View Full Version : The book

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-04-2005, 20:52:53
Well, I'm making another start.

Rather than making another abortive attempt at a beginning, I'm starting on one of the set-pieces- a key action scene. The theory being that if I can make a real inroad into the plot and build my confidence, I can find a voice that feels natural to the story and re-draft the early scenes as appropriate. I know I can write an action scene, so I'm going to try letting the plot drive things, and stop obsessing about being the big cleverdick novellist.

500 words down. At least 99,500 to go.

05-04-2005, 21:01:05
Good luck dude!

I wonder how Kory's doing with her tomes.

05-04-2005, 21:26:54
Good luck Laz!

Last I heard, Kory was doing well. Didn't she post a link in the forum somewhere that goes to her journal/log site?

05-04-2005, 23:31:12
Remember to include a fat drummer from Reading in your book.

06-04-2005, 02:01:45
all writers produce multiple drafts laz, the key is just to start. Its a good idea to start with something you can trigger from, but perhaps you'd benefit by reading a book on structuring a novel? :)

06-04-2005, 04:10:14
Hmm... I'm trying by creating the characters and settings first, then working on a plot.

I get good action ideas, but I find it tricky to work them into a book.

Although I understand Speed 2 was the result of one action scene being worked up, so you could be onto something.

06-04-2005, 09:00:46
Speed 2? :lol:

06-04-2005, 14:05:30
Cruise Control.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-04-2005, 17:54:55
Originally posted by Cruddy
Hmm... I'm trying by creating the characters and settings first, then working on a plot.

I get good action ideas, but I find it tricky to work them into a book.

Although I understand Speed 2 was the result of one action scene being worked up, so you could be onto something.

This is historical fiction, so it follows a different path to some extent.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-04-2005, 17:55:52
Originally posted by protein
Remember to include a fat drummer from Reading in your book.

There's a fat abbot from Reading. Will that do?

06-04-2005, 18:29:56
Make him a shaolin kung fu monk from Reading and I'll be happy.

Any explosions in the book? Gotta have explosions. And car chases. Plenty of explosions and car chases and amusing one-liners. Oh and tits.

And swearing.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-04-2005, 19:45:47
There's an underaged incestuous menage-a-trois, an Archbishop nearly getting struck by a meteorite, and the world's most inept invasion of France.

There's shitloads of swearing. And tits.

06-04-2005, 20:19:57
That actually sounds excellent. :beer:

07-04-2005, 02:10:30
That does sound like a best seller. And a good project to take to cable!

07-04-2005, 14:15:05
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
There's an underaged incestuous menage-a-trois, an Archbishop nearly getting struck by a meteorite, and the world's most inept invasion of France.

There's shitloads of swearing. And tits.

I'm prepared to purchase the movie rights. I've got 45 pounds left over from my visit.

Fuck that cable shit, though.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
07-04-2005, 14:32:29
Originally posted by Lurker
I'm prepared to purchase the movie rights. I've got 45 pounds left over from my visit.

Have you considered dieting?

07-04-2005, 15:18:31
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
There's an underaged incestuous menage-a-trois [...] There's shitloads of swearing. And tits.

ah, so it's based on CG

07-04-2005, 15:30:39
Who couldn't invade France and win though?

07-04-2005, 15:44:40
last time I checked - the english...

07-04-2005, 15:57:26
When was the last time you checked?

07-04-2005, 16:05:28
1000 years ago

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-04-2005, 17:33:43
In their defence, they were actually going to assist the French. However they got a bit carried away, raided a few friendly ports, and buggered off home again.

07-04-2005, 18:47:59
good luck


07-04-2005, 21:51:44
So... they went into France to help, but the French persuaded them to just go ahead and invade them? Man, those French are just twisted!

08-04-2005, 01:52:43
Blame it on the neighbours... France I mean.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
08-04-2005, 15:27:54
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Well, I'm making another start.


What's the historic setting?

Lazarus and the Gimp
08-04-2005, 17:16:00
The same- 937-957AD

Dyl Ulenspiegel
08-04-2005, 17:48:05
Ah, the invasion of France made me wonder.

