writer’s quandary

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IWSG – Massive Rewrites Ahead

Published September 2, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, pre-writing this post even more in advance than usual (today is the 21st!), because right now the situation is freshly in my mind and I haven’t been distracted by the other, much smaller rewriting project I’m about to start (and which I will be eyeballs deep in by the time this post goes up).

So, for the past week(ish), I’ve been rereading the series of quasi-Young Adult novels I wrote in 2104, set 17-20 years after the Trojan War, starring the illegitimate daughters of Achilles and Odysseus (both characters I made up) and the (equally illegitimate) son of Aias (who is a genuine mythological character whose actions as an adult have been lost to time but undoubtedly do not resemble my version in any way).  This wasn’t a simple reread, however.  This was a detailed reread, leaving myself a lot of notes using the “Comment” feature on the word processor.  Because I had a look at these already, back in July (or was it June?), and realized that hey, they were actually a lot better than I had remembered them being.  And so I kind of wanted to polish them up for release (for free via LeanPub and itch.io, naturally), which promises to be a much faster endeavor (sort of) than finishing the world-building to polish up that low-fantasy-with-steampunk-elements novel that also needs rewriting and releasing.

Of course, there are a lot of associated works that would also want fixing up.  The whole novel series started out as a spin-off of my Trojan War novel Ilios, which I had temporarily published via LeanPub and then eventually took down because I was quite ashamed of how bad it was.  (I have not at the moment revisited it to see if I want to try to fix it up, because I know that would be even more work.  Plus it is not aimed at the same audience.)  On top of that, there’s a novella called “Patroclos and Achilles” which was also a spin-off of Ilios, and which I directly referenced in the new introduction for Ariadne, the daughter of Odysseus.  I just reread that one this morning, and overall it’s actually pretty good (which is good, since it’s currently floating around the internet already…I think…or was it the other thing about them in the afterlife that’s already up…?) except that the ending makes me cringe, because it got a lot of things flat-out backwards, because there was a lot I didn’t understand about same-sex relationships in ancient Greece before reading The Greeks and Greek Love by James Davidson, and now that I do understand those things (and consequently a lot of ancient Greek culture makes more sense!) I want to fix anything and everything that I’ve written that gets it wrong.  So the novella probably needs to get the first rewrite, before I move on to the Atalanta and Ariadne books.  There will need to be a lot of work done on every reference to same-sex love in those books, naturally.  The mindset I gave the characters was appallingly modern in that for some reason too many people found it funny to think that Achilles had been the boyfriend of his friend and “squire” Patroclos.  There is no reason anyone in classical Greece would have found that funny…though there is the question of if we have any freaking way of guessing what the Greek attitudes towards such relationships would have been in the Late Bronze Age, since we have no written texts from the Mycenaeans other than clerical documents like inventory lists and notes on court cases.  (Though considering some lines of the Iliad have to be aged back to the Mycenaean era in order for the lines to be restored to their proper dactylic hexameter, it does seem possible, if not probable, that enough of the mythic aspects of the culture were unchanged by the end of the Bronze Age that they can be taken to reflect many of the cultural details of the era in which they were set.  Possibly.)

Anyway, the same-sex stuff is pretty minor in the Atalanta and Ariadne books (which really need a series title, but I’m not sure what the heck it would be, considering the early books give no indication just what a massive foe they’re eventually going to go up against, even though at foe’s servants have been targeting them at least since book one, if not from several years before it) compared to a lot of the other things that need fixing.  Matters of clothing for non-Greek peoples at the time (though at least I did learn at some point post-writing them that they would absolutely know what trousers are, so I can dispense with the absurd descriptions of “leg sleeves”) are one of the things that need a thorough fixing, but at least that’s something that will be relatively easily dealt with.

The biggest problem is how to handle the lack of money.

And no, I don’t mean I’m broke.  (Though I do have less of it than I’d like since I lost my job.)  And I don’t mean my heroic trio is broke, either.

I mean the fact that they didn’t have coinage yet in the Late Bronze Age.

I apparently didn’t know that when I was writing these books, especially the first one, which (among other things) has a fairly lengthy and important sequence in a marketplace.

How do you write a marketplace in a barter economy?

I mean, I know they had them.  The Mexica (aka Aztecs) had marketplaces, but in their case it was made simpler because they used cacao beans as a form of proto-currency (which even led to a form of counterfeiting, because some people would hollow out the beans and be trading with empty husks!), but that’s the only case I’m aware of in which there are written records of a non-money-based market.  (The written records being the accounts of the conquistadores seeing said market, so they are not the greatest of records, being essentially tourist accounts written by people of lesser education and not scholarly analyses.)  Based on the Iliad, the main way things seem to have been “valued” was by how many oxen they were worth, but I can’t really have two teenage girls and an early twenties young man carrying oxen about to trade with.  (Though it would be amusing to see them try it!  Goodness knows Atalanta would probably be able to carry a small ox a short distance, as could Eurysakes…maybe.  Ariadne, no.  Just no.  A very small calf, maybe.  A lamb or a kid, definitely.  But I don’t recall measurements of value in sheep and goats, just oxen.  Though I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been years at this point since I last read the Iliad.)

Does anyone know of any books — fiction or non-fiction — about how people might hold a market in a place without money?

I could really use some examples, whether how other people handle it in fiction or how people in reality dealt with things before there was money.  (I mean, realistically, how did food get shared about?  Did the nobles gather up the food from the farmers and then redistribute it to the people, or did the farmers take it to a market to trade it for other things they needed, like clothes, new animals or hired hands?)  Outside of the first book, it’s not going to be a huge issue, since they mostly get what they need in the later books via guest-friendship as they spend a lot of time visiting (and often going on quests for) kings who had fought alongside their fathers at Troy, but wow, is that first book hamstrung until I know how to handle the marketplace!

Additionally, there are various other concerns, mostly around trying to make the books line up better with history/archaeology.  There are a lot of books I read in the two years after writing the books that dealt with the subject of that area in the Late Bronze Age, like The Ahhiyawa Texts, but that was years ago now, and I’ve forgotten a lot of the details, and some of them were gotten out of the university library that I no longer have access to now that I’ve graduated, while others are probably in this house somewhere but I have no freaking idea where because my life is a pigsty.  For two of the books, I’d also need to do a lot of research into what Babylon looked like at the time, and what the court of Ramses II would have looked like, but those shouldn’t be too difficult with non-academic sources…I hope.

