Quar Iniv is one of the primary antagonists of the first couple of Players of the Game novels. He is a Human-looking Demon with perpetually bleeding eye sockets, though he possesses enhanced vision that allows him to see 360 degrees all around him. He is cruel, greedy, and quite willing to antagonize his wife, Nirva Iniv. That is dire mistake. He makes even worse ones when it comes to Avril Enzali and Ashe Stelfire.
|Happy New Year One and All!|
I hope the holiday season has gone as well as it can. This one was little choppy for me and my family. It wasn’t all turbulence thankfully, so I’ll count my blessings where I can.
On the smoother end of the spectrum, I finished the latest draft of Players of the Game Book 4.5: The Breakers: Jagged Pieces. It was originally a novella, but it ended up expanding into a full sized bonus novel. I’ve started writing Book 5: The Game War. The blank page didn’t really bug me on this one. I pretty much jumped right in.
I also did a deep dive on the series’s timeline with a codex I put together on an Excel sheet. I tweaked a few minor details and fleshed out more details that I intentionally kept a bit hazy. I’ll likely put some version of the timeline up on the stelfire.com website at some point.
And I plan to release Book 3.5 The New Players: Origins sometime in the first half of the year. More to details to come in future emails.
|Billy Summers by Stephen King: |
This was much more of a thriller than a horror novel. the title character, Billy, is a highly skilled assassin who specializes in sniper kill shots. He plays dumb in order to keep the people with whom he works at arms length. It also allows him to repeatedly indicate that he only kills bad people. When he embeds in a community with a novel writing cover story, he starts to wonder if this job is as simple as his crime family handlers would have him believe. Things complicate from there. It’s a very compelling read and even has a few little call backs to the Shining in parts of it.
The Witcher Season 2 on Netflix:
Last time I recommended the Wheel of Time series. And while that was quite good, the Witcher is better. I think the story is tighter and the characters are little more fleshed out. Geralt and Ciri’s relationship is very endearing as a surrogate father and daughter. Yennifer’s own struggles with losing her magic is also well done (though I really dislike that name). And Jaskier/Dandelion has another good song where he laments his falling out with Geralt from last season. Give it a watch if you enjoy grim-dark fantasy.
|That’s all for this time. |
Stay smart. Stay safe.
Suso is a death goddess who aligns against Corsis and Nirva in the first two books of the series. She is old friends with ViRauni and Welt, though she met each of them under different circumstances. She strives to keep the Mosul Flute out of Nirva’s hands, which would grant the would-be empress the power to control the dead. A turn of events that she will not abide.
|“Everyone makes mistakes, that’s why they put erasers on pencils.” |
The sage Lenny once said this on a memorable Simpsons episode with Frank Grimes.
And oh, my. When one writes hundreds of thousands of words in a series of novels, the mistakes will add up. I swear I know the difference between their, there, and they’re. But the wrong words, the wrong grammar, and the wrong style will indeed sneak in.
I usually make several edit runs through my novels as I write them. I read them in a weekly writers workshop group on Zoom, which is totally great because you can share your screen while you’re reading aloud. Additionally, I make use of an editor for my novels who finds all kinds of oops items. (Hi, Sarah.)
And just this past week, also I bought an editing program called Pro Writing Aid. It’s caught a lot of errors that hid in plain sight and that I flat out made the wrong choice without knowing it. I’m absolutely sure that errors will make it into my works, which isn’t ideal, but by no means immutable. That’s the glory of indie publishing with ebooks and print on demand. If you find mistakes, you just correct them, and upload an updated version.
The ultimate aim is to get it right the first time, but like the pencil in Lenny’s quote, editing is the eraser to fix that mistake.
|Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime: |
I had read the first five books in Robert Jordan’s magnum opus about 25 years ago. I liked them a great deal, and I know they influenced my storytelling, but I decided I wanted to wait until Jordan finally finished them. When Brandon Sanderson took them over and finished them, my brother and a couple cousins told me it was all quite good, but I just didn’t have the motivation to dive into them again. I do now. The new streaming series is most engaging after the choppy first episode. It’s like Game of Thrones, except magic is much more of a thing and friendship is valued more than political maneuvers, at least initially. I didn’t care for a particular character’s actions that deviated from the books, but it’s a minor quibble. I’m enjoying it so far.
The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie:
I do love this series despite all the terrible things that happen to some characters and the worse things that others inflict. The Great Change sweeps in a revolution that starts like the American one, then devolves into something worse than the French one. King Orso continues to be my favorite character with his fatalistic good humor. Rikke is also a strong character in this installment. She makes a lot of right choices that still lead to pain. The narration by Steven Pacey is varied for all of the characters on the audio book version. As long as Abercrombie keeps up this level of excellence, I will continue to recommend all the books in this series. Fantastic yarns, one and all.
|That’s all for this time. |
Stay smart. Stay safe.