Helpless writing?

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I thought about doing a blog on learned helplessness, but I’ll save it for a day when I’m more depressed. Seriously, check it out. Since that’s not on my problem list for today, I’ll just leave that link in place and move on.

I thought I’d outlined the next story. Turns out it needs so much overhauling, I might as well start from square one. One of the things I’m doing on the revision is to use more than one view point. My last book was entirely from one perspective. That was fine. It had enough stuff to make a full length book on its own. This new one, though…. According to the outline, I had like 20 chapters. That’s, at most, 50,000 words. (I calculate based on averaging 2,500 words per chapter.) Not enough for a book that can be shopped around to agents.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve fallen into the trap of: two-viewpoints-isn’t-complicated-enough-so-I’ll-use-three. As if matching timelines and the like between two characters wasn’t enough, now I have three characters to match to a timeline. It’s a good thing I like puzzles. On the other hand, maybe it’s too hard. After all, I’m writing a blog about it rather than actually doing it. Hmmm. Can you actually procrastinate with no deadline?

So now I’m taking the original outline and inserting viewpoints between most of the major dots that need to be connected in order to create the story. I’m not actually complaining, because it gives me a way to show how the things the protagonist has to deal with develop. (Wow. Talk about an awkward sentence.) For instance….oh wait. Gotta go write this into the outline. Have a nice day!

Vahlencei Origins Pt. 2

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Debate between the Angels of Free Will and the Angels of Guidance grew heated. First voices were raised to emphasize points of view, then words of the absolute became common, resulting in polarization of the two factions. From discussion to debate to argument, the conflict increased in passion—until fatefully, an angel from the free will group drew his weapon in anger. Yet it was an Angel of Guidance who struck first, lashing out in anger and fear.

Terrible war followed, and Earth was drenched in the aetherial blood of angels. For an age and an age, the factions battled, and as the conflict escalated, The Origin saw Earth soaking up the blood, and knew both viewpoints would be innate in every life place or created on Earth. Further hostilities were no longer necessary.

The Origin stopped the War of Angels, and forbade further direct violence between the sides. His decision had been made. Conscious life would have free will, though the blood of the Angels of Guidance running through the souls meant that they were open to divine guidance. The Origin put a limit on guidance, though, in order to try to stop the angels from using mortals as proxies for their war. Only those who asked for guidance could receive aid.

And yet the ephemeral nature of divine guidance left promptings open to interpretation. To solve this dilemma, The Origin created the Vahlencei. He created one hundred of us, and tasked each with a specific duty. To one was given the responsibility for all of the water creatures. Another received the injunction to watch and guide mammals, another was charged with avians, and so forth.

Seven of the Vahlencei, The Origin set aside to guide the others, and to provide a neutral board to arbitrate disputes. Each of the seven had a specific task: Historian, Judge, Mediator, Messenger, Advocate, Defender, Counselor.

Given that the Vahlencei are spiritual in nature, The Origin gave them certain abilities that would allow them to affect the material world. He also gave them the ability to create others like them from mortal souls, using elements of universal chaos. Yet even though He had given this ability, the souls so altered grew twisted and abhorrent to Him. He turned away from all those so twisted, ashamed at this tool he’d created for the Vahlencei. Universal chaos, however, can only affect those souls attached to a mortal body. At death, when the immortal soul departs the mortal shell, the twisting bonds of chaos fall away, leaving the soul pure in His sight.

Taken as a group, the Vahlencei were tasked with material guidance and manipulation of the elements of His creation. And in the early days of the Earth, the Vahlencei were effective in managing the Earth. As time went by, life spread across the surface, and in the waters, of the Earth. It became too much for the Vahlencei. So the Council of Seven unanimously asked The Origin to create more Vahlencei, and The Origin complied.

One hundred more Vahlencei were created. Equal with the original Vahlencei in all but experience, these new Vahlencei were assigned by the Council of Seven to oversee humanity at a more detailed level than the several who were originally assigned. These new Vahlencai reported to the original set assigned to the humans.

–From Vampiric History by Innastartan, Historian and Archivist of the Vahlencei, the True Vampires

I hope you have enjoyed this origin story. I know I enjoyed writing it.

Vahlencei Origins Pt. 1

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I’m really excited about this new book I’m working on. I already have a decent beginning and a really poignant ending. I definitely think this book is better than my first…and I haven’t even finished it. Since I can’t put anything on the blog that’s actually part of the book, here’s some background stuff I wrote to justify what I’ve done to vampire mythology (i.e. completely re-wrote it).

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God, Allah, Chronos, Vishnu—whatever the name used, it always refers to The Origin. That is what we, the Valencei, know Him as. At the risk of sounding elitist, it must be realized that we were created directly by The Origin. Life on Earth propagates itself, and everything living today is hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of generations descended from those initially created, depending on the species. Through the generations, life on Earth became more abundant.

But this Earth is not the first created by The Origin—only the most recent. At first, The Origin put limits on life. Earth was simply a project The Origin worked on as he took time off from more cosmic duties. As time went by, however, it became apparent that life had stagnated. With the limits in place, The Origin realized an artificial environment had been created. An entire world had become, in essence, a zoo. Its inhabitants were safe. No disease thinned the populations; no mating increased the populations. Nothing died to violence or age. What had started as a project to amuse and be enjoyed had become static and dull.

The Origin could not simply remove the limits. Nothing had been created with the ability to cope with life in its raw form. Reluctantly, The Origin decided the world had to be abandoned. Yet annihilation was not truly in The Origin’s nature, so the world was renamed Oedain, and left in place as a lesson in the dangers of a world whose only flaw was perfection.

The new Earth was created using the framework of Oedain; however, when it came to the creation of life, The Origin paused. Oedain had failed due to the simplicity of its inhabitants, and the system in which they lived. Yet introducing randomness would cause increasing complexity, and that complexity would inevitably lead to self-destruction.

All-knowing though The Origin might be, yet His view is too large. The big picture and the entire sweep of time was available to Him. Yet the fine details of maintaining a balanced system of extreme complexity eluded Him. He realized his view was too large, so he created beings of thought and energy. These, He called ‘angels’, and into each angel He put a piece of himself, duplicated from the original. In the spiritual plane of existence, and only on the spiritual plane, these angels had corporeal bodies.

Once the Host of angels had been completed, The Origin instructed them to discuss and investigate all the details He could not see. In the course of their discussion, the Host split. In one faction, the angels believed that all living beings should have absolute free will. The angels in the other faction believed all living beings should be guided individually.

The first faction, the Angels of Free Will, proposed that only creatures with the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them could create and maintain a system as complicated as Earth. Only the adaptability learned from generations of mistakes and corrections, they believed, would allow the creatures to overcome the inevitable complications that would arise as time progressed.

The Angels of Guidance, as the members of the second faction were called, suggested divine guidance was necessary to overcome difficulties. Such guidance was required because onlyThe Origin could see the vast sweep of time and progress. As such, only The Origin could choose the correct path.

(to be continued…)

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