State of the Savage: October 2016

by Keith Savage · 4 comments


Views over the Perthshire hills above Dunkeld, Scotland

In the midst of grinding through my novel’s fourth draft it seems I missed last month’s State of the Savage. That was a fortunate oversight, for this month has become far more interesting. I’ll get to that shortly — consider it a teaser.

In the months since my last missive I’ve been wading (some might say wallowing) in the initial strokes of my fourth draft. The feedback I received from my alpha reviewers was very helpful and led me to look at the novel from a different angle, which yielded my own insights. The trickiest revisions involved changing the personas of two of the main characters more than a little and rewriting the initial chapters of one of my two POV characters.

That’s a pretty big change in the fourth draft because, in some ways, I’m starting afresh with this character. I need to re-conceive her and hit a solid foundation from which to revise the rest of her chapters. I’ve got character bios and headshots of prospective actors puttied to the wall above my computer, reminding me who they are, what they want, what they need. There’s Roslyn and Calder and Fyri. It’s like I can almost feel their frustration that they’re still trapped in these high-level dossiers. They’re screaming to be realized in the manuscript.

This is the tension created when a clarity of vision meets the struggle to execute. It’s what separates good and successful authors from the rest. Everyone can see their ideas in their mind’s eye. Few can pull the shape from the ether.

I have just finished a first pass on a trio of new chapters, however, and I’m confident that once I’m happy with them the subsequent chapters will pass more easily now knowing who this character is. My aim is to have the fourth draft finished by the new year. Wish me luck!

An Unexpected Journey

Earlier this month I received an invitation from the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust to see Perthshire’s autumn colors in early November. I have received similar offers here and there in the past, but, being USA-based, they’ve never made financial sense. The cost of the flight alone makes it a non-starter. However, the PKCT offer was unlike the others and I decided to seize the opportunity and go on my first fam (familiarity) trip. That means I’ll be in Scotland a week from today!

Perthshire is dear to my heart, and it has been too long since I’ve spent dedicated time there. The fam trip lasts roughly a day, so I’ve tacked on additional time to explore Perthshire and neighboring Angus, which has been on my list for awhile now. In total, I will be enjoying Scotland for a week’s time, and based on what I’ve got planned it will be a busy week indeed. Expect hikes, distillery visits, ancient sites, crumbling castles, incredible accommodations, beautiful places, and maybe even a music festival.

This is an important milestone for Traveling Savage. When I began the blog seven years ago, my vision was to create an introspective, creative, and practically useful travel site that never compromised on quality. My dream was that it would be recognized and rewarded as such. When I narrowed my focus to Scotland I knew it was a gamble. It’s a razor-thin niche that instantly exiled me from the world of travel bloggers, and, by extension, the consideration of travel organizations seeking bloggers for their fam trips. Hell, I wasn’t even invited to blogger events focused on Scotland because I only focused on one country (I’ll be damned why it didn’t matter that the country was Scotland).

I’m ready to make the most of this upcoming visit to Perthshire. I’m excited to share the experience with you, as I do with all my trips. And I’m eager to see what future opportunities this leads to.

Follow along while I explore Perthshire and Angus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


IainNo Gravatar November 4, 2016 at 7:17 AM

If anything, you should have been thought more highly of for focussing on our bonnie Scotland!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 5, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Aye, that’s what I thought.

ElaineNo Gravatar October 28, 2016 at 5:51 AM

Hi Keith. Great post and shocking to hear that blogger events focused on Scotland didn’t want you – makes no sense! But we are really excited that you are coming over to view and experience our beautiful county. We’ve check that the colours are blooming, and they certainly are, so it should be visually magnificent! See you next week.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 28, 2016 at 8:40 AM

Welcome, Elaine! I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited to visit!

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