February has rushed away from me, taking with it the dregs of winter. We finally have sight of spring on the horizon, lighter mornings and the first new daffodils budding in the ground.
There is a simple joy in appreciating the world around you, and I cannot help but the last year of varying forms of lockdown and uncertainty has made me appreciate the birds singing in the morning even more. The world continues to turn, even if our lives feel like they do not. A living embodiment, perhaps, of the phrase “this too, shall pass”
Assassins 1 Update
My ongoing WIP novel, “Assassins 1” has both simultaneously not had much work and a lot of mental work at the same time. It’s at a point in the edit where I can see the threads of the story laid out, and now I’m trying to weave them in with one another. There are a few key scenes that hold up the backbone of the story, and now I’m working out how they all join together.
The journey of writing this novel has been one lesson after the next. If I went back to 2018, when I first took my short story The Book of Pattegon and decided to expand it out into a “novella” length triology for the purposes of Nanorwimo, I never thought I would be here almost 2 and a half years later, still plugging away at the story.
Before this point, my stories have always had a fanciful hobby feeling about them. My blog was for fun, my writing for the sheer joy of it, and my ideas spilling into little stories and ideas, too many to capture in one story.
But this novel, this ongoing work in progress, has changed that. I still write for the joy of it, but on the days I don’t feel like writing, I still want to tackle this story. This story has just something about it, my creative gut feeling is there is something special about this story. No matter what it’s future holds in the world of publishing, when this story is finished it will be one of the best things I’ve ever written.
I am sure that the books I write after Assassins 1 will be better than this novel, using the skills I’ve learnt during this telling on the next set of characters or plot ideas. And in some ways, that’s the And I think that’s the whole point of writing – it’s a challenge to go beyond your previous limitations. It’s telling a story that captures a reader’s imagination, writing something that goes beyond a few key scenes or good ideas.
It’s storytelling at it’s most natural – taking a world and then crafting a message amongst all the characters and plot twists and magic.
The message of Assassins 1?
“Sometimes, the only thing that makes things better, is revenge”.
Writing on Caffeine
This month I talked about all things Magic Systems on my monthly newsletter “Writing on Caffeine”. I really enjoyed writing this one – I love magic systems in fantasy and I really like using them as tools to help drive the narrative further. If you haven’t read Sanderson’s Laws of Magic, I highly recommend them – less for “rules” of how to write a system, but to give you the questions to ask about magic and how it interacts with your story.
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Missed any of my Posts this month?
Check out all of my months from February – including my personal favourite opinion post – comparing Sourdough baking to writing!
- Shattered Sands (From the Archives)Dany looked at the shattered pieces of pot on the floor and smiled. The Sand Pot that had dictated her movements her whole life lay in pieces on the floor. “You little-” her mother started, lashing … More Shattered Sands (From the Archives)
- Make Your Reality (Monday Inspiration)You can make your dream into a reality. You can work towards it, day by day, until each tiny little change that you make, each tiny adjustment in your course, points you towards your goal. One … More Make Your Reality (Monday Inspiration)
- Northern Winds (From the Archives)“Put me down here,” Wilal said. The attendants did as he wished, laying the palanquin gently onto the ground. Wilal could smell the Northern Winds from here, the top of Lastmount Ridge. The salty smell of … More Northern Winds (From the Archives)
- Don’t Burn Out (Monday Inspiration)Passion projects are intoxicating because they are so involved. You can be sucked into them and loose all sense of space and time. It is just you and the words, and your act of creation. But … More Don’t Burn Out (Monday Inspiration)
- The Night of the Eighteenth“Magic,” he said, sipping his drink,” is just another kind of force. Like the weather, or a good cup of tea.” The wizard smiled over the rim of his teacup at Aredria. She held his gaze, … More The Night of the Eighteenth
- A Bit Too TiredThis month can be summarised with one phrase: I am so f**cking tired. I intended to use September as an achievement month. A time to set myself a ridiculous 30k word goal and go smash out … More A Bit Too Tired
- Be Limitless (Monday Inspiration)Start showing yourself Be as limitless as your dreams. The dreams that are far beyond your reach and far beyond reason. Believe in that limitless feeling. That soaring hope you feel when you immerse yourself in … More Be Limitless (Monday Inspiration)
- One of the Crew (From the Archives)“Let us raise a toast, to Mito!” Captain Ralaydin raised her mug high into the air. The rest of the crew followed her example. Mito blushed. Not from embarrassment, he appreciated the gesture, but all twelve … More One of the Crew (From the Archives)
What else have I been up to?
Given the continued state of Lockdown, husband and I have now started on The Expanse on Amazon. It’s the second attempt at this show, and I’ve been surprisingly engaged in the story – especially how they’ve built up the character’s backstorys and tells during the seasons.