mere reference in order to progress the main story? It seems such a shame to leave so much unexplored. As I said, Esdaria is small yet vast, and every person whom these stories touch upon has the potential to be as complex as you or me.

I write because I love it. Since I was first able to hold a pencil I have written stories. The first I ever wrote was about a spotty black and white dog called Sam who went into his garden and did a shit (it was also beautifully illustrated with a picture of a dog that looked more like a pig with black buboes). Since then - I must've been perhaps two or three, no more - I like to think I've at least come some way in my ability to put words upon a page and jiggle them around until they make some sort of story. There is, at the very least, less shitting in my more recent work - take that for what you will.

I'll follow this up at some point with a brief overview of the world in which these stories will be based. I'll tell a little of its history and the lore that surrounds it. I cannot, however, guarantee when this will be. I've chosen a rather awful time to decide to do this, the weekend before I have the last three essays of my undergraduate degree due in: four-thousand words on Anglo-Saxon burials, six-thousand on Frankish ambition in the North Sea world at the end of the eighth and beginning of the ninth century, and a ten-thousand word dissertation on the integrational period of the Danes in England before the St Brice's Day massacre of 1002. 

But that's all for now. I hope you'll stay with me on my little foray into this world I've built.

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