Home-grown Wheel of Time Encyclopedias

Thanks to all the spoilerific Wheel of Time wikis on the Internet, I have to keep my own encyclopedia as I go.

You know what the world needs? Wikis without spoilers.

I just finished A Crown of Swords, Book 7 of the Wheel of Time. If you haven’t read these books, let me assure that you will not remember everyone and everything. It is physically impossible. You’ll see a name pop up and wonder who or what it is, and where you last saw him/her/it. In those cases, there’s only three things you can do: 1) Keep reading and hope that Robert Jordan fills you in on the details, 2) Use the handy search feature of your Kindle and hope the name is found somewhere earlier, or 3) Lookup the name on a helpful Internet Wheel of Time Wiki Page.

Unless you’ve read the whole series before, I do not recommend that last one. The helpful information you’ll get will include every spoiler from the entire series, because wiki authors don’t seem to care that they’re going to ruin your day.

For that reason I have been extremely diligent in avoiding Wheel of Time wiki pages, and anything that looks like it might even hint at spoilers, so nothing too major has been spoiled for me … yet. It feels like it’s inevitable though.

My point is that thanks to those spoilerific wikis, I have to write my own frickin’  Wheel of Time encyclopedia as I go. I was all right through three books. Then there was an explosion of people, places, and things. After book five, I simply had to start a catalog. Shown below is how it looks at the beginning of Book 8 (don’t look if you haven’t read through book 7, although I don’t think any spoilers are shown). What I’m doing is saving a different copy for each book. Each one gets progressively more complicated. That way, if I go back and re-read these books later, I can pull up the one that corresponds to the book I’m on.

The Wheel of Time, Book 8

By the way, I’m using this nifty mind-mapping software called FreeMind to make this catalog.

P.S. Yes, I have spent way too much time on this.

The Nuclear Option

I invoked the nuclear option to spice up my failing story before it died.

The other day I mentioned that I hated my current WIP (work-in-progress, for you non-writer-types). That night I decided to use the nuclear option.

In NaNoWriMo, they say if you’re bored with what you’re writing, you need to shake things up by adding an explosion, or killing everyone off. That’s what I’ve come to think of as the “nuclear option.”

So, I blew things up. An angry god descended and pulverized everything. He killed Lyeale, the mad old woman who was going to be an antagonist. He teleported Roduk, the brash young hero, back to his homeland, hundreds of miles away. And then he had the nerve to kidnap Emmie, the young woman who was on her way back to her family in the city. As if that weren’t enough, he took the crystal that the protagonists were there to find.

Now I might as well throw out the story outline I’d written, because I have no idea where to go from here. But you know what? It sure jump-started my interest in this story. Maybe this is the final judgment on whether I am more of a plotter or a pantser.

Not A Good Start

After a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I started writing on my new project. I hate it. It’s flat, lifeless, and dead.

Okay, this is not good.

After a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I started writing on my new project, tentatively code-named “Curses.” I’ve written perhaps 4,000 words, starting not at the beginning, but at the first sort of exciting milestone. I did this because I wasn’t really “feeling” it so I thought I would start at a “high point.”

I hate it. It’s not exciting. It’s not even interesting. The characters are dumb. The plot is moronic. It’s flat, lifeless, and dead.

This is the part where you’re supposed to say, “So what? Write it anyway! Real writers finish things no matter what.”

I’ll admit I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to be inspired–or at least mildly interested–when you start the writing. It’s only after 20k words or so that you run into that first brick wall of your own ineptitude.

I had this exact same problem with Tel, now that I think about it. I started twice before I got to a story that I liked.

Bad Character Habits in Wheel of Time

It’s time for an intervention to stop the bad habits of characters in The Wheel of Time.

There are a few bad habits that the characters in The Wheel of Time have that they don’t seem to be able to stop themselves from doing even after six books, so I think it might be time for an intervention:

  • Scrubbing their hands through their hair.
  • Knuckling their moustaches or their backs.
  • Gaping at anyone or anything.
  • Smoothing their skirts.
  • Sniffing.
  • Obsessing over the neckline of women’s dresses.

It’s sort of laughable to see these things in the seventh book. Here’s Rand scrubbing a hand through his hair again. Uh oh, Elayne’s sniffing again. And here are some women entering the scene. What kind of dresses are they wearing? Will their necklines be ‘swooping’ low or just ‘dipping’ low? Will there be an oval cutout?