Speaking of other things that need fixing up, you may have noticed the word “squire” in quotes up above.  The translation of the Iliad that I’m fond of (it’s prose instead of trying to force the translation into English verse, and it uses the proper Greek names instead of Roman ones) is from like 1913 (give or take a decade), so it does use some awkward things like describing Meriones as “nephew and squire” of Idomeneus, and describing people as “knightly” and so on.  That means those things got into my books, too.  😦  It is so annoying, and decidedly anachronistic, but I have no idea what the period-appropriate term would be.  While I’m sure most readers would probably accept using the anachronistic medieval term “squire” since it’s quite easy for modern people to understand what it means about the person’s professional role, I dislike it for its extreme anachronism.  I should probably have a look at the most recent translation(s) of the Iliad and see how they handled whatever term was being replaced with “squire”.  Mostly, this is only going to impact the prologues (each book has a prologue set during the war) and when they meet certain Trojan War veterans (including the aforementioned Meriones), but it’s something I want to be able to fix on general principles.

A more wide-ranging problem is that I have to figure out how much a sixteen-year-old slave girl in the Late Bronze Age who had somehow kept herself entirely chaste would typically have known about sex.  Because one of the ways I wanted Atalanta and Ariadne to be different from their fathers is that they remain virgins, unlike Atalanta’s father who was quite lusty (the number of his accomplished/potential/desired conquests at Troy seems to grow every time I read a new book on the subject) and unlike Ariadne’s father who slept his way around the Mediterranean for ten years before finally going home to his all-too-faithful wife.  For some reason, when I was first writing these, I decided to accomplish that by having Atalanta nearly kill a man to stop him from raping her, following which Athene erased all her memories of the very concept of sex, and nothing can ever make her remember that sex even exists.

I have no idea why I did something so mind-bogglingly stupid.

My new version is much more simple:  she’s asexual.

I think the reason for the bizarre backstory gymnastics is that I wrote these books about a year and a half before I came to understand that I myself am asexual, so…I don’t know.  As an explanation, it doesn’t entirely make sense, but it’s the best one I can come up with, honestly.

Whatever the reason I originally wrote it, it has to go.  Now, I do want Atalanta to retain a childlike innocence (including on sexual matters), but there’s not going to be anything supernatural or traumatic about it.  She’s just not terribly bright and doesn’t pick up on subtext and subtle details of situations, and the classical Greeks certainly didn’t like to…well, they didn’t like to write about sex, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t like to talk about it and doesn’t necessarily mean the same was the case about their Late Bronze Age ancestors, but one does tend to fill in the gaps with the historical culture when one is dealing with the Greek Heroic Age.  Anyway, I have to decide just how much she knows, and how much she suspects of what she doesn’t know, and how she would interpret any mentions of things she doesn’t know.  That will have to be figured out before I can start writing, and it will be a lot of work making sure to catch every single absurd instance and replace it with something more simple and believable.  Atalanta spent all seven books sort of traipsing back and forth across the line from “possessing the mind of an absurdly stupid child” to “just a little bit dim and very innocent”, and that’s generally something I need to fix.  I also need to fix Ariadne’s side of their relationship; they’re very co-dependent, in an entirely platonic, non-romantic way on Atalanta’s part, whereas I realized late in the game that Ariadne is actually in love with Atalanta and refusing to admit it even to herself, so I need to work that in and make it more obvious throughout and yet in a way that makes it clear that Ariadne will never be willing to act on her feelings.  (That may be a more subtle task than I’m capable of, but we’ll just have to see what happens in the new drafts!)

I also have various other things I have to decide on, too.  Like, I don’t want to use the Aeneid‘s version of the immediate post-Troy events, but I also have scattered throughout the books various references to the journey of “Aeneas” with his band of Trojan refugees.  So I’m thinking of setting up something halfway between the Iliad‘s version of post-Troy events (in which Poseidon commented that Aineias was to become the new king of Troy after the war) and the Roman version, so that Aineias became King of Troy as planned by the Greek gods, only then Korythos (son of Alexander/Paris by his first wife, the nymph Oenone) drives him out and takes over the kingship, so Aineias still sets off for the future site of Rome.  (And I don’t think the gens Julius completely made up the idea of Roman descent from Aeneas/Aineias; I think they did get that from some of the Greek settlers in Italy, as the ancient Greeks did love to set up mythical ancestors for various people they met (Medes, Perses, etc).)  But I’ll have to decide when that happened, how far they had gotten in rebuilding the walls, how much violence was entailed, why in the world Aineias would have fled rather than stayed and continued to fight (especially against a son of that weakling Alexander!) and so forth.  Some versions of the abduction of Helen do include Aineias having gone with Alexander to Sparta, so maybe this should be a version like that (though there’s no indication of Aineias being there in the one flashback I have to the abduction itself…though given the presence of his mother in the flashback it wouldn’t be hard to believe it) and Korythos makes the demand to the remaining people of Troy that they shouldn’t follow Aineias since he aided and abetted in the arrival of the harlot who ruined the marriage of Korythos’ parents and for whose sake the citadel of Troy was besieged for ten years and then destroyed.  Yeah, that might work, actually.  Korythos wouldn’t even need an army if he turned the majority of the people against Aineias.  Cool, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Names, on the other hand, are something to worry about.  Specifically, how far do I want to go in using the Greek names?  Like, some of them are easy.  Patroclos > Patroclus, Aias > Ajax, Aineias > Aeneas, Heracles > Hercules, Zeus > Jupiter (like anyone now would use that in a Greek setting, lol), but do I want to go the whole hog?  Do I want to use Achilleus instead of Achilles, Alexandros instead of Alexander, Ganymedes instead of Ganymede, Bellerophontes instead of Bellerophon…stuff like that.  (And yes, all those names do come up in the books.  (BTW, the spellchecker in my browser is insisting that the correct spelling of “Bellerophon” is “Telephoner”.  Like, wow.))  Part of me is annoyed with myself for using any of the Romanized/Anglicized versions, but the rest of me is like “seriously, Achilleus and Ganymedes?” (For some reason I’m much more cool with Bellerophontes than a lot of the other typically-always-Romanized/Anglicized-even-by-scholars names.)

