Development diaries, 1-7-2015: The possibility that Esker’s mind is damaged

theClaimDev

Good day. I worked more or less straight from 8:15-12:45, minus at least five pee breaks, and dialed in about 3800 words. From 12:45-1:45 I exercised and ate, and by 2:15 I’d hit my quota of 4200 words.
I was afraid I’d be distracted, staying home to work, but this may be the most focused I’ve been. Part of this is that I’m trying to economize on heating, so I’m keeping the house at 60 and holing up in my study with a space heater. So it’s only really comfortable to be in the study, and there’s not much to do in the study but write. (Well, or anything else on the Internet; I’ll give myself some credit.)
I think I’m over budget on Chapter 2 as well, although it isn’t finished—Esker’s conversation with Azmera the luthier is probably longer than it should be. It’ll be interesting to see if I get better at reining myself in as this goes.
Esker’s mind-battle with Boss John Dream was not planned, and may have given me a way into a horror angle on this story. I’ve always been interested in frontier horror—think Ravenous, the Saint of Killers in Preacher, campfire stories, this sort of thing—and it seems like a natural mix with the idea of a dead city, which is intrinsically creepy and a great place for all sorts of things to hide. But now there’s the possibility that Esker’s mind is damaged, so there’s an intrinsic uncertainty to any bumps in the night that we might hear. This was semi-intentionally seeded yesterday with the reference to “charms against nightgaunts”—I didn’t anticipate it going exactly this way, but I thought I might find a way in.
There’s also a long post today; if you liked “The plan,” this is more of more or less the same.

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