Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Category: Writing (page 1 of 12)

Redefinition

Way back when, and up through the early 2000’s, my definition of “working on my writing” was actively getting words on my stories. I think I’ve mentioned before how I did this. I was a pantser—someone who wrote without an outline—for all of that time and beyond. It’s only been within the past five or six years that I’ve made any efforts at outlining stuff. But even with that, my definition of “working on my writing” remained getting new words on any given project.

Because this habit was so ingrained, I had difficulty divorcing myself from the idea that the only definition of “working on my writing” was getting new words on a project. Almost 20 years of defining something a certain way will make changing that definition hard for almost anybody, and it was especially difficult for me, I think, because I identified so strongly as a writer. That was, quite literally, all there was to me, at least in my mind, until recently (we went over this in last week’s post).

As a result, I’ve been struggling for years to redefine “working on my writing.” I knew it needed to be done, I knew that everything I did, from background work to actual writing to editing could be defined as “working on my writing,” but I just couldn’t convince my conscious mind to include all that stuff. Though I knew I seemed to some people to include all that stuff, I really wasn’t thinking it all was included. For me, “working on my writing” was still very much just getting new words.

I think that’s why I had such a difficulty with my self-identification as a writer for so long. The two were irrevocably bound up in each other. A reason, I suppose, I despaired whenever I didn’t actually add new words to a project. In essence, I was pretty much a mess over my writing.

And then I had that epiphany, that I’m not just a writer. Like a shaft of sunlight through storm clouds, I suddenly had a brand new perspective on all of my writing, not just my self-identification as a writer.

Which has led me to my new ability to include everything related to writing in my definition of “working on my writing.” This has been very freeing. The whole thing, from my initial epiphany about my self-identity, to realizing that whatever I do with my writing, whether it be dumping notes into a journal to editing that work, is “working on my writing.”

Essentially, all this means I don’t beat myself up any more. If I don’t write anything, from a blog post to fiction, no big deal. I have and am other things to work on. Now, writing a blog post is something I define as “working on my writing” because, well, I’m writing. If I choose to edit a chapter from one of my stories, I’m “working on my writing.”

Yeah, this is a big epiphany for me. Something friends have been pointing out for months if not years, other writers and nonwriters alike. Ashe, if you’re writing plot cards, you’re “working on your writing.” Yeah, I can be a bit of a dunce sometimes. But then, sometimes I need other things to click before the obvious things like this can sink in.

What this means is that now I don’t stress getting fresh words. If I do, yay! If I don’t, no big deal. More than likely, I’ve spent at least a few minutes (if not much more) on contemplating my stories. Which is, yes, “working on my writing.”

Not Just A Writer

I’m changing. Or, perhaps more accurately, my perception of myself is changing. I’ve given you my background more than once, and I believe I’ve mentioned it on my About: The Author page, about how I first started writing back in the very late 80’s.

That was actually part of my problem. Maybe I hadn’t started writing until my high early high school years, but the habit quickly became ingrained. Back then, when I first started writing, my only initial aspirations to be published related to breaking into the Star Trek: The Next Generation franchise, which I pretty much gave up when I moved into writing my own original work. But by then, I already strongly identified as a writer. It honestly didn’t matter to me through my high school years if I ever got published. Sure, it would have been nice if I’d been able to write that one glorious book that broke me into the publishing world sometime soon after high school, but I was much too content with just jotting my stories down to worry much about doing much more than sending the odd short I managed to complete to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress anthologies. I think I sent two. Maybe three. All were rejected. Far from broken, I just shrugged, filed the rejections, and went on writing my daydreams down.

And thus was my writing life up until I was forced to give up writing by homelessness in Denver, Colorado. I still daydreamed, even though I didn’t get back to my writing until 2002, when I returned to North Carolina after being discharged from the Navy. Restless, at the top end of a slow slide into insanity, I had difficulty holding down a job and tried to make it on my own again. And almost ended up homeless again.

But I was still a writer. My first years here in Utah were hell for my writing. I was insane, which was not at all helped by my search for a spiritual home, and I killed my writing by trying to force it into a mold it didn’t fit.