Speaking of names, I’m not even sure what I should be calling the Greek people as a group.  For the historic period, Hellenes would be correct, and I do use it sometimes.  In the Iliad, the names Achaians, Danaans and Argives are used pretty much as direct synonyms, chosen for metrical reasons.  Of course, Argives was right out as a choice in my books because that specifically means people from Argos.  Achaians — while the source of the Hittite name for the Mycenaean Greeks, Ahhiyawa — seems most likely to refer specifically to people from Achaia Phthiotis, the region of Thessaly where Achilles’ father Peleus reigned.  (Unlike the classical Greeks with their city-states, the Mycenaeans seem to have had kingdoms in more of the sense we think of for Medieval Europe.  As far as I can tell.  Which isn’t far.)  Danaan was likewise the source of a foreign name that may have referred to Mycenaean Greeks (Danaja, used by the Egyptians and possibly also the Phoenicians, and which I do have Ramses II use), but as I recall it doesn’t even refer to a particular location in Greece, but rather to a mythical ancestor figure.  I’m not sure if that makes it more likely to have been what the Mycenaeans called themselves (Hellas and Hellene, after all, coming from the mythical figure Hellen) or if it was actually applied to them by mistake by their contemporaries and then the mythical figure was made up to explain it after it had stuck.  (The mythical figure might have even been made up in the classical period to explain the LBA-authentic name Danaan used in Homer, for all I know.  There are, after all, many things in the Iliad that are accurate to the Late Bronze Age but not to the classical era, particularly in the Catalog of Ships, where some of the places were so long gone by the historic period that no one even knew where they had been.)  There’s a lot that the scholarly community doesn’t know about this sort of thing, and even more that I don’t know, since it’s been years since I did the research, and I never got too far into the really detailed and up-to-date research even back then.  What would actually be correct is, of course, of lesser importance in this case than the basic question of which name should I use?  In the original drafts of the books, I primarily used Achaians, with a pretty hefty dose of Hellenes, and the occasional Danaans thrown in there just to be confusing.  😛  At some point after the novels were finished, I wrote an invocation of the Muse-type intro to the series that defined Achaians as people from northern Greece and Danaans as people from the Peloponnese, which is not entirely out of line with scholarly thinking as far as I remember and is entirely in line with how foreign people use the related terms (since the Hittites were more northerly and the Egyptians directly south), but…I dunno.  Among other things, trying to define the peoples by where they live in an invocation to the Muse feels weird in and of itself!  (But on the other hand it would at least give me some consistency, while still allowing the Egyptians to call them Danaja.)

*sigh*

I could probably keep going with this post forever and not run out of issues I’m going to have with these rewrites, but I’ve been at this for like three hours now, so I think I better stop.  Especially since I was supposed to be spending this afternoon sorting through the ghastly build up in my inbox.  😦  Guess that’s being put off yet another day…

Anyway, my biggest worry at the moment is, as I indicated, how in the world to handle a marketplace in a pre-money economy.  I’d like it to be as realistic as possible to what the Late Bronze Age was like, but how in the world does one look up what a Hittite marketplace looked like ca. 1230 BCE?  (It’s the marketplace in the mostly-rebuilt Troy, which was in Hittite territory.)  I’m going to have to do some heavy research before I dive into the rewrites.

But first I’m going to do the rewrite on my fusion of Velvet Goldmine with the 1996 (rather awful) movie adaptation of Emma, which means now I need to dive into rereading the original book and keep my rewrites in pace with my rereading, so I can keep straight things like how long Emma spent using “Mr.” in talking to and about Frank Churchill, when Mrs. Weston had her baby, when the Knightley boys returned to London, etc.  (All things that were completely ignored by said film adaptation, naturally.  I need to watch the new adaptation whenever it makes it onto Netflix or Hulu or whatever.  I missed it in the theatres because its release was cut short by all the theatres closing…but I do want to see a good (or at least better) adaptation, even if its Frank Churchill will never be as hot.)  And that’s precisely why I’m writing this post so far in advance, because otherwise my mind will be filled with Regency England instead of the Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age .

IWSG – Always Second-Guessing Myself

Published August 5, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

So, following July’s Camp NotNaNo, I find I have new problems and complications.

A couple of months back, I posted about my plan to make a video game set in the world of my low-fantasy-with-a-few-steampunk-elements novel series.  (I call it a series, but I’ve only written the first novel, and it’s still in the rewriting phase.  Although the current draft is light years better than the first draft.)  A lot of July was spent working on developing and filling out a template containing all the information I would need for each country.  I only got through the first five…and technically didn’t actually get through any of them, because I added a bunch more questions so late in the month that I never answered any of the new questions.

Thing is, it took me that long to do that much world-building prep for the countries where I didn’t need to do a lot of research first.  Meaning, of course, that the other countries will take even longer to complete.  But that’s only a minor complication, not a problem.

The problem is that my plan was to have 26 countries in this fictional world.  (Although after putting together a really bad attempt at a map, I have been toying with the idea of reducing that to about 23 or 24, because one of the continents turned out much smaller on that map, which made me just stop and think about how hard it would be to create really distinct countries for a continent based on pre-European-contact South America, since most of the cultures we only know about archaeologically, leaving a lot of gaps in what we know, particularly since none of those cultures had writing.  Anyway, whether I end up making 23 countries or 26, if I made the international trade and travel game, that would mean a minimum of 23 cities to visit, yeah?  A bit large for a traditional RPG (I think most of the JRPGs I play tend to max out around 15 towns), but these wouldn’t be full towns for personal exploration, so on the surface that doesn’t sound too bad.

Only it would actually be a lot more than that.  The plan for the game, so far, is that you start out in the Britain-like country, working for an international trading conglomerate, and doing trade runs within the country.  Then after an event involving sky pirates, you end up moving up in the company, and get to do trade runs with the rest of the world.

If the home country has 5-8 towns and all the rest of the world has only one town per country, that’s going to be really lame.  But if all 23-26 countries also have 5-8 towns…!  That’s a minimum of 115 towns and a maximum of 208.

Even 115 towns is way more than I would be able to create, I’m fairly certain.  Not by myself.

I haven’t entirely given up on the idea, because I think it really would make a kick-ass game, but I’ve put it on the back burner, as an “after I’ve finished the novels” type thing.  And fortunately, I don’t have to do as much of the world-building in order to work on the novels.  They won’t be visiting every single country in the world in the novels, so for any country they don’t go to, I don’t need the nitty-gritty details, just the big picture, particularly about how the country relates to the other countries around it.  And some of it is not really relevant even for countries they do go to.  For example, the care of the elderly never came up in the first novel, so if I failed to answer that question on the Britain-equivalent, then that’s all right.  And it isn’t likely to come up in the brief time they’re in the France-like country at the beginning of the second book (they end up leaving pretty quickly, escorting the deposed-queen-in-hiding to her brother, the king of the next country over) either, so if I have proven unable to answer that question there, too, it’s not important.  On the other countries where I don’t know yet what the plot of the book will entail (technically, I don’t even know how many books there will be total or how many countries they’ll end up visiting, though I have definite plans for the ones based on Rome, Greece, Egypt, Japan and the Incan Empire), for the most part as long as I can answer the bigger questions, I can fill in the smaller details later if I realize the novel in question will require it.  But there’s still a massive amount of work to be done, in both research and world-building question-answering, and it’s still feeling quite overwhelming.

