Feb 29, 2016

A web of characters

This mess of a web is how my characters are connected as of book 1 (Colorweaver). This changes up a bit later when a few more get added to the web and the web readjusts in later books. But for Colorweaver, this is pretty accurate. All sorts of wonky relationships of all kinds all over the place!

I had wondered for a while about Blythe (my main female character and one of 3 POV ones) because I wasn’t quite sure of her role in the story. I mean, she’s always there, but Adair and Firedrake are the ones responsible for causing most of the plot. Well, when I drew out a chart to sort out how everyone fit together, my answer became clear: she’s the heart of the story. With the exception of the antagonist, she’s connected to almost everyone from the start. Even when I add in short-term NPCs, she’s there to interact with them. (Edit: Whoops, I forgot her line to the NPCs. Added it!) This is kind of funny because I’d always thought of Adair as the heart of the group since he’s kind-hearted and gets along with everyone, but Blythe is really the one who keeps everyone together and makes sure things get done. As the rather no-nonsense healer, she’s fit for this role!

What prompted me to draw this out is the realization that I have 7 main characters introduced pretty early in the story. (6 protagonists and 1 antagonist, although Firedrake fluctuates between pro and anti throughout the story.) Then I have a tertiary character just in the beginning (Wystan) and three more tertiary characters who play a role later. (I didn’t bother putting their names here since they’re only briefly connected to the characters.) Then I have two characters mentioned several times by Adair, but who don’t show up until book 2. This felt like too many characters, even after I already removed several important ones in an earlier draft.

This chart, though, is helping me see that it probably isn’t a problem to have them all there. They all connect together and have storylines running through them, so hopefully I won’t give my readers whiplash from dropping so many names into the first third/half of the story. I suppose this probably counts as epic fantasy, anyway, so it’s probably to be expected. (I have to laugh at calling this “epic”. It’s not nearly serious enough to be called that!) At least all the names are different-sounding and pronounceable, so there’s that.


Feb 23, 2016

Now to start a game of catch up!

So looking at the calendar, I should have 8 short stories done for the 52 Short Stories in 52 weeks challenge by now. I have three- I got stopped at week three. Three. Arg. I’m trying to not be angry at myself because I had a very good reason to stop. I was working on a large custom order for an awesome repeat customer (my shops/custom orders are on hiatus, but awesome=exception) and this took up all of my free time after I got home from work for the past … gosh, month and a half or something like that? I managed to squeeze in the first three stories, but then it just got too much to try to make room for writing, too.

But I’m done that order! (Which I’ll post about at some point in the near future because it came out really cool!) So now I have to decide where I want to go with writing. All during my month off from writing I was itching to get back into my rewrite of book 1, but I also want to continue this challenge even though I lost a full month. I guess I need to decide if I want to do like 48 short stories this year or continue it into next January to reach 52. (In theory I could try to catch up, but I’m notorious for how slow I write.)

Here’s a screenshot of where I should be in terms of the stories. Up to 8 should be done by now.

I have about 4 or 5 in the list of 52 that are crossed out and marked “Wildcard week” because the themes don’t fit in the world I’m writing. I was going to pick something different for those, but maybe what I need to do instead is just skip them. That would take me to about 48 and let me do the ones I was going to write anyway, so losing four of them isn’t a huge deal. I guess? This ended up a huge rambling post, but I think I decided to just toss out the handful I can’t write and end up a few shy of 52 for the year. 

But we’ll see. Maybe I’ll get some huge inspiration some weeks and write two or three stories. I doubt it, but it’s possible! :)