Monday, March 26, 2007

More on time travel

Apparently, sometimes I use this blog as my "writing journal"...basically getting my thoughts out there and in a form where I can go back to them. The following is quasi-scientific blather about hyperspace, resonance, and warping the space-time continuum. So I apologize in advance. *g*

Okay. Today I stumbled across a post in DG's folder at Compuserve wherein she refers to the circles (or, more accurately, whatever it is the circles are marking) as "vortices that compress the space-time continuum and allow travel". Which at first glance is pretty darn close to how I'm explaining the time-travel in my book.

And, because this is the Topic That Will Not Die, before anyone thinks I'm ripping off her construct may I point out that I decided on my explanation for the time-travel mechanism (TTM) a year ago, when I started the book, and have elaborated on it since. And, nowhere in any of her works or anything she has written that I have read (up to and including forum posts) has the TTM in her universe been elaborated or described in any way, much less resembling this, until just now. So I did NOT get my idea from her. In fact, my idea arose from a desire to get AWAY from all the previous TTMs in use in time-travel romances (TTR), especially Scottish time-travels (STT, or would that be STTR?...are we having fun with acronyms, or what?).

But it actually makes sense that her (previously unexplained) TTM and mine would be similar. Why? We're both scientists, and both our variations on the concept are based in the same scientific concepts. In a nutshell: the warping of space-time to allow travel from one distant (spatially or temporally) point to another in a short span. She has, apparently, decided that there are "vortices"extant, sensed and marked with stone circles by the ancients, and that these vortices are points of space-time compression. How one is genetically able to withstand travel through these vortices is her purview, and remains a unique aspect of her books. Where the gemstones come into it remains to be seen, though I wouldn't be surprised to see it taking a similar form to my own TTM.

As for my own TTM, I decided early on in this project to make Elspeth a scientist - a physicist like myself - and to approach the time-travel from a scientific angle. I absolutely could/would not use the stone circles, and I didn't want to go the mystical/fairy route. Casting about for an angle, I dimly recalled something from the book The Physics of Star Trek (a longtime favorite of reformed - but not completely - trekkie Yours Truly...let's just say I own an original series uniform that I made the pattern for and sewed myself, but I've never worn it to any conventions. In public, yes, but not to any conventions...) and the explanation of how dilithium functioned in the warp drive. I also pulled from the great book Hyperspace by Michio Kaku.

Okay, I've just skimmed through a large chunk of TPoST and can't find the dilithium explanation. Wikipedia and Memory Alpha (Star Trek wiki - am I a nerd or what?) also not forthcoming. Finally, a Google search "dilithium quartz higher dimensions" - never underestimate the power of my google-fu - returns a message board post. Apparently I read this in some Star Trek novel or somesuch (I could probably narrow the field...first best guess is Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, which I think is also where I picked up the statement "the more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play"...great book).

Anyway, dilithium works like this: dilithium is a (currently) undiscovered crystalline form of lithium, mistaken for quartz. The reason for this is parts of the molecule (or crystal lattice? unclear) exist in other dimensions.

So I borrowed from that idea, and a few other sources, and came up with this:

The stone Teresa gives Elspeth is lonsdaleite, a rare allotropic form of carbon (diamond, specifically) found where meteoritic graphite falls to earth. It has a different lattice structure than regular diamond, which I stipulate has higher-dimensional properties.

Why a meteorite? I wanted something other-wordly and exotic. Basically, not a standard gemstone because that would be too cliche and too close to Diana's works. But I wanted a crystal for the lattice. So I looked up the various crystals/materials found in meteorites. Why lonsdaleite? Well, diamond is a highly regular, very strong crystal lattice. So I liked the concept of a strong, highly-ordered lattice being able to resonate in higher dimensions. And there you have that.

Moving on: How is the time-travel actually achieved? TPoST has a great section on wormholes, how they could work, why we can't (currently) utilize them, and how "If wormholes
exist, they can and will be time machines!" by connecting two (temporally) separated points - which in my case are the same spatial location. The points that are connected are only considered "close" when they are connected. So think of it as Alec's time being effectively right next to Elspeth's time, through some impossibly thin curtain, but completely inaccessible until
and only if a wormhole is opened between them.

