Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Brother Exile and Brother King

Issues with AEP and Progress

(This post was moved to this site on 19 November 2018)

For those of you who found this site through the link on my main site, you’ve probably noticed the issues I’ve been having with it this week, beginning with being hacked by some dirtbag. I’ve spent most of the past week since then trying to figure out a way into my site to recover it. Yes, I contacted my web host. Yes, they provided answers. No, I haven’t been able to implement them because of my anxiety. Suffice it to say, it’s been a major stress for me, so I’ve not gotten a lot done. Some writing, but that was pure escape. No reading of stalled WIPs.

But!

I did manage to finish reading through a couple-three more projects over the past week or so before this mess came down on my main site. Honestly, I’m still pretty much decided on Unwritten Letters as a definite project to work on. I’ve gone over the list in my earlier post and counted what I’ve read, and it’s actually all the way down through “Pipperelle 1” at this point. That leaves five, I think, excluding BEBK, which I read near the end of last month. Completely doable in the next two weeks.

So, as it stands, UL is a definite project. I’ll be picking 3 others, one to take UL’s place when I’m done with it.

Read or Decide?

(This post was moved to this site on 17 November 2018.)

I’ve spent a couple days trying to read through another of my incomplete WIPs without success. I’ve managed a little, but not much. Part of my mind insists on reading through everything, but the rest just wants to figuratively throw everything in eh air and make a decision right now. Can’t figure out what I should do.

Would kind of like a tarot reading on the issue, but I’m unwilling to ask my helpful tarot-reading friend for another, and I don’t feel confident enough of my own skills with the tarot (I’m just barely starting to learn) to do it. Probably going to have to bite the bullet and do so, though. My new early birthday gift tarot deck came in today. Bought it for myself for a variety of reasons, and I’m eager to do more than just shuffle the cards. There are way too many WIPs for me to choose from, so I’ll probably have to narrow the question down to “make a decision or not?” for the reading. Not sure what spread to use, as I want a good look at what’s going into my issues with reading the projects, but I don’t want to have to do a full Celtic Cross spread for it.

As things stand right now, I’m somewhat decided on what I’d like to work on beginning October: 1) Unwritten Letters — Actually decided on this, and I’m feeling impatient to get to it, which is probably part of what’s driving my desire to make a decision right now; 2) JID1 — I’m also fairly decided on this one. It’s languished for too long and holds enough fascination for me that it shouldn’t have been abandoned for so long, it’s just that it’s so much work and part of that work causes anxiety that I think keeps me stalled on it even with as enthusiastic about it as I am; 3) Brother Exile and Brother King — I have a very firm idea of the ultimate ending of this WIP, which is usually what I need, and the story is fun to work on (I really like the POVMC), but this is another I just haven’t been able to move on at all.

To be honest, I’ve been pretty much decided on these WIPs since I made the list in my previous post. So I think part of my psyche is balking at reading through the entire list of stories because of that. It’s thinking in my little hindbrain back there, If I’ve already decided what to work on, why do I need to read through the rest of these stories? And, I think it also wants to use this month to prepare for the writing to begin next month. Which would I guess include working on outlines for UL and JID1, making a decision on whether I want to reverse outline BEBK, and creating a nominal schedule for my life to be initiated on October First.

So, I guess I’ll stop trying to force myself to read for a day or two—say until Monday—and then make a decision on just what I want to do. I’ll examine my thoughts on it and try to draw the subconscious stuff to the surface. Maybe get or struggle through readings on one, a few, or (gasp!) all of the listed WIPs. We’ll see.

September’s Goals

(This post was moved to this site on 17 November 2018.)

I have two primary goals this month of September 2018:

1) Develop better self-care habits (with which I’m on a great start, eh?) in order to make meeting my writing goals easier in the coming months.

And,

2) Read through all the incomplete projects I think I have a good chance of completing in order to choose 2 or 3 to focus on beginning in October.

In my sorting the other night, I determined there are 13 stories I feel I have a good grip on. What this means is that I have a firm idea of their endings. This is necessary because I have difficulty completing a story of any length if I don’t have any idea of the ending, and sometimes a merely vague idea of the ending is also a hindrance, although that tends to give me something to write toward, which generally translates into me being able to complete the story. The 13 stories fall into two categories: Those with some sort of outline (2), and those without any sort of outline (11).

Outlined Stories:
Unwritten Letters – A novel which is currently a standalone with potential for a sequel, revolving around estranged lovers; this is by far the most complete of all my projects.
Jodalur Investigative Division 1: Masks – The first novel in a planned series of mysteries set on a science fantasy world.

Without Outlines:
Mongrel – A fantasy novel rife with political intrigue, about a former temple prostitute forced into a situation he’s unprepared for.
“Pruuch’s Story” – A fantasy short that is a sort of prequel to another story on the same world.
Exemplar – First novel in a planned trilogy, revolving around an unrequited romance, set on my Science Fantasy world of Chraest (where the Discordant Harmonies series is set).
Precedent Mage 1: Scourge – Another first novel of a series set on Chraest, which is not actually started but has something of a precursor in an unaccessible format on a thumb drive somewhere.
“Pipperelle 1” – First novel in a planned fantasy trilogy, which revolves around a young (relatively speaking) wizard.
Heirs of the Crystal Throne – A standalone fantasy novel full of political intrigue, about a ruler’s efforts to strengthen the presence of magic within his country.
“Incarnadine and Shadow” – A standalone fantasy novel with potential for a sequel, set on a world where magic is broken.
Married to the Moons 1: Unfathomable Medium – A somewhat dark fantasy novel that initiates another trilogy. More political intrigue here, concerning a young man chosen by the Gods to rule his people.
Mirrorsoul 1: Revelations – The first novel in a planned trilogy about a man who helps end a tyrant’s rule.
Brother Exile and Brother King – A standalone fantasy novel with lots of political intrigue, about an estranged mundane prince invited home to reconcile with—and perhaps usurp—his twin brother.
The Messenger – A standalone fantasy novel about a man sent by a God to prevent his nation’s fall into another war. Lots of political intrigue here too.

As of this post, I’ve completed reading what I have of Unwritten Letters. This is likely going to be one of the stories I choose to work on, primarily because it’s so near completion and I’ve got some one-liners about the final plot cards I need to write for the project.

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.

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