All’s Quite Along the Revision Front

If you begin looking for something to do, eventually you shall find something to do.  It’s only natural.  If you don’t find anything, then you either weren’t looking hard enough, or your mind was playing tricks on you with something I like to call a “distraction”.

That happens with me every so often, but last night wasn’t the case.  After I finished up the edits on my friend’s novel, I discovered I had time on my hands.  And as Styx once sang, when I’ve got too much time on my hands, it’s ticking away with my sanity.  Since I’m already sort of nuts, the last thing I want to lose is that, so . . . I started looking for stuff do to.  You know, things.

It’s like this:  the other day one of my fans left a comment that said something like, “Wow!  With all these characters how am I gonna keep track?”  I told her that with this novel I’d leave a Cast of Characters page in the story so people would have a reference.  Naturally I had to go into my novel to see if, in fact, I might have already made one–but you already know the answer.  Of course I did.

I was looking at it, thinking about how I could put this out here for people to see, then decided, “Hey, you can just copy and paste the sucker, because it’s, you know, a big list.”  Which it is.  So, if you are interested, here is my cast of character for the story–which, believe it or not, isn’t complete, because there are things on here I’m not showing.  You know, stuff.

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

The Children and Parents

The Kirilova Family

Annie Krilova
Victor Kirilova — Father
Pavlina Kirilova — Mother

The Malibey Family

Kerry Malibey
Davyn Malibey — Father
Louise Malibey — Mother
Aaron Reston — Grandfather
Deirdra Reston — Grandmother

The Foundation Representatives

Mr. Mayhew — Guidance Supervisor
Ms. Rutherford — Kerry’s Guidance Supervisor

Salem Institute for Greater Education and Learning

Institute Staff

Mathilde Laventure — School Headmistress
Coraline Gallagher — School Doctor
Isis Mossman — Director of Security
Trevor Parkman — Head Librarian

Coven Leaders

Deanna Arrakis — Coven Åsgårdsreia and Director of Divination
Jessica Kishna — Coven Ceridwen and Mistress of Transformation
Madeline Palmescoff — Coven Blodeuwedd and History/Social Studies
Holoč Semplen — Coven Cernunnos and Biology/Life Sciences
Erywin Sladen — Coven Mórrígan and Formalistic Magic

Instructors

Harpreet Bashagwani — Astronomy and Math
Ramona Chai — Self Defense and Weapons
Wednesday Douglas — General Spells
Matthias Ellison — Music and Arts Director
Adric Lewiston — Spirit and Apparition Studies, Science, and Math
Helena Lovecraft — Head Sorceress and Dark Mistress of All
Victoria Salomon — Flying and Teleportation
Polly Grünbach — Science and Technology
Fitzsimon Spratt — Practical Super Science
Shuthelah Kady — Engineering and Magic
Tristyn Julin — Applying Powers

Assistant Staff

Kitchen and General Operations

Una Grandin — Head of Kitchen
Agnes Piña — Head Chef
Zora Gronowski — Housekeeping Assistant
Netra Bonds — Housekeeping Assistant

Hospital Staff

Gretchen Rogge — Night Nurse
Bianca Gaillard — All Shifts Nurse
Thebe Göbricher — All Shifts Nurse

Grounds and Maintenance Staff

Sukumari Valade — Head Groundskeeper
Severiana Stasko — Groundskeeper
Wilhelmina Ananas — Groundskeeper
Zenobia Boerger — Groundskeeper
Jehane Pandres — Groundskeeper

Security Staff

Tamera Berube — Security Second in Command
Holly McPhie — Security Assistant
Suhaila Ogata — Security Assistant

Other A Levels

Alica Ferguson — Student from Scotland, Coven Cernunnos
Collin McCarty — Student from Eire, Coven Blodeuwedd
Emmalynne Neilson — Student from Bolder, CO, Coven Mórrígan
Lisa Glissandi — Student from Conway, AK, Coven Åsgårdsreia
Anna Laskar — Student from Germany, Coven Åsgårdsreia

Upper Level Students

Rivânia Suassuna — D Level, Coven Åsgårdsreia
Harmony Macrinus — D Level, Coven Blodeuwedd
Nadine Woodley — C Level, Coven Mórrígan
Harold Napper — C Level, Coven Mórrígan
Chunghee Pang  —  C Level, Coven Ceridwen
Daria Frontera  —  C Level, Coven Cernunnos
Winfreda Fishel —  B Level, Coven Ceridwen

School Spirits

The Phoenix  —  Benefactor and Protector of Salem

 

And there you have it:  just about everyone in the story, or at least just about everyone I made note for that might show up in the story.  I will admit to editing the Cast of Characters a bit to keep some surprises from you, the possible readers.