Meanwhile, a brief burst of renewed love for ancient Greek mythology had me spend a few days rereading large chunks of my quasi-Young Adult novels about the daughters of Achilles and Odysseus and the son of Aias, and I’m feeling like maybe they’re worth polishing up and releasing (for free via LeanPub and itch.io, of course) after all.  And although when I first realized that I said “no, after the world-building and its related novels,” wouldn’t it make more sense to do the rewrites on a completed novel series first, as that’s a shorter process than all that research and world-building and rewriting and writing?

Or am I just trying to make excuses to get out of so much tedious, low-level research?

Part of me fears it’s just excuses, in all honesty.

Right now, I’m still trying to finish the fanfiction piece I started in the final days of July, but after that…well, I want to start rereading Emma to be able to polish up the fusion piece I wrote based on it (since I kind of promised (well, strongly implied, anyway) I would start posting it in the fall) at the end of this month/beginning of next month, but after I’m done with that….I’m not sure.  I might go back to Atalanta and Ariadne for a while instead of keeping going with this tedious world-building.  Between what I’m working on right now and Emma, I want to keep working on the myths associated with the world-building; there are a lot of myths still to write for pretty much all the cultures I’ve already got myths for (I stupidly forgot to include tales of heroes (outside of the epics) in the ones based on Greece and Rome!), and I haven’t even started the myths inspired by the Scandinavian/Teutonic myths.

Ultimately, I’m feeling really torn about what to do.  Especially because now that I’m unemployed, I want to be spending my time working on something that I could somehow make some money at, which means I absolutely should not be writing, because my writing is garbage and will never get me paid.  (Yeah, I could try to make money off it, self-publishing my novels and asking money in exchange for them, but it’s not like anyone would actually cough up said money.  They’d look at the preview chapters and nope right on out of there.  If it’s free, there’s at least a tiny chance one or two people might think the story sounded interesting enough to put up with my crappy writing to get at it.)  Unfortunately, there’s not really much I can do that people would pay me for.  There are all sorts of roadblocks cropping up in between me and getting paid to proofread others’ works, and there’s nothing else I’m good at.  (Okay, technically, I was pretty okay at my job, but no museums are going to be hiring for a couple of years at the rate things are going, so that’s not really relevant.)

Maybe I should try writing non-fiction.  I did have an idea to get together with a former co-worker and put out a book about a particularly underdocumented doll line, but that would depend on her still having her notes on the subject and on our being able to convince the director of the museum to give us copies of all the photos that were taken a few years back of the museum’s large collection of that kind of doll.  It would also depend on getting photos from other museums and from private collectors.  The private collectors part would probably be a lot easier to accomplish than the museum photos.  Still, I should call her at some point and see if she’s interested.  It would at least be something slightly productive to do…

IWSG – Everyone’s Talking About It…

Published April 1, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

…and probably for a lot of writers (who don’t have children to deal with) it’s been beneficial, being forced to stay in the house all day, giving so much extra time to write.

I feel like I’m actually spending a lot less time writing since my area went into lockdown.    Partially that’s due to lack of momentum on my current project, but it’s also partially because one of my chief writing times was in the morning before going to work.  I always set my alarm for 6:00, but I don’t have to get ready to go until 8:30, so I have lots of time to wake my brain up, which I usually do by writing.

Only now I don’t have that time, because no way I’m getting up at 6:00 when I don’t have to.  Admittedly, I’m actually one of the lucky ones whose job is considered at least partially essential, so I’m still going in to work a bit; for the first week of the lockdown, I had hours as normal, and this week I’ll be working one day, and next week as well.  Dunno about after that.  (The current lockdown order in my area is until April 22, but there’s no way the COVID threat will have passed by then, so I expect it will be extended.  Or even if it isn’t, that work will not proceed as usual.)

Of course, I could and should spend some of that new free time writing.  But I have a backlog of books to read and video games to play, and my house is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning (and when I say cleaning, I mean junk-clearing, not deep-scrubbing…though it actually needs that, too), and I just suddenly developed this new desperate desire to create a really elaborate boxed room of an artist’s loft, complete with a small walk-out balcony with a small garden box.  I don’t even know why, but it’s practically a mania.  (Seriously, I spent half the afternoon trying to figure the best (and most cost-effective) method of getting two fully poseable 1/12 scale dolls to be the artist and her model.  Even went ahead and ordered them…though I don’t think I’ll end up using both of them for the artist and her model because I ordered two different types of dolls and they’re really, really, really incompatible.  Like, one of them is super-real and the other is anime-style.)  I don’t even have a place to put said box room at the moment, until I clean the house, for crying out loud!

Um…

Sorry, that’s not what I’m supposed to be talking about.  Although I do hope that having ordered the dolls (and their clothes and their wigs) will have satiated the urge enough to put the rest of it on the back burner at least until I can actually, you know, clear up the space where I’d put the dang thing.  Anyway, I’m hoping that my new writing project will energize me back into writing.

I know I mentioned a couple of times in past IWSG posts (which have sadly become almost the entirety of this blog at the moment) that I had written a fusion fan-fiction combining my favorite movie, Velvet Goldmine, with Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 film of Henry V, because Christian Bale was in both of them, and I was combining his roles in the fusion.  (Well, more like sticking his Velvet Goldmine character into the life of his Henry V character, but…same diff, right?)  Well, as I might have also mentioned (I’d check, but I spent so long on stupid online shopping for needless toys that it’s now dinner time and I promised myself I wouldn’t have dinner until I got this post written up for tomorrow morning), one of the other fusion ideas I had at the same time was to combine Velvet Goldmine with the 1996 film of Emma, because Ewan McGregor was in both of them.  And, honestly, the character of Frank Churchill combines pretty well with Curt Wild…aside from the one’s extreme heterosexuality and exceptionally privileged upbringing.  They even both sing. 😛

Anyway, because Emma also featured Toni Colette (who played the wife of the fellow rock star Curt Wild was having his passionate love affair with in Velvet Goldmine) as Harriet Smith, I felt I needed to read the book first to really get an understanding of the situation and characters and how to add not just one Velvet Goldmine character, but two.  (The original fusion story was in response to a prompt requesting one of the Velvet Goldmine romances be transferred into another film in one of the two actors’ massive and diverse filmographies.)  Because you can’t have a Jane Austen novel where one of the primary characters is left without a romance, right?  Although technically I could just leave Harriet as Harriet despite her sharing Mandy’s actress, but that would be weird and no fun — but there is absolutely no way Mandy Slade would settle for Robert Martin.  Mandy can only marry Brian Slade.  (The fact that we don’t know Mandy’s maiden name will suit my story well; she’ll just become Amanda Smith.  (I figure the Regency era would probably not be terribly keen on the nickname “Mandy.”))

