Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.
I wanted to start some proper, on record outlining of some new hopefully-quick writing projects (but aren't most of mine intended to be that, really?) using Scriptito, which meant I 'had' to finish putting up my in-progress projects first to clear the way. And I could do that because a while ago I'd had some technical difficulties with the site, which is a sort of euphemism for an 8,000 word project got vanished, and that took I think a couple of weeks to fully resolve. Meanwhile I was given an upgraded account to play with, meaning a lot more space for separate writing projects.
Currently I have 137,173 words of fiction up on that site, but roughly 50,000 of that is duplicate and will have to go. So only in the neighbourhood of 90,000 words, mostly written in the past ~3 years. Not as much as I would like it to be, but I hardly wrote anything at all last year, and that was a pain.
What we have up there now
Two versions of the Epic Fantasy story thing. One of them isn't going to get worked on, and is mostly up there so I can squint at the site's import process and wonder why that one has a different word count to the one I imported by hand. Cleaning the auto-imported one up narrowed the gap to it being only ~100 words longer, and there don't seem to be any omissions or additions to the text of either that I've noticed yet. Maybe I should export them both and feed them to something that will display the differences between them for me. Am suspecting it lies in HTML. That duplicate story is most of the padding on the wordcount, since they're each approximately 47,900 words in length.
A group of erotic short pieces and series bundled together when I only had space for 5 projects on Scriptito. Have started moving the longer separate stories to their own projects now I can, intending to keep the original still as a collection of shorter pieces. That has ~8,500 words and is about 2,000 longer than it should be, now that I've copied the part of A Library Fox it holds to its own project and imported the rest to a proper location.
A Library Fox itself, uploaded tonight and counted as 10,323 words. Like Epic Fantasy it is basically waiting for editing to be finished before I act on making a final version available to anyone as cares to read it.
Last project on there so far, Shadow of the Empire, at 22,486 words. Again, the story is supposedly 'done', which means like A Library Fox it is a first draft and needs work before being seen anywhere. I hated most of it while I was uploaded, but for some reason liked the last part. My current hypothesis is that I skipped over a lot of not-rushing-through-it-ness the first time and the story needs, not to linger, but to be filled out with more substance so there is a stronger sense of person, place, purpose and tension. Was supposed to be an actiony story and the actionyness of the last part was good, so more of the story needs to be that sort of thing. It was supposed to, and I tried to make it so, but I did my usual thing of skittering away from the bits I was trying to build up to (and the building up to them) so it came out flimsy and faint instead. Writing is often work, and that work needs to be done if we're to end up with a decent lump of fiction at the end of it.
I still think I can turn it from mostly rubbish into mostly not rubbish. Am looking forward to getting to do that. But, need to finish up Epic Fantasy first, because that needs to be done with even more.
What we don't have up there, yet
tSOW. Am creating a project for that and filling in the skeleton with characters and other stuff as I can. Been talking about tSOW for a couple of years now and I would really like to see some actual words written for it during my lifetime. I still feel good about the project, made plans for imminent work on it more than once only for life to intervene against those opportunities. If I lay out a framework in which I can sit down and write a few words of it whenever I am inspired to, then something might get done. Currently it's a biggish project that keeps getting pushed back because of the time I spend working on other biggish projects, when its nature actually lends well to writing in smaller bursts.
I keep wondering if M/M should be folded within tSOW, since they both fall within the genre of superhero fiction, but I think I have decided not. The setting for M/M has different rules and the plot, while not explicitly prohibiting other superpowered characters, is probably stronger without them. I can always import the characters to tSOW later if I want, because they're my stories and I can do what I want with them, that's why. Just another case of the identically named alternate universe twin, 'sall.
Also undecided whether to put Serial B and / or Raven Zemaire up for working on. They originally were intended to be very gameish stories and the options I'd have for tracking stuff like stats, combat logs and dice rolls on Scriptito would be very ad hoc and feel awkward to me. Then again, I suppose I would have to do much the same for those no matter where the stories were written and hosted, and I might even end up avoiding the gameish route altogether. That might be a shame. Not many stories I know of leave the protagonists' survival up to their saving throws - but I always have LJ for that.
Since I have the space, there are a couple of untitled riffs on intersections between epic fantasy and science fictional science fiction that should go up so they can get background work and hopefully accumulate critical momentum someday. Have described both of them in public posts at some point previously, I believe. Not in a position to do so again just now. That's the trouble with untitled works (or people's names) - I can have a grasp on the mental shape of it, but no concise ability to reference it to others. Ah well, ah well.
