Ten Thousand Squirrels

I wanted to post an update tonight about the positive progress I’ve been making on the manuscript for book three.  Normally, I write my post and then I try to find an interesting little clip art or image to go with my post. I’ve found that if you don’t post a picture no one pays any attention to what you have to say.

In this case, the image I selected actually warrants its own post.  Normally when I write, I have a picture in my imagination of the scene that the characters are in and then I do my best to describe it and paint it with words.  The image attached to this post is the exact opposite.  It really has very little to do with my book, but I so want to set down and write a story around this picture.  Its both cute and intriguing at the same time.  Possibly a scene in a later chapter or book in this series.  Who knows?

Back to the topic at hand.  I love a good dungeon crawl.  Having grown up in the early days of role playing games, the concept of a band of friends delving deep into the earth on a quest for treasure just gives me the warm-fuzzies.  While the Silverwood Chronicles are themselves fantasy, there has not really been a good point in the story where I could weave in a real, old-fashioned, dungeon crawl.  Turn to chapter nine.  Well, over a year ago, me and my creative consultant planned a dungeon crawl for our fantasy family.  Keep in mind, my creative consultant doesn’t have the background in such things as I have, but never the less, she gets the concept because of the number of video games she’s played.

I must admit, with the exception of the whole of book four, this is probably my next most looked forward to moment in this series.  While I’m terribly excited to get started on this chapter, I’m also terribly afraid.  Why?  You ask.  I realize on the outset that a dungeon crawl in itself does not necessarily make exciting reading.  I have to very aware of my characters and the end goal at all time.  As the story teller, I need to be careful that I do not allow myself to get lost in the dungeon.

Chapter eight was a stark difference for me from chapter seven.  While chapter seven was a real challenge to get through, chapter eight seemed to pour itself out.  I began chapter eight four days ago, and I completed it today.  Its been a long time, maybe since book two, since I’ve been able to pull together a chapter that quickly.  All told, chapter eight was a little over 5K words and it took me a little more than six hours to write.  Hopefully, I can keep this pace up throughout the rest of this project.  My goal is to finish a chapter a week, which means the rough draft should be complete in about seven weeks.

Anyway, feel free to share with me some of your favorite dungeon crawl experiences.  Some of you close to me will remember the event in which we were startled by ten thousand squirrels.  Of course it wasn’t quite as direct as that.  It was more like,

DM — You begin to hear a rumbling sound.

US — Stop and listen closely

DM — Yes, its definitly getting louder.  Whatever it is, you can start to actually feel the vibrations in the ground.

US — Ready our weapons.  Form up and everyone prepare for attack.

DM — The sound of feet scampering is growing louder now.

US — Do we see anything?

DM — Just a growing shadow, but its definitely heading your way.

US — As soon as it gets near we attack.

DM — You want to attack?

US — Yeah!  Go for it.

DM — Well as your party stares carefully at the approaching shadow you realize that it is in fact . . .

US — Yes

DM — Not one . . .

US — How many?

DM — Ten . . .

US — Ten what?

DM — Ten Thousand

US — AHHHHH run, run RUN!

DM  — squirrels

Laughter may now ensue.  It did for us.  One of the funniest moments in my Role Playing career.

Footnote:  Those of you who experienced “ten thousand squirrels”, may remember it differently or can add more details.  Tales grow taller as time goes by.

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