But then, while I had the project up, sitting right there in front of me on the computer, I thought, “Hey, you know, it wouldn’t hurt to just, you know, look at a couple of scenes.”  Oh sure:  Nothing was going to happen.  Nothing at all.

I lied.  This is what happened.

No, this is not what it seems.  It's not writing, it's . . . editing.  Yeah, that's what it is.

No, this is not what it seems. It’s not writing, it’s . . . editing. Yeah, that’s what it is.

I got into the first two scenes of the prologue–where we meet Annie and Kerry–and I gave them both an edit.  Not only that, but I broke Kerry’s scene into two scenes, as there was a break in the action and it was time to move that other information to its own scene.  So now all sit in the project with the label, “Revised Draft First Pass” on them, because I’ll likely roll over them again before getting to another scene.

Did I find anything wrong?  Yeah, a few things.  A couple of misspelled words; I caught Annie’s father with a dreaded “said” before he spoke, and I rewrote a few lines that seemed clumsy and not at all clear.  My first drafts are pretty clean and say what I want them to say, so what I’m looking for in the editing process are those things that look wrong, and then correct them.  If I find things that don’t make sense–and I found a few of those last night–I remove them and see if I can say something differently.

I promise I’m not about to get into heavy edits of this novel before I start writing anew.  Okay, so maybe I will.

It’s my party and I’ll edit if I want to.

There and Back to the Big House

Oh, did you notice this is coming out late?  These things happen at times, trust me.  The delay is due to getting up at five AM, driving one hundred miles for a thirty minute interview, then driving home.  A little lunch later, as well as the fixing of a screen door has kept me off the computer for about two hours, and then–

Here we are.

It’s so far made for a long, tiring day, but at least I don’t have to cook tonight, because I’ve done enough of that for the last two days.  Kick back tonight, maybe pizza tomorrow.

Right now, we’re talking Great Hall.

The last two days I’ve been running about in Blender designing.  I should say, “Building,” because what I wanted to do is taking the build I’d made for my current story, and sort of see what it would look like if you turned into a three dimensional model.  I know, that’s being a bit obsessive about something that isn’t real, that’s just a part of my imagination.

There is a point to all this, however:  having a designed floor plan allowed me to figure out where some of the action in the building occurred.  I know there are those who may feel that’s a little too much work to put into a project, that it’s getting down into the metadata a little too much, but screw them.  It’s my story, and it’s one I want to publish one day, so I put work into my background.  Hey, it’s either this or spend twenty years on some fan fiction that will never see the light of day, right?

Originally I started with what you see on the right:  a building Main Hall 518layout rendered in 3D that showed as much of the inside as I could dream up.  I still have this, and the information came in handy when I started writing about battles and running and flying going on inside.  Visualizing these things came about from working with someone else, and I’m thankful that I listened to them on this matter.  (As for the rest, I’m still working on that . . .)

But I wanted to see more.  I wanted to see the area around the Pentagram, I wanted to feel the size, the enormity of the area.  It’s a big school:  everything here feels enormous, or is at least should.  Therefore I need to model the outside and the grounds, and I couldn’t do it in the program I used for the floor plan.

So off to Blender, and . . . Pentagram SoutheastBehold!

It’s not much to look at unrendered, but that’s what I’m building.  I have the Pentagram walls, the Coven Towers, the Clock Tower, the covered walkways, the older South Part of the Hall, the transepts, and the newer, more modern looking Library with the curving windowed wall that I couldn’t do the proper way in my floor plan program.  I figured out the scaling for this monster so that it’s not taking up a whole lot of virtual space, and it leaves open the possibility of modeling some of the other buildings.

If you want to get a feeling for scale, look at this:  Pentagram Main Gateit’s the main gate of the school going through the fifty foot high and eighteen foot thick walls.  And there, standing in the arch, those little sticks?  Those are two students, each five foot tall, catching sight, for the first time, of the main entrance some two hundred feet away.

With the story almost finished, I’m ready to move onto the next project.  But come November, when I may or may not do NaNo again, I’ll start in on another novel, and that novel will build off the little novel I wrote this month of July.

Maybe, in four months time, I’ll have even more to see.