Topic: The Sorcerer's Progress

I have finally got the first draft of the rewite of Chapter 2.  It needs a couple edit passes before I post it, maybe in a day or two depending.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

You're back to writing again!  The biggest disadvantage to this transition is that everyone put their writing on hold as they learned to navigate the site.  Good to see that you're typing and thinking about something fun again!

3 (edited by njc 2014-11-16 11:05:10)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Yeah, and I also realized that I ordered my Platinum Dragons in amber instead of yellow.  I've got to tweak the driver circuit; my driver and output stages are coming out of saturation with the bigger current draw.

Also found that Seiko has a better undervolt sensor than the one I've got.  I may be able to get my quiescent power draw back under budget, but it's a few more hours of tweaking.

And then I have to get back to the 3-way pigeon flasher, and the redesigned detector output.  And the physical design.  I just ordered the bottom tap I need, and I think I have at least one adhesive for the battery box.  (It works by pretreating the surfaces with heptane, which is one of the principle hydrocarbons in gasoline!)  Have to figure out where to put the status flashers.

Oh, the Pt Dragon is BRIGHT!

I still have to figure out how to associate things with this group.  And I have to put up (tiny) cover images to get that visual noise off the page.

And I need a pic.  I'm not going to throw up a snapshot, sorry.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

All that work to make a blinky light.  You really want your momma be available by phone.  She must be a sweety :-)

5 (edited by njc 2014-11-17 04:14:51)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

No, she's more curmudgeon than I am.  Gotta' love her!

The output transistor is still coming out of saturation at max battery voltage.  I'll live with it.

Now to staple that copy of Ch. 2 I printed and get to work editing.

See Also:

Postscript: for that transistor in that circuit to come out of saturation, the LED must be getting jit with about five Amps in each brief pulse!  It's spec'd for 700 milliamps, but that's continuous, not in 70 usec pulses over 600 usec apart.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

When I get old, I wanna become more truthful.  Be very afraid. :-)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Afraid of someone who's characters can kill entire cities and rip holes in the earth?


And I have that loss of saturation on the brain.  With a MOSFET output that wouldn't be necessary.  I didn't think it would work, both because of circuit topology and because of the inherent capacitive load ... but it might.  The numbers seem well within range.

Okay, something to work on, AFTER about 6 hours on SP ch 2, which has swelled to about 4k words.

Then I test the MOSFET approach.  If it works I save  4 parts and 3 nodes, at the cost of laying the LED driver astable out again and maybe tweaking some values.  But I could really use that space.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Are you done with the new chapter yet?  I have some time to review.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

No.  It's now bloated up.  I have to write it down.  With luck I'll have two four-hour sessions today, if I don't spend more than about three on circuit layout.  (The MOSFET output works.  It does hit limits, but I can live with these.)


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Chapter 2 rewrite done and posted.  I'm not sure I've done all as needs be done on this site, so let me know if you have trouble reviewing it.  I have to catch up on a bunch of reviews in the next day or so.

I don't know if there's a way to upload an image to show here, an image that's not for a cover or an author pic.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I don't know how to post a pic on the forum either.  Do you mean Chapter 2 rewrite for the second book?

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I'm so excited! Can't wait 'til you post!

13 (edited by njc 2014-11-20 02:12:51)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I have posted, and it's not showing up.  I'll have to goose Sol again.  (But first, I think, more edits.)

No, Chapter 2 on book one, the one with a very plain and enigmatic cover.  (Your grandmothers might be able to read it.)

BBcode doesn't seem to be italicizing, either.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

The Ch 2 revision is up, though you have to go look for it until we find why it's not showing up.  I'll let you know about future work, but right now I have to do some larger-scale work at the same time, both Book 1 and Book 2, and I do have another project.   And reviews to catch up on.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I reread Jamen's chapter and debated going into the reasons for why I want more character, descriptions of the environment, and more teen-frustrations from Merran.  But I realize this is just a repeat of what you've been told already.  Note that this version is worlds better than your initial posts, but you keep me around to nag you into being better.  So I decided to show rather than tell.  Your style is minimalist and mine is more verbose.  However, I've tried to walk the line and limit my blather and just added parts that amplify what I'm looking for.  Hope this helps.  I've left your text intact.  Additions are added in parenthesis.

(Merran's scream echoed across the face of the rocky slope as) The lurymant flew out of sight with Shogran and his prisoners.  (In a flash of rainbow wings, her father disappeared from sight, leaving her frightened and alone.)

"What do we do now?" asked the soldier.(and grasped her hand)

(Well, almost alone.  She bit her lip and stifled a gasp.  This wasn't the time to cry.  How could she get home?  Only Mother could help recover her Dad!) 

"We don't do anything," Merran said (and tried to catch her breath.  She'd never been anywhere but (blank) world.. "I('ll) figure out how to get us home."(she promised herself more than the soldier.) She pulled free of his hand. (")Father said that Armadurn and Diannen live somewhere around here."

(Stepping away from the broken rock, she fought to steady herself on a steep slope of the shale.)

"Look, I'm sorry about the fire," the soldier said. "Those two Royals--"

"Forget the fire(attack on my home)," said Merran(snapped Merran). "Forget the Royals. I need to get us back and I need to get help for Father and Barris." What I need is to have Mother here (she thought). (A profanity hovered on the edge of her tongue) That-- A wave of horror swept over her; she had almost cursed the charm and the soldier who brought it.