So, I’ve been reading the book — and quite astonished at just how much the movie left out (no wonder they decided to make a new film adaptation of it!) — and am now almost finished with it.  Scratch that, by the time you’re reading this, I will be finished with it.  And I’ve made a lot of notes about where to add Arthur (Christian Bale’s character) — as the apprentice to Mr. Perry, Highbury’s apothecary — and of course Brian will become Brian, Lord Slade, famous (or infamous) for the poem “Childe Maxwell,” a decision I came to as soon as I realized I was going to add Brian to the mix, because there is no more suitable Regency equivalent for Brian Slade than Lord Byron.  (In fact, Lord Byron is pretty much the perfect comparison for Brian Slade, period.)  Such a poet — who can go anywhere and do whatever he pleases — is easy to insert, especially when the original story already has a flighty, wealthy young man of just the sort who might associate with a Byronic poet.  (Uh, except that Frank Churchill is not really intelligent enough for the real Lord Byron to have wanted to consort with him…)  I came to my decision about Arthur’s role pretty early on the course of reading the book (when I realized just how much of a fixture Mr. Perry would be at the Woodhouse home not necessarily during the action of the book, but in the day-to-day life outside the story), because it would give him good access to important events and characters without his being somewhere he would seem to be inappropriate, and also because it would make him someone so unimportant — insignificant, in fact! — that the characters from the book would pay him no heed, and go right on with their own lives whether he was there or not, because he would be to their mind barely more than a servant, and therefore invisible.  I was glad to see, as the book progressed, that it was going to be a really ideal position for him throughout, with the bonus that this way I could even include the drug addiction plot thread from the movie, because as an apprentice apothecary, Arthur could get laudanum for them without it seeming the least bit suspicious, which would give him some internal conflict as he began to realize that no, they weren’t suffering from terrible headaches, but were taking the opium in order to seek pleasure.

All in all, I’m pretty excited about the project, it should be a lot of fun, and yet I also feel like a total freaking hypocrite.  For two reasons, actually.  The first is pretty simple; quite some time ago, I posted a “free plot idea” on this blog, suggesting an Austen-like romance where it turned out that one or more of the handsome young gallants was secretly gay, and was having to lead a double life as he tried to find a love that would make him happy without exposing himself to the harsh punishments his era would have doled out.  I posted it because I felt there was no way I could write it myself, lacking both the subtlety and understanding of the human mind to write it well, and lacking the time to research it properly.  I haven’t increased dramatically in human understanding (if anything I might have gotten worse), and although I now have time to do research, I’m not likely to actually do so.  And actually I couldn’t really do very good research even if I wanted to, what with all the libraries in the area being closed for the duration.

The second reason I feel like a hypocrite is that sometime after I posted that plot idea, I went looking to see if there already was anything like that out there.  All I found (with a search which was probably not very thorough) was a book where someone had re-written Pride and Prejudice to make it a gay romance.  I didn’t even look very closely to see if they had changed the sexuality of one or more characters, or their sex.  I was too outraged that someone would wreak such changes on one of my favorite books to find out the particulars of how they had done it.  (Alas, if only I had known what someone was going to do to said book so soon after that!  Making it gay is at least a change for a good reason, and happy same-sex romances are always nice to have.)  But here I am, about to mutilate a different one of Jane Austen’s novels to make it gay.  (And while it’s not my favorite, I’m sure it’s someone’s favorite.)  Admittedly, I’m doing it in a weird and round-about way, and technically I’m actually trying to turn the movie gay, not the book, but I’ll be borrowing a lot of events from the book that didn’t make it into the movie, because if I stick to just what’s in the movie, I’ll be limiting myself too much; the book’s events lend themselves to my ideas better.  (Though I will be watching the movie again before I start, to refresh my memory as to just which events were actually in it.  Also to revisit the entirely invented first introduction of Frank Churchill, because that was a freakin’ awesome character introduction.)

Of course, even as excited as I am about the project, it may not kickstart me back into writing properly again.  The weather’s getting warmer again, which means I can’t sit in my nice comfy leather chair for any length of time before the leather starts heating up and I get unbearably uncomfortable and have to sit on the floor, which is bad for my back and not particularly conducive to writing.  (Last summer I eventually got to the point of sitting in a nearby wooden chair with my computer on a folding table, and that worked pretty well.  But ironically it’s not warm enough for that yet, because my legs and especially my feet are as sensitive to cold as my back has become sensitive to the heat of the leather.)  And I might quickly find myself overwhelmed by trying to write for the period and the setting.  I don’t know.  There are so many question marks and uncertainties.

But these days, there are question marks and uncertainties about pretty much everything.

IWSG: A Strange Self-Realization

Published March 4, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

So, not long ago, someone who had been an intern under my supervision asked me for a letter of recommendation. As I was writing said letter, I came to a sudden and actually somewhat alarming realization about myself and the way I process the world around me.

You know how some people are said to miss the forest for the trees? Well, I realized that I have no trouble seeing the forest or the leaves, but I miss the trees altogether.

I know that sounds nuts, but…it is what it is, you know? I have no trouble with the big, broad, sweeping ideas, but the basics elude me, even as I get bogged down in the minutiae.

And this applies to my fiction writing in all kinds of ways. When I’m approaching a new project, I always have this broad strokes idea of roughly what I want it to be or where I want it to go, and I know little things I want to have happen here and there, but I have a great deal of difficulty scraping together the connecting tissue like the actual events of the plot, and sometimes even the characters.

Unfortunately, as this is a very basic “how my brain works” kind of thing, I’m not sure what, if anything, I can hope to do about it. I mean, it does, at least, give me a clue as to how to approach my problem areas, but…

Amusingly, I’m kind of living it right now. I had this big idea, and some little details, and now I’m floundering with everything else.

I’m going to have to spend a while just trying to think of a way to work around this, I guess.

IWSG – Campin’

Published July 3, 2019 by Iphis of Scyros

Camp NaNo is here again, and I’m really hoping it’s going to jumpstart me back into regular writing habits.  I’m pre-writing this last night, so two days into camp.  The first day was sort of “ehhh” in that while I did get something written that I’d really been meaning to (specifically, the dream sequence intro to a fanfic that’s been awaiting editing for about six months) it wasn’t anything long or important or even, you know, particularly good.  (Though in my own defense, it wasn’t precisely bad, either.)

Today was better.  I started work on the crossover fanfic I’ve been wanting to get to for…I don’t even know how long.  Months.  (I could check the NaNo forums to find out, as I posted about it pretty soon after coming up with the idea.)  And it’s starting out pretty well; in fact, one of the characters I’ve loved for years but never written for is behaving differently than I had planned, and what I wrote is actually much more in character for her than what I had planned, so that’s good.

