Saturday, August 24, 2013

One step back, two steps forward

Wizards!

Well, yes, I did add another story to The Wizards collection, which will bring the total to 7, along with a prologue and an epilogue. The new one is called The Wizard of Hollywood.

This balances out the amount of testosterone in the collection with estrogen (there was only one story with women as protagonists, but now there are two). Sadly, it creates more work for me. Ugh...

At least I finished The Wizard of Watts this week, like I had planned to. It is a rare thing for me to finish when I mean to. Along with that, however, I wrote the epilogue to the collection. That was unexpected and it made me happy. I'm going to celebrate somehow before the start of the semester.

It'll give my hands a break too. In the last three weeks I've written about 20,000 words. And counting. I've already started to fiddle with The Wizards of San Pedro. But I think I'll finish out one of the other wizard stories that is over 50% complete, like The Wizard of Santa Ana, which is by far the most challenging of the 7 stories.

Expelliarmus!

Expecto Patronum!

Accio inspiration!

If you've deduced that these Harry Potter things exist in my story collection, then you are correct--in a way, of course (JK Rowling has sharks for lawyers).

You think of the word "wizard" and you get certain images. Harry Potter is one of them. For me, Harry Dresden is another. And also for me, the "Weird Sisters" of Macbeth is another image. They are part of our popular culture. They are inescapable memes.

So, the inspired writer of fantasy stories that include "wizards" will ask themselves this question: Do I play along with existing wizard memes, maybe deviating from them just enough to give the tale a flavor of originality, or do I create some memes of my own?

It's just sooooo easy and tempting to use existing worlds, ideas, creatures of myth, that most writers use them and add a spike of originality (maybe a new creature to battle the vampire, wizard, zombie, were-wolf, etc.). This is completely acceptable, and hell, a very good way to make some money (see JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King).

But true to my one of my writing codes (Write the fiction that challenges your creativity), I went ahead and flew off the grid with the world building and story content/complexity.

The challenge is introducing the reader to this strange place without creating an orgy of exposition. This is one of the things I'm going to talk about when I write the review of The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince.


Quantum vol. 3!

I was very pleased with the progress I made with the last volume of Quantum. I finished the artwork for the appendices, as well as prepared the manuscript for editing. I even posted (in the Chasing the Coyote tab) that short play I finished last week.

Three reads and then I copy-edit! Then I proof the ebooks! It seems so long ago that I started volume 1, but it was only this winter. And then came the odyssey that was volume 2.

So, possibly by the end of September, I might be clicking on the "publish" button for volume 3 and...ah, yes, then I have to work on the novel version, which collects all three of those volumes. And yes, I suppose that means finding cover art for the cover, which is representative of the entire novel. And yes, I suppose it also means creating a printed version so it can be available as a paperback at least.

That just seems like a lot of work.


This Semester at Hogwarts!

It starts tomorrow. My goal this semester is to try to fail as many classes as possible while still maintaining my eligibility for graduation. It'll be a real trick, but I think I can do it.

And that's it for now. Maybe I will post again next Saturday with progress. Who knows?

Let's all be passive aggressive in our endeavors!




LC