So last weekend was a long weekend here in Canada. I set myself a couple of low-grade writing goals: get a post written for Sustainably North (that’s kind of a given), and write a first draft of a short story. The Sustainably North post ended up a short rant about garbage and what to do about cat litter (I don’t have an answer to that last one – if you have any ideas, please let me know on the post!)
So that left the draft of the short story. I knew what I wanted to do – I found a market on Duotrope that wants short stories about monsters (and not the usual ones either). With a bit of thought, I decided to write about a monster from Imezza (specifically a kraken, because why not?) I originally started developing Imezza specifically to write short stories in it, so this seemed like an easy choice. Unfortunately, as much as Imezza is developed, there are still gaping holes in the setting. Which makes it very hard to stay focussed on writing in the setting right now because I keep getting sidetracked by research needs.
The main problem I was having last weekend was that I decided to focus on a character whose species hasn’t been very well developed by me to date (whoops!) And then the kraken itself started giving me grief. Do kraken look like octopus? Squid? What do their eyes look like? That last question sent me onto the internet for probably 45 minutes or so. I now know how octopus eyes see colour. But I never did track down what colours exactly octopus eyes come in (I ended up having to image search octopus eyes to see what colours they come in).
Despite all the research quagmires, in the end I did succeed in crafting a first draft of a story. It’s going to need a whole lot of work, but at least it’s a start. And in the process, I hit my writing goal for last weekend, so that’s a win in and of itself. 🙂
Life is busy. That’s an extreme understatement. Over the last sevenish months I haven’t been making any time for writing, which was extremely unfortunate. So as my added fourth goal for 2017, I vowed to spend one hour a week on writing. I didn’t do so well through January (I wrote a little bit here and there near the end of the month, plus built that chatbot, which took quite a bit of writing initially). But it’s the beginning of a new month, which means time for a new start.
I started out by writing down an idea I had for a 10 minute play. There’s a theater event called 10×10 here in Thunder Bay which I went to a writing workshop for back in 2015. I didn’t submit anything that year (I was dealing with sorting out my NaNoWriMo blob around that time) and hadn’t really thought much about it since then. But then I had a random idea from work that I wanted to get onto paper. It’s way too late to work on anything for this year (the deadline was back in January), but maybe I’ll get this into shape in time to submit it for next year. We’ll see! It will definitely need a lot of work (and an ending!)
After that, I also finally tweaked my Imezza and Faeriia docs to reflect the work I did on Imezzan magic back in December. Faeriia was an easy edit – the magic on that world will not use the basic elements at all now so I just had to take any reference to that idea out. Imezzan magic is going to be the one dealing with the elements now because it’s way more appropriate there.
I have to say, I’m very happy to have taken the time to do this writing, even though it’s really not a whole lot.
I think my next project is to work on a short story. There’s a local writing contest coming up that I would like to enter. And that would go hand in hand with my goal to write some polished short stories this year!
Today is #WriteFriday! #WriteFriday was started three weeks ago, on the day I posted my City of the Dead story to Apocalypse Madness. The idea is that every Friday is supposed to be spent writing (or at the very least, you have to write for an hour, as in the case of last Friday when I worked 9-5).
On the first #WriteFriday, I worked on the Apocalypse Madness story, then ended up starting edits on . On the second one (Feb 6th), I worked on a first draft of a new short story I’m writing (it’s in a notebook). Last week I was super tired from working all day, but I managed to plan out a story for this month’s Apocalypse Madness quote.
So this week, I’m hoping to write out the Apocalypse Madness story, and type up the other short story (which will mean doing some edits on it). 🙂
I am super excited right now – I was browsing Pinterest when I stumbled on this image by Thiago Neumann. It solved a problem I’ve been mulling over for months now: how will the sky whales of Imezza work? Now I realize that the image I linked to is not a sky whale. But just seeing this picture made everything click into place, especially since I was wanting some sort of sky islands in the world as well. It looks like the sky whales now solve that problem nicely! 🙂
Back on February 11th, I said I was hoping to have a workable setting by the end of the month. And I’m happy to report that I have largely succeeded! While my setting is by no means finished (I’m still missing a map), I think it’s to a point that I can start writing some stories in it (which will in turn help me flesh it out some more). So for all intents and purposes, I have built one of the 2+ worlds I wanted to build this year!