What’s not good is that I kind of wanted to use this time to work on the first-in-a-series novel that I’ve worked on for the past two proper NaNos, and both of last year’s camp sessions.  (Ooh, that looks weird when I write it out.)  So November 2017, I wrote the first draft.  April camp, I worked on revising the first draft, mostly just replacing some stuff that really didn’t work.  Between April and July, I got it in the hands of a beta reader, and started July doing basic work on the draft until I heard back from the beta.  It was one of those good news/bad news kind of reports.  Good news was he liked the basic story and the world.  Bad news was the characters weren’t very distinct from each other (even though they were like night and day in my head), and one of them was utterly useless.  It was the “total lack of agency” point that really made me step back and see that he was totally right, my character was just this utterly passive shell tagging along after the other two characters.  So I spent the rest of July ripping him out and replacing him with a different character who shared a few of his traits, and also trying to make the other two characters’ on-paper versions match the versions in my head better.  A long and laborious process, but the new version is infinitely superior to the old one.  However, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to differentiate the cultures in the book from the ones in reality that had inspired them, so for November of last year I decided to write up a book of that world’s mythology, complete with introductions and footnotes by one of the minor characters from the novel, who happens to study that sort of thing.  And then after that I integrated the myths into the book where I could (I’ll probably have to do a full new draft for a complete integration), but I realized I had left out a major one who had been directly referenced in the novel, a mortal hero comparable to Cu Chulainn.  (Fortunately, I have total freedom as to what to have the hero’s myth contain, because the novel’s reference was just to his birthplace.)

Anyway, long story short (too late!), I was really hoping to get that finished up so I could polish up the other few major rough spots in this draft and send to to another beta reader.  Because I promised myself that I would eventually release this novel to the public, and I don’t want to do that until it’s actually ready for it.

Of course, there’s other complications.  I don’t write descriptions because my brain can’t really process them, so people always have trouble visualizing what I’m writing about.  And the majority of that mythological world building from the second year’s NaNo can’t be comfortably included into the novel without distracting from the story.  For that matter, there’s already extraneous stuff tacked onto the front of every chapter (largely the diary of an important historical figure which the heroes find and read late in the book) which already probably distracts from the story.

So what I kind of want to do with it is instead of just releasing it as a free ebook on LeanPub or wherever, work it up into a particular kind of “game,” the name of which I’ve forgotten.  “Dynamic novel” or something like that, I think.  There’s this kind of game called a “visual novel,” which is like a choose-your-own-adventure novel with constant pictures.  (Large sprites of the characters in a scene, backgrounds, the occasional full-screen splash illustration of a major event, that kind of stuff.)  The thing about a visual novel is, of course, that you make choices that alter what happens, usually heading you towards one of multiple endings, and sometimes (maybe even often) giving you the possibility of getting yourself horribly killed.  But there’s another kind that’s the visual novel format without any of the choices, and that’s what I’m thinking would be good for this novel.  Because as the player (reader?) went along, they could unlock diary entries, myths, and other flavor text which they could then read from a menu whenever they wanted.  The flavor text would still interrupt the flow, but less so, and could be omitted entirely if the reader (player?) didn’t care enough to bother with it.  Of course, to do that I’d have to get it all polished up and find an artist or five to create illustrations to go along with it.  And find some way to pay for said artist(s) and their work.  (A Kickstarter campaign would probably be required, sadly.)  So this is whole “dynamic novel” (or whatever it’s called) thing may just be me spinning my mental wheels fruitlessly, but it’s at least interesting to contemplate.

But I can’t even think about working towards that eventuality without first finishing up this draft to the point that I feel it’s read for another beta reader.  And I can’t do that while I’m writing fan fiction instead.  But I just feel so much more motivation for the fan fiction right now.

And it’s the right thing to do to just get writing first, right?  And worry about what I’m writing later.  Right?

IWSG – Trying to get back in the habit

Published June 5, 2019 by Iphis of Scyros

The good news is I am finally through with graduate school.  (I don’t officially know that I graduated yet (obviously, I skipped the ceremony, because it was attend graduation or go to work, and I would rather be paid for a day’s work than pay money for a graduation robe and waste all morning sitting in a gym full of strangers.)  A side effect of this good news is that I am slowly getting back in the blogging habit.

The bad news is that it’s been so long since I had time to write that I have completely fallen out of the habit.  Lost the knack, even.  I have so many plots sitting around waiting to be expanded upon in full fiction form, but every time I turn my computer on to write, I end up re-reading my rough outline for a plot and then going “hmmm” until I say “nah, not feeling it today” and do something else.  Or I look over one of my drafts that need revision, with a thought to fixing it up, and still end up saying “nah, not feeling it.”

I’m trying my hand at writing prompts to get back in the groove again.  I’ve written (and posted to this blog) a couple (oddly, both turned out as sci-fi, though I usually don’t write sci-fi), and will probably write some more before I get myself back into the same writing headspace I used to be in.

It’s very frustrating, though, knowing that I’m no longer able to just sit down and start writing the way I used to be.  This has never really happened to me before, and I’m not sure how to deal with it.  It’s not that I’m out of ideas — I have lots of them.  Part of it may be the feeling that I need to fix up those old drafts before I start on anything new, but I don’t think that’s all of it.  I don’t know what it is.  (Though finally being free to tackle my backlog of unplayed video games is not helping, I don’t want to lay all the blame at the feet of gaming.  Especially since Persona 5 has been annoying the heck out of me, and is therefore not proving terribly addictive.)

Anyway, I’m gonna keep plugging along.  And I’ll be signing up for July’s CampNaNo, with a time-based goal rather than a word-based one, and no specific project.  (I do love the flexibility of Camp!)  Hopefully by August, I’ll be more myself again, in terms of writing.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with this?  Being jarred out of the writing habit so badly that it’s hard to get back in it?

IWSG – A Day Late (Again)

Published September 7, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

*sigh*  I suck.  This is the second time (though thankfully not the second time in a row) that I’ve only remembered my Insecure Writer’s Support Group post the day after it was supposed to go up.  I could make a lot of excuses (things are hectic at work, I had my first assignment (of sorts) due this semester, I’m generally a stressed-out wreck) but ultimately this is just me being my usual idiotic self.

The bitter part is that I actually had stuff to talk about.

I’ve got two things going on with my writing right now.  My super-massive fanfic (155k!) is finally getting a rewrite, more than a year after I wrote it, thanks to someone from AO3 volunteering to beta it.  I’ve never actually worked with a beta before (not in a proper sense; I’ve had a few people read things and then give me a few hasty notes with no accompanying back-and-forth) so it’s a little nerve-wracking, but so far it’s been really awesome.  She’s been giving me very helpful notes about places I needed to flesh out and follow-through on earlier plot threads.  (With so much text, it’s not surprising that things got forgotten!  Especially considering I wrote it in a month.)

