Beginnings

Here goes; I tried this once before and let it slip, but I'm not going to do that again. No, sir. I'm going to keep up with this (I'm just talking to myself here; you can skip down a bit if you'd like). 

Actually, I don't know if that's necessary. This is for me, but if you're here you might just be interested in my thoughts. So welcome to my mind. Over on your right there is a whole jumble of story ideas that I'm trying to sort out, sorry if it's a mess. In the back you can see a lot of childhood issues, they just keep coming out, but don't worry, I'll stick them back in the closet so they don't get underfoot. Oh, and there, on the couch, are a few dreams I've been having, awful things. I don't often have good dreams, more often I have the sort that wake me up in the night and find me sitting straight up, throwing dogs and cats into the air in the process, and leave me awake for the night. Don't worry though, here in the light of day they're probably harmless.

I think that writing something here about myself will be good for me; the last time I tried to write a blog here I collapsed under the pressure of having something to say, but as I've thought about it more and more I've started to think that's just what I need, some pressure to have something to say.

It's been too long since I've had something ready to publish; Taking the Reins came out in September of 2015 (I had to look that up to make sure it had really been that long) and I've had nothing to contribute since. I've been working on a lot of things, but none of them are anywhere near finished. I thought that one manuscript was, my first attempt at high fantasy, but the more I think about it the more I find it lacking. It's the sort of fantasy I grew up on; gratuitous use of magic and dragons, wizards, knights, and a young protagonist stumbling through his incredible fate. I really wanted to write the sort of thing my ten-year-old self would have appreciated, but more than wanting to do it I wanted to do it well, and as I'm making my way through a first pass I think that I have, at best, the first half of a decent novel. I have the general outline for the whole series mapped out, probably a trilogy (I can hardly manage to read a series that's more than three books, I don't think I'd be up to writing one). Maybe in mapping out the series I paid less attention to the first book.

I wanted to build this whole world, and I didn't really have to do that with my first couple of books. They take place in this world, you know, the real one, and so I could just focus on the characters and that was that. In trying to write this, though, I've had to construct a whole continent, with countries and kings for those countries and a history for all of them and a mythology that they all recognize and a history for each of the characters that makes sense in the context of that world and I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SO HARD. I always thought that people exaggerated the difficulty of world-building, but maybe I was just underestimating the challenge in  good world-building. I'm not really a planner to begin with; when I started writing that book I had intended for it to be a short story about a dragon-slayer that had developed PTSD from all his years of facing the beasts. I thought that would be pretty entertaining, and now there are some hundred thousand words that followed and its a book and I don't know how I feel about it.

I need to make all the corrections that I came up with in my first pass. That's definitely step one. Maybe I'll come up with some more detail for the world in doing so. I had an interesting idea for the mythology of the north and south... but that might have to wait for a third draft. Maybe then I'll find some beta-readers and see if it sits alright with other humans. That's the biggest thing I'm working on at the moment. I should probably try to keep my focus on it as much as possible.

I do have a few other things that I've started and abandoned along the way. I'm not proud of that, but I think it's healthy to admit just what I've done to them. There's a novel about a crew of vikings that had some good moments, a steampunk fantasy that I miss and think I might return to after I can get a handle on this fantasy novel, and half a manuscript about a prehistoric man named Breck that keeps getting way from me. They'll have their day.

Onward, I guess.