So this will be my update thread about the hateful cuckolded baron story.
Tonight I wrote roughly the first page in order to get the feel and atmosphere of the story down. At this point I have a mental outline of how I want the story to progress, however it's still vague enough to not box me in when writing.
It will be a high medieval intrigue. The Baron has already found out his marriage has been defiled, while unable to lash out due to the powerful position of the duke. The story will follow the lowly baron in his shock and eventual plots. Just how far is he willing to go in order to exact his revenge?
So all in all a pretty standard tale that I hope to give my own twist. Still, in my head it's now more of a linear tale rather than a branching story. I hope I'll find enough time this month to work with the exponential workload of branching. Also I'll somehow have to make the poor sap sympathetic enough for you to care about his struggles.
Anyways the page will be in the comment bellow.
Your life was perfect before. For generations had your family ruled over the land stretching before your eyes.
It had endured long forgotten wars, it had endured cataclysms of epic proportions, it had endured your own mistakes in your youth.
It was here that you were born and raised. Your childhood a happy collection of bygone memories. Your adolescence bitter of strife and uproar. This land molded you into the man you were supposed to be. Its stark streams taught you caution. Its rolling hills forced you to become more perceptive. The people infected you with their stoicism.
This all made you into the man you are now. As you stand up from your seat, you look onwards, onto your land. The calm skies glace over mortal matters peacefully, the tall trees croak their ever enigmatic song and the rolling hills lie peaceful in their eternal rest. They are all indifferent to your hardship.
"Sir, we have found the den!" An overeager young page runs up. The excitement is practically dripping off his face.
You force yourself to smile, "Well done boy. Go to Garreth and tell him to prepare the dogs."
"Yessir, at once sir."
You watch the boy, a decade old page now, running back into the forest. Life hadn't broken him yet.
"Alright lads" you yell, "you heard the boy. Mount up and let us catch the bastard. By tonight I want my belly filled with tough meat and my head full of cheap ale!"
Around you a group of sixteen knights perk up, yell their approval and jump on their horses. The action forces your worries away. Moments later you feel the cold wind of air passing by your face as you gallop onward. You leave the hills behind you as you enter the forest through the road your ancestors paved so long ago.
Onwards, onto the hunt indeed.
Thank you. I'll try to not disappoint.
Alright. First real update. I've almost finished the introductory pages and momentarily stand on a proud 2000 words.
So the question I had asked myself was how to make the baronman more sympathetic. Overall I tried to go for the show, don't tell approach. However when our baron meets adversity and delves into a deliric state, I couldn't not have an option to delve into his memories. Below is an excerpt.
You first met her during a long voyage. Both of you were so young and full of life. You fell in love with her laugh, with the twinkle in her smile, with the simple dress she wore. You remember how you immediately excused yourself from your fathers entourage and ran up to her. You had no words ready, your eagerness only expressed as an awkward smile.
She smiled back then. She smiled back at you! At that moment you did not care about the words of your father. You held no love anymore for the betrothed you were supposed to visit. You laughed together, you shed tears together and you loved each other. You spurned your father and brought her back with you.
She smiled less. Your Isa felt unwanted, hated even, for winning your heart. Whenever the chance arose you slipped into the woods. The escapades back then were glorious, full of adventure and passion. You commiserated together in your hate for your father. Memories of wild schemes and impossible plots come back to you.
She smiled. Your father fell ill. The baron is dead, long live the baron. You could finally marry your Isa. Ah, your marriage ceremony was worthy of an emperor. Your Isa became your wife. Whenever you threatened to lose yourself in rule, she brought you back. She practically made you into the man you are now. You could share everything with her, wild ambitions and impossible choices. She helped you stay on top.
She.. She became more distant over the years. Unreplied smiles, frigid kisses and cold talks became a common occurrence. Whatever you tried, you didn't manage to get an heir. You did not care, blinded by love, but your Isa did. She withdrew herself, her once warm heart became hard and emotionless. You feared for her, did you do the right thing in taking her to your lands?
Then, suddenly, she bounced back up. Her beautiful voice could once again be heard in your keep. Her eyes twinkled once again. You couldn't believe it. The love of your life was back.
You spent those days working as an advisor for your duke. The work was hard. The duke didn't listen often. However the pay was good and the connections even better. Together with your Isa you managed to broker vital trade deals. You worked with and earned the respect of other barons and mayors. Together with your Isa you were unstoppable.
So I tried making his thought processes and emotions part of the narration itself. How does this read for you? Too jibberish and mangled, or does it add to the message?
Second update of week one.
Had little time this week, an exam and multiple late night boxing sessions kept me busy where I'd normally have time to write. On the plus side, I popped my shoulder last night so I'll have all the time the upcoming days.
The introduction itself has branched into three distinct paths. I rewrote some parts to not make the first choice a deathly one, thanks for the thread about that. Now it's finally finished and I am now just shy of 5k proofread words.
Also it's fun! There's something peaceful of staring at blankness your screen and seeing the scene play out.
If nothing happens I think I'll finish the story I'd like to write within four weeks. Luckily there's a vacation to really make the sprint to the finish.
First update of week two.
I am now just shy of 12k of proofread words. Who thought having an injury could be so helpful? Alright back to the story.
With three ending scenes I have finally closed off a minor branch in the story. It was a fun branch, where the player is slowly being corrupted. But eventually writing a dude become an edgy dude tires, so I'll be glad to move on. 3 main branches and two minor onces to go!
I get a feeling the story will be bigger than possible to write within a month. Still, I'll be going forwards with maximal thrust, guess around christmas I'll look how much is really possible and try to finish up the loose ends.
There was once a story about a turtle and a rabbit.. let's prove it wrong!
Anyways, is there a way to drag and reshuffle the order of the pages and/or chapters? The way things are going the editor will become a messy jungle by Christmas
Thank you for your kind words and you're right. The second set of sentenced flow much better, I've fixed it.
Your prompt makes me remember that one time I so innocently read the Grimm's tales. My kid-mind was not ready for any of that.
Week two, update two. It's getting somewhere!
So I just went past 15k words over 42 pages. Sadly I couldn't finish any more branches or add more endings. What I did do, was adding to the romance part of the game, blasting toxic early Weeknd at full volume. Fun times.
Next week is going to be busy with exams. So I predict I'll go full speed ahead with the power of procrastination and add another 5000 by next update.
I'd also like to thank Reader82 for some much-needed proofreading and an astonishing amount of high-quality feedback. Thank you, man!
Week 3 update 1.
I didn't procrastinate enough and only managed to get to 18k words. At least there'll be some quiet days off ahead.
Freetime got busier than I hoped. Still got one path completely finished with two more close to finishing. Then I'll see if I'll have the time to properly grow the last two branches, or if I have to cut them down to a stump dead end.
I am sitting on a fat 31k words now with a multiple of completed branches. There are just the two branches remaining. It's the two that have bugged me for the last month, that I have procrastinated until the very end.
Well, the end is in a little more than a full day. So I guess I'll have to pull a Camelon tomorrow and finish them.
I hate deadlines.
Technically, I didn't finish all the endings in the last contest ;) So you might not want to try that stunt.
At least this time, all my essential endings are already finished.