Sunday, October 14, 2012


Been a while since I sucked into other projects. My interest in Miir seems to be seasonal, and this year is no different. I'm working some thoughts about The Shadows, and I'm planning on entering NaNoWriMo this year...I'm sure it will be Miir-related, though I'm not sure if it will be The Tale of The Exile. Updates as they come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Update--The beginning of the creative cycle

I've noticed that my ability and attention span on writing projects waxes and wanes. It's a curious thing, but it seems that I'm most active from the start of spring to the end of summer. Looking back on this blog, my most productive months were in April, May, and June. This seems to happen in all my creative projects, not just this one. Winter does not seem good for my creative soul.

That said, my current job keeps me quite busy during the day, so I tend to feel worn out by the time I get off. It won't stop me from being creative, but it might put me in the mood to veg out in front of the TV or mess around on Facebook instead of writing. It kinda sucks that way. It's so easy to get distracted.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February update

A sudden upsurge in page views this month. Neat!

This month has been dominated by work and by social activities for me. I've gotten some work done on The Bradshaw Story, but not quite as much as I'd like. Today has been a decompression day.

I find myself drawn back in to M:TG culture. I spent most of last week working on a deck for Friday night magic at the local gaming store (I wound up at 11th place...squarely middle of the pack, as usual). The deck inspired a short story, so once I've polished it up I'll post it here. Palette-cleansing things like this help keep my writing practices up.

I've also been thinking a lot on story arcs and outlines, ever since I came across the Seven-Point System. I think I need to do some of that with "The Tale of The Exile" to get me excited about that project again. I had a commenter voice up that I'd left the story on a cliffhanger...time to resolve that and dip Gaven even deeper into trouble!

The trouble with cliffhangers is that sometimes you don't quite know how to write your way out of them in a way that doesn't seem forced. It doesn't help that I want to to a top-to-bottom rewrite of the whole Third night (both halves) to make them work together better. Still, I actually have half of the next scene written in rough...I'll dig it up and polish it off, see if it still sings.

Lots of things percolating now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Characters of Bradshaw

Over the last couple of weeks I've been poking at an outline for the story i want to set in faerie-haunted Bradshaw, based on my home town. Most of this has been figuring out what I want to write about.

I am mostly a discovery writer. I get an idea in my head, run with it for a while, and this works as long as I can keep momentum going. When it stalls out, however I run into trouble. Time and time again it happens that I get to a certain point, and find I don't know where to go next.

This sort of stop-and-start is great for an amateur, but I want to move on into the big leagues. I want to cook up a story and finish it. So for this project I've started outlining scenes and characters.

Getting ideas for neat characters has not been a problem for me. Fleshing them out may be problematic, but getting a core idea for a character is not. So I've been building ideas for the characters I want for this story, and here's what I've come up with:

Character notes:

Mr. Silver is a True Fae who is trapped on Earth because of his obsession with trying to create life. He is an exceptionally talented Fetchmaker, and is convinced he can make fetches that are better than the originals he kidnaps and sells to other fae. He is Gepetto trying to make his precious little Pinocchios into real boys. He's come close, but sometimes his fetches fail. To prove that he can create life (by his definition), he weaves a clause into the contracts he takes...the people he replaces will inevitably return back to the real world and have to face down the fetches that have supplanted them. To date, all of these contests have been in the changeling's favor, but Mr. Silver is convinced that soon one of his doppelgangers will win. Janet's counterpart has just escaped her master and is returning home, so Mr. Silver is eager to do everything he can to give Janet the tools she needs to destroy her other half.

Janet is a fetch created by Mr. Silver to replace an artist he abducted as part of a contract. She was created 10-12 years ago, in between Winter and Spring Semesters at Bradshaw College. She has lost her ability to create art. She's decent at reproductions, still lifes, portraits, and the like, but suffers from a lack of truly original content. The stuff she produces comes off as nice, but not especially innovative. After being told by a well-meaning teacher that “there's a fine line between being inspired by something and simply copying it,” Janet gave up her dream of being an artist and instead started to study business. After graduating, she decided she still wanted to be involved in the art world, so she started a Gallery called “Reflections” showcasing works that showcase images that reflect the human condition. One of her clients is, in fact, Mr. Silver, who pawns off failed fetches as manikin sculptures. Janet is married to Henry Atwood, an artist she met while setting up her gallery. They're talking about adopting a child because Janet seems to be infertile.

Jack Flash (true name unknown for now) was an investigative reporter who explored and debunked the paranormal. He came to Bradshaw to look into rumors and ghost stories, but one of those ghost stories (the tale about Ivy House) turned out to be real. Jack got stranded in the Hedge, captured by a goblin slaver party lead by The Cheshire Cat, and sold to The Gentleman With Thistledown Hair (may want a different name). He was turned into a candle in The Gentleman's hall because the Gentleman “liked his spark”, and was forced to endure constant pain from the flames and being unable to move, speak, or even close his eyes. He spent ten years in Faerie this way, until a maid (another person stolen from our world) came to the castle. She hummed a snatch of one of Jack's favorite songs (“Jumpin' Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones), which allowed him to remember that he'd once been human and escape. He tried to bring the maid with him, but they were separated in the Hedge and he was forced to go on alone. Jack came back to find that only half the time he'd endured in Faerie had passed on earth, and that something was living his life in his place. He came across his fetch in bed with his wife, and killed the both of them in a rage, after which he burned down his old house and fled. He returned to Bradshaw to find and destroy all the links to the Hedge he can, so that no one would have to suffer what he went through. He's taken to hunting down fetch, destroying them, and stealing their shadows, which he hopes to return to the people they replaced. He's paranoid and prone to violence, and doesn't have a reliable income. He acts as a foil to Janet.

