Introducing the Blog
Why does this blog exist?
I need accountability.
Wait wait, let me explain. I'm in the process of writing my second novel, and so far I've been able to keep up a good pace; but the first novel I tried, I never finished. I'm within about four thousand words of the point where that first novel petered out, now, and I'm trying to ensure that I will end up continuing this time. There are a couple reasons for why I never finished that novel, but the main one is that there was nobody to urge me on, to provide constructive criticism, to tell me to keep going. Moreover, there wasn't any real way to document my struggles, to work through writer's block, or to document my thoughts and successes. I need that, and I think most writers do.
The other reason that that first novel failed was that I tried to use the much-vaunted "pantsing" method, starting with the idea and some basic characters and just letting it develop from there. The problem I ran up against, hard, was that I just didn't have enough detail, enough twists, and turns, to sustain a novel. It topped out at about 32 thousand words because I couldn't see past the ultimate goal. I tried to just go from point A to point B, without giving the story or the characters enough time to breath, because I couldn't think, at the moment, of any way to prolong the journey. This time, I've changed up a lot of things. I've written a big file on how my world works, its history, and its cultures. This will help me stay consistent. Meanwhile, I've written a big, detailed plot outline and character arc outline, as well as a table of side-characters and their various characteristics. This has helped so far. But I still need those other things I mentioned earlier.
That's where this blog comes in. If only a few friends read it, that's fine. Just having it serves part of its purpose: a place to keep my thoughts, work through my blocks, and provide a few people to offer criticism and encouragement and goad me on. Hopefully, I can use this platform to publicize what I'm working on, too, but that's pretty far in the future. In the meantime, I'm going to focus on providing short, hopefully pithy and meaningful, content on my writing process and books.
Speaking of the writing process and books, what am I writing? Right now, I'm working on Children of Abeona, a soft science fiction work focused on sociology and character, as well as an epic story. Although I prefer to read hard science fiction with a heavy focus on science and engineering, I have to recognize that that's not my strength— and not within my capabilities at the moment. So what's the elevator pitch? Simply, its the story of a man leading his people back home. It's also the story of what amoral loyalty to your family can do to you, and the people around you and those who come after. It is a symmetrical story: the protagonist and antagonist are both obsessed with legacy and family, and they are both responsible for great pain. It is also the story of what kind of culture would survive long enough for multi-thousand-year-long trips between the stars to be feasible.
It takes place in the Ceremony Universe, which I can't go into too much detail about without spoiling a huge mystery which I have planned for the Sacramentum Saga, a series of six books set around the same time as Children, but in a different part of space. In general, though, it's a universe where the Roman gods are real and are the patrons of humanity as we spread out into the stars. Society has been reverted to a slightly advanced form of the Roman Republic, and most of history has been erased, mysteriously. Mostly, its a monoculture, but there are a few fringe organizations, like the Numerius Cult on Numerius X, that have managed to preserve their own culture— and question the Pantheon.
I also occasionally write short stories (not set in the Ceremony Universe, but set mostly in the Depression Universe, which I created specifically to write side-stories in), and I'll be posting my first two as separate posts on this blog as well. They're little writing exercises for me to sharpen my skills and get comments on my writing style. Right now, I'm focusing on my main book, but I might write more.