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Something Old Becomes Something New.

October 1, 2011

I finished a novel. No not recently. Like last summer. I sent it to a few friends to beta read it, took in their feedback and revised. Submitted it to several literary agents. Got one form letter and 2 no answers (no answers are the busy agent’s polite ‘No Thank you.’) Read more lit agent pages and blogs to get a better handle on what they are looking for. So more planned revisions.

Anyway…

This blog’s title “Tales From Xira” did not just happen. It started with Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series takes place largely in the city of Ankh-Morpork. The city is a character in the books. Vibrant, capricious, sly and seductive. I thought to myself what a great place. I wish I could build something like that. So naturally, first things first, I needed a clever title to hang over all of the work that would be produced. And the city of Xira was born.

So, clever title: Check. City divided into different populations/occupations: Check. Actual content: Wait what?

Slowly I built up a base of primary characters and started fleshing out their associates, allies and enemies. I wrote backstories from short story length to novella and everything in the middle. I jumped around in time, switched from the good side to the bad side, added soap-opera like subplots. Then I decided it was time to start writing. And I did. I wrote 74,000 words and was not even near the middle of my vision for the first book. I think I realized subconsciously that I was biting off much more than I could chew.

So I panicked a little.

Then I stepped back and jumped 3000 years into the world’s future and wrote a short story based on one of the main characters DNA descendents. I know, I know.

The result is this: The Narsico Fontanelle Job. Posted at Quantum Muse.

I did not turn around and go back after writing the short story. Some of the feedback on it got me thinking. And so I started it over and 124,000 words later I called it done and it was in my opinion pretty good.

What does this all mean? Do not stop writing. If you cannot work through something, set it aside and work on something fresh. You will either:

A) Eventually return to the original piece with fresh perspective and ideas, and some new writing experience.

B) Not return to it, but learn from it and move onward.

C) Throw your hands up in the air, quit writing and become something dreadful, like a computer programer. Wait, why does that sound familiar?

D) All of the above.

E) Just enjoy the time spent creating.

I enjoy my time writing and learning from it. I love creating new characters, new places and ideas. That is why my project list looks so strange. Right now percolating is:

A Steampunk/Gaslamp novel (almost done), A Furry Steampunk tale (anthropomorphic cats as the characters.) novella length, A furry Samurai tale novella or longer, A satirical fantasy short story for the holiday season, a more traditional Steampunk story (the next novel),  A far-east short story of alternate genre (not sci-fi, horror or fantasy but somewhere at the intersection.) Several short stories in Xira (present and future timelines).

Wanna hear a little secret? Sure you do, I mean really who doesn’t?

I think the Furry Samurai tale is gonna be posted here in a series like format.

In the meantime, enjoy your time creating!

Thanks!

s.

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From → Writing

2 Comments
  1. “Keep writing”

    Great advice. I sometimes wonder how many of the world’s greatest novels are lying half finished i some notebook because the writer “took a break”.

    • I am sure far many than we could consider sanely. I think of Stephen King’s wife rescuing one of his early manuscripts from the trash (either ‘The Shining’ or ‘Christine’.)

      Thanks for reading!

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