Workblog for the week: Writer’s Block!

It wasn’t Skyrim. I swear.

So, yes. I think this might be one of those ‘normal for novelist’ things that I have yet to get much of, given that most of my works hover under the 20 000 word mark, but I found myself losing all faith in what I was writing. Plot’s too slow, plot’s not plotty enough, exposition is too blatant, slow, slow, slow.

Well, the response there is to fix it. The Kyell Gold, known by all and sundry as a fox of note, imparted the following useful advice (paraphrased): What’s the next interesting thing that happens in/for the plot? Put down a lousy transition, and write the interesting thing.

I have made this advice my own by ignoring chunks of it relating to ‘transition’ and ‘next’, and thus I’m fast forwarding to a point which is interesting. Unfortunately this has taken a week or so of vast amounts of new writing for the background, setting, etcetera. For example, my dwarves? They’re not dwarves. They’re just an early culture of mankind who figured out how to eat stone, and could thus move underground. ( D: Constipated much? ) And my magical system? Well, clearly all systems of magic were invented by the users, so really fantastical amazing magicians get to write their own ticket, and everybody else has to trail after the others, carefully studying and building on techniques some magical-Mozart-like genius whipped up more or less off the cuff. (There’s nothing up those sleeves.)

I also spent several hours resurrecting some fairly ‘simple’ math for figuring out the ballpark size/characteristics of airships making use of a variety of lifting gasses. If you want to lift HMS Victory, the British pride of the Napoleonic wars, you need a perfectly spherical hot air balloon about 300 meters across. HMS Victory is only about 70 meters long to begin with. An American football field is around 110 meters long, apparently. (Incidentally, a hydrogen or helium balloon should be around 190-180 meters across. Still huge, but apparently there’s a reason people like those gasses.)

Unfortunately, I can’t really drop any of these useful numbers directly into my book, because, y’know, they’re wrong. They’re basically back-of-napkin math, and numbers are a poor way to indicate scale. (People who write erotica, pay attention to that. ¬¬) Also, the balloon envelope itself shrinks/expands/changes shape, because the ones I’m writing about are non-rigid.

Also these are airships because the Navy got involved first, see? So my ‘Marines’ remain ‘Marines’.

Anyway. If the writer’s block keeps up after all THAT, I’m going to call it a day and start writing Kyell Gold fanfic.

… Or maybe I already am. @.@


By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.

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