#BlogHop – Current Works In Progress

Welcome to the final edition of the #BlogHop for #Writers hosted by Ruth L. Snyder!  Many thanks to Ruth for hosting, to Cate Russell-Cole for sharing the existence of the BlogHop, and to everyone of you who have come to read and comment.  I appreciate your time and words, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed these entries.

Talking about works in progress is always a little intimidating for me.  I say “works” because I tend to flit between projects.  My ability to focus has deteriorated over the years so, to keep things fresh, I end up having several stories going at once.  When I get tired of one, I set it aside for a while and work on something else.  So right now, I have three WIPs to share:

 

“Okami Amaterasu”

The first is pretty simple, a fun project to keep me writing on a schedule.  I write a lot of fan fiction because it’s fast, fun, and I don’t feel the pressure to do heavy editing.  Last November I decided to write a novelization of the Playstation 2 video game Okami.  It’s a stunning game with beautiful, unique visuals, but in the tradition of games like The Legend of Zelda, the main character doesn’t talk.  In Okami, you play Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess of Japanese mythology, affectionately known as “Ammy.”  She’s in the form of a white wolf, and her companion, a tiny green fairy-like creature named Issun is the one who does all the talking for her.  And when I first played the game, I always wondered, “What is Ammy thinking?  How does she feel about the events happening to her?  How would a goddess react?”

From that thought, that desire to know, I decided to novelize the game.  I started replaying it and also watched walk-through videos by Eric Van Wilderman on YouTube to get an accurate sequence of events.  I also challenged myself to write the story without dialogue so I wouldn’t just sit there and transcribe the game’s script.  (Mookie the Bold already undertook that feat.)  I also challenged myself to write a new chapter for the story every week.  I’ve been more or less successful, and found that regular updating on a story really attracts people on the internet.  If they know when you are going to post new content, and you follow that schedule, then you will gain a lot happy followers and nice comments on your work.  As of today, I have posted 45 chapters of “Okami Amaterasu” on Fanfiction.net over the course of 16 months.  I hope to be finished the story some time in April of this year.

 

The Dark Crystal: “Search of the Sun Child”

In June 2013, my big brother shared an announcement with me:  the Jim Henson Company, creator of The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, and Labyrinth, was hosting a contest.  The challenge?  Write a prequel story to the movie The Dark Crystal.  The idea of writing a piece of what is essentially fan fiction and having it become part of a pre-established literary canon is, in a word, awesome.  I devoured everything relating to the world of The Dark Crystal and started writing from July straight through until September.  October and November were spent sending my submission to friends to read and give feedback, then choosing the portion of the story I wanted to submit to the contest.  (The judges only wanted a sampling of the story, not the entire thing submitted by December 31, 2013.)  My submission, a collection of chapters and events throughout the story, was chosen, edited, polished, given the name “Search of the Sun Child,” and sent out.  It wasn’t until after the finalists for the contest were announced (which, alas, did not include my submission), that I realized what had happened.  I’d finished something.  Granted, the story as a whole still needs editing, but the story itself?  It’s done.  I wrote a book in 3 months.  Fan fiction to be sure, but still!  A book!  So March 2014 I’ve spent in the editing room.  “Search of the Sun Child” may not be part of the official canon, but I’m proud of it and want to share it with others.  Once the editing process in done, hopefully at a point later this year, I’ll post it on Fanfiction.net and darkcrystal.com.

 

Ravens and Roses

This is the work that I am most proud of.  I’ve also been working on it since 2006.  Ravens and Roses is a fantasy novel that sprang out of a dream.  I had this image of a grey-eyed, black-haired warrior woman named Ryn with the power to turn invisible, her crazy green-eyed, pink-haired little sister Marella, a young apprentice wizard named Erasmus, a giant green dragon named Krut, and their struggle to stop an army of mechanical goblins from taking over their homeland.  I wrote down the dream, a few scenes, then shoved in a a drawer and let it simmer for about 5 years.

I didn’t really revisit this story snippet, then called “Dream Sequence,” until I was told about National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I looked through my collections of story ideas, trying to find something that was robust enough to survive the challenge.  That’s when I rediscovered my little “dream sequence” gathering digital dust in my “Writings” folder.  I wrote the bulk of the story, retitled The Mariner Sequence – Book 1: Ravens and Roses for the November 2010 edition of NaNoWriMo.  I’ve been working more or less steadily on Ravens and Roses ever since.  Characters have switched sides, gone from secondary to main characters, new ones have popped up, and I’ve had buckets of fun crafting my world and magic system.  Only Ryn and Marella have remained more or less the same since their original inception (although Ryn stole the spotlight from Erasmus; in my original idea, he was the main character!)

