Didn’t I do something like this recently? Yes. Why am I doing another update-type post instead of a review or an article?
Because those take time. A lot of time. More time than I had expected when I started writing random things on the internet, talking into (mostly) empty space.
Above and beyond the fact that I’m not very good at working very, very, hard (unlike some of my wonderful writer friends), producing any sort of content simply takes time. If my highest priority was just reviewing a book each week, or writing about something I thought was interesting, this wouldn’t be a big issue. But that’s not my main goal.
My goal is fiction – namely, finishing The Rule of Iron, and then figuring out my next project. But if I’m reading a book to get reviewed every week, or thinking up something else to write about, those things are cutting into that time (and even though I read pretty quickly, reading a full-length fantasy novel takes some time). I don’t regret having tried doing something substantial every week – it was fun, and has definitely been an interesting experience – but I think that doing a Weekly Thing has been an unnecessary distraction pulling me away from projects more important to me.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t be posting on Akhelas anymore. For one thing, I do enjoy writing random things on here, and I think that doing a weekly update post of some sort will help keep me honest. I just want to trim down on what I do here, so that I can get more work done elsewhere.
So, what’ve I worked on recently? Well, I’ve chipped away at The Rule of Iron, of course! I’ve started writing a major revision (about the first third of the book). I still need to finish outlining that, but for now it’s enough just to be working on it again. On that line of thought, I’ve been doing some sketching of maps, and a bit of worldbuilding as well. If I’m entirely honest, I still haven’t really nailed down the setting, and I should probably go spend some time reading medieval-setting fantasy just to get some of that back into my brain. I’m thinking in particular of T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, but that’s largely just because I love that book.
I read Brandon Sanderson’s new novella, Snapshot, and I definitely recommend it. It’s a quick read, and does its own interesting little twist on a detective story. Keep in mind, I’m a total fanboy for Sanderson’s work, though, so I’m pretty biased. I’ve also been working on re-reading my way through John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series. (One of the reviews I’d love to do is a review of this series, looking at the work as a whole. He just released the last book in December. The problem is, reading four 600+ page books isn’t really viable in a week if I want to do anything else.) I’m about a quarter of the way into the second book, Valor, and I’m looking forward to finally getting to Wrath. I also really want to get around to reading Neil Gaiman’s new book, Norse Mythology, but who knows how long that’s going to take for me.
One interesting thing I’ve noticed this week while reading/writing is that John Gwynne’s books were actually some of the initial inspiration for The Rule of Iron. It’s a very martial culture in that series, one which is focused on the one-on-one duel. I had completely forgotten that initial kernel of inspiration until I re-read Malice.