I think Real Life has finally caught up with me. I haven’t written consistently since the fifteenth of this month. As writing downswings go, this hasn’t been at all severe, which is good. It’s just taken my muse, but not so much I haven’t been able to work on any of my writing at all.
In the past two weeks, I’ve actually gotten a lot of writing-focused things done. Things which needed doing. For far too long I’d put off dealing with officially completing the first two books of my TPOM trilogy. Both had been languishing for months with missing scenes. I also needed to go through the second one to make sure I kept up with all the plot threads and had no discrepancies in characterization or worldbuilding. The latter was rather important, as I started writing on Chraest with these two books, flowing right into the second from the first in a single file because I didn’t originally see where I could cut the first book and start the second. I hadn’t built a Fantasy world from scratch in about three years, and I needed to make sure that with all the changes I’d made to the worldbuilding recently I’d kept up with things in the edits.
Since starting TPOM1 in on 21 Dec 2012, I’ve done several things with the worldbuilding. I’ve started collecting lists of spells for the Mages to perform. I’ve established some facts regarding Mage training in books like TPOM2 and a prequel novelette. Another thing I’ve done is established Chraest is not a world humanity evolved on and created a calendar and timekeeping system to reflect that fact. Since determining humans are “new” to the planet, I’ve figured out there’s a native intelligence, determined some of the humans’ history on the world, and begun building a conlang purely for fun and entertainment.
I do know the humans of Chraest, at least those on the continent where I’m writing these stories, are completely aware they’re not native to the planet, and that they’re followers of Gods who led them from the planet’s other continent where they were enslaved by the native intelligence. Part of the background is that the leader of the Gods helped free a number of humans who wanted freedom and led them back to the site where their ancestors’ ship crashed to collect knowledge and other things from the ship. They then, as per their agreement with the majority of the native race, built ships and sailed away (assured there was another continent by information on the ship) to settle where they knew they would be safe. Part of the agreement with the native intelligent race is that they won’t follow the departed as long as the Gods don’t lead anybody back over to free the humans who remained on the first continent. The native intelligence is not technologically advanced, never invented even sailing ships, and has no other way to cross the ocean. They were actually rather happy to get rid of the troublesome Gods and be relieved of the uppity humans who had enough memory of humans’ history to foment the remainder into rebellion for freedom. I may write this story in some detail at some future point, but it right now is far back on the list of stories I have planned.
I’ve decided to treat Chraest as a Fantasy world with some hints of Science Fiction for the present. This is not the first time such a thing has been done by a writer. Some many years ago, I collected the Darkover books by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and those are described as Fantasy with hints of Science Fiction, or Science Fiction with some hints of Fantasy. For now, the main hints of SF on Chraest will be the calendar, timekeeping, and mentions of the fact the humans aren’t native to the planet. I don’t intend to bring spacefaring humans in for a while yet, but I do have plans to do so. I need to make a wealth of decisions about it first, and I still have quite a bit of basic worldbuilding to do on Chraest before I’ll be willing to take the time to really focus on the SF aspects.
Now I’ve gotten the edits of Stirrings and the first two books of TPOM done, and have established this much worldbuilding of Chraest, I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit. There’s still a lot more for me to do, though. I need to do a lot of research of religious institutions’ organization (particularly that of Catholicism, I’m thinking) and military structure and behavior for one of my started projects. I also need to work out the timeline of my stories and the foundation and building of the Édalain Empire, Lissau’s history, and figure out the essentials of Ghulia’s governmental and societal structures for my 2YN project.
So, as writing downswings go, this has been a very productive and fun one. I may not be writing or doing plot cards regularly, but I’m getting lots of other writing-related stuff done, and I’m having a ball with it all.