The other thing is that I’m trying to get myself ready for this year’s NaNo.  I’ve had this idea kicking around for a while now, but wanted to get the fanfic urge out of my system before I started devoting any serious attention to it.  Only then I discovered Sparkler, an online magazine that would be the absolute perfect place to try to publish this project if it turns out good enough to try to publish it (which is, admittedly, highly unlikely), and so now I’m totally motivated to try and get this puppy written.

I did finally work out a really good solution to a backstory issue that had been plaguing me — which had the additional benefit of making one of the main characters already a wanted man before the story started, so he can’t possibly blame the other main character for dragging him into danger —  but I’m painfully aware of how little actual world-building I’ve done so far.  I want each country in this fictional world to be partially based on real cultures, but I have this distressing tendency to use that as a crutch, thinking of it so totally blatantly as a transported version of the country that my (chaotic) plot-development word processor file has placeholder names like notFrance and notJapan.  (And my dependence on their history was going to be even more ludicrously similar, to the point that they were going to arrive in France during the Reign of Terror and then (despite that they’re a century apart) end up in Japan during the Meiji Restoration.  Uh, not in the same book.  This is the start of a series.)

Trying to figure out the right way to handle that aspect of the world-building is challenging.  Though perhaps some of it can be left for rewrites?  I dunno, though, that sounds dangerous.

I need to focus more time and attention on the world-building before November (fortunately, it’s only September, lol!), but I don’t know how much time I have to do so.  I’m working more days than I used to, and my responsibilities have increased (which I’m not complaining about in the least; getting to design exhibits was something I really wanted to do!), plus my class this semester is what’s officially called “directed readings,” which basically means I’m self-directed and just check in with the professor every so often to make sure I’m on the right track…which means I really have to dedicate a lot of time to the research, since no one else is going to do any of it for me.  (I mean, I like that, but it’s also a lot more stressful when you stop to think about it.)

So, yeah, I’ve got a lot to be insecure about right now, and yet I’m also kind of in a hopeful place.

Missing Letter Monday No “B” – Dialog Tags

Published June 5, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

A post I read recently covered the notion of the way writers use dialog tags in their fiction.  Mostly, it was advice.  And it set me to thinking, regarding how I use them.

The advice in the post was pretty much the standard advice I’d heard everywhere.  “Said” and “asked” slip under the reader’s radar, identifying without intruding.  Some writers avoid them since they’re dull, yet this is supposed to drag down the finished product.

And perhaps it does.  Doesn’t change the fact that it’s dead dull actually writing “said” over and over and over again with no use of alternate tags.  No matter what it does for the eventual reader, not using “said” all the time makes the actual act of writing more fun.

Anyway, when I was writing over the weekend, so soon after seeing that post, I paid attention to what I was doing.  (And my writing is mostly dialog, so there was a lot to pay attention to!)  I try to put in a plain “said” at least every third or fourth tag.  (I’m not counting “asked” at all, since there aren’t too many other words you can use that actually make sense in its place.  Most of the alternatives just come off as ludicrous.)  The rest of the tags are usually words that give a little more information, though I pretty much never follow up those other tags with adver– uh, that has the letter I can’t use today, so let’s just call them “-ly” words.  Anyway, I almost never use those with anything other than “said” or “asked,” and I try to go easy on “-ly” words anyway, since everyone’s always saying not to use them.

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IWSG – Something’s shifted

Published April 5, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m not quite sure what, but something is just a little off from what it had been.

I mean, some of it’s the same.  I’ve been obsessed with writing fanfic for Velvet Goldmine since July’s CampNaNo session, and that hasn’t changed (despite coming up with what feels like a really good idea for an original novel series in the meantime), but the stuff I’ve been writing has been.  I’m not sure if that’s a maturation of my interest, a reaction to the real world, a suggestion that maybe I’m starting to tire of it, or what, but it’s kind of been weirding me out a little.

So, when I started, it was mostly just “how can I get my two favorite characters to hook up and have their happily ever after?”  (Because I am, at heart, a very shallow person who would prefer to live in a fairy tale world.  Especially since this one sucks.)  Of course, there was usually some situation going on outside their relationship that needed resolving, often relating to the reporter managing somehow to expose the conspiracy behind the scenes of the 1984 section of the film.  Now, it’s not like those elements have gone away, of course.  Getting them together is still the primary goal of almost every one of my fics.  (There have been a couple of really short ones that didn’t do that at all.)  Or rather, I should say that it starts out as a primary goal.  Lately they’ve been twisting and going strange (and dark) places I didn’t intend as I started writing them.

Take, for example, the one I’m about 75% finished with right now.  The idea was to take the surveillance the rock star is under in the movie (almost certainly a temporary measure in canon) and imagine it carried further, where he’s under an unknown amount of constant surveillance, preventing them from being able to simply start dating like a normal couple.  So what happens is that he knows there’s a wiretap on his phone line (I never had him explain how he knows that, though), and he assumes he’s also under scrutiny whenever he goes to public places, though he isn’t quite sure how much scrutiny.  The premise, therefore, was that they can only get together in his apartment, on weekends, and have a very awkward relationship until they finally decide to leave the country to get away from those surveilling them.  It was supposed to be the usual romantic fluff.  Somehow it’s turned into a festival of paranoia and failure to communicate.  They’re both totally convinced the other one doesn’t have any genuine feelings for them, and that whatever they have will be ended at any second.  And at this point, they’ve already moved to London together, but they’re still thinking that way.  (Okay, actually, as of Sunday night, the rock star is starting to believe the reporter really does love him, because the reporter was about the write the exposé that the rock star thought was his only goal in the relationship, but then changed his mind and decided not to write it, giving three reasons, one of which being that it would bring their relationship under too much harsh scrutiny.  But the reporter is more convinced than ever that he’s entirely unloved.)  I’m really not sure how that happened.  The weird thing is that while it’s not entirely in character for them to be so paranoid, it’s not entirely out of character, either.

In another one, I realized I’d written myself into a situation where they had to break up for about six months in the middle of the piece.  That was odd, too, but it feels a bit more natural.  (In fact, that one may be my favorite I’ve written so far.)  In another, my decision to play around with the idea of the reporter’s brother turning up in the employ of the government agency that’s behind the conspiracy turned really dark.  Like, his brother ordered him beaten up and killed.  Thankfully, rescue arrived before the killing part could happen, but the poor reporter spent the whole rest of the story covered in bruises.  Again, very odd.  (Especially since I hate real world-style violence (fantasy violence is a different matter), and the movie has pretty much zero violence in it.)  And yes, I have a whole lot of fics for this movie by now.  (Most of which are only half-edited, and therefore haven’t even been posted to AO3 yet.  I have to take it a bit slow on the posting, anyway; I don’t want to have two of my pieces right next to each other in the chronological posting list if I can avoid it, because it just looks bad.  (I wasn’t thinking about that at first, so early on, there are places where I have three in a row, and it makes me cringe.)  Which is annoying, ’cause I just finished posting something, and now I have to wait for someone else to post something before I can put up anything else.  Especially annoying because someone posted something the day before I put up the final chapter.  So if they’d just waited one more day before posting…!)

