Well, I'm back after another long absence. Raise your hand if you're surprised. No hands in the air? Yeah, I didn't expect there to be. You know the drill: I had a crisis, shut everything down, ran away until I felt better, and came back, shamefaced but determined not to pull the same stunt again.
Anyway, you're not here for my personal woes, you're here for writing! Presumably. I don't know if anyone's still around, actually, but if I shout into the void, perhaps the void will shout back a welcome.
So. You may be wondering what's with this post's title. Well, it references both my recent mental state and also the states of two of my wips: Chronicles of Mourra and Wonderland.
Guess what! The plans I had for both? Shattered. On purpose. I picked up both wips, threw them at a metaphorical wall (aka my debilitating writer's block), shuffled through the pieces, picked up the shiniest, prettiest fragments, got a new frame and some glue, and made two different mosaics.
This extended metaphor is getting away from me, so let me speak plainly. Neither of these wips were working for me, so I took what I liked best of them and made something new. Wow, that sounds way easier than it actually was. In reality this took me literal months and serious angst to do.
Let's jump right into it, shall we?
Chronicles of Mourra
Wow, sometimes I'm mad stubborn. Maybe tenacious is a better word? Pigheaded? Willfully blind? Either way, you'd think after ten years of trying and failing to make a story work I would give up and try something really and truly new with it.
Ok, so I got there eventually. Three weeks or so ago, I was driving to the airport, watching a landscape of olive groves and desert scrub and a packed highway whizz by while suffering the worst allergy-related congestion, and I was thinking about fairy tales. And then, given that I was in a setting reminiscent of CofM, I also started thinking about my wip.
This eventually led me to realize that my favourite parts of CofM, the parts I thought worth salvaging, the parts that kept me from trashing the entire thing completely, were 1) the characters and 2) an alphabetical glossary/encyclopedia I put together featuring the creatures, places, and notable people of the world.
Yeah, my favourite part wasn't the plot. I hated the plot. I was in denial about hating the plot. I thought if I just tweaked the plot, added new elements to it, I'd finally find a way to make it something I loved. Nope. Turns out the entire plot is just not something I'm interested in writing at all. Not anymore.
Well, except for this one core thing: a mother willing to do absolutely anything for her son, and the people who help her because they love them both.
Ultimately, I figured out that what I actually want to write is:
So I came up with a whole new, refreshing, dare I say exciting plot! I will introduce the new and improved CofM soon, so keep an eye on this space/your email for that.
Ok, so I liked the idea of an Alice in Wonderland retelling as I'd imagined it, but...I didn't actually wanna write it? Much like CofM, I came up with the idea of this retelling years and years ago and it never went anywhere.
Turns out that's for a good reason: I really don't personally enjoy writing big, overarching, complex plots where the fate of the world/kingdom/country rests on the shoulders of a handful of people.
(I do like reading it. But that's a kind of epic I don't have the inclination to dive into, and it can only be done well if you're committed to it. Newsflash: I am not. It overwhelms me.)
What I do like writing, what I've been successful at writing, are stories that are character-driven and character focused! (Rivener is my only completed novel for a reason! How did I not realize this sooner???)
Anyway, cue my latest emotional breakdown and a lot (a lot) of anger and despair and resentment about pretty much...everything...as well as the realization that another thing that made Rivener successful is that I wrote it while channeling Big Feelings™ into it.
Self-reflection complete, I decided to throw various self-imposed restrictions to the wind and write something that was purely and 100%, no holds barred (ok, lies, some holds barred) for me.
Which is how Oracle wip was born. Like CofM 2.0, I am taking bits of pieces of the original idea and doing something different. Like, really different. I've actually never wrote something like this before. I'm excited for it! Bit nervous about sharing it too, but whatever, I'mma power through.
So Wonderland is now Oracle, and it is no longer an Alice in Wonderland retelling. It does still have...little callbacks to Caroll's stories though? I think for the most part it's not enough for anyone to pick up on unless you're really looking for it, but it does bring me joy, and it facilitated this new plot, so I'm going with it.
It also has the most unhinged characters I've written to date. Everyone is sort of awful, but in a fun way! Like CofM 2.0, stay tuned for more about it. This post is already long as heck.
My memory's terrible, because it wasn't until I was perusing my own blog that I remembered one of my goals for this year was to write my Rivener AU. Nope, that's not happening, unless something changes! Which it might! Who knows! Certainly not I!
Also, Glitch wip is still stalled and not going anywhere. My other goals are also...no longer my goals. I shoulda known better than to aim for them because that's almost a sure-fire way to guarantee I won't do them. Me? Keeping promises to myself? Not letting myself down? HAH.
Ok, so it's only June. Who knows what the rest of the year will hold for me.
Anyway, thank you for your attention, if I've managed to hold it this long. (Mind letting me know that I'm reaching actual human minds?) As ever, happy reading and writing. Hope you're doing better than I am, but if you're not. Well, nothing bad lasts forever. Take care babes.
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