I don’t know when I might be done Ravens and Roses.  It’s still very much a work in progress.  I had hoped to have it in the editing room in December 2013, but The Dark Crystal contest pushed it back.  Revisiting the story made me see how much I still have to write until its complete enough to edit…but I am hopeful.  I love this story, the world, the characters, and their tale will be told.  It just might end up being later than expected, but I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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13 responses to “#BlogHop – Current Works In Progress

  1. congrats on writing a book in 3 months, that’s amazing. i love the title ravens and roses, sounds like something i’d read. will you be participating in nanowrimo this year?

    • Thank you! Three months is a really short time…I was pretty burnt out by the end of it. I hope I don’t have to do such a high octane project anytime soon! I’m glad you like the title for “Ravens and Roses.” Hopefully you’ll get to see it on the shelves someday, and if so, I hope you enjoy reading it.

      I think I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I seem to work best at it on even years. I will be taking part in the spin-off Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and I think they might have a July session as well. I’m not sure if I’ll be using R&R as my main project for those or not. Are you planning on participating in any of them this year?

      • i’m hoping to participate in the nanowrimo in november. last year was the first time i heard about it, but knew i wasn’t in any position to even try. this year, i’m already planning on doing nothing during the month of november. (i am taking a vaca, but i’ve already warned my mom that i need writing time 🙂 )

        do you have links to those spin off camps? i don’t know if i can participate, but i’d love to learn more about them.

        good luck with all your stuff. 🙂

      • It really can be intense. Writing 1667 words a day minimum is hard to keep up for more than a month. I wish you lots of luck!

        Camp NaNo can be found here: https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in The camp usually closes down between sessions, but around late March and June if you google “Camp NaNoWriMo” it’ll be up and running, ready to accept campers! The nice thing with Camp NaNo is that you can decide what your word goal for the month is. You can make it 50,000 words, or 30,000 or 100,000. It’s up to you. I generally shoot for around 30,000 words for the Camps and save the 50,000 for November. ^_^

  2. Kat,
    It’s been fun having you participate in the blog hop.

    Your works in progress sound interesting. I like the way you shared what inspired each work and then whet our appetites with some details. Good for you!

    Best wishes in your writing adventures 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Ruth! I’m really glad I got to participate, so thank you for hosting and for your lovely comments! I’m glad that you liked the works in progress that I shared.

      Good luck in your own writing endeavors as well! ^_^

  3. I hadn’t heard of Fan Fiction before reading this. It sounds an exciting genre and I can see that it would be capable of attracting a following. (I bet you’re thinking – what planet has she been living on?) Are there copyright issues?

    • Don’t worry, Bobbie, I hadn’t heard of fan fiction until I was in college and had access to the internet. I honestly looked down on it as a “lesser” form or writing until I tried my hand at it. (To be honest, there is a lot of poorly written or weird fan fiction out there, so I tend to write a lot of it but read very little of it.)

      Writing fan fiction is a lot of fun because half of the writing process is already taken care of. I don’t have to create the world, back-story, or even many of the characters. If I write a fan fic set in Middle Earth or somewhere in the Doctor Who timeline, all of that information is already available. I just have to keep preexisting characters IN character, create a few of my own (if I wish), and come up with a plausible storyline. I have another post that extrapolates on the history and benefits of fan fiction if you are interested. ^_^ https://kvclements.com/2011/07/27/the-benefits-of-fan-fiction/

      Fan fiction can be a little tricky with the copyright. It’s in the same grey area as fan art. Since the worlds and characters of the canon don’t belong to us, we aren’t allowed to try to publish the story for money. Posting for free on sites like Fanfiction.net or Quizilla are fine. Fanfiction.net also provides a list of authors who do NOT allow fan fiction of their work to be posted, like Anne McCaffrey. If I posted a fan fic using her worlds or characters, the story would be removed. Too many violations, and you get banned. But there are so many stories and authors who do allow and even encourage fan fiction, that has never been a problem for me.

      If you do decide to make a foray into the world of fan fiction, I hope you enjoy yourself and feel free to ask me any other questions about it!

    • Thank you! Fan fiction really is a lot of fun. I enjoy being able to “just write” without worrying about obsessive editing or publication.

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