It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and I only managed to make this post because a friend texted to remind me. Whoops.
I’ve made significant progress on my companion novel. That is to say, I’ve made it past chapter 2. After all my worries about chapter 1 lacking tension, I ended up rewriting it again, added a bit more fun (in my opinion), leaned more on my character’s limited resources, and made implications toward her personal feelings early on. And then I went and added a brand new chapter 2, pushing out the multi-day jump I lamented about last month. This was fun for me, because I got to throw in all the ways her immediate antagonist makes her angry, including things I’d removed from chapter 2 five versions ago. Even though it doesn’t move the plot forward much, I think it helps the story, giving the reader a grounding on why my character is so reluctant to take this antagonistic character on as her mentor later in the story. I’m currently on chapter 11, nearly 30K into this story. Based on the structure-in-a-nutshell text file I have saved after a gchat conversation with my buddy Jim, I’m in first plot point territory. That probably means my story is going to be about 120K, if I manage a well-structured story, that is.
I’ve also delved back into the realm of art, finding inspiration after messing with Dream by Wombo and plugging in “blacksmith smelted molten metal” as the prompt and choosing blacklight as my style. Here is one of abstract generations, that I plan to use as a color scheme.
I’ve had lots of fun playing with Wombo to create visual candy for my different environments. I’ve generated several iterations for my five main provinces, figuring out what to put in the prompts to get something along the lines of what I want. There’s Halqua to the east, Aerwether to the north, Geotellus to the south, Embrathael to the west, and Lumenor smack dab in the middle.
I’ve also been drawing, working on my main character for the companion novel, aiming for a style somewhere between semi-realistic and cartoon. It’s not done yet, but I’m hoping I’ll stick with it and be able to show it off next month.
IWSG Question of the Month – Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?
Ha, yeah, that pretty much describes all of my books. I’ve got bad stereotypes, frowned upon tropes, and poor representations of mental illness and disabilities. The thing is, that’s how the story is in my brain, and if I changed the core of who these characters are, then I might as well throw the whole story out because they wouldn’t be my characters anymore.
I’ve simply resolved to write the stories. I’m not going to pursue publishing, because though there’s a strong sentiment of “there will always be people who don’t like it, don’t let them ruin it for you” and “people need to stop being so sensitive” (those are responses I’ve gotten when I’ve explained my stance to people), I personally don’t want to contribute to the problem. I’m not going to stop writing, but I’m also not going to unkill that one character or change the way this other character talks or make that other character not a cannibal. So I’m going to write my stories, as messed up as they are, still run them through my critique group and critique partners because I do want them to be well written, and then print and display them with pride in my office.
Now if only I can finish them within my lifetime…
Have you seen progress with your stories lately? Have you ever played with Wombo art? How do you feel about controversial subjects?
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23 thoughts on “Progress #IWSG”
Stick to your stories and write them the way you want. I applaud that decision.
Sounds like you have had a creative month!
I like your attitude about writing what you want and not worrying too much about what others think.
Sorry about the rewrites but sounds like you made it better.
Smelted looks wicked cool.
While I wish you’d publish because you’re an amazing writer, I get it, and I’m glad you’re not changing your stories. They’re yours. And, yes, you’ll finish them–I’ve no doubt.
Also, LOVE your artwork. Geotellus is my favorite. So much atmosphere in that one.
HOORAY for making it past chapter 2!!! And for making it to chapter 11!!!
Always love seeing your art. Thanks for sharing.
Sounds like a busy month. I bet it flew by. 😉
Anna from elements of emaginette
“I’m not going to make that character not a cannibal.”
Sometimes, you just need to make a character a cannibal. Hopefully, you’ll find your audience who enjoys cannibals.
Glad you’re enjoying your new project. I think it’s fine to write what you want, show it to your critique parnters but not get published. I may do that too to enjoy the creative process but not have the pressures of getting published.
Good for you, Lori. Write what you want to write. It can be yours.
It can be hard to find the balance between being true to characters and story and not offending people. It takes lots of research to be sure you aren’t writing stereotypes, but even then, someone is going to be upset because what you portrayed doesn’t mirror their experience or beliefs. I think some genres are more prone to that kind of reaction than others.
If you’re happy writing for yourself, that’s great!
You are a wicked talented artist! I dink around in Paint (yeah, I know, sooooo last century) but I don’t really create anything original.
I’m glad you’re writing what YOU want to write. And I’m going to stop right there. 🤣
Write for you then! That will be more joyful anyway.
Love your Wombo provinces. They are all so cool! I tried their site, but it didn’t work well for me. Probably because I didn’t write many words in the prompt.
I agree with you per your stories. Write them the way you see them. It doesn’t matter if anyone is unhappy with your characters/attitude/cliches/etc. There are always critics who think they know better, but nobody knows your stories or heroes better than you do, even if you don’t comply with the current ‘sensitivity’ fad. It will pass in time, I’m sure. Everything passes in time.
Who knows? Once you’ve written them, perhaps the pendulum will have swung the other way, and they won’t be looked on as problematic anymore. I know there are some tropes that I love that others look askance at. We can’t win them all.
You are so talented. Love the smelting!
Write your books, polish them, and publish them. Who cares. If you love the characters and craft them so others can see them the way you do, there will be readers who like them, too. Half the battle is getting your characters to make it from your brain across the page intact.
You’re right, they are your stories and it’s up to you how you write them.
Never bad to hear what others say and consider it…but always go with your gut.
You’re right, do what your heart wants. Maybe one day that’ll change and you’ll want to seek publishing. Maybe not. One thing though, you can have your book printed as an actual book just for your sake. That’s how I got my first novel published. I published Dead Witness for myself and a few family members, and one day it landed in the hands of a publisher.
I’m gonna toss off my writer hat for a moment and put on my social worker hat. In my humble, experience based upon my my old age and not-expert, but not a layman’s opinion…I worry so much less about what people write in books as opposed to what people DO to each other. Books are fiction. Unless you’re writing a how-to manual (fill in the blank of a host of things that can ruin a person’s life) that encourages a person to destroy their life, them the rest falls into the resilience category and my good lord do we need more of it and not less. Life will NOT adapt to humans. We have to learn to adapt to life. I don’t think a cleansing of every story of anything and everything that offends is helpful and in the long run, could actually be hurtful.
I tell my peeps I work with all the time…learn to play the hand life deals you because those are the only cards you’ve got whether it’s fair or not.
Oh dear, I will be messing with WOMBO all day today.😂 Thanks for that introduction! I am woefully behind on everything. But you’ve inspired me! I really liked this — “make that other character not a cannibal.”
Uh, yes, I’m still playing with WOMBO.
Getting past chapter two is a lot better than I’ve been progressing. I’m trying to get motivated just to write a synopsis for something that’s been in my head a long time. If I could get that synopsis then maybe I’d be inspired to actually start writing.
I like the way you defended your thought process in writing. If your story and characters work well for you then that’s a great place to start. Then you can work through things in the editing process and after you’ve gotten some preliminary input from test readers.
Stay true to yourself!
Tossing It Out
Sounds like you’ve made some great progress! I totally agree with you about writing the story and characters in a way that’s right for you. It’s your story and if you try to change it to fit everyone else’s ideas of what’s right and/or wrong, you’ll lose the joy of writing. And that’s just wrong. Be you. Always. Love the Smelting, by the way.