Anyway, long story short, I feel like my writing’s getting away from me a bit.  Maybe I’m just stressed out from work and school and having been sick for the entire month of March.  (Which is when I wrote all of that still-unfinished piece, btw.)  If it’s not stress, I’m not sure what the change indicates, or if it’s anything I can — or even should — try to fix.  (After all, these darker pieces are definitely better than the light fluffy ones I started out with, so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining.)


Addressing the suggested question for this month, about using April A-to-Z to publicize a novel, well, I’ve never published anything, but if I do write that original series I mentioned above, and if I decide to self-pub it as I mentioned in an earlier post, maybe I should think about doing that.  Might be an interesting thing to use April A-to-Z for, if one was careful to be interesting and not make it just boring, shameless advertising.  (Sadly, I’m not doing the challenge this year, unlike the past two years.  I meant to spend all year getting ready for it, another nice, research-intensive world mythology theme, but…I kept putting it off for one reason or another, and never got the research completed.  And I have a lot of work to do this month for school, so…school work is always more important than blogging, and therefore I just can’t do the challenge the way I want to.  And I’d rather not do it than to do a half-assed job of it.)

IWSG: Conflicted

Published March 1, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So I’m back to being insecure again.  (This, I suppose, should come as no great surprise.  If I wasn’t prone to insecurity, why would I be taking part in the support group, right?)

After some SNAFU stuff on the NaNo forums regarding my nearly submitting my 2013 NaNo novel for self-pub, I made a pledge to myself that “screw it; I’m never publishing anything, and that’ll teach those jerks!”  (And no, that didn’t entirely make sense even at the time.  And the people in question were not trying to be jerks.  (Most of them weren’t, anyway.)  But it’s one of those heat-of-the-moment resolutions that becomes firm and feels permanent, because you feel like you’ll have lost if you go back on it.)

After that, I took the smart path of withdrawing from the NaNo forums for the next couple of years, but I don’t learn too good (poor grammar intended), and so I’ve been active on the forums again.

And this time the guy really was trying to be a jerk.

Basically, he said that I’ll be a racist if anyone in my entire novel has a different skin color from everyone else.

Yes, he was advocating an entire planet of uniform skin color.

And he thought that was somehow less racist than having a diverse world.  Ugh.  (And keep in mind, I neither said anything about nor intend to introduce any ethnic stereotyping or prejudices.  It’s a world very unlike our own, without our social construction of “race”.  They have some prejudices, of course, but they’re based on culture and nationality.  (Read any 19th century work wherein the English discuss people from other European nations, and you’ll see the kind of thing I mean.)  But really even those prejudices are unlikely to come up much, because it’s a steampunk/fantasy adventure with heavy doses of m/m romance.  They’re going to be much too busy flying around the world looking for the pieces of the McGuffin and flirting/having sex for weighty social issues to come up much.  Because I write light escapism.)

So, because he said all this crap about the world I’m trying to put together for a series of novels I haven’t even begun to start writing yet, I feel like “now I have to publish it just to prove that f***er wrong.”

But that is in direct opposition to the 2013 doctrine of “never publish anything ever no matter what!”

Which puts me in a weird emotional bind.  All the more weird considering I haven’t even named the main characters yet.  (Well, it kind of grew out of an AU fanfic idea, so for my plotting purposes I’ve been using the names of the movie characters.  Though at this point there’s not much similarity between my characters and the movie ones.)

It’s probably a moot point.  I’ll probably finish the first draft of book one (assuming I ever start writing the thing) and go “wow, this is irredeemably terrible” and go back to writing other stuff.  (That is, after all, what usually happens.  Like my 2012 NaNo novel, the last time I tried to spin an original novel out of a fanfic idea.  I was enjoying writing it at first, but by the time I was done I was just like “ugh, I never wanna see this piece of trash ever again!” and I haven’t opened the file since.)

Anyway, amusingly enough, this all kind of ties in to this month’s optional question

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Because that 2013 NaNo novel?  It was the result when I finally got around to writing something I’d been planning since I was 18.  (So the idea was almost twenty years old.)  I think I had actually started writing it back in the summer of my 18th year, but…not sure what ever happened to the manuscript.  (And I guarantee it had zero similarity to what I eventually wrote.)

Vocaloid Tarot

Vocaloid, UTAU and Tarot; individually or all-in-one

Matthew Meyer

the yokai guy

Arwen's Butterflies and Things

My BJD creation blog. Here's where my sewing creations and projects are showcased. Some outfits are for sale. Please use the tags & catagories to navigate this blog. I love comments and reviews!

History From Below

Musings on Daily Life in the Ancient and Early Medieval Mediterranean By Sarah E. Bond

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

My Tiny Joy

Where little things matter!

Klein's Other Toys

Comics, Funko Pops and Anime figures oh my!

BINARYTHIS

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK

Creating Herstory

Celebrating the women who create history

Kicky Resin

BJDs et al

Lala Land

(>°~°)><(°~°<)

A'Cloth the World

Where Textiles, Fashion, Culture, Communication and Art Come Together.

starshiphedgehog

Occasionally my brain spurts out ideas and this is where I put them

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of history

medievalbooks

Erik Kwakkel blogging about medieval manuscripts

Sara Letourneau

Poet. Freelance editor and writing coach. SFF enthusiast.

Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral webcomic by Ben Sawyer

Project Doll House

never too old to play with dolls

knotted things

All about the things that I'm all about.

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Omocha Crush

Secret Confessions of a Toy Addict

C.G.Coppola

FIND YOUR ESCAPE

Onomastics Outside the Box

Names beyond the Top 100, from many nations and eras

Hannah Reads Books

This is an archival site for old posts. Visit hannahgivens.com for art, puppetry, and links to any current media commentary.

Ariel Hudnall

the writings, musings, and photography of a dream smith

Taking a Walk Through History

Walking back in time to discover the origins of every historical route on earth

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

ΕΥΔΟΞΑ ΑΓΝΩΣΤΑ ΚΑΤΑΓΕΛΑΣΤΑ

Pullips and Junk

We're all mad about Pullips here!

mycupofteaminiatures

Handmade miniatures

Dutch Fashion Doll World

A Dutch Barbie collector in Holland

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

Reviews and News From the Doll World

It's a Britta Bottle!

Small Stories of a Twenty-Something Adventuring Through Life

DataTater

It's all small stuff.

The Photographicalist

Preserving the photographical perspective

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

We're All Mad Here!

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