I’ve been trying my hand at some fiction lately, but I find that I am good at starting but terrible at finishing. For the past seven years or so, I have been working daily at nonfiction writing, and I have gotten to the point where I am writing publishable material (at least, according to Chalice Press and Jolly Roger Games). For most of this time, though, the only fiction I’ve been writing has been for roleplaying games – character backstories and that sort of thing. I love a game that fosters creativity in the group – Heroes of Karia Vitalus is the best example of that I’ve ever experienced – but beyond that, almost nothing.
I was invited to write for an anthology by friend and fellow writer Sarah Hans, but was not able to actually finish anything worth submitting. I had no quality back-log of stories, so I was starting from scratch, and realized I am just too far from being up to par with regard to fiction.
As a result, I’ve jumped into a long-form fiction project that has been rattling around in my head for along time. I have been going through boxes, and I actually found notes from years ago for a story somewhat like what I am writing now. The working title is Dragonblade, and I have broken the narrative into six small books, something like the original Lord of the Rings layout. It is sort of like Dragonlance meets Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets Avatar: the Last Airbender, only it is not as good as any of those things. I have no intent to publish it – this is the equivalent of hitting the heavy bag. I am seeing whether I can complete something long-form, knowing that it will not be very good, but also knowing that if I want to write stories, I have to write stories.
I just wrote word number 30,000 on the manuscript, not counting a few thousan We’d words of notes, worldbuilding, character sketches and so on. For some reason it is coming easily right now, so I am making sure to set aside time most days to work on it. It still isn’t great, but at least it’s happening, and I know from hearing other authors talk about it that I will have to write at least a couple un-publishable novels before I can produce my first publishable one.
This blog has been languishing lately, but I thought I’d talk about writing here, when I get the chance and the inspiration. We’ll see where this all leads. In the meantime, the toddler is still asleep, so time to write more.