Been a while since I've done too much creative writing stuff, but currently I'm doing some world-building for a new setting. Not sure exactly how far I'll get with it, but my plan is to write something that's akin to Sir Edric in the light-hearted style, but not make it a straight comedy. Also to have a tighter cast than the recent 'serious' fantasy I've written.
Got the magic system mostly worked out (crystals/gems absorb starlight, and certain rarely appearing stars cause greater magical potential, with a normal sky being like a pint of beer and a full conjunction of rare stars being like pure alcohol), and am thinking up ideas around what races to have. Kind of nice just coming up with stuff. I haven't done extensive world-building since the background for Bane of Souls about a decade ago (Sir Edric is mostly spontaneous and I did enough world-building for Bane of Souls that only a little was needed for the four other books in the same world).
Randall, writing about Sir Edric would have led anyone spying on me to conclude I was very into alcohol given the amount of research, at one time, I was doing into various drinks... it's a handy comparison, though.
Working on The Falconer. Just brainstorming, which is a phase of this work I really enjoy. Everything is possible. It's like sitting down to the piano and just noodling around, following a bit of melody or a chord structure without worrying about whether I'm making a song or not.
Right now I'm messing about with the three main characters: Frederick, who will eventually win his throne as emperor; Otto, who has the throne now; and Maddig Vaychone, my antagonist.
Otto was supposed to be the antagonist--after all, he's the rival--but the more I read about Otto of Brunswick, the more he seemed like a fellow in over his head (NB: this story is based on the true story of Frederick II Hohenstaufen). I now picture him as a fellow who really should have been a minor baron. He likes to hunt, he's pretty good at fighting, he's clueless at politics, and a poor judge of character. He had an overbearing father (Henry the Lion) and is cursed with being in a family with European-wide influence. He doesn't want to be emperor, he was chosen by others, but once chosen he's determined to do his best. Which is never quite good enough (he was on the losing side at Bouvines).
Anyway, that sort of fellow just isn't going to make a good opponent for the brilliant and calculating Boy of Apulia (Fritz). So I had to come up with someone else. Someone manipulative, the real factor behind getting Otto chosen in the first place. So I made up the entirely unhistorical Maddig Vaychone, a woman who has risen to the top of the feuding, complicated network of wizard schools, temples, towers, houses, and the rest. Her goal is to have wizards rule the world, with kings being secondary to them. When Henry VI died, she saw her chance and chose Otto as best fitted for the role of obedient partner.
So it's that sort of thing right now--doing the historical reading to glean what useful biographical bits I can, getting the chronology down, and creating the suitable back story on which to build the story.
I've been to hell and back trying to start it but its there and i am about sixty thousand words strong, I am still working on it, a Sci-Fi novel, I actually have an over arching story for three books, perhaps more. I was struggled to get the time to write as work is pretty full on, so is my wife's job. Either way after my dad had a bout of cancer (he is doing well, but still pending op in august), it put things into perspective and its best for me to focus on what I enjoy where I can. I now write daily, regardless of headaches at work, feeling tired or the general monotony of life, its my priority. I have the characters set, though new ones arrive as they are required but the core is there, the villain is superb (cough, modesty) well I like her . She fits. Now I just have to dress the story and keep them all focused. For me they a truly alive and moving, I think of them often and can visualize their little interactions. Getting that on paper is my challenge, I used to write about two thousand words a day, the wife would cut the down to about a thousand. Now I am writing around eight hundred and she does not edit much, I think practice breeds focus.
I do enjoy researching things, its like a second secret hobby, they joy of finding out about new technology, politics and science. Plus endless people watching. I often end up sitting in Costa with my laptop. I see all sorts, form the polish builders who are desperately looking for a new mattress for the grandma in Poland. To the young couple who look like they are on a first date. This helps me understand why people do things, to some family is import to others a really well ironed shirt. A guy I spoke to recently, was an architect who owned his own firm, but hated houses and loved living in a flat. I noticed his brand new £80k range rover and wondered how big a flat he had and if I wanted to buy a house from someone who hated living in them. This world does seem infinite and never ending...a bit like me trying to finish my book
I had been going well on the YA fantasy project I'd been working on for most of this year, but then a few weeks ago I got sick, and I missed a few of my Sunday morning library writing sessions, and fell well out of the groove. Add to that the fact that I'm now reflecting on the roughly twenty thousand words I've written and realising barely anything has happened, so I don't know whether to press on or go back and try and fix that now. Plus I've got the siren song of three other stalled projects now clamouring for attention...
So I'm currently sitting at the library working on not much of anything. Gah.
@Culhwch you have my sympathy with the illness - I've just broken my wrist and it's already knocked me out of my rhythm not to mention my typing speed just fell off the cliff.
Still, I'm now post-op and on the mend. Trying to regain some focus on getting my YA fantasy book 1 (of 3) published . Today I have revised my single and double page synopses. I feel the query letter and blurb coming on...
I'm actively working on my first novella in my fantasy setting. Spent years world-building in my head and creating stories and history. Finally decided to put all of that on paper and then decided where to begin writing. It's kind of like Star Wars in that I'm not starting at episode 1. My first book follows two stories. A pair of brothers who free their home village after it was ransacked by the main villain (think the devil and a bunch of demons rising up to take over) and get caught up in a quest to find an ancient artifact that can help win the war. The other story follows a sole survivor who now has to train a new squad and continue doing his part in the war while dealing with his guilt and finding himself again.
The other thing I've been working on but it's a little more on the back burner is a Sci-Fi series. World-building is a little bit different because it is set in the Milky Way. The biggest challenge is that I want to make a Sci-Fi story where the science does not look stupid or become