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:
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.