Some of you may be wondering, "Raven, where's the next page of Bloodwood? Come on, man!"
Well, it's done. Aaand it's not.
You see, I promised myself when I started this project I would not post a page I wasn't 100% happy with (ok, 99% because otherwise, you know). That I was not just going to make something and toss it up because I "should".
And I am just not happy with the finished page. I have tweaked, adding and removing elements. I have sat and stared, and stared. Yet it is missing something that makes it feel complete and evocative in the precise manner I'm looking for. It is flat. It is just not good enough to warrant posting. Oh, the design is beautiful. I'm very happy with that. But not the written entry.
In fact, this following bit was written last month as the descriptive text for Patreon, in getting ready to post the page:
"I have a feeling I should expand upon this material at some point, as the text on this page seems too short to truly evoke the environs of the cliff, and leaves the reader feeling unsatisfied. Perhaps I am wrong...
...Later, we learn of where these pools-turned-to-rivers flow, southwards. And more of the mountains -- what it is the elves find so desirable there we should speak of it here at greater length."
I do not think I am wrong any longer. My feeling about the material on the page has only grown more unsatisfied since, as I have considered and compared it to the quality and content of the other pages.
Which leaves me wondering how to proceed.
There are more finished pages after this -- do I move on to those and post this page at a later date? That seems the most reasonable course of action, but at the same time I do not necessarily like the idea. Though each page is its own individual artifact, there is a somewhat cumulative nature to the revelations of the narrative (as it were), particularly these early pages (and we are, after all, only on page nine at this point).
At the same time, it could take months to find the problem and rewrite the page to the point I am happy with it, months without the release of any content. And I do not feel that meets another promise made to myself: that if I was going to utilize Patreon, I was going to make sure content was posted monthly, to be fair to my patrons, and so as not to lose steam.
This page deserves to be seen, just not in its current form. In fact, it has steadily become more apparent this page needs to be two linked pages instead. Yet pages take me a long time to write and edit into a form I am happy with; consider the writing I have done since starting the Patreon project in December: a total of four or five new pages, plus additions to existing pages (not including rewrites and alterations), consisting of thousands of words of which perhaps half-to-three-quarters have been kept as good enough.
For example, almost seven paragraphs about the goblin hive of Kharm'zuul, where elves dream in cobwebbed slumber, of which I kept three (and waver on the third). Or nearly a full page on the broken land of the Pillars of Ka, at the foot of the Dragonbone Mountains, the text of which I abandoned completely as lacking quality and especially coherence with the rest of the project. Or the Legion city of Rivenford, which sits upon the Dun. The Ritual of Purple Orchids. The demon queen of the Spider Ghosts. The three gods of the elf-taught druids. The dragon oracle of the volcanic moor.
We need to talk about the eternal mists hiding nixie whirlpools and water spirits who drag the unwary down to gold-lined beds of weed, and the hidden naga lairs claimed of elder elf-holds secreted behind waterfall and within narrow, bramble-choked crevice. Of the precarious cliff-cities of the goblin Unshaelieghe, who worship the water below and dragonbone stolen from the Mount, and the abandoned elven citadels carved from the living stone of the Talon, floating instead of falling, tethered with bridges of spider-silk rope, and from which the waters inexplicably pour.
But the page just doesn't do that enough right now; or maybe not the right way.