Not all points are this "close" to other points in space-time, and so nothing untoward is likey to happen in most places. The odds of getting the right material (lonsdaleite) to open and stabilize a wormhole in the exact vicinity of one of these...oh, let's call them "points of confluence" (POC) are astronomical (if you consider the scarcity of these POC and the rarity of lonsdaleite) and so...well, nothing really happens. Kilchurn just happens to be one of those points. And Elspeth just happens to be in the vicinity with a chunk of lonsdaleite. And Jenny just happens to have an "inciting incident." *g*

So, in the region of this anomaly/POC, the higher dimensional properties of the lonsdaleite lattice begin to resonate. Now, at this POC, wormholes are constantly spontaneously forming, and then instantaneously collapsing again, on a time scale so short not even an air molecule from one time can travel to the other. Much like the spontaneous generation and subsequent annihilation of "virtual particles" in space. Anyway...the resonance of the lonsdaleite somehow (energetically?) stabilizes the wormhole, allowing it to remain open long enough for something, say a traveller, to pass through.

An interesting aspect: because the wormhole is not stable nor constant, there is no guarantee of it connecting in the same place each time (no pun intended). You can hope, but Elspeth (and later Alec) are really risking quite a bit by traveling back through.

Now, if I really wanted my universe to be able to coexist with Diana's (and it's fun to think about, for all that in my book that is not the case...thus my story cannot be *ahem* fan fiction as some have suggested, because it doesn't take place in the same universe...) I guess the stone circles could be marking these POC. Perhaps something in the local geography was stabilizing them (who knows - a meteorite could be buried underground there) or maybe the natives could somehow "sense" the other time and thus marked the spot, and it is the circle itself that establishes the resonance. How I'm not sure, but then again I'm not sure exactly how the lonsdaleite resonates. There are different ways to create resonance...for example, singing a note and running your finger around the rim can both produce resonance in a wineglass. In this context of similarity, her gemstones could also serve to stabilize it further. But this is a post facto comparison/analysis, and hopefully I've elaborated on the details of my TTM enough for it to be seen as different from hers.

Anyway, geez, it's 1 am and I've been working on this post for 2 hours. No new words tonight (and I did actually have a scene start to form in my head this morning...oh, well - back burner for now) but I certainly have been thinking about and clarifying supporting structure for the story. Now, to bed.

Oidhche mhath.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meet Elspeth (sort of)

Because I have nothing better to do with my time...courtesy of

And that's not just a walking stick. Don't forget she's a black belt. *w*

I'm still working on that I'm registered female, they won't let me get to the guy Meez(es?) without a fight...and I can't get the shape of his face right.

Okay, well, this is as close as I can get.

He doesn't get an animation because I couldn't find one that fits. Poor Alec. *g*

Monday, March 19, 2007

Archetypes and dimensions and time-travel, oh my!

Well, I didn't write last night. It was a conscious decision more than a lack of discipline. I chose to spend the evening with DH watching Rome. After last night, there is only one more episode, and then I can reclaim Sunday nights for writing. But it felt nice to have some "us" time with the baby asleep and no pressure to be doing other stuff.

Today was (relatively) slow at work during most of the day. I still had to stay late for QA on two special treatment plans, and so worked about an 11-hour day. But during part of the afternoon I got caught up on commenting on the rest of the March Xs on Compuserve. Finally.

Tonight (at least the 6 week hiatus from Heroes has the benefit of an extra writing night) the baby went to bed late, and I got a late start due to researching some land near here that we might - might - buy to build a house on. Once I got started, I was doing fairly well. Hit my stride just as DH got home from a last-minute trip to B&N (25% coupons expired tonight!). We struck up a conversation, and there went my stride. I only got about 150 new words. But I've (re)broken 28K, at least!

However, the progress was made primarily in DH's and my conversation. It helped to nail down some of the concepts for my premise. Worldbuilding, if you will.