And yet, I was a writer. Even when I finally shelved my writing to focus on getting mental health care and an at least semi-decent job. So, for a few years, I didn’t write. Not until my mom came out here to help me. First, she shipped the old Kitchen Imp computer we’d had in our trailer for years, since sometime around 1988 or ’89—the computer I found Forward Motion on with my first search for “writers’ websites.”

Because I was still a writer I promptly turned to my writing. Mostly healed from my torturous experience with trying to reshape my writing into something it could never be, I dove into the fantasy stories I’d once loved to work on. I had one real-world job after another, rebounded into one I’d had previously when a “better” job fell through, and wrote.

Through it all, I identified as a writer. So strongly, in fact, that I’ve struggled the past few years since my return to writing speculative fiction. Because I’d developed the habit of writing daily prior to losing my mind, I was still stupidly focused on that aspect of my writing. Yes, I was happy when I wrote, no matter how few days I wrote out of any given week or month, but I suffered depression and fear whenever I didn’t write. I mean, real, paralyzing terror that one lone day of not writing was the herald to never writing again. Ever. I was a writer, after all, and I’d once been able to write almost every single day. This shouldn’t be impossible for me now, right?

Yet, it was. What I had failed to see was that with the change in my mental health, a natural consequence was a change in other aspects of my life, including my writing habit. Those days on which I wrote I judged as good, great, fantastic, wonderful. And the days on which I didn’t write were bad, okay, pathetic, or dud days.

And this year has, up until quite recently, such bad days. This year, I have spent more time days not writing than I have in typing new words to stories. And that was the only progress I counted, because I was “preset” to think of only new-word days as good writing days.

So it was quite a surprise to review my goals posts from last week on FM’s forum and see how I’d declared pretty much every day of the week—during which I wrote not a single new word on any fiction project—as a good day. These days I did other things. I practiced and learned Spanish. Playing with my new cat was a fixture of each day, as was tending to his care. For the first time ever, I considered merely getting out to a psych therapy group and my volunteer shift on Thursday as a good day. Not a single new word that day, yet it was a good day.

I honestly don’t know just what to attribute this change in perspective to, but I’m glad I’ve had it. This new view of my life was very much needed, because I was tearing myself up over not writing. See, I’ve expected, all these years, to be able to just leap back into the writing habits I had back before I went to Colorado, and I foolishly pinned my entire self-identity on that ability alone, so when I couldn’t for some reason write on any given day, it killed me. I became, in my mind, a failure, if only for a day or two, because I hadn’t written on those particular days.

And it has been wonderful to realize this change in perspective. I am not merely a writer. I am so many other things, I can do so many other things and consider myself a productive person. This, I think, is a very important step in my mental health recovery. With this development, I can accept that I may never write daily again and not feel despair or fear. I have faith that, no matter how long my fiction is away from me, it will return. Maybe it’ll be absent only a day. But now, if it’s gone a week, I know I can survive without it and be happy. And I know I can now go a month or longer without being terrified that it’ll never return. It just cycles, like my bipolar, and I can accept that each day, week, month, year is going to be different for my writing side, than the one preceding. And that’s okay.

RIP Ferodoxis

Ferodoxis is one of the worlds I wrote in the longest, just counting years. I conceived of this place sometime in the mid-90’s, a few years after I came up with Elindu. Ferodoxis was supposed to be my signature Science Fiction world, plus magic. With stories written from the natives’ point of view—they weren’t human—I planned on highlighting some aspects of human nature that I’ve long been unhappy about.

My premier story/series from this world was supposed to be about a young female’s preparations to become the ruler of one of the last few nations left on Ferodoxis. She would actually come into power after the events of the series—which were supposed to culminate in a human invasion of her world. Of course, I had other ideas for this world, but this story was the one that I’ve always had for the world.

Then I went to Colorado and joined the Navy. When I returned to North Carolina in 2003, I was never the same. Neither was Ferodoxis. Over the next couple of years, I tried to finally make a decision about the bodily structure of the natives of Ferodoxis. I lost interest in working on the conlang I’d been developing for the nation where most of my stories occurred—a necessary step because they had concepts we don’t and thus have no words for. But the main sticking point was the physical form of the natives.

