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Alderpod #16 – Chapter Fourteen: The Nithings

Yes, I totally say “fifteen” and “thirteen” at the beginning of this. I will fix. Numbers confuse me even when my mind is running at full capacity. – Yay fixed!!

After a lengthy, and unintentional break, Alderpod is back! Coughing, sputtering, and sneezing are hardly conducive to a successful episode, so I do hope you forgive me.

Notes on this episode: More about the Nithings, and back to Cora. While this isn’t an action-packed episode, I think it’s important to have a little lull. I like the dialogue, and love the Cora/Emry/Ezz dynamic going on in this chapter. It’s more of a character building chapter, I suppose, setting up some important facts for later on in the story. But I like characters! So, there.

And, we’re back to original music, and a new piece. It’s the first music that I imagined playing as Emry, and it’s done with the tenor guitar I acquired a little before the holidays. I finally strung him up, and got him ready to play–I’m happy with the final result, and even managed a string of melody (as I’m a rhythm guitarist!).

alderpodlogoChapter Thirteen – Initiation Rites

Don’t think this is going to be a habit or anything, but here’s the next Alderpod. Yes, indeed–and in spite of the sniffles!

We join up once again with Brick and the Order of the Asp and learn about some of their rather… well, let’s say “unique” practices. This is a chapter that, for some reason, has seen an inordinate amount of editing and still, parts of it don’t make me happy. But such is the way it goes, right? I honestly think that if left to my own devices I would edit until I passed out and there was nothing left on the page but: “The Aldersgate Cycle” Sometimes you have to let it go, knowing it’s not perfect (which is the theme with some of these middle chapters, as the meat of the book… they’ll need more tinkering than the rest).

But enough self-criticism. I do love this chapter, and it was once featured on this site, in fact, though in quite different form. About the only thing that’s the same is the conversation between the woman in the wood and Brick in his dream. I spent a lot of time trying to construct the ritual that went into it this time, giving Renmen a much bigger role, but also adding a touch of humor to it. As Gawen says,  “Of course, the whole vision could have been a metaphor! We shall see.”

Writing the Asp is some of the most fun I have, and now that they’re going rogue (in more ways than one) it’s even more so. One of these day’s I’ll get a post together that gives profiles of all the Aspguard, so you can meet the entire 30-person retinue a little more inimately. For the sake of the narrative, I cut back a little, focusing on the handful of core knights, but they really are a wacky bunch.

As to the next episode, we’re back with Emry and Cora for two chapters, respectively, so there won’t be quite so much bouncing around. I’ll likely record them back-to-back as well, as they both take place in the Nithings and have a lot of… well, needed exposition. It happens to the best of us.

Podcasting has brought about a very intriguing element to my editing process. Yes, I understand that not every chapter I read aloud is picture-perfect; occasionally I read a phrase, grimace through it, and keep going. I don’t have an official editor, and I know the magic they can perform on a novel. My biggest goal is just to tell the story, and tell the story right.

But what’s been really intriguing for me is not actually doing the readings, but listening to my own stuff afterward. I always listen to the podcast before I upload it and let it go live, and it has to pass my own test first. #9 was great–I really felt it moved well, was paced well, and entertaining.

That said, I’ve been working on a chapter that, until a few days ago, I thought was solid. I thought the pacing was good, the action exciting, the dialogue and secrets and mysteries engaging.

Then I listened to it.

And now, I’m not sure the chapter even needs to be there at all.

Or at least, part of me says that. The other part of me says, “Finish the damned edit, and then look back.” But that’s the problem: I’ve got to read this chapter for the podcast. What happens is important, though it could (honestly) be relegated to a short flashback/paragraph of explanation. So do I fix it now, and read the next chapter (one of the benefits of writing a multi-POV is that I can mess with chapter order if I want to)? Or, do I read it as is, with the caveat that it’s likely not going to appear in the final version? But do I risk the readers/listeners losing track of the POV, Cora’s, by having the story told in another POV (which will happen, if I do it the other way)… or… baaaah.

Fecked if I know, as Sir Din might say.

Suffice it to say Podcast #10 might take a little longer than anticipated to get to your ears. I’m working on it. I’m honestly leaning toward leaving it be, at the moment, and letting people decide. As I head into the center of the book, my standards are getting a lot more strict, I suppose.

Din lowered her voice, “You’ve got to understand me, Brickley,” she said. “These men and women—they are mine. I have shaped them, I have trained them. One loose cog in the mechanism, and people die. We all go through hardships—we all lose people, and feel our hearts squeezed to the point of despair over it. But we move on. We have to. Because we are the Order of the Asp—and by gods, if we don’t do our job, no one else will. And the world would be a much darker place.”