MIP: Válkia May 23rd

So as you can see, my map's slowly progressing. Well, it is a "map-in-progress". I'm lucky in that I don't need to rush this.

I really hope it's not turning out too messy. What do you guys think?

I just added a couple of things today -- some mountains nearby Tarne (necessary for a plot point, in fact), "The Great Arlean Forest" in Arlea and the "Northern Ranges" in Arlea, where I think another major plot point will occur. Also, I'd misnamed a village as Stonecrest -- I've now changed this and moved Stonecrest from its original north-west of Heath to mid-south Duthonne. The villages are fairly well spread now, although Robarre is still largely segregated. I think that place will be uniquely self-sufficient, unlike the other villages which work together.

There are four final touches I would like to add:
1. Two or three more villages in Meira.
2. A final mountain range in northern Meira.
3. Extra patches of forest, as there is currently only one major clump in each country, which is geographically ridiculous. (Not saying that any of my map is geographically accurate, though.)
4. Some minor rivers breaking in from the shoreline.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Sunday Update and Sample: May 22

When my friend invited me down to his house yesterday for a night of Sherlock Holmes and pancakes, I pounced on the opportunity, a chance for me to get away from the internet and all other distractions that I have when I'm at home.

The night was very successful. It was no thousand words, but I got my story moving along nicely. In the 343 words I wrote last night I managed to finish a scene and a chapter, with a nice reveal along the way. I won't tell you what it because it's a nice treat.

I'd love to get back to writing a little bit every day. I miss that. What happens happens, but there are steps I could take to ensure I get what I want, if only for a little while. So I'll make that a short-term goal: to write something tonight.

The next sample starts where we left off last time. If I don't start writing more each week, I'll have to cancel the samples until I am, otherwise you'll have read the whole novel by the time I'm done.


Faine said, “Then we need your help, for the good of the people. If this war breaks through, famine will run rampant. Emareus will be cut off from its surrounding villages, and supplies will be cut short. Like you said, who wants to live that kind of life?”

Fórdhain sighed. “What do you want?”

Faine grinned and nodded to Athrù, who said, “We must meet with the Queen as soon as possible to tell her of these dire circumstances.”

“I am the king of the Underground. I believe you've taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way if you're looking for an audience with the Queen.”

“Don't play games with me, Thief-King. You're close with the Queen and our matter is urgent.”

“What gave it away? The heavy robe or the golden rings?”

“Let’s just say I’m familiar with the factions of Meira.”

Friday Night Challenge: 1,000 words

Tonight I'm going to aim to churn out 1,000 words. This isn't a way to make up for the last half-month -- although it would be very nice if I could -- but tonight what I really want is to feel like I'm making some progress again.

Before I go to bed I'll update on how much I wrote.

*UPDATE* I got distracted with a song I've been working on, so I'm phasing the challenge over to tomorrow.

Sunday Update, Sunday Sample and Maps in Progress: May 15th

School is currently my worst enemy. I haven't written for half a month. It's sad, but I'll get back to it when I get back to it.

But while I'm here, I'll give you a look at my map, which is very nearly finished. I just need to add the final details. Click for a bigger picture.

And now for another sample. This a personal bit, and a little bit of a spoiler. It's also currently my basic idea behind what will one day become Endures Aura.

“You have Endures Aura.”

“Yes. I sought it out. I was an adventurous child. I ventured deep into the forest to find the hollow tree stump where, if you looked inside, you would find that it led to a small pit beneath the ground. Here is where the Aura would be found. I jumped inside and discovered engravings of warriors all over the walls. After that all I remember is waking up and feeling different. Like there was something new inside me.” Faine laughed. “I was certain my father would be so proud of me. Then I got home, and I realised I was wrong. As soon as I told him what I had achieved, he hit me across the face and stormed out of the house, saying he wasn’t going to wait around for me so slit his throat.”

Eoin shivered.

Friday Update: May 6th

I haven't written since the start of the month and school's return. Hopefully I can latch back on by mid-month.

I'll update on my progress again next Friday.

Currently, I'm continuing work on my map of Válkia.

MIP (Maps in Progress): Aundes Aura May 2

Quite a while ago I posted the basic map for Aundes Aura with just the major villages, cities, forests and such. I never had much reason to add the other things, but eventually I will have to, as I've decided it will be easier to work on the map myself for publication than to pay someone else to do it, mainly because each time a new book in the series is written the map will need to change. But even more, if I can do this on my own, that's less cash I have to pay out to get my books looking good and legit.

Here is the original map again.


Here's the map I'm working on with the free downloadable program "Gimp", which is similar to photoshop. It's nowhere near finished, but this should give you a good indication of how it will look in the end.

When I get back to this, I'll be adding the outline, maybe some more mountains, lots of trees, a compass, maybe water effects and possible sea names, as well as more villages that may never even be seen in the book. I might also see if I can darken the mountains (which, by the way, were generously offered as an image from someone over at the Cartograpgers' Guild).

If you're interested in working on your own maps as well, head over to the Cartographers' Guild website, sign up and look for some Gimp tutorials, but if you like what you see above, then you know what you can do without any tutorials -- even without any previous image manipulation experience.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

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