So, on and off, I worked on stories set in this world. I wrote a number of shorts, rewrote, rewrote again, and continued to continually rewrite the main story I saw for this world. I loved the MC I conceived for this story, Peikigi, and the style of her voice, in whose first person pov the story was told in. Her story turned out to be one of my most literary, in style, that I’ve ever written. And it was speculative fiction. After a while, rewriting her story took on an almost ritualistic feel for me. Unfortunately, I never made it very far beyond perhaps the middle of her first book. It just wouldn’t go.

Oh, in this was a period of a few months when I broke my mind and my writing over adding LGBT+ themes to the world,. mostly due to religious influence. There were also moments when I made the Ferodoxans more animal-like, other times when they may as well have been human, and other brief periods when they were humans. None of these permutations ever felt right for them though.

I also struggled with pronouns. An odd thing, I know. But I kept trying to decide if they’re actually male/female/bigender, or of no gender designations we understand—requiring more than two member to mate, or them being parthenogenetic in reproduction somehow—with the resultant confusion regarding pronouns. For a while, I contemplated other different uses of pronouns as well, most of which I’ve forgotten.

But I loved Peikigi, her stories, and the society she lived in.

Until, one day, I didn’t. Not as much as I had before. I realized I’d made such a mess of Ferodoxis, and particularly Peikigi’s culture, that I no longer had any idea just what I wanted to do with it. And I honestly didn’t care to figure it out. Much as I want to, I can’t even say I may one day resurrect this world in some small way.

So it’s RIP Ferodoxis.

I’m already piecing it out. So far, I’ve moved the concept I’ve long had for a society of people highly trained to be servants, bodyguards, and priests to another world, and I like what I’m doing with the concept. To be honest, I’m a little tired of the original concept, in part due to its attachment to the now-defunct Ferodoxis. I’m interested again, and adding this social group to this other world has actually helped increase my interest in the world and the story I’ve got going in it. Of course, I’m changing things around a bit, but the basics are there—they’re still highly trained servants/bodyguards/priests. But now they add color to a world that lacked detail, and that’s a good thing.

For a long time, I had in mind dismantling Ferodoxis like this. I honestly did not want to give up on it. And, in a way, I do regret doing so. But at the same time, I’m very, very happy with the decision. Ferodoxis had become a burden. By chopping it up among my various worlds as the old worldbuilding will fit, I’ll be able to enliven other worlds of mine, and the stories in them. This, I think, is only a good thing.

Confluence of Ideas

It’s about 10:40AM on Sunday, the 11th of June as I write this. Sleep didn’t come to me last night because I took my night meds too late, and my second wind hit before they did. So I’m up, and I’m fiddling on the computer, opening random Scrivener files and reading incomplete wips to the point where I have the most desire to read to. I do this pretty frequently with my incomplete wips. A sudden desire to read a particular scene will hit, and I’ll start at the beginning and keep going ’til I get there. Most often, I’ll read to where the story abruptly ends, in a spot where it really shouldn’t end, but does because that’s where my creative mind gave out, either in the outline, or directly in the wip where there’s no outline at all.

I did that until around dawn, when one of my writer friends came into Writing Groove’s chat. NPhoenix and I will often ramble at each other—her rambling has a way of triggering thoughts on my own stories. This morning was no different, and I think I have to thank, in part, my exhaustion for that, because, to be honest, I’ve made the most progress on any of my writing, no matter what I’m working on, when I’ve been exhausted this year.

So she started rambling about one of her shelved projects she hasn’t been able to figure out for a while, but for which she got hit with some big ideas last night in a shower before bed. I can’t take the liberty of explaining precisely what sparked my creative mind’s ideas beyond saying one of the major plot points hit me hard.

And reawoke interest in a story I’ve long struggled with.

Honestly, I forget exactly when I first wrote the original opening scene to “The Rose’s Thorn,” but I do know I did so long before I got Scrivener, because I had to get a program called Open Freely so I could even access the scene, never mind edit it. When I did that, I transferred it to Open Office, as that’s the only text editor I had at the time that I could write in. And there it languished for years, with me opening it occasionally to read as vague notions—or just a simple desire to read the scene—struck.