It started off with me reading him a funny and cryptic bit from "Young" Teresa to Elspeth just after the latter has arrived in Kilchurn, 1691. Elspeth's (internal) response was something along the lines of "Now that was a remark worthy of the old crone with the push-cart." and DH asked what, exactly was Teresa, anyway?

My response? I have no idea. An archetype, is what she is. Beyond that...?

See, I'm coming at the time-travel from a scientific angle here. (Well, as much of one as I can manage.) But the point is, most of the other time-travel books I've read involve magic/fairies/gods/etc. That's not what I'm doing. Elspeth is a physicist, she has a hypothesis, and her hypothesis is based in physics: wormholes, higher dimensions, etc. There's no "mystical" element. So where does that leave Teresa, the woman with "prophetic" powers who lives in at least two time periods and knows Elspeth in both? I have no frigging clue.

At some point in the story, Alec and Elspeth are going to have a conversation about magic vs. science. Elspeth, you see, does not believe in magic. Alec questions that, when it is such a part of his culture, and so many things from her time seem magical to him. "There is no magic," Elspeth quotes "only science we haven't discovered yet." This is a reference to Clarke's Third Law. How, then, Alec asks, can she still believe in God? That's different, she says, and thus commences a bit more theological/scientific discussion. Basically, she can (and does) believe in the supernatural and in a Higher God, but not in what is commonly held as "magic."

Anyway, I'm running with the "predestination paradox" idea (also called a "causality loop") for Elspeth. Hence the "you can only do what you have already done" and "you were here, and so you are here" comments from Old and Young Teresa, respectively. I was discussing this with DH, which led to the following elaborations:

Elspeth's timeline/lifeline is linear and unbroken with regards to her frame of reference.

With regards to the universe's frame of reference, Elspeth's timeline appears to "jag" and is nonlinear (indeed, not intact), creating a causal loop.

Seen from higher dimensions, Elspeth's location in time and her location in physical space, when plotted, form a straight line that intersects with the wormhole in (at least) two places.

(Side note: this "spatial" focus is a big part of the religion/mythology of the Australian Aboriginal tribes. So I got a little "tingle" when I started thinking about how important her physical location in space actually was, even when thinking in higher dimensions.)

Anyway, I kind of envision Elspeth traveling along in her nice, normal, linear life, until her location in time and space intersects with the wormhole. At which point, from the universe's point of view, she is pulled away from the trajectory of her lifeline and 300 years into the past, where she exists for a time, influencing history as we know it today, even as her actions in the past are influenced by her knowledge of history, which is (unbeknownst to her) partly a result of her own actions...see, I told you it was a causal loop. But then she intersects with the wormhole again, and manages to pop back out onto her original timeline, and continues from there.

A similar intersection occurs with Alec, but since he is moving "forward" (from the universe's POV) there is no causal loop. Yet. (Who's to say what happens in a potential sequel?)

Wow, this is probably hard to follow. It's in my head, but hard to explain clearly because it's kind of an "out there" concept. Most of it won't have to be elaborated in the book, at least. What's important is that *I* have the concept in my head, and so the story will be richer for it.

I consider that progress, even if it's not wordage.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mini-marathon, day 2

Decent progress tonight. Almost 700 new words, all in chapter 2. Probably could have been more, but DH was catching up on his DVR'd back episodes of Rome and I - despite my best intentions - got sucked in for a while. Tomorrow I'll finish up chapter 2 (hopefully) and move on to 3.

Evil Editor posted my clip: I'm Dialogue K. He caught a slight POV slip, and was slightly annoyed that I don't know Doug's last name yet and so refer to him as "[lastname]" thougout the scene, but he did say I had good dialogue. So woo for that.

All in all, a productive day. Did the laundry...and put it all away. *gasp!* Cleaned out my fishtank, went out to eat with FIL, played with Baby Boy, and got some decent writing done. I'm pleased. Still trying to adapt to my new, much shorter haircut (circa Friday) though.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Evil Editor does dialogue

So Evil Editor is critiquing dialogue this weekend and on a whim, I decided to send him a clip. It's out of the "barfight" scene between Doug and Alec that I posted as my March X on Compuserve. I think it's pretty good dialogue, and the two commenters on my X have enjoyed it, so I guess we'll see what he has to say.

