It’s been a while since I’ve shared about my own writing, so I thought today I’d take the time to share what I’ve been writing lately, and what I plan to write in the near future.
Recently, life has been letting up on my average load. As I write this, I’m prepping for finals, which means stress is rather high but homework and busywork are at an all-time low for the semester. I’ve been writing more (which has helped immensely with stress) and concerning myself less with repetitive math and more with creative writing.
While I’ve pulled back a bit from this place, I’ve also invest myself more into caring about it. Posting less means I’m spending more time investing in each post. I’m thoroughly enjoying each one, which I feel is much healthier for both myself and you guys.
It also means that my writing time has focused more on my projects and less on blog posts, which means my overall word count has a higher percentage focused into novels, short stories, and so forth.
An Update: The Winner
Early last month, I entered a short story into the Purple Martin Writing Contest at my college. This story, Broken Snapshots was written for an online contest sometime last year, and I posted it on this blog a few months ago. I ended up winning the online contest, which was more for bragging rights than anything else.
This story, for those who haven’t read it, is told from the view of a camera, and details its days photographing a variety of people
I entered the story at the encouragement of my girlfriend, not really expecting to win anything. After all, many more-talented people than I enter this contest and it’s judged by the English department faculty. My little story wasn’t going to win.
Or I guess it was.
I ended up placing first in the fiction category, which I’m both surprised and pleased by. I was actually doing physics homework in the library when they announced it at this poetry reading thing that was also taking place in the library so there was this awkward quiet followed by me shuffling over from my table full of physics numbers to acknowledge that I did a thing.
That was fun.
At some point, I’ll make a page like I did for Eyes, and post the story there.
An Update: The Schedule
I’ve got a lot of things planned when it comes to writing, and my plan usually changes before I can complete anything on my list. Timing, creative blocks, and desires to write other things all distract and redirect my attention.
However, here’s the basic layout of what I hope to accomplish with my writing before the next school year starts:
First, I’m planning on editing Agram Awakens and entering it into a contest (this will happy from June til August on and off).
Secondly, I’d like to start developing the worlds, characters, and plots for The Biography of a Very Bad Man, The Confessions of a Grelgin Priest, and a few other minor stories as well as continuing to map out the sequels to Agram Awakens.
Speaking of which, the third thing I’d like to continue to work on this summer is the sequel to Agram Awakens, which I’ve been slowly working on for about two months now. This project has been wrapped in a shroud of mystery and only like seven people know it’s actually happening right now.
Today, however, I’m actually going to let it out into the fresh air for a few breaths before I pull it back under its shroud.
Introducing: Slaves to Prophecy
I mean I feel like I would normally draw this out in some dramatic way, but the heading kind of spoils it and I’m feeling rather lazy today, so I’ll just say it: I’m writing book two of my series following Agram Awakens (which really needs a freaking title already so I can stop calling it that goodness) and it’s under the working title Slaves to Prophecy. It’s currently sitting in chapter seven at a cozy 17,300 words, out of a projected ninety-three chapters and 230,000 words. For reference, Agram Awakens is sixty-one chapters and just over 202,000 words. They’ll be approximately the same length, but this one has shorter chapters.
What is this about, exactly?
I’ve talked quite a bit about Agram Awakens, but I haven’t spent a ton of time actually describing it. This is due to the fact that I’m real bad and synopsis and no synopsis I write actually does a good job of summarizing the book in a way that doesn’t sound lame.
The logline for the whole series is this: “six people set off the end of the world and have to try to fix it”. Which sounds awfully cliché so I’m working to refine it. Not to mention the fact that this isn’t really about the end of the world so much as the people who have to deal with the fact that it is, in fact, ending. Therefore, I have two synopses: one for the plot, and one for what actually happens. I’ll provide them both:
“It’s been decades since the Eglive overran Agram, plunging the world into chaos. Centuries. Even now, after they’ve been pushed back, they plague any traveler attempting to traverse Agram. The Raids into Agram are futile, despite their continuation.
The ancient religions spoke of a time when Agram would go dormant.
They spoke of the Eglive.
They spoke of the loss of power.
They spoke of a time of peace.
They spoke of the Truil Goic coming back.
For the sake of the world, let all men pray they do not.
For the sake of the world, let the Holders never come forth.
I mean that’s pretty exciting I guess. Now for the part that makes me excited about these books:
“Agram Awakens is about six people struggling with their own personal stories when their lives collide with something much bigger than all of them, something which requires them to sacrifice their own personal gain for the sake of those around them.
Agram Awakens is about a man fighting a religious war, a woman kidnapped for political power, a fisherman stranded on a island, a boy fleeing from his gang-boss to and seeing the world, a merchant trying to provide for his family, and a slave who flees from those she has killed.
Agram Awakens is personal gain, greed, and self-righteousness bowing out to compassion, justice, and the frail promise of a collectively better world through unconditional sacrifice.”
That is, in short, what the whole series is about as well. The first book is the springboard, and the rest are a following up on these stories as they play out in the greater narrative.
Slaves to Prophecy is the second book (out of ten, possibly more, possibly less) and, if I actually had a synopsis, could be described as something like this:
“Taynan [the boy] and Bea [the kidnapped woman] watch as their world crumbles. She is meant to end the world, he’s nothing more than a boy with control over nothing. Not even himself. They find their way together, hoping for a cure to her fate.
Gaream [the soldier] leads his men against a foe they cannot defeat: a foe he woke. All of Agram is awake, now, and he is the one to blame.
Deyu [the slave girl] soars through the heavens to a place she doesn’t expect, meets a man she finds she trusts, and discovers peace.
Deng-el [the merchant] struggles to survive the Vanc as nightmares and myths turn his life to ruins.
All around them, the world seems to crumble, crumble, crumble.
The Truil Goic have arrived.”
I… actually think I like that. Interesting. I came up with that on the spot, but I think I’ll keep it for now.
Both Slaves to Prophecy and Agram Awakens I've written in Scrivener (see images for my basic layout), Aeon Timeline, Scapple, Word, OneNote, and a few other programs as well (keeping all of this stuff straight takes too much work, but I guess it's worth it in the end).
|I use Scrivener for all my rough drafts. This is the first chapter of StP|
|I use Aeon Timeline to keep track of where people are, and when.|
|I've just started using Scapple for brainstorming, and it's amazing.|
That’s what I’m up to. I’m writing Slaves to Prophecy until near the end of May, when I’ll start editing Agram Awakens for that contest. And, of course, I’m going to keep blogging.
What about you? What’s your writing look like, of late? And if not writing, what about your Art?