There are themes. Character is something I'm bad at writing, so I tend to believe I should make more attempts at focusing on it and hopefully improve. Romance and erotic fiction are two (separate) genres I've had growing fascination and interest in exploring as years go by, mostly hybridised with genres other than realism or whatever that thing is (those things are) called that I don't write. Raven Zemaire is one of the two earliest stories I later decided might be considered a romance, since a major focus is the growing relationship between major characters, about as important to the story as anything else they get up to or involved in. The other one might need more work before it can be worked, sadly, due to my changing ideas of what makes a plot worth storying.
Some have placeholders already in the generalised erotic short placeholder project, and just need to be moved out into their own context.
The Magic Club is one. An old idea which is basically my imagination's version of a hentai series (since I've never seen one). I'd kind of like to do something with that, even though it is a bit silly. A group of girls, whose names all end in -a, form a club at their school to investigate anything they think might be magical. Each member of the club has her own tropes. The newest (and mostly audience-perspective member) always ends up the butt of whatever they find and of course it is always slanted as sexual.
Emerald Green is supposed to be the final in a triplet of erotic stories including Winter Gift and A Library Fox. Starts with the protagonist being turned to stone for trespassing on a faerie circle, and I'm not sure where it goes from there, except that frequent ethical lapses are involved.
The Waters of Life is a placeholder title for the queer poly kinky possessed erotic detective series I've mused about previously. Main problem is writing a good mystery plot.
Pandora is an erotic adventure series starring a now-anthro-snow-leopard woman cursed with the power of rock, an orc princess, and their associates. Mostly just need to work out how to get them to run into each other on the space station or starship at the right moment.
Most of the ideas I am calling romance are still to vague to get much out of being described. They are more like concept seeds which will hopefully become stories someday. The trouble with trying to do things and call them romance is I don't feel interested in reading category romance as a genre for its own sake, although if I am presented one and am told it blends a good mystery and / or sff story I'd be willing to read it (and I know there are plenty of those out in the world). But if I am not reading in the genre and attempt to write it, it is entirely possible, nay, probable that I'd be covering old ground, be standard or even retrograde where I think I am being edgy. It's a thing, when outsiders think they can come into an unfamiliar field and innovate. Solutions I'm thinking of are either 1) become familiar with the genre, which is mostly not something I'm interested in doing or 2) don't pretend I'm innovating anywhere but in the field of stuff I've written or am writing. For all I know they wouldn't much resemble proper romances anyway, but as long as I'm happy with what I put out, well, I'm happy.
I say all this because one of the two recentest ideas, which prompted me to do this, has been going in my head by the label 'reverse romance' because it is a convenient summation of the concept, even though I don't know the genre well enough to know if the use I put it to would make sense to fans or writers there. It just works for me, based on cultural ideas of what romance novels are and reading the backs of some in the charity shop. Married man, anxious about his fading looks and lack of excitement in life, is drawn to an out of town professional woman on Serious Business, gets drawn into aforementioned Serious Business and, although there are sparks, it doesn't work out and he more or less goes back to his life. Main ideas going into that were 1. have a heterosexual male character in the role we stereotype culturally as the role of the female lead in a romance novel, with stereotyped feminine concerns, worries and situations, whose life is shaken up by a woman playing the stereotypically masculine role with stereotypically masculine qualities and 2. no happy ending to the romance component of the plot (which, admittedly, probably seriously damages its standing as a romance story, but since we're calling it a reverse romance that's fine, right?).
Am confident in saying it is easy to find romance fiction that doesn't subscribe to the formula we're supposedly reversing above, and I've no intention of being aggressively ignorant about the genre just because I don't have any in mind right now that appeal as much as what's already on my lengthy to-read list, because I'm very curious about romance as a genre and its workings and trends, and consequently have been leaping on blog-shaped opportunities to learn about its current shape. Also remembered in the writing of this, have actually read a few maybe-romances in the past couple of years, although they were by men and seem to be considered literary, which feels like cheating.
Last one, borrowing the title Shadow War of the Night Dragon for it, maybe. Am calling it an erotic epic science fiction fantasy. The protagonists are a squad of mostly elves with powered armour working for a morally repugnant colonialist power which exploits a Stargate-like network to expand its territory, who don't particularly question the morality of their society or mission. They are sent to punish and pacify the populace of a planet which had the temerity to possess a weak automated defence system the people didn't know about, but get caught up in the planet's own Dark Lord problem and hook up with a local whose plurality is a source of confusion. After a lot of sex and violence everyone dies at the end. There, don't think I missed anything.
Thanks for listening, especially you.