In the meantime, I really should go comment on everyone else's March Xs. I have meant to, I promise, but haven't found the time. Hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On the road again

Yeah, so I totally didn't do last week's Compuserve writing marathon. I had only the best intentions, but something came up. What you ask? Where was I all weekend?

DH and I drove to Georgia (an 8+ hour trip) and back. In just over 24 hours. To buy a motor scooter.


I actually commute for a good 6 months of the year - the good 6 months of the year, or about May thru October - on a scooter. It's fun, it's fresh air...and it's 100 miles per gallon gasoline. I've been riding a 50cc but it was time to move up. The model I wanted is very hard to find in the color I wanted, but one popped up in Athens, GA. I had to move quickly.

Oh, and I brought along my shiny new copy of Vicki's The Scent of Shadows. I started reading it while we waited for our flat tire to be fixed in Ringgold, Georgia (not too far south of Chattanooga). That book ATE MY BRAIN. For the next several days. Let me tell you, it's a good thing her next one is coming out in a month, 'cause I sure couldn't wait a year or more. Dang. Oh, and Joanna's baby was totally Ben's, not Joaquin's. I'm telling ya now, so don't forget I called it when it's finally revealed. *g*

Anyway, no marathon. Last weekend, at least. I resolved to make it up this weekend, and to that end I forced myself to work tonight. I'm pleased with the results. I reworked Chapter One, tweaking and filling in, and bringing it up to full working draft status. Only added about 200 new words, but it's a good point from which to jump off for my linear writing trial/stint.

Tomorrow I rework/finish Chapter Two.

Edited to add: Oh, and I took the Jeopardy! online test a few months ago, then promptly effectively forgot about it. Guess who got an e-mail today asking them to come to Washington D.C. for an actual audition? That's right, I did.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Books Meme

Shamelessly ganked from Susan...

Look at the list of books below: *Bold the ones you’ve read* Italicize the ones you want to read* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

And now for some good news

So if the commentary from Rachel, et al. on my hook isn't that helpful/great, at least I do have these tidbits to bolster my spirits somewhat:

1. About a month or so ago, Agent Kristin Nelson wrote this post* wherein she said

Well, there are leaders in each genre and try as they might, some writers can’t help but be a little derivative of the leaders in their field. It might be unconscious—the mimicking of a premise or a world building construct or what have you.

I sent her an e-mail, asking for clarification on the line between "premise mimicking" and writing in a subgenre/niche market such as Scottish time-travel. Did the fact that my modern heroine travels back in time to Scotland make my book too derivative? To which she responded:

You can certainly share a premise with a leader in the field. That's fine.
It's when the story itself (events that are happening, the characters, the
type of world-bulding) feel too similar to what is already out there that
you'll run into trouble.

So, according to her, using the time-travel premise isn't a problem. I know my events are unique (inasmuch as I took several of the main ones from history, and it's a different time period than Diana's books, so no overlap). My characters certainly aren't Claire and Jamie clones. Elspeth's a black belt, for crying out loud. And as for world building, I'm doing all my own research and just modeling it after 17th century Scotland, as accurately as I can. If she means how I accomplish the time-travel, that's totally sci-fi: wormholes and higher dimensions and whatnot. Not even a mention of a stone circle. *g*

2. Agent Jenny Rappaport said the following as part of her recent post*:

I love historical romances. Regencies... oh boy, those are my favorites. Also Victorian romances or even Georgian (17th century). I like plucky heroines and smart heroes, but I don't want it to be the type of variety where the hero is like, "I will just throw you into bed and ravage you now." I have a soft spot for bluestockings... educated females who love to read (I wonder who that sounds like? *looks innocently around*). I'm not as crazy about medieval romances, purely because they're very often inaccurate. I really like the historical details to be accurate. I would love to see a good romance set in 1600s England; there are so few of those.

