Monthly Archives: September 2010

Wait! — I can explain!

So the Lethia bonus update is at 7100 words so far.  It isn’t so much a lack of inspiration, but a lack of energy and time.  Tonight I have to get my father from the airport.  This’ll be my third trip to SFO in a month.  Plus…I don’t know if this is so much burning out as just a re-evaluation of the level of work I put into Eikasia day-to-day.  It’s getting to be a bit much.  But I think I might have the thing to remove the amount of stress I experience and the amount of disappointment you all are left with.

If I added up the hours of work I put into the website, into the story, and all things related–I’d have something around 20-25 hours every single week…which is currently more than what I put into my day job.  Then there’s my classes in the evening, plus homework and projects.  Then there’s, y’know, life–family and friends.  This isn’t me whining so much as just breaking things down for you so that you understand the motivation in what I’m about to say next:

Eikasia’s update schedule is going to change to every Sunday–I was tempted to just saying “the weekend” and leaving it at that, but I know that audiences of serialized stories like to have fixed days, so there you go.  This may not seem like much to you all, as I’m just moving over by two days–but consider the fact that I’m mostly busy during the weekdays, and all of my most amazing pushes for word count occurred OVER THE WEEKENDS.  When I first started Eikasia, I didn’t have a job and I wasn’t going to school, so updating every Fridays (however much I still sucked at it) didn’t seem as impossible.  Now it’s…sorta pretty impossible.  Life likes to throw me off, like it does all of us, so I’m not really going to use my inconveniences as an excuse (that doesn’t mean airport dropoffs, religious meetings, car repairs, and longer work shifts don’t factor in though!)  But with my focus shifting from Friday to Sunday may make my life less stressful and otherwise make writing a great deal more enjoyable.

I also want to add that this coming week is when Part 3:  Blackwood starts! But don’t expect some monstrous word count like this past month.  I’ve really been spoiling you bastards.  Those were one-shot bonus stories with a beginning, middle, and end.  Finally, with the start of Blackwood, I get to return to a place where I don’t feel like I have to sprint great distances to make an update seem worth it!  Atleast I hope so.

So…I don’t know if the update will be done by tonight.  It could be.  If not, it will be sometime this coming week.  After this change in the schedule, I’ll adjust my time accordingly so that I’m not freaking out every single day.  Ugh…

Till next time!

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Sidebar: On Misandry

I’ve done sidebars covering topics that I thought interesting and thought provoking–but usually there’s a concern in my mind that serves as the catalyst to the post.  These sidebars aren’t necessary to read, and if you prefer to have my “meta-commentary” muted, then I’d certainly understand.  Sometimes, it is best to just read the story yourself and form your own opinions without the author trying to get in the way.

I have never been challenged or harangued because of something I’ve written. The worst criticism I received was that my site was “nearly impossible” to navigate, and that was two years ago when I was still struggling with Blogger. So far, ya’ll have been pretty cool with things. But just for the sake of it I’d like to cover this next topic as much as I can.

Men and Eikasia.

First, let’s look at the word “misandry”:

misandry |misˈandrē|
noun
the hatred of men by women : her brand of feminism is just poorly disguised misandry.
ORIGIN 1940s: from Greek miso- ‘hating’ + anēr, andr- ‘man,’ on the pattern of misogyny.

The last sidebar covered one of the “touchy subjects”–that being sexism.  But that was with regards to character views voiced in-story.  What of the story’s view on the matter?  (One could mistake this for being my view, but there’s still a separation between myself and my art, though this line looks a bit thin, I confess.)

Eikasia’s shakers and rollers seem to largely be women, with mostly men being the villains/rivals.

…That is the simple and not-quite-true summary of the cast.

It’s true that Eikasia’s primary players are women (Elmiryn, Nyx, Lethia, Quincy…) but there’s others too.  Hakeem, and more recently, Farrel.  They have played vital roles, and in some cases, with very positive results.  Recent updates have shown the positive presence Thaddeus and Marquis played in Nyx’s past; of the strong and natural friendship that Elmiryn had with Saelin.  But that still leaves us with some of our heroines and their relationships with men.

Elmiryn’s father was cold and ruthless, as seen by the update “The Performers”.  He pushed his daughter to be what he wanted her to be.  Nyx’s father Alvis was notably absent from her life, having left for some unfathomable journey around the world from which he never returned from.  His fate is unknown.  Quincy loathes Tobias for some wrong he apparently committed against her in the distant past.  She also mentions a man named Jack, but at this point we don’t have an idea of who he is.  The tone this sets is accidental.  These women don’t hate men–they just had trouble with some in their past.  Who hasn’t in one way or another?