Getting the setting to this point was largely helped when I was able to make an unexpected connection to one of my earlier writing projects. Several years ago, I started writing Detective Spacelord, a story that was written as a series of blog posts. Detective Spacelord tells the story of Lubic, a police detective who is given great powers with which to watch over the human race. While I had a lot of fun writing it, I unfortunately never did finish it (or go back to it).
During the last few weeks, as I was trying to flesh out some stuff in my new setting, I suddenly realized that one of the planets I had created in Detective Spacelord, Imezza, had a creature that would be perfect for the new setting. So I went back and read all of my notes and old blog posts. Doing so made me realize that rather than building a completely new setting, I could take the work I had already done for this new setting and use it to re-imagine the old one. The benefits were two-fold: first, I now had a new name and a few creatures for my planet. And second, I hadn’t originally done a whole lot of world building for Imezza (mainly because I was churning things out rather quickly and didn’t have time to plan everything out in much detail).
The newly re-imagined Imezza doesn’t completely work with what I wrote in Detective Spacelord, mainly because the Imezzans and Camathu (Chameleon Sharks) are no longer the top predators in the world. But that’s okay with me. If I ever revisit Detective Spacelord, I’ll probably do a rewrite anyway; at that time I will make sure the newly re-imagined world will fit in with the story.
I’ve been working, on and off, for the last few weeks on my new fantasy world. I’m getting to a point where I can probably start writing stories about the new world soon. It’s by no means finished (at most I would say I have one third really “built”), but that third has definitely come alive in my mind.
I did run into another snag a few weeks back though. I envisioned certain creatures in a way that didn’t make scientific sense. I realize that this is a fantasy setting, but if things don’t make some sort of sense, it will knock readers out of the narrative. So I talked the problem out with a couple of friends, and I think I’ve now got something that will work; the idea will still remain true to my original idea, so I’m quite happy with it. As a side effect, working this problem out has suggested some story ideas all on its own, which is rather exciting.
But as I said, the world is maybe one third built; it still has a number of issues that make writing in it somewhat difficult right now. I still haven’t decided on what kind of ocean tides I want the planet to have. That in itself isn’t a deal breaker (same with the question about how many moons I want the planet to have). But a bigger snag is that I don’t have a map of the world yet. Nor do I have place names (or a world name for that matter). And even worse: only about half of the world’s denizens are really fleshed out.
But what I do have is a relatively firm handle of the other half of the creatures that populate my world. So wish me luck as I turn my attention to the other parts of the world. Hopefully I’ll have a workable setting by the end of the month!
As part of my goals for the last few years, I wanted to build 2+ of my worlds that need building. I have a few projects that have gotten stuck in the worldbuilding stage for various reasons. At my last count, there are currently 13 worlds that I want to build; these are all for personal projects that I currently am interested in writing (meaning that I have more worlds, but they were left off my list because I don’t want to develop them at this time). I chose to develop 2 for my goal because that seemed like a reasonable number to me, leaving room for other projects.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been mulling over one world in particular. I don’t know what exactly caught my attention with it, but the more I think about it, the more hooked I am. It’s going to be a fantasy world, but more than that I don’t want to say right now. I’m hoping to develop it as a setting for some short stories.
I hit upon a rather strange snag about a week ago though: what kind of ocean tides do I want the planet to have? By extension, I need to decide how many moons I want to have orbiting the world. And this has led me to the work of Neil F. Comins. In particular, two of his books, What If the Earth had Two Moons, and his earlier What if the Moon Didn’t Exist, caught my eye. In them, Comins writes a series of essays where he speculates, with science, what our world would have been like had it been different (having no moon, two moons, a thicker crust, and many other scenarios). I’m currently reading the first, while eagerly awaiting the second to arrive. While dense, I’ve found What If the Earth had Two Moons to be fascinating. My world may not need all of this science (it is going to be a fantasy world, after all), but I’m having a lot of fun delving into it nonetheless.