I had a weird idea for a story set in 7th century Italy last week, so I'm really curious about your progress. :)

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-04-2005, 22:43:44
Here's a taster. This is currently a stand-alone short story, but with a few tweaks it will form part of the book's plot.

(Background- the Saxons of Wessex are at war with the Danes of York. The young Wessex king is also facing a power struggle in his own court with the monastic faction, headed by Abbot Dunstan of Glastonbury. Dunstan has just been exiled).

The leap

The Royal Cheddar Palace. Wessex 940 AD.

It had been a misty morning, though the mist were now lifting. King Edmund lurched out of the gateway and trudged over to Essa, his horse- an impressive bay gelding. He slumped forward and buried his face in the beast's side, breathing in the scent of horse while waiting for the wave of nausea to pass.

"Hey Edmund!" Athelstan shouted. He was already in the saddle and hefting his spear. "You look like shit. Fancy a quiet morning with the monks instead?" He was grinning broadly now. "That would ease your hangover nicely, wouldn't it?"

Edmund groaned and buried his face deeper into the horse's side, willing his taunter to shut up. With no success.

"Hey Edmund!" Athelstan jeered again. "If you head inside quick, you might be able to catch Abbot Dunstan before he's carted off. You could spend another day with him explaining why you'll go to hell. Better than hunting, surely? Go ease your belly with the monks instead."

Even Edmund's groom was starting to snigger now, and he was damned if he was going to lose face like this. "Kiss my arse, Athelstan" he growled, as he hauled himself up into his saddle. "I told Dunstan to go fuck himself yesterday, and he can carry on fucking himself all the way into exile". He shut his eyes and shivered, waiting for the cold sweat to pass. The taste and smell of bile still burned in his throat and sinuses, so he hawked and spat onto the straw. "Where's the bastard going anyway?"

"Bishop Kinsage said he was going to Ghent. He'll go for a sulk at Blandinium Abbey, and stir up trouble there."

"As long as it isn't in my court, he can stir up trouble wherever he fucking well likes". Edmund breathed in deeply, savouring the cold, damp air and horsey smells, and letting his head clear. "What about the rest of the monks?"

"They're already starting to bicker among themselves. I'd bet on a couple of power struggles kicking off very soon- Bishop Oda was asking for an audience this morning, and I think he's getting ambitious." Athelstan pulled a skin full of ale off his belt. "Aelfheah is trying to hold the faction together- but it looks like splitting, and the old man's furious. He looked ready to spit blood". He tossed the skin over to Edmund. "Here- settle your stomach."

The king took a deep swig of the warm ale. He was nineteen years old, but looked older- a broad-shouldered brawler with light brown hair and a short, scrubby beard. Athelstan was smaller, and twice as old- a rich and influential Ealdorman and probably the most powerful man in Wessex after the young king. He had a reputation for cunning, and Edmund did not entirely trust him- Athelstan had been too friendly with the monks over recent years. Feeling the ale wash the acid burn away from his throat, Edmund finally sat up straight in the saddle and tossed the skin back. "Let them squabble. I've had enough of them for now. Let's hunt."

Cheddar Palace stood in prime deer hunting land at the edge of the hills. It was surrounded by a high timber palisade, with a strong gateway of Ashwood.The hounds now poured out of that gateway, baying with excitement. Close behind, the twelve horsemen spurred on their mounts and pounded over the turf towards the wooded hilltops emerging from the mists. Edmund urged his horse into a canter and hunched low, effortlessly moving with the gelding's strides and letting the cold, damp air clear his head. He shut his eyes, gripped his spear tight, and grinned for the first time in days. The monks, the Danes, the Mercians- they could all wait. Now all that mattered was the hunt. He rode on blindly, letting the horse follow the hounds out of habit. When he would open his eyes again, he knew he would see the hills in a way he had never experienced before and heighten the pleasure. Like entering a strange town, or taking a new lover.

