It has been a week. That is accurate.
This past week, I finished re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and I’ve begun the next book in my anthology of Ursula LeGuin’s science fiction, Planet of Exile.
I’m not sure I have any new and thrilling insights about The Hobbit this week. The only thing which particularly stuck out was how sort-of drawn out the journey home is. Tolkien says that Bilbo and Gandalf (and, part of the way, Beorn) had adventures, but none worth really digging into; yet he glosses over the journey back in this sort of slow, winding way, passing over the lands they had traveled through to the Lonely Mountain, and letting time pass.
I know something I will need to return to Tolkien for is this summarized journey writing. It’s something enchanting and memorable, which tends to stick in people’s minds (from what I’ve found), and a skill I believe I’m going to need the knack of in my own writing. It’s a part of making a world engaging.
It’s a bit too early into Planet of Exile for me to have concrete opinions. I’m enjoying the writing and story so far. At the four or five chapter mark, there’s one big thing which has stuck out to me – the cycle of seasons on this planet.
A Year (LeGuin’s capitalization) lasts 60 “moonphases,” each of which are roughly equivalent to an Earth year. This does include the four seasons, each of which last years and years, and the native culture has grown around passing down information from one generation to the next. Winters are very harsh, and the young and fit have never seen them.
Sound a smidgen familiar, maybe? Just maybe?
Lookin’ at you, George R. R. Martin.
Most of my writing time this past week has been dedicated to continued work on an early version of an Akhelas setting for Pathfinder. It’s pleasing work, and I’m looking forward to trying the setting out with some friends this weekend. Having a deadline for when I need this setting functional is also really helpful for speeding me up – it makes me need to work.
So far, I’ve been focusing on creating Pathfinder characters within the world of Akhelas. I’m doing this by creating choices of culture (instead of races like human, elf, dwarf), religion, and background. I’m finished with a first draft of the cultures and religions, and about a third through the cultures. After that, I need to make a list of classes which exist within the setting.
While I have made some good progress this week, my goal last week was to work on the setting every day. I didn’t. I forgot to keep track of how many days I did/didn’t work, but I’m willing to guess that it was the same five out of seven as the last few weeks.
This upcoming week, I need to wrap up the bare basics of this setting (I think I’m pretty close), and then write an adventure for my playgroup. I think I’ve found an adventure published by Kobold Press, The Wrath of the River King, which is fairly on-theme to my setting (although it will require a little bit of tinkering), but I’d rather write and run a game of my own. It’s been a while since I’ve put some real work into writing up gaming things, and I’m enjoying it.
Oh, and my current class ends soon, so I need to do one last revision. And a “Books to be Read Immediately” list. And a couple other scribbly things.
Busy busy busy.
Last Week: Write every freaking day and finish The Hobbit. After that, move on to another LeGuin book.
This Week: Keep reading Planet of Exile (no specific amount), have the setting ready for this weekend, and, of course, write every freaking day.