(The teaching of her parents were drilled into her.) Her parents had drilled it into her for as long as she could remember: a sorcerer must never, never ever curse anyone or anything. You never knew what it might do, or when it might come back to haunt you.

She looked this soldier over. Not a Royal.  He belonged to the local garrison. He's hardly more than a boy.(she realized) (His lanky mane was cut to the shoulder and a hint of a mustashe hovered over his lip, thinner than a newborn's hair.)

Her gaze must have unsettled him. He said (asked) "Why don't I just find my own way home?"

"Because you can't," said Merran (reminding herself with the teaching words.  Whatever her parents had deemed sufficient was all that was left to get her home). "No matter how far you walk or ride, no matter how many seas you sail, you will never get home without sorcery." (This fire-world wasn't home.) No sorcerer could miss the difference, (not even her).   Back home Elemental Fire was scarce. Here it was abundant. No sorcerer here would need a HearthfireShe paused for emphasis. "This is a completely different world from our own." (She looked over the view of forest below the shale cliff.  Occasional drifting smoke and square fields promised nearby habitation.).  (She paused, thinking furiously)

The soldier waited for Merran to speak.

I have to get us both home (but she hadn't a clue what to do)  (Thinking out loud,). She said, "What will (would) you do if I leave you here?"

"I guess I'll have to find someplace to live."

"No, I mean now. Right now. If you were out here alone, what would you do?"

The soldier took a long, slow breath. "I'd look for a road."

(There was no road in sight.  If it existed, it lay between the trees) Merran prompted him. "And then?"

"I'd follow it until I found a house or a town or something."

Or something. "How would you find a road?"

"That sorcerer--Shogan?"

"Shogran," Merran (corrected).

"Shogran." The soldier looked like he had just taken (eaten) a mouthful of dirt. "Shogran must have ridden that horse from a road. And the horse probably knows the way back to its stable. I'd follow it back."

NJC, this is what I'm looking for.  Short descriptions added intermittently.  You normally write in blocks of description, blocks of conversation, and then back again.  I'm looking for a smoother read by mixing it up a bit.  Jamen talks and you could give me a snapshot.  Merran debates Jamen's advice and I want to see the surroundings.  Does this help?

16 (edited by njc 2014-11-24 06:07:24)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

You're adding more than little bits.  Of course, you've got it all wrong anyway. smile  Merran is prone to anger, not tears.  But she's pretty phlegmatic overall.

You're not going to get the kind of teen-frustration you want.  Merran's romantic interests aren't going to wake up on schedule, and she's denser than Jaylene around Elston.  (Have I got the names right?)

But I'm hoping to do a fairly thorough pass over it.

In the meantime, I've put a sketch of far-future stuff up in Book 2: a meeting between Kirsey and Pike.  Just as your story has undertones and unter-clews, so has mine.  They talk a little about them, and other things.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

The point isn't about the details.  (Which is why I don't care that it is 'all wrong')  It's about the construction.  Adding detail about mood so that we know that Merran is phlegmatic and practical...that is what I'm looking for.  Adding the surroundings in the midst of her movements and actions.  (like the shale slope to emphasize that they are struggling to stand)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Was that a compliment or a dig?  Should I be miffed at you, K?  Miff...miff...


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

It's a sketch.  Do the plot/milieu questions hit you like a big pizza pie?


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Another possible future chapter here.

These occur as I see how characters' paths have to cross and what sort of plot things events have to unfold, and how.  Most 'what' at this time.  It also helps me see what I have to develop in the first volume as I rework it.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I have a draft of the new version of CH3.  I'm hoping to get it out in the next 36 hours.  Amy, you'll beat me up on description.  I think this new version will have a litttle more room to insert it after the thrashing.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

So go read the future stuff in Vol 2 while you wait.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I'll get to chapter 3 if work is slow tonight


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Well, then I have to rush and get it in!


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Not that it relates to anything here but I've just been reminded of some words John Dickson Carr put into the mouth of Henri Bencolin:

A corpse (let us say) is found strangled, sitting in a chair by a window, and wearing a domino mask; and all the clocks in the house are found with their faces turned to the wall. You are carefully warned that the blazing clue to the truth is the fact that there is a teaspoon in the victim's side pocket, and that, without all these things being just as they were, the crime could never have taken place.--You follow me? No clue was left merely to confuse; or because it was a reminder of the victim's past misdeeds (that saddest device of all); or because the murderer thought it artistic. Each indication was a necessary part of the pattern."

"What's the explanation?" demanded Bryce, his face lighting up with interest.

Bencolin looked at him. "I suggest you think of one," he said politely. "Or apply yourself to a study of Rose Klonec's murder. But to finish this mask-clock-teaspoon puzzle. Now, suppose at the denouement the identity of the murderer was revealed--for the simple reason that his fingerprints matched those on the collar of the strangled man. Would you feel cheated? That's exactly what might happen in life; but would you feel cheated? You know damned well you would. There is no doubt as to the identity of the murderer. He admits the crime. Then he shoots himself. Consequently, you never know the significance of the mask or the reversed clocks, or what deduction you should have drawn from the teaspoon. Page 315, 'The End.' What would you do? You would strangle the author, lynch the publisher, and shoot the bookseller. Yet why do you complain? You know the identity of the murderer, don't you?"