Then there’s Belcliff’s marshal, Karolek, and Baldwin.  Sedwick is the more complicated of this group as he was a man trying to do what he thought was right, and when he went AWOL, it wasn’t his fault–still his prejudices and his magic-induced rage must’ve painted an unfavorable picture in the eyes of you readers.

Many background male characters are shown as prejudicial and boorish, I admit.

Part of the problem is the setting.  As a fantasy setting with most societies being in one way or other patriarchal in nature, women aren’t really given the chance they deserve to make a change or be in control.  Many women and girls stay out of sight as it isn’t “their place” to speak out, typically.  This is why we lack many examples of female background characters.  As such, this places men in an antagonistic light.  The truth of it is, it isn’t the men I show that are the real antagonists, they are simply the agents of a greater evil, and alone they can be easily overcome.

The other issue, and the most obvious, is that the primary romance is lesbian–leaving little to show the softer side of some of the male characters.

In the coming story arcs, this’ll change as Elmiryn and Nyx’s world expands to include new characters.  So far it’s been a lot of running and gunning with little leisure left in between the action.

Essentially what I’m trying to say is:  the general feeling of neglect and hostility towards men in Eikasia is really just an accident–a byproduct of the largely female cast, and the various settings we’ve seen so far.  I want it established that I don’t hate men, and I don’t like women who unfairly discriminate against them.  …But I still like strong female roles more than the muscular male hero, so forgive me if the ladies have more fun than the guys.  😛

Till next time!

With regards to the last two updates…

So you guys have seen that so far bonus stories are essentially one-shots taken from an Eikasia character’s past.  Up until last week, nothing I had written really affected the main storyline.  Just added another facet of complexity to a character.  The last two updates were a change to that.

Clearly, there’s alot of potential in adding another layer to the main story if I can deepen a character’s past life–especially with something that could be brought up later in the current story time.  Now most of you probably still look at Eikasia as a typical bit of fiction, just posted online in serial format.  You should tweak this a bit.  Eikasia is a fantasy experience, posted online in serial format.  The difference there being that one can then remove the idea that somehow, whatever it is I write and post, is meant to sit still and remain unchanged.  I do my share of outlining, but because I write-as-I-go, the story tends to take on new ideas.  These ideas aren’t a bad thing, but they have a great effect on the long run.  Think of it like American comic books–in fact, I’ll use my most favorite series of all time, the X-Men as an example:

The Uncanny X-Men is a comic book series that has been running for literally decades.  Because of the size and the number of the events that took place, and later due to the number of new writers that came on board, the series saw what is called RETCONS.  Retcon is short for “retroactive continuity”.  Often, something would happen in the new story arc that would “go back” and change what was otherwise established.  This would sometimes turn the whole storyline on its head.  I didn’t necessarily do that with Eikasia, but here’s some examples of what I’ve already done:

For Tooth and Nail, the story of Nyx’s childhood, I changed the time when Thaddeus had died.  Previously, I had stated that it was when Nyx was very young–eight or nine in fact.  I moved this time up to when she was fourteen instead.  Even before that, back in Sons and Daughters, I had decided that Nyx had two special friends despite her general unpopularity.  That’s how I created Ampelos and Taila. Previously, I had stated that Nyx was utterly friendless and hated by all.

The real doozy comes from this last update, The Lizard’s Toll, in which Nyx hits rock bottom and goes through a spiritual trial that sees her stand up again.  She’s aided by a wayward elf that sees her salvation as a personal act of redemption for himself, and a mysterious animal guide that appears at the most critical moments to steer her away from certain destruction.  Winnamer, who had only been mentioned once in passing when Quincy was speaking with Hakeem, is also inserted into the story.  Previously, Nyx had NOT attempted suicide, had been completely alone between the time she received her Mark to meeting Elmiryn, and of course, hadn’t narrowly escaped death at the hands of a paladin.  But I added these things because I thought they were good for her character.  The only issue is that it acts as a retcon–because clearly, those of you who have read since Chapter One know that Nyx would’ve atleast mentioned Marquis once since meeting Elmiryn.

The only thing I can say is:  I’ll make sure to change the story to include these important events in my next round of edits.  For now, onward and forward!

Till next time!