The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Drink Your Very Essence

Ripping pages out of SILVER BROWN and scattering them about these wretched social media networks has all in all been a valuable exercise, methinks. When I first showed the manuscript to friends and relatives, some would give me honest critiques. Mostly concerning easily correctable oversights. A particular deployment of punctuation that was too unorthodox for their taste. Important details that weren’t revealed early enough in the narrative. So-and-so didn’t respond like they expected in a particular scene. Things like that. But overall, their impression was always positive. I have yet to come across a beta reader who outright hated it.

Other reviewers were all smiles, raving about how great it was. I’m glad they enjoyed it, of course. Wouldn’t dream of taking that away from them. But the thing about positive vibes is that they’re like intellectual candy. The dopamine rush from that candy is certainly an upper, but it’s a fleeting buzz that ultimately doesn’t nourish. I need a big ol’ slab of protein every once in a while. The kind of cerebral amino acids obtained by piloting this yarn through a medium that is well known for having no shortage of critics.


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I’m currently in the process of editing Act Two, which is a little more intensive with (hopefully plot-relevant) in-universe lore. To an extent that I’m starting to wonder if it warrants additional editing to Act One. A definitive answer to that query has yet to manifest itself. In the meantime, the first act as it is now is being offered as the main course in a literary barbecue. A research barbecue where I observe for myself which cuts of meat people find tasty and which they don’t, drinking in all that hearty broth from the people’s brainwaves. It’s been a damn good soup so far. If it was a literal soup instead of a figurative soup, it would have chickpeas in it and taste great with communion wafers and eye of newt. Can’t wait to see how that broth tastes when I start posting the chapters to come later that are actually weird…


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“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Out of Left Field

SILVER BROWN was originally envisioned as a trilogy. I later scrapped that idea, reforging it as a single volume in three acts. Similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. With a few differences. The acts in my particular yarn aren’t formally numbered. Brief artistic interludes separate them instead. Ones that feature diagrams I created myself depicting islands featured in the world of the story, or the insignia of witchly organizations. Like this one…

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Last week’s draft had a Chapter Nineteen. Then one fine morning I decided to remove it from the manuscript. Entirely. After letting it sit for an extended cooling period, it dawned on me upon re-reading it that too many details about the mysterious shapeshifting entity known as Isimud were being needlessly spilled. I conceived this entity as a Catwoman-like character, in the sense that the question of whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy is open to interpretation. Chapter Nineteen killed too much of the mystery I was going for. It also had that out-of-left-field Whiskey Tango Foxtrot quality to it, like the “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” chapter from The Wind in the Willows. But I regret neither writing it nor tossing it. The process of writing it served as the creative appetizer to make me hungry enough to write the chapters that came after it, so everything has its place.


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Be here now. Speaking of shit coming out of left field, this is how that castle is coming along. The one I talked about last time.

 

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Title All My Chapters

This is a practice I’ve been doing almost since the beginning. Bestowing every chapter in a written work with its own title helps to give it some context, methinks. The few words that comprise it can be used to comment on the general vibe of the chapter or give supplementary information, in a way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the narrative.


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My chapters frequently go through several working titles before they settle on a definitive appellation. The chapter I’m editing now sees our heroes visit the top-secret lair of a powerful warlock on the island of ₪KLAVERIOS, who after several rewrites has evolved into someone vaguely like a hybrid of Morpheus (of The Matrix) and the character Q of James Bond fame, with maybe just a smattering of Glinda the Good Witch thrown in. This exhibition-heavy whopper of a chapter’s original working title was:

…AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT

After fully digesting this chapter’s innards and melding my consciousness with its innate atman throughout the editing process, the old title found itself abandoned like an outgrown shell. Replaced with the (somewhat) more cozy WHO IS THE TRAINER? It’s possible the original title might be claimed by another chapter down the road; it would probably fit the next chapter after this one like a glove.


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