The first 339 words of episode 31 of my novel (which can be found elsewhere on the site) were a pleasure to write. Last night it took me 2 to 3 hours to write the last 202. And now my hero has turned into some kind of fish. Why do I write fantasy?

Art and craft

I have been wondering why the second part was so much harder to write than the first. I came up with a couple of possible explanations:

I think my biggest problems were technical, though.

Several of my problems had to do with the rider on the shore. I could see him, dressed in some kind of ceremonial uniform (Royal Guard?). He was shouting (though I couldn't hear him), gesturing and trying to get his horse to enter the brook. The horse seemed afraid to enter the water for some reason and just kept moving about on the spot.

The first problem to tackle was how much to show of the rider. Should he try to stop the murder? Should he talk to the other characters?

The second was the horse's behaviour. I could see it but lacked the vocabulary to describe it in English.

Oddly enough the third problem concerned the uniform. I wanted to put that in somehow, since it showed that the character belonged to a faction that we hadn't encountered before. On the other hand describing the uniform might have come off sounding like the commentary at a fashion show, and besides, since the protagonist only sees the uniform for a fraction of a second he wouldn't be able to describe any details.

The other problem was my hero's transformation into... or whatever it is that happened. Again, I could see, hear and feel what he was experiencing. The challenge was to describe it in an understandable way without lapsing into children's book cuteness.

Actually I'm pretty happy with the solutions that I came up with, but it did take time. On the other hand I do believe that what I've done is good practice and that I will get better.

At a course that I attended years ago we were told there were four stages to any learning process:


This article was written after writing episode 31 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (31)

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