IWSG: A New Writing Year

Published January 1, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Happy New Year, all!

My 2019, from a writing perspective, was all over the map.  I had a lot of struggles getting back into the writing habit after being unable to write for a long time due to the final semesters of my Master’s Degree.  And a lot of my plans just sort of fizzled out and got left on the wayside.  And of course there was the whole surreal issue of not officially taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time since 2011.

On the other hand, I’ve had some successes with my writing since graduation.  Well, “successes” may be overstating it.  But I’ve written some stuff that I felt was pretty good.  It’s just fanfic, but…hey, writing is writing, right?

Towards the end of November, I wrote a short piece fusing my favorite movie, Velvet Goldmine, with the Branagh version of Henry V, since Christian Bale was in both.  It was a simple piece, just adding in another Velvet Goldmine character as a minstrel-turned-soldier, setting up that they knew each other, and then having him intervene as the French troops are slaughtering the boys with the baggage, allowing a happy(ish) ending for the VG boys, and forcing King Hal to carry a less attractive corpse during Non Nobis.  It was a treat for a fanfic exchange called Yuletide.  (Treat meaning that I wasn’t signed up, and therefore wasn’t assigned a request to write for and didn’t receive a story from someone else, just that I answered someone else’s request just because I felt like it.)  The stories went up on Christmas, and since then this one has gotten the kind of response, numerically, that it would normally take three to six months to get, if it would get that response at all.  Part of that may just be because the stories remain anonymous for a week, so no one knows yet that I wrote it, so anyone who normally avoids my fics because they know my writing sucks wouldn’t know to avoid it.  Or maybe people just decided to read it because they were intrigued to see the bizarre combination of characters from a movie about 1970s glam rock being inserted into the Hundred Year War.

The recipient of the treat left a long gushing comment about how much they loved it, which really drove home something else:  the fact that I not only am not used to receiving compliments/praise, but that it actually makes me deeply uncomfortable.  That may actually be part of the reason I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to try to publish anything:  no matter what happened, if I published something, I’d lose, because if everyone hated it then I’d be crushed by all the negative comments, but if people loved it I’d be mortified by their praise, too.  There’s not really anything I can do about it, but at least I understand myself a bit better now.

Another thing I understand due to all the stuff I’ve written this past year (but especially in the last six months or so) is that I’m actually really bad at long form fiction, particularly things with a big, epic plot, but I can do pretty well with shorter, less ambitious works.  Unfortunately for me, a lot of the ideas that come to me are for long things with big, epic plots.  About all I can do with that knowledge is to try and come up with smaller ideas in the future, but I don’t really have control over what kind of ideas come to me.

My plans for 2020 are nebulous right now, in part because it’s hard for me to concentrate on anything because I seriously twisted my ankle earlier today.  (Well, yesterday by the time this is posted.  Pre-writing and all.)  Hopefully it’s just a heavy sprain, but if I tore a ligament or something…ugh, I don’t even want to think about it.  I’ll go to a doctor with it on Thursday or Friday if it’s not a bit better by then.  (Though I spent a lot of today with it on ice, and I’ve been keeping it elevated, so hopefully…well, we’ll just see.)

At least at first, I’ll be sticking with the fan fiction, but I’m still hoping to get back to that low fantasy with steampunk elements.  As long as I basically maintain my writing habit, I’ll be content.  On the writing score, anyway.

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