“Jill” is the real Janet, freshly escaped from Arcadia. She was taken in college, and for her only a few years have passed. She's much younger than her fetch because of this. She spent most of her durance forced to tend her master's garden of stained glass flowers, stealing colors from the mortal world to please his sensibilities. She will bear a few oddments of that sort with her. Her time in Faerie has left her brittle, like the glass she worked with, though not to the same extent that Jack was changed. She has no idea what to do now that she's free, and jack will be pushing her to confront and destroy her counterpart.

Henry Atwood is a local artist/writer that met Janet through her attempts to start a gallery. They worked on the gallery together, fell in love, and married. I don't know more about him yet.

I'm also working with a program called Dramatica, which is a group of story theories which I've read in the past and enjoyed. Dramatica was developed for screenwriters, but it's really good for a lot of different types of writing. I'm using it as an attempt to get a handle on my story, as well as Dan Well's 7-Point System, which I've pimped on this blog before. I expect that as I write and discover, I'll toss parts of the outline away, but it will be good exercise. We'll see the fruits of this as I post more bits from the outline up here.


It's been a few months since my last post, which depresses me a little. I've never been particularly good at regular blogging, but it's a new year. I can make New Years resolutions, including renewing my resolution to post at least once a month, more when I have stuff to post.

So what have I been up to?

* Magic: As I mentioned in my last post, Magic the Gathering ate a lot of my time and attention. That's on the back burner for now.

* Gaming: I've been running a long-term Deadlands game that has ate up a lot of my creative energy. It's fun, and I love the story, but it also takes a bit of time away from my other writing projects. And by a bit, I mean almost all of it.

* Continuing Education: Also, I finished up my Creative Writing Certificate (yay!). That's a semester of school down, and no more to go. Oy.

* Work: The job I have isn't very glamorous, but it keeps me in rent and gas.

* Writing Group: So to help myself get back into the swing of writing, I've joined a writing group. So far I've been going over the early chapters of Tale of the Exile, as well as Broken Mirror, my new urban fantasy idea (the one I called "The Bradshaw Story" a few months back). That is good for this blog, because now I'm generating materials to talk about here.

* Unexpected Life Changes: I just recovered from a computer crash. My data is fine (I harvested the Hard Drive from my old computer) but it needed a computer to go in. Now that I've got a new one, I've been breaking it in and repairing the links I used to have online. Juggling this with all that other stuff has been...interesting.

So that's what I've been up to. I'm back now, and the very next post after this one will be some talk about storyforming. Fun!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monthly Post for September--I blame Magic

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. It sucks, but that's the price I pay for actually being employed and getting an income now. Being unemployed sucked, but at least I had time to write whenever I wanted.

The problem with that thought, though, is that I didn't actually use that time to write whenever I wanted. The internet is full of time-wasters, interesting blog posts, interesting websites, and 4chan (shiver). So getting back to work hasn't really done much to me except leave me tired when I get off, which, since I was sleeping 8-14 hours a day while I was unemployed, isn't a problem.

The problem is that I've recently rediscovered a time-waster that has cancerously attacked my free time and gobbled it up live a hungry bum at a hot dog eating contest: Magic: The Gathering.

Many moons ago, before I was into RPGs and storytelling, I was captured by the Magic bug. It was kind of a thing in high school, getting a bunch of disparate people together in the mornings and at lunch to flip cards. Then I got out of magic for a few years, until an interesting set brought me back. This happened more than once over the years--I'd see an interesting set, get really excited, and buy a bunch of cards. But then I burned out, because I didn't have that many people to play with, and I'd gotten good enough that many of my friends didn't want to play me anymore.

This latest time, however, is different for a few reasons.

First, I'm more social and have more friends than I did in the past. This means I have a larger pool of players to play with, and, even better, they aren't just playing me and losing all the time...they're playing each other as well, and slowly getting better and better. We're having fun and bonding, the same sort of bonding we were getting from the weekly D&D night with less time-commitment and burnout on my part.

Second, a card shop opened up in Prescott Valley. Like I'm Game in it's heyday, this place provides a space to meet Magic Players from all around the area, at all levels of competitiveness, so now I have a community to connect with over a common interest.

This is slightly problematic, since Magic eats up a lot of time and even more money. I think I've spent about $400 on cards in the last couple of months. That's a lot when you're job is on the low end of the wage totem pole. It also is a time sink...a game can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours, depending on what decks are in use and what format we're playing. And you never want just one game.

So that's where my time has gone for the last few weeks. The king of card crack.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bubbling ideas -- The Bradshaw Story

In the next couple of days I'm going to start posting bits of information on my current project, "The Bradshaw Story." I don't have a title for this thing yet...right now it's all sketchy outline, a few thoughts on character and setting, and a couple of short pieces written to get a sense of who the characters are and what the place is like.

The story is an urban fantasy set in faerie-haunted Bradshaw, Arizona, a place loosely based on my hometown of Prescott with choice picks from other places in the state and, of course, the introduction of the fey. Most of what I'll be posting is very rough, just ideas in vague shape and snippets of info. I'm very much in the place of throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. It'll be fun. Hopefully.