Yin Energy In a Yang Body...update
Greetings Triumvirate! (aka the three people who read this)
I know, I know, I've been away. I know, I know, there haven't been any posts relating to the Mercurial Chronicles or Amicus Curiae, or much of anything else really. There's a reason, I swear. It might not be a good reason, but it's a reason nonetheless.
Before I get to the explaining, let me go over something now so that a metaphor I intend to use later doesn't go over your heads. In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, magic is powered by two halves of what is known as The One Power. The halves are often represented by a yin-yang of sorts and are gender based. Men can only access saidin, and women can only access saidar. Channeling The One Power is a different process for men and women because just like yin and yang represent opposites, so do saidin and saidar. The male half, which is the aggressive half, has to be wrestled with, and controlled. Men "seize" saidin and "wield" it when casting their magic. The female half, which is the gentler half, cannot be grabbed or wrestled with. Channeling for women is about "embracing" saidar, surrendering to the power in order to gain control... Alright, you got all that? If you use saidin, you have to struggle, if you use saidar you have to surrender. There will be a quiz later. Now for the explanation bit.
For the last four-plus years, I've been struggling with my work ethic. Rather, I've been trying to figure out how I get work done, AND trying to develop the habit of working in a certain way. Writer after writer will advise you to just sit down and churn something out every day. That you have to do it, even if you're forcing yourself to. I took this advice to heart but haven't been able to kindle the habit it espouses. I have finally figured out why...
Because "Season of Darkness", and by extension its reboot "The Mercurial Chronicles", were the first stories I had an audience for I tried telling the story in chronological order. This meant that I was faced with the challenge of writing them that way. You might think that wouldn't be a problem, but if "Of Lilacs and Hookah Smoke" didn't clue you in, I don't write that way. Granted, Lilacs was intended to be read in a nonlinear fashion, but with the exception of the intro, the order of the vignettes is not the order I wrote them in. I wrote the climax first, then the ending, then chunks of the beginning, and ground away at the pieces in the middle. The result is an interesting to follow series of vignettes that tell you all about what happened to the narrator just yesterday. Again, the nonlinear bit was intentional. The story was intended to bounce around so that the reader felt like they were reading memories as they cropped up in the narrator's head while at breakfast with his family. If you're not convinced, take note of the breakfast scene and how there are bits of dialogue and thought that are echoes of other vignettes, then take a note of the order in which these echoes are heard.
Anyway, Lilacs was an example of me playing to my strengths. Inspired by movies like Lucky Number Slevin and Pulp Fiction I sought to capitalize on the fact that I write out of order by telling a story that way. SoD and every other story for the last four years has been my futile attempt to control how I write. To "seize" my creativity. Right now you might be thinking, "But, Awesome One, what about "Amicus Curiae"? That's told in a linear fashion. In fact most of your stories are."
Thank you imaginary fangirl, but you're wrong. "Amicus Curiae" is a weird example. It was written in one, trance-like, night and while it does have a linear story, it's also a part of a much larger narrative. The novella takes place somewhere in the tail end of that larger story. Amicus, aka The Bard aka Timaeus isn't just a character I drop into random fantasy settings and D&D games. It's the same character, and you're catching glimpses of his arc. It might come as a bit of a surprise, but "Amicus Curiae" takes place AFTER "Season of Darkness". Then again, it shouldn't be much of a surprise, the clues are there. My point being that it's another example of how I write out of order. Even though I have mapped out the story arc, I can't write it in the way a story is normally told. I can't "force" it.
In a nutshell, I have spent the last four years trying to channel my creativity as if it's saidin. I kept leaning on the examples of well-known authors and writing guides which promote this idea that you have to force it in order to gain control. That only through a brutal exertion of your own will can you get anything done. But, as a rare breed of nurturing male, I apparently channel saidar, not saidin. I can't force the story to come out in a certain order. I can only surrender to the creativity and let the words flow out the way they want to. So this is me giving in to how I am creatively built and letting you all know what's coming.
What I mean by that is that I'm not going to be posting neat little chunks of story that follow the plot's chronological chain of events anymore. I'm going to be posting as I write, and this blog will no longer be about putting the story on display so much as it will be about putting my creative process on display. I will, however, refrain from posting the ending of a story before the rest, and I promise that once the story is complete I'll gather it into a single post or a single word doc and you can all read it in order if you want.
Finally, some news. I enrolled in James Patterson's master class and intend to submit something for the opportunity to co-author a book with him. My hopes aren't high, but at the very least I can say I tried.
I figured out that I can't write stories chronologically so from now on I'm posting them as they're written. Deal with it. I'm also submitting to a writing competition at the end of March.
Oh! And on the miniatures side, check out my most recent attempt at Object Source Lighting. He's a dragonborn paladin channeling his Smite ability into his sword.
I'm happy with it- blending colors on miniatures is tough stuff!