In the meantime, I got Scrivener, and I eventually moved “The Rose’s Thorn” into that program. Last year in September, I rewrote the opening scene (twice) and tacked two more scenes on the version I liked better. In those scenes, I came up with the official title of The Veiled Court. Shortly after writing them (by a few days, that is), I decided those additional scenes didn’t fit, though they read well, and I liked them, which is generally a good indication that I’m on the right track with a story.

After that, I let it languish. Mostly because the ideas ended with that third scene, and I blocked myself on the story by declaring two scenes I liked unfit for the wip.

But NPhoenix’s rambling reminded me of an aspect of the story . . . and built upon it on the 11th of this month. So I opened the file after she was done rambling and posting snippets from her shelved project. I read through what I had of the story. More ideas surfaced, along with the opening of book 2. For one POVMC, The Veiled Court will end on a cliffhanger. That seems to be my “thing” with novel series. Heck, even in the one duology series I have, book 1 ends on a mild cliffhanger that could actually be a passable (if mysterious) ending if I didn’t already have ideas for that story’s book 2.

Beside me on the floor between my plastic drawers and my rolling drawers-and-file cart, I have four brand-new story journals that I haven’t written in. I’m planning on opening up one of these and scribbling what I think of for The Veiled Court today. Because this is the most interested in any story I’ve been in weeks. I honestly don’t expect this period of inspiration to last beyond today, but I’m going to run with it, for it feels good to be thinking about any stories right now, especially one that’s languished so long.

Extended Writing Downswing

By “extended writing downswing” I mean in regards to getting plot cards and fresh words on projects. Over the past few months, I’ve done little with my writing beyond editing and the new brain dumping stuff. Sadly, I consider “actively writing” primarily to be getting plot cards and new words on my stories.

This has not been a completely dry period for my writing though. I have been scribbling notes for various stories in my journals. In addition to the three stories on my projects page, I started a journal on another story, a fantasy mystery called Return of the Moribund God I: Life After Tavrinia. In this story, the ghost of one of the sleuth’s friends awakens him one night, and he and his roommate go to retrieve her body from the river. This is one of my particular favorite stories, mainly because I just adore the MC I conceived for this series, Pliutius, who is a 48-year-old mage who’s serving his second deity—and is about to stir the interest of a third.

I’ve also started a “general notes” journal. So far, it has only one note, but that probably won’t last. I have intentions of going through all these 200-300 index cards I have notes for various stories written on. Some of these notes are just random ideas that don’t yet have a home that I’ve jotted down. A lot of sorting needs to go on.

Also, I need to go through my scrap paper notes and new Scrivener files to create folders for my World Folder Drawer to put those notes in. There’s a few hundred or so names written down on these index cards and some scrap paper sheets that don’t have a particular home that I need to jot down in my, oh, 30-year-old name notebook. Actually, I think I’m going to switch the name notebook to one of my hardcover journals—I picked up a few more at the office store earlier this week as the current notebook is a literal notebook with a soft cover that’s in danger of tearing from the wire spiral.

Oh, I have plans for these story notebooks, should I ever complete the stories I’m working out in them. A number of my writer friends and people I follow have Patreon accounts, and I’ve decided it would be a cool idea to use my note entries, and, ultimately, the notebooks themselves, as rewards for patrons. There’s a bit of other financial stuff I need to figure out first, though, so we’ll see. And, I also need to complete these stories and series and publish them somehow. If I don’t do the Patreon thing, I’ll more than likely find another way to share the notes to these stories and the notebooks (sets) with interested readers. We’ll see how this stuff develops.

But for now, I’m just working through the dry spell with writing. I can feel stuff working in the back of my mind, and I know my Creative Mind isn’t completely ignoring the writing aspect because I’m able to get notes for my journals. I’m also reading through various incomplete stories of mine, both old and new. And there’s also the editing. The worst writing downswings always make me disinterested in working on my writing in any way. So, I think this year is being just as productive as last year, simply in a different way.

I hope you’re enjoying A Pitch of the Scale. There are two more books (thus far) after this book, but I won’t be posting them here. If you want access to them, sign up for a Wattpad account and visit my profile there. I post updates about what’s happening with the DH series there regularly.

You’re a Fraud!