Riding blind, he revelled in the sounds and scents reaching him. The sounds of other riders had fallen away now, as the hunt dispersed into a looser grouping. In front of him, following the same course, was the sound of running hounds- a pair or trio, perhaps. Another group of hounds more distant and off to the left. The crackle of snapping twigs and the echoes from trees as he flew through a small copse. The soft and cool feathering of heavier mist passing over his skin. He breathed slow and deep, drinking it all in as he watched only the darkness behind his own closed eyelids and rode over the hills.

As his mount splashed through a marshy patch, it slowed to a trot. Rising to the increased jolting, Edmund opened his eyes and gently pulled back on the reins. The mists had closed in on the hilltops, and trees no more than fifty feet away were vague grey ghosts. He pulled Essa to a halt, and looked around to get his bearings. Judging by the lie of the land, and the distant sound of hounds off to his left, he guessed that he was coming down off the higher hills some two miles away from the palace. He turned the horse to the left and started to trot in the direction of the distant baying.

Moments later, the racket of the dogs dramatically increased in volume. They had clearly sighted a deer and were on its trail. Edmund stood up in his stirrups, trying to guage the direction of the chase from the sounds. Then, with a sudden drumming of hooves, a huge stag hurtled out of the mist and charged straight past him. Essa reared in alarm, almost spilling his rider from the saddle. He gripped hard into the gelding's neck, accidentally cracking his spear shaft against his head in panic. As he regained his seat, two hounds charged past on the trail of the stag that had already vanished.

"YAAAAAHH!". He kicked hard at the horse's flanks and spurred into a headlong gallop. Following the sounds and the vague outline of the hounds ahead, he crouched down in the saddle as they flew over the fields. Crashing through a patch of gorse, Essa quickly gained on the hounds, and within a minute they could see the stag pounding through the wet grass and heading for the ghostly shapes of trees beyond. Seconds later it was in those trees, and Edmund was just seconds behind. Mossy trunks flew past on either side, with Essa nimbly leaping over roots and fallen branches like the great hunter he was. They were now just a few lengths behind the stag- so close that Edmund could smell the wet, musty stink of it. "YAAAAAH!!"- he brought his spear up to his shoulder and drew back his arm for the throw-

KRAKKK! He never saw the branch that hit him clean across the brow, just felt the explosion of light and pain across his head, neck and shoulders. Then, a sensation of weightlessness ended as he hit the ground and rolled. Then, nothing.

A whistling in his ears. Pain. Was that a dog howling? Pain. Cold.

Something was nudging his shoulder. It was Essa. He opened his eyes, half blinded by his congealing blood, and stared blankly at cobwebby grass sparkling with dew right in front of his eyes. It was colder, and the fog was dense now. He groaned, and pushed himself up on his arms. There was the iron taste of blood in his mouth and he stayed where he was for a minute or two, letting the pounding dizziness recede.

Finally he struggled upright and retrieved his spear from the ground nearby. Leaning on it like a staff, he walked over to where Essa was waiting and pulled himself back into the saddle. His clothes were soaking and the cold had numbed his fingers, so he stuck them into his armpits to warm up as he listened around. There was no sound of horses, hounds or men- almost no sound at all. Just the soft wet sounds of the woods, his horse and his own breathing. When his fingers had loosened up, he gently urged Essa to walk back out to the open fields. He guessed it was past noon, and by the time he found the rest of the hunters they would probably be on their way home. With a sigh, he decided to head back to the palace- just head over to the gorge to find his bearings, then follow the familiar tracks home. And as they emerged from the trees they came face to face with the stag.

Edmund froze, and Essa stopped. The stag was looking straight at them, its head held high in an unmistakeble display of belligerance. Edmund slowly lowered the point of his spear towards the stag- a stag in rut was an aggressive animal, and this one looked more than capable of charging. It was a massive one, though obviously close to exhaustion- steam was rising off it in great clouds and it was breathing hard. Blood clotted its hide from a spear-gash across the back. No more than thirty feet apart, they stared at each other. He could just make out the wide brown eyes staring at him. Neither moved, just stood rigid with tension. Watching for the first move.

