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2016 Book Blitz - June: Spiral Island 3

Oh yeah, I forgot to make this entry. I made the image for it and then forgot to do the rest. Not much to say here, really. Fell short of the goal, and spent the month back and forth falling ahead and behind par. Last few days of the month I had a ton of prep before going out of town for a business trip, so I fell behind then. I had hoped to catch up to reach par on the 30th during my five hour flights in the day, but I got sick partway through the flights and couldn't do any more writing from that point, so I only got that day's worth of words done by that point. 

I didn't end up finishing Spiral Island 2 in May, because I ended up further spending the beginning half of May still sick as I got a bad cold after my infection died away, and with all of the prep for the big Pokemon tournament that month and being sick I didn't have much time or energy. I got close, actually, with only two more chapters at the end left to write, and two I had skipped as well: one near the beginning that's mostly a public speech and I didn't want to take the time making that sound properly like a business speech, and another one that took place in Japan that I wanted to have access to Street View maps to get a better picture of what I was doing, but as I got to that point I wasn't in a place I had good internet access so I skipped it and moved on. So I finished the end of May not finished with Spiral Island 2, but needing to move on to start Spiral Island 3, so I decided to move on. 

If I hadn't gotten as far as I did, though, I wouldn't have moved on. Starting with Spiral Island 1, as I mentioned, I had to make changes in the plot to make it work with the lore. This continued snowballing more through the course of writing Spiral Island 2. Because of all of this, the entire course of the trilogy had changed. The story and the events are still the same, pretty much, but the reasons why everyting happened, to make it all make sense, changed. Because of that, because the way the third book progresses, if I hadn't figured out how the climax of book two was set once I hit June I wouldn't have been able to start the third one and would have had to continue writing it into June before I could start. Luckily, I was able to get it to a point I finally had an idea of the conclusion and everything was going with last minute writing on Memorial Day, so I was able to move on.

Beyond that, I still haven't finished book two. Because I still haven't finished book three. By chapter count, according to my outlines, Spiral Island 1 was 22 chapters, Spiral Island 2 was 30 chapters, and Spiral Island 3 is 40 chapters. The reason that worked out that way is mostly because there's more than one point of view being monitored in the second and third books, as opposed to the first book being almost solely from one character's view, as well as with the third book there's a lot of things happening. It's still a subset of the gameplay whenever I finally get to making the games, as all three only go into points actually important to moving along the story in a book and not points important to moving along the story as a game and other gameplay things, but there are more plot points important to the books as we move on so it naturally needed to be longer for each.

I've been kind of slacking since I got back from my business trip, and not writing as much as I should have (and you can partly blame that on the release of Pokemon Go), so I'm not quite done yet. With the word count at the end of June, I had finished up to chapter 26. As of this writing I've finished chapter 32, with a word count of 88775, so I'm getting close. I'm hoping to finish it up over the course of the next week, then swing back to catch the missing four chapters of book two after that so I can get my first pass editing done and have a first draft print done by the time I go out of town again mid-August. The end is in sight, culminating a total of fifteen years of work to bring this trilogy into the world (although I hand't really considered the print form to do it for nearly as long, honestly).

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 10:00:00 -0500

Eliza’s Notes - 07: Age of Enmity

The idyllic society we have been living in was bound to fall sooner or later. Human nature is far too dark to keep such a peaceful society forever, after all. As soon as conditions began to change everything spirals out of control until it falls apart. And this time, just the same, the fall was brought about by human nature and its selfishness.

As society grew ever more advanced from its use of crystal powered technology, more and more stress began being placed on the mothercrystals. Patches and repairs to their structures were being made, but they continued being taxed more and more until it could be done no more. First the Air mothercrystal shattered, exploding and firing shards all around. Its remote location meant it was mostly an ignored issue, people passing it off as lack of proper maintenance. Then the Water mothercrystal shattered. Then Fire, then Earth. Then Ice, Lightning, and Shadow. Faster and faster with each new mothercrystal that shattered when finally Mind and Vitae shattered almost simultaneously.

The people figured they could just rebuild new mothercrystals, the shattering simply an unavoidable result of the age of the structures. Nothing lasts forever, after all, was their guess after the third one was destroyed. Energy could still be harvested from the shattered pieces to supplement supply while the new ones were under construction. But as they set up the latticework for the new Air mothercrystal, even while others were still shattering around the world, they found that they couldn't. Records and notes from the time of their creation had been neglected over the years, as people in the past figured that they would last forever and so hadn't bothered keeping all the records straight. In the end, nobody knew how to recreate them. The knowledge of how the mothercrystals were created was lost, and now so too were they.

The fallout from this was swift. As supplies began to dwindle, people began to hoard them. Countries went to war with each other to capture stores of crystals. Armies quickly spent their own crystal supply in efforts to capture their enemies crystal supplies, which they were themselves spending to do the same. And the civilians - cut off from easy access to crystals as their governments hoarded them for their wars - didn't fare much better. Cities went dark. Regulated food stores spoiled. Friendships shattered just the same as the mothercrystals had. Neighbor became wary of neighbor as they hoarded and protected their own crystal stores. Households that didn't have storage of crystals quickly fell to having nothing and being despised beggars or hated theives.

The Evreux too suffered greatly. While they had integrated little of the crystal technology developed on the overworld into their own lifestyle - and what of it that they did could be easily converted back to running on electricity once more - their rail network was devastated by the armies of the surface as supply lines would be cut off or captures to gain crystal stores. To their credit, the Evreux for the most part don’t have hatred or contempt for the races of Aughylia, but simply pity. Pity that we're so quick to fall into such horrible behavior and not learn to be at peace. A pity that they couldn’t come together to solve the problem and instead let it drive a wedge between them.

With the world as volatile as it is right now I’ve had to retreat once more, hiding from public view. The Evreaux consider me a friend and freely let me travel around their tunnels and rails, and so I’m able to come and go around the world as best as I can with the damaged rail lines, but the surface world right now would be too suspicious of an old woman such as myself traveling around alone, and I’m liable to get attacked by people trying to rob me. Not that I can’t defend myself easily from basically everything they could throw at me, between my own magic and my staff and other weapons I carry around with me, but it is of course far simpler to just avoid trouble than it is to try to get out of it. I’m immortal, not invulnerable. I haven’t lived this long by being reckless. That’s James’s way of life, not mine.

One exception to my policy of avoiding, though, has been records. There’s been a lot of important technologies developed in the last while - medical technologies especially - since the advent of the crystals, and I’ve felt keeping certain key technologies would be important. The Evreux agree, and collectively we’ve been sneaking into museums, factories, and government offices and stealing the design and manufacturing documents for a number of key technologies. Some of them could be converted to run on their electrical systems with work, some of them are more or less specifically bound to magic energy to function. No matter that result, we’re saving them in case they manage to clean up their act and get the crystals working once more, so we can see it restored once society heals once more.

Normally, or rather, in the past, I suppose I would say ‘if’ society heals, but I’ve seen this happen enough times now that it’s pretty much inevitable. As long as the world isn’t wiped out completely, there will be a rebound sooner or later. More it’s a matter of what form development will take, and whether technology will go down this path again. It’s probably what Menos Cor and the people he worked for feared so much, if I had to guess. If they did not wipe out a society completely, then they could build up again to fight back later. As I look at the devastation on the frozen surface of Ildios, I just pray that we never have to see that enemy here again in the future.

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 10:00:00 -0500