I’ve heard it said that all skilled and/or successful writers experience a feeling of fraudulence in their writing lives. Now, I don’t know how true this is all across the board, but a number of the writers I associate with regularly do suffer Impostor Syndrome of some kind, at least a little. Sometimes they don’t even need to be in any way successful.

For the longest time, I didn’t think I went through this. I examined myself and my emotions whenever I added new words to a project. Neither did I feel it in relation to any success I’ve had with my writing. Negative comments don’t really have the power to make me feel like a fraud either; I just figure the problem with my story lies with the reader, not the story.

The things is, I’m extremely confident in my writing skill. I know my stories are good. They’re strong, they don’t have (many) plot holes. Since I started outlining my stories, my writing has only gotten better and stronger. If nothing else, I have supreme confidence that my writing is good and that I write well.

But I do suffer Impostor Syndrome, and feelings of fraudulence. When? This took a little examination of myself when I wasn’t actively writing on any projects, because I feel this way when I’m not adding new words to a project. No matter how much I may preach to other writers, who are newer to writing, or more uncertain of their skills that as long as they write at all, no matter how frequently they’re able to do it, they are a writer, I just can’t seem to internalize it for myself.

It’s really been hitting me strong this year. More than once I’ve nursed negative thoughts or shared negative opinions on my worthiness as a writer since I’ve not been writing as much as I want to. Every so often, the thought, “If I were a real writer, I’d be able to focus on something and complete it” or “I should be writing. A real writer writes almost every day” slides into my mind.

And honestly, I don’t really feel like myself unless I am writing. This has always been the case. I enjoy worldbuilding. Developing characters is fun. Plotting things out is really entertaining. But. None of these are writing.

But it’s the way my writing mind swings these days, and it’s elected to be mostly in “downswing” mode so far this year. Not enjoyable, fun, or entertaining. I’ll survive though. Making it through 2012 proved to me I can survive even complete lack of creativity for an extended period of time. At least right now I’m able to be creative during my downswings. That’s something good, right?

Brainstorming

I’m always looking for ways to help improve my writing, either in the technical aspects, or in prep, or post-writing. Over the years, especially since getting back into fantasy in December of 2012, I’ve tried a variety of new writing techniques. Some have had better success than others.

One of those techniques was trying to brainstorm “privately.” A lot of my brainstorming happens in “public,” in chat rooms and in IM conversations with friends. While this is useful and helpful, there are certain aspects of the stories I need to work out on my own, and these usually take quite a while to sort themselves out—it’s not a great deal of the reason why it takes me so long to finish projects, but it can become a major stumbling block, particularly when it causes me to stall out mid-wip. And this happens whether or not I’ve got plot cards on the story.

So, I’ve tried a couple different methods of brainstorming. The first was simply randomly throwing plot points to stories in a file in Scrivener. When in the flow, I can go from typing to highlighting related plot points (which can be extremely useful for my mysteries). Unfortunately, this format is extremely troubling to me; it causes my anxiety to surface, often to the point where I simply cannot deal with the mess of text, even if its highlighted or otherwise color-coded.

But that was in a text-based file. At about the time I realized that I couldn’t function well with a wall of text in a computer file, the makers of Scrivener came out with a brainstorming/outlining software called Scapple. So I gave this a try.

My first projects in Scapple were total messes. Everything looks random, there’s no particular order, and even where there is order, it’s still confusing and messy because of the way I’ve manipulated the notes in the file. As I’ve grown more comfortable with the program and its capabilities and learned to think about how I want to use the program, I’ve gradually gotten more orderly and comprehensible files. So far, Scapple has turned out to be slightly more successful in helping me brainstorm, there are some things I leave out of it. Like worldbuilding. Like characterization. Like motivations. Thus far, I’ve used Scapple purely as a plotting device, and while I don’t object to this, I’m still writing reams of notes on random pieces of paper to keep up with things in Scapple, and one of my long-time personal goals has been to organize my notes better.

As a result, I’ve been looking for a different method of brainstorming, and recently came across a new method. One of my friends on FM decided to try and shave “a few” years off her own writing process. It took her twelve years to finish book one of a duology (between working and family and debilitating permanent/chronic health issues). She found a book that described brainstorming by longhand, and she combined it with cognitive therapy and started writing down her story ideas and plotting and such for book 2 in Superhero journals. Basically, she begins with a premise, and then questions her way through the plot.