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-04-2005, 22:44:22
Then Essa grunted and tossed his head impatiently. Instantly, the stag whirled around and raced away from them. Essa exploded into a gallop even before Edmund had a chance to spur the horse on. Once more they hurtled through the fog and into the rockier ground away from the trees. The stag's back curved, before a kick from its powerful hindlegs sent it soaring over an outcrop of limestone. A couple of heartbeats later, Essa copied the leap and as they rose into the air Edmund saw the stag skidding across the went grass as it recovered from its landing. He gripped tight to Essa's side for the shock of the landing then sat up straight again as he brought his spear up. The kill was an act he'd done so often that it was as automatic as breathing. Every movement of it was already mapped out in his mind- he'd wait and let Essa close further on the stag, then let it leap over the next rock. As it would curve through the pedictable parabola of its flight he would draw his arm back. Then, as it landed and was slowed before recovering its stride, he would hurl the spear straight into its ribcage. Everything was decided- this was how it would be.

Forming out of the mist was a dark ridge of rock and the stag was heading straight for it. Edmund gripped tight at the reins and kicked Essa on. The stag's back was curving now, the muscles in its hindquarters bunching as it prepared to leap into the grey beyond. Edmund stood up in the stirrups, drawing back his arm as they hurtled towards that same rock line. The stag's legs kicked back powerfully, launching it into the air and sailng over the rocks. With Essa pounding onward, Edmund's arm tensed ready for the throw as the stag arched through the air.....

...and flew....

...and followed the arc of flight down into the mist and to a landing that never came.....

...and in that same instant Essa shrieked in panic and Edmund felt an icy wave of terror rip down his spine. They were hurtling towards the edge of the Cheddar gorge; the great slash in the hills and the drop of four hundred feet onto the rocks below. Essa's front legs braced hard as the horse desperatly tried to throw its weight back to counter the huge momentum sweeping them across the wet stones. Hooves skidded across rock as the horse started its balance. Edmund wrenched his feet out of the stirrups and threw himself out of the saddle as the pair swept towards the edge.

Oh Christ.

He slammed down onto wet rock and rolled, flailing with his arms for purchase. Beside him, the falling horse pitched over the brink. As Edmund rolled over he caught a brief glimpse of Essa thrashing and screaming in terror, framed against the grey void below.

Oh God. Oh Christ.

He was over the edge himself now, sliding over the abrasive face. His hands scrabbled at cracks and loose stone, slowing his fall but still falling. Essa's screams fading below.

My God. Oh Christ.

His flailing right hand grabbed a small, stunted blackthorn sprouting from a crack. The thorns bit deeply into his palm, shredding his fingers as the shrub started tearing tearing away from its roots. The horse-screams from far below cut off abruptly with a dull thud.

Oh Christ.

It held. Edmund was jerked to halt, smacking into the cliff-face. He swung above the great drop by one hand, eyes screwed tight shut, not even breathing.

My God.

There was a tickling sensation as blood trickled down his wrist, and he became aware of his own piss running down his leg. With a ragged sigh he let out the breath he'd been holding and hauled himself up far enough to grasp the thorn with his other hand, ignoring the fresh pain of it. Kicking up his right leg, he found a foothold, and he hung there for a while, not daring to risk bringing up his other leg.

Finally he looked up. The thorn was half torn out from its crack, but appeared to be holding. He slowly brought up his left leg while pressing down with his right, listening and feeling for the warning signs of the shrub tearing loose. Finding a good purchase with his left leg, he dared to finally loosen the grip of his lacerated right hand and shakily feel for a handhold on the rocks. Slowly, and with exaggerated care, he pulled himself up the few feet of rock back to the top.

It was late afternoon when his fellow hunters found him, still sitting on the edge of the gorge and staring dumbly into the depths below. Taking in the blood over his face and hands, his torn clothes and shocked silence, they gently helped him to his feet and supported him as they took him to a spare horse. As he passed Athelstan, the king paused and slowly reached up to grab his collar. Pulling the Ealdorman towards him, Edmund raised his head to look him in the eye. Then he spoke for the first time.

"Bring Dunstan."

12-04-2005, 23:18:33
Gripping stuff!:beer:


Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
13-04-2005, 00:54:05

13-04-2005, 02:46:45
Collision with tree
Sore head (again)
Flying Horse
Dead Horse