Well. It was harder than previous weeks to write this post. Not because there was a lot to write about — far from it! — or because there was nothing to write about — though that may have aided the cause — but because I was so frustrated with having to write the post at all. Not about the content or purpose of the post, no, but that I didn’t really want to write it when I initially sat down because I had something else I wanted to do.
Aside from that personal revelation, if I had to describe this week (and the new year) thus far, it would be: mountains of questions and a particular peak with murky holes and crags, which ultimately turned out to be mostly imaginary.
To wit: I, once again, struggled to make sense of all the tales, contradictory, repetitive, or otherwise, that compose my NaNo 2017 story and the backstory behind it. In particular, the chronology of all the tales, etc. This struggle was re-ignited by my desire to write the tale that caused me the most trouble during November last year, and the one which I ultimately cut because it didn’t fit what the story become.
But as I struggled to make sense of the chronology, I started to suspect that this particular tale might not be ready to be written. Though seeing The Greatest Showman on Saturday may have helped in a very, very, very roundabout way. If asked to explain how…the best I could say is positivity over despair. And stars.
That said, I’m tentatively thinking of using this cut tale for NaNo this year. I shall see.
A few other writing things of interest:
It’s been one of those weeks where I have lots of ideas, but nothing done.
At the beginning of December, I finished a biography that reminded me of myself when I started writing and old characters ideas, and from there to older stories, all complete but not fully revised or finished.
So I took some time and just…wrote up my thoughts on my stories. I actually used to write a lot of my thoughts about my writing, my writing process, and my stories. What’s equally fascinating is how I’d be leery of posting those kind of thoughts because those are very…mm…specific?
I name characters and places and the interlay between them. I reference ideas that may not be valid and it’s all written in the vein that anyone reading it will know what the references mean, what the history behind the references is, who the characters are, and what the connections are about.
So I’m leery because I don’t think my more useful thoughts would actually make sense to anyone reading this. Because it’s over a decade of ideas and characters and shifting stories. (And that’s not even taking into account some of my Nights of Heroes stuff — characters and stories — which is about twice as old.)
Sorry for the bland post. As always best wishes and writing!
So, I should probably have more to say. Or I feel that I should have more to say. But the main thing I can think of is a revelation I had regarding mapping the world where my stories take place.
I’ve done various maps over the years. There’s a certain continent that’s pretty solid, in terms of its geography and coastline. But the rest…it’s been a migrating, inconclusive tableau for a few years. Just when I think “I’ve got it!”, I’ll make another one that, yep, “That’s right,” and so on.
The thing that I finally realized was that all this time I’ve been trying to draw a world map. Or half a world map. Like one half of my writing world’s globe. And…that’s way more than what my stories encompasses. So figuring out that my map only needs to cover a quarter of the globe helped a lot.
Of course, I know of other countries and islands and kingdoms and what have you that don’t feature on the main map. But those places are elsewhere on the globe and I don’t feel a need to place them in relation to the rest because 1. they’re far away and I don’t know everything that exists in-between, and 2. they’re not as involved in the network of history and culture that exists among the main places.
(There are exceptions to this, but the handful of places off the map that I know of, while important for different plots and characters and locational history, are only integrated in very specific instants, rather than spread out through 20K+ years my story world has been around.)
As always to anyone reading this: Best wishes and writing!
The most prominent writing I did was NaNoWriMo. It’s kind of surreal writing a story that I have (and know) so much backstory about. Like whoa. There’s reasons and stories and such that probably won’t appear explicitly in it, but which have significance to the plot and characters.
Also, since I’ve been writing a lot by hand, I haven’t posted as much as I’d planned to. The first story (Tale of the Princess) is finished, as of yesterday, and the next two stories should be relatively short. And then I can get on writing the second part.
I’ll be the first to say that my NaNo story is, perhaps, not the most universal (I’ve never been good with understanding experiences deemed universal for humans), nor the most diverse. But it contains themes and ideas that have, apparently, been congealing inside me for over a decade. (Admittedly, I have other stories and ideas that are much older…)
Some of these include:
- A fractured being and the consequences; having been fractured and having fractures stitched or impaled onto one’s essence or soul
- A shining prince and/or hero who saves the world (but doesn’t) and has a sister (but doesn’t), who turns him into his shining self through her love (which she doesn’t); tales that build up blame on a woman for being wicked, as a witch or the prince’s sister or from curiosity or being selfish and vain
- The layered accusatory tales against monsters and demons; the difference between belief in the dichotomy of good & evil and creatures whose lifestyles and functions can be coded as “bad” or are incongruent with human life and development; also the difference between creatures that live incongruous to human welfare and controlled self-righteous possession/manipulation
- The woman who has suffered forever and lives in unending pain; can she be free? can she be healed? also that she deserves it for being wicked or corrupt
Will all these be equally prominent? Probably not. Do some of these (especially the monsters and demons) appear in nearly everything I write. Oh, yes!
Best wishes and writing!
It’s wild; I haven’t written a post on my demons (or demons in general) this month. I feel like October is usually when I start thinking about that type of content. But nope, it’s been more backstory, story chronology, plot pulses, and better character definitions in an entirely different project. That and prepping for NaNoWriMo, which I’ll go into more when November arrives.
So. The biggest thing(s) which have been on my mind is short stories. More specially, how stories (and plot) are constructed. This extends to novels too. For a long time, I could never quite distinguish between a story and a plot. I knew there was a difference. But I’ve finally, I think, gotten it through my head what the difference is. One is the chronological order of events. The other is the causality between events, which is strongly tied to character motivation and desire.
The other result is that I really want to write short stories: old ones I want to rework, due to character history changes, and new ones, based on content, characters, and what I’ve been reading. These will probably plug along slowly, being of a lower priority than other objectives.
That’s all for now, I think.
Best wishes and writing!
I still like the idea of, at least, ruminating weekly on my writing — what I’ve done, what I’ve discovered, what I’ve focused on, what’s on my mind — but whenever it comes to the day to post (usually) Sunday, I feel rushed.
So, I may try a different day (Monday? Tuesday?) And I’ll see if that feels less “gotta get it done, rush, rush, rush”.
As long as I’m here, I will say that I had deep character building moment this morning. Not just flaws and wants and interests, but the core cog of who this character is. And I’m just, I’m just so pleased.
This was a much better week.
I delimited the contours of story variants. I’m not sure how to explain this other than…having a multitude of ideas all crammed together and having to sift them apart.
I reflected back on my earliest writing that featured any content related to my demons. Re-reading that (along with reading LotR currently) has reminded me of where part of the impetus of my demons, as a created species, arose from.
I also realized (or remembered) that the initial emotional crux wasn’t only related to the Moon. Which explains why the story was ordered the way it was in my first draft. I also will have to delete a huge hunch of material, because 1. It doesn’t fit historically, and 2. I felt it put too much of the conflict’s weight on the gods rather than the demons and that’s been a sore spot on me for awhile.
I continue to work my way through the Nights of Heroes 100+ character compilation, finalizing names, years of birth, and rudimentary backstory.
I feel like I’m forgetting something, but this will have to do. I hope for one of these recaps’ I’ll be able to dig in a little more about what I’m talking about. More details and more personal reflection. Or maybe I should pick a stand out point and focus on that. That’s an idea. I’ll see how I feel about it.
Best wishes and writing!