Now, I liked the idea of this method for a number of reasons. One, and fairly important, is that this is a way of keeping all the notes on a story, from plotting, to worldbuilding, to characterization, all in one place. Another reason why I liked it is because it separates me from using the computer as my primary tool of plotting/writing for at least one part of the project. Third, I thought that writing my story-related thoughts out i longhand would enable me to get past the aspects of my stories that cause blocks. And, most importantly, I might not get as overwhelmed by my own handwriting as I am by walls of text in a computer file, mainly because when I started out writing, I did it all longhand—all the way up until 1997.

Thus far, this method seems to be working. Because of the low level of productivity my Creative Mind is putting out, I’m making only slow progress, but I have been able to read what I’ve written. It doesn’t overwhelm me like the text in computer files does. Not only that, I’ve been able to work past issues that would have blocked me for weeks (at least) if I’d gone straight to outlining these stories somehow. And I’m having fun doing this, changing ink color, thanks to the 100 gel ink pen set I bought a few months ago, with each page. I’m using thick journals, of at least 150 leafs (300 pages counting both sides)—one an an old tooled-leather journal, the others Ecojot journals out of Canada.

I think this new method of brainstorming is a keeper.

Big Epiphany for DH 4-9

I have had a BIG epiphany for books 4-9 of the Discordant Harmonies series. Yes, the books whose first volume is set to begin posting in June. First, some background.

Way back in 2012, when I started writing book 1, I had my friend Jennifer Amriss help me go through and develop titles for the series. Originally, I had the overall series title, Discordant Harmonies and three subseries titles: The Power of Music for books 1-3, A Life of Note for books 4-6, and Melodies of War for books 7-9. Book 1 was, as it is here, A Pitch of the Scale, a change from the “satisfactory” working title of Unsought Gifts. Book 2 is Severe Notes, book 3 Measure of Resistance, book 4 Antiphons, Book 5 Counterpoints, Book 6 Without Measure, book 7 Echoes, book 8 Cacophony Within, and book 9 To the End. In case you can’t see the theme, we basically opened up the Music Terminology Page at Wikipedia and drew up titles from it, mainly because it involves how music changes the magic on the world of Chraest.

Well, a few months ago, when I contracted for the covers of books 1-3, the artist who I hired to do it expressed some confusion over the titles, and when I explained what they were for, suggested I streamline them all. After some thought, I decided to scrap the subseries titles and just call the books the Discordant Harmonies series. With 9 books planned, I realized I didn’t want to confuse readers as the cover artist had been confused. While I sort of hated to give up the subseries titles, I understood the reasoning behind doing so, and mostly accepted the need, though I will admit to some lingering desire to use them.

This epiphany changed that feeling. I can’t get into details here, ’cause spoilers, but, boy, was it a whammy. It’s going to change things in books 4-9 in some ways quite drastically. This will move what was originally a climax for for the second subseries in book 6 to somewhere into book 8 or 9. It’s going to draw out conflicts for Asthané, allow Géta some time to grow and mature enough to face the challenges he’ll have in latter books, and make the progression of things for both characters more reasonable and much less rushed. Oh, and it’ll more than likely require the reorganization of the titles, and perhaps even the development of new ones.

What else this means is that I need to beef up the conflicts they’ll meet in the interim. Now I know why I’ve been thinking Asthané needs a better External Conflict. It means Géta needs better External Conflicts as well. Much as I’d like to keep the strict delineation of “subseries 2” from “subseries 3″, I honestly don’t think this will turn out to be possible. The original plot progression allowed for this, but I just don’t see how any more.

And this epiphany wouldn’t have been possible if the cover artist hadn’t convinced me to tear off some of the ‘boxes” I’d put around the different parts of my story about Asthané and Géta. So, special thanks to J.A. Marlow!

Turn of the Year Update

It occurred to me that I should probably give a rundown of the past two or three months since my last Nano post, which, according to my records, was around about the 14th of November. This will encompass the end of Nano through the 15th of January 2017.

