Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Another Nano15 Update

I’m still going on my Nano project. I Validated the day Validation opened up and have been entering my wordcount totals since then. I’m going for the 30-day badge which is given for entering a wordcount all 30 days of November. I figured why not? I’m not sick of my WIP, though I’ve “slowed” to getting one scene written a day.

Right now, I’m letting the next plot card for the outline percolate. This has been a day when I haven’t wanted to work on it, though I know I’ll enjoy it once I get started. I just have to get started. LOL

Things in the plot are progressing well, and I’m guessing now that this book will come out somewhere around 200k. Gonna be a doorstopper. Frankly, I expect all the MOTS books to be pretty long. There’s a lot going on in this series.

I’ve decided some things for the worldbuilding. For one, while people get vacations, holidays aren’t observed by the government. So, there’s nothing like a Christmas shut-down, even in the locales where it would have happened previous to the current world government. There’s a firm separation of the religious from the secular, and secular things go on their merry way if they have no firm ties to any particular religion, and followers of all religions are expected to show up to work during their religious holidays, particularly if they work in the government in any capacity, unless of course they’ve applied for vacation time for the duration.

This changes some basic things about the school system—including the university of magic two of my MCs are attending. There’s no Christmas break from classes. There’s only a long summer break from May-August; school time runs from September 1 to April 30. And yes, I’m using our calendar. I don’t think they even celebrate New Year either.

I’m doing this not because this is easier than researching the holidays of at least the major religions in the modern world, though it is (and I expect to be looking at some point later on, so this is only a reprieve from the research, not a complete avoidance). I’m doing this because I’m trying to make Wevae different from our current, modern world. Though I’m including aspects of it in Wevae, I don’t want it to be a perfect mirror of our world. My creative mind doesn’t function that way. Yes, this is supposed to be steampunk, but I’m doing it my way.


  1. Sounds interesting! Though it might be more fun to create your own holiday—some kind of amalgamation of current traditions. A sort of holiday break in a school-based book can provide a great natural point of transition. You can line up the character arcs with the changing seasons for a sense of continuity and it also gives some built-in justification for change, as the holidays are often a time of reflection and self-improvement. Good luck on your book! I’d also suggest that if you feel like your book will be 200k because there’s a lot going on, that means you will have a lot of work to do in editing. It’s your story and you have your own goals of course, but if you are planning on traditional publishing it will be very difficult to pitch a book over 120k words. Even over 100k is difficult. Plus, stories tend to get better when you make difficult decisions and trim down. Just find the areas you are being verbose or repetitive and keep in mind the real purpose of your story – show character growth, theme, build your world, create conflict, showcase your premise, etc.

    Anyway, good luck!

    • I won’t be traditionally publishing this book. If I manage to complete the entire series, I’ll be Indie Pubbing it.

      As for edits and stuff, I tend to do that as I write. I’ve trained myself to write very clean and functional first drafts and periodically read through my WIPs to edit and rewrite (when I need to) the parts that don’t work as well as they should.

  2. I forgot to mention in my comment. I offer to give a free critique of ~4000 words on my blog ( If you want to send me over a chunk of your story you can email it to me at zsmith7390ATgmailDOTcom as a word document and I’ll be happy to give you some helpful criticism.

    *Edited by AEP to change format of email address

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