The key things I pulled out of that were "I really like the historical details to be accurate" - which I am a stickler for, so nice to know some people notice/appreciate it. But this is the best: "I would love to see a good romance set in 1600s England" - would Scotland do? I got your 1600's right here! *g*

*quoted under fair use

Follow Up: "For Good or Ill..."

Thanks to Beth for the heads up...

So, Rachel Vater did post my hook. I'm in the "Women's Fiction/Chick Lit/Romance, etc. #1" entry, and my hook is #4. She said:

I have to admit I'm not crazy about time travel romance. This doesn't hook me personally, but commenters are welcome to say something about this one.

So, not a lot of input from her. But I guess I can take heart from what she didn't say... She didn't say it was cliche, or overdone, or a stolen/unoriginal premise (*cough*). She didn't say it was a bad hook, either, just that it didn't hook her personally because she's "not crazy about time travel."

I guess now we'll see if there are any comments from readers...

Heh...okay, a lot of Outlander comments. But the problem is the same one I catch a lot. People skim with the expectation of similarity, and don't realize what they see are actually differences - things that are unique and specific to my book. "Grey" John Campbell vs. Lord John Grey - Campbell was a historical figure (also here); I didn't pick the name. Or in some cases the skimmers are just plain wrong. Like the "she's a physicist and Claire was a doctor so that's the same thing" comment. Ummm...??? Physicist = radiation. Doctor = med school. For all that I'm a physicist and I do work in a medical field, it's a totally different occupation, with all the differences in educational background, job duties, and salary. *g* Also a different calling/mindset/characterization.

BUT if this is the standard reaction then I do have to get used to the idea that it is going to set me back. I know (and hopefully you guys know) that this is a unique story. Those who read parts of it are usually enthusiastic and want to read more, and those who have read significant chunks often tell me "it's nothing like Outlander." The trick I guess will be in describing it such that agents, editors, and eventually people skimming the back cover copy will think it's different enough to give it a chance.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

For Good or Ill...

I was paranoid to submit to Miss Snark's "Happy Hooker" crapometer, but for some reason I felt compelled to try with Rachel Vater's "Got Hook" critique. Here's what I sent, for good or ill:

ROMANCE (MAINLY HISTORICAL): Physicist Elizabeth Clarke was supposed to be in Scotland for her honeymoon. Instead, she’s there alone—hoping the land of kilts and clans will distract her from the heartache of her fiancĂ©’s betrayal. A trip to explore the ruins of an historic castle takes her on an unexpected journey: 300 years into the past. There she is taken captive by “Grey” John Campbell, Earl of Breadalbane. The politically avaricious Earl has found her historical notes and, believing her a Seer, intends to exploit her knowledge of the future for his own gain. She manages to escape the castle and comes under the protection of Alasdair “Alec” MacAlpin, son of a local chief. Dubbed “Elspeth” by him, she tries to find a place among his clan, even as she deals with Campbell’s attempts to recapture her and a growing attraction to her handsome (and unavailable, to an outsider like herself) protector. Together, she and Alec try to prevent the Campbells’ now-infamous massacre of the Glencoe MacDonalds. During the struggle at Glencoe, Alec’s true clan—the outlawed MacGregors—is revealed, and he is captured and sentenced to death. Elspeth bribes her way into his cell and spends one night with him on the eve of his execution. She leaves him with a promise to try to return to her own time, but instead goes to the Earl and secretly bargains for Alec’s release with the only thing she has—herself. Will she find a way to escape to her own time? Does that mean losing any chance to be with the man she loves?

ETA: At the very least, if this gets posted in public it will light a fire under me to finish the book, just in case someone else does like the idea and starts writing a similar one. Doubly so if Rachel actually likes the idea, though I'm not getting delusions of grandeur just yet. *g*


10 single-spaced pages. 5594 words. At last, the ubersynopsis is complete. Oh, it's not all set in stone, but it is so nice to have a complete storyline.

I'm going to try a modification of Jo's technique for a bit. Story notes (this ubersynopsis), SFD, then working draft and revise and refine until it shines.

Look for me to make a major push on the SFD starting in April. I'm leaving March to finish up my preliminary research and hit any scenes that "pop up" in my head.

Tomorrow: castles and tower houses!