To begin: Nano.

For Nano in November, I ended up writing on four different projects. The first, Independent Investigations I: Boost, I’d started in October. I think I mentioned I was going to start off November with that project. Well, that fizzled up ’round about the 10th of November. But, thankfully, my Creative Mind wasn’t done with writing, it just switched gears and got me going on Dagjhir’s second book, The Prophet of Venjhelin 2: Uncertain Times. I worked on that steadily until the 18th, then did one final scene on it on the 20th. On the 19th, and for the next five days, I worked on a brand new project set on a brand new world, Brother Exile and Brother King, which is a standalone. Then, on the 24th, the last day I wrote on BEBK, I started another story on the same world, The Legend of Boikal I: Unspeakable Evil. TLOB1 broght me to the end of Nano, with just a little over 100k words for the event. So, Nano was a grand success! I’m still proud of that word count. I’ve never gotten a 100k Nano before, and I’m not ashamed to admit my Creative Mind took me on a tour through four different projects to get me that count.

I didn’t write again until the 6th of December, beginning what’s looking to be a trilogy. There’s no series title in the first few entries of the story, just the book’s title, No Man’s Child. It’s set on Dagjhir’s world, in another country, and will, if I can write the entire thing before I die, a revolution. That dried up around the 8th.

Another brief dry period followed, and then I wrote on TBK1. Made a bit of progress on it, but it didn’t last long. Just 4 days, including the first.

Then I wrote a little on a couple of gay romances whose titles I won’t share, one new, one a rewrite when the desperation for words got to be too great. I appear to be making it a habit to rewrite incomplete gay romances I’m not satisfied with. Given my last experiences with them, I wish my Creative Mind would forget about them altogether. I do not want to repeat 2012. But writing on those gay romances happened on the 25th and 26th of December.

On the 27th and 28th, I worked on a new story, Mirrorsoul I: Revelation. I’ll let you ponder just what a Mirrorsoul may be. I’m not sure about keeping that series title, but I may have figured out a way it applies—to the last book in the trilogy. This is set on a new world, and I decided to experiment a little with the chapters. Instead of multiple scenes per chapter, I decided to see if I’d feel in any way comfortable with doing one scene per chapter. It was a tad bit uncomfortable for me at first, but the second story, set on the same world, that I started and wrote over the 29th and 30th, helped with that. I haven’t decided if I’ll rearrange my other writing, but to be frank, the task is rather daunting, though I really like the 1-scene chapters. This second story is titled, Return of the Moribund God I: Life After Tavrinia (ROTMG1), and it’s the first in what is currently a planned 4-book mystery series.

And that’s December. January has been much less . . . busy on the writing front.

On the 2nd of January, I wrote a scene on ROTMG1. Then I lost interest in all my writing. At least, until the 15th. That day, I wrote a bit on Mirrorsoul1.

Happily, the periods when I haven’t written haven’t been completely noncreative. I’ve spent a lot of time plotting and worldbuilding during those dry spells, especially this month. When I say, “writing”, I mean, specifically, putting new words down in a story file.

I’ve also been reading a lot. I was gifted a new Kindle Paperwhite by my sister for Christmas, and with the $50 Amazon gift card she sent me, I’ve purchased some books, including an omnibus edition of an old favorite trilogy that I’ve been devouring. I’ll admit, there are some obvious similarities in what I’ve got planned for my Mirrorsoul series to this old favorite trilogy, but there are also some very stark differences. The necessary twisting to make my stories different from this trilogy, and fitting the story into this new world, have created something of its own. I suspect this is as close to writing fan fiction I’ll ever get, and it’s not the first time I’ve lifted various ideas from some book I’ve read and twisted them to my own purposes.

One big difference? The MC in my favorite trilogy to read ultimately dies. My MC won’t, but he’ll certainly wish he would.

Nano Update

Posting a bit late, but this is an important post. I’ll get the story behind this switch up here next week. This week, I don’t have the time for writing even a short blog post on it. All I have time for is a link. Short version—I’m working on a fantasy project for Nano words now and updated my Nano project page so the address has changed.

New Stats Page

Older posts

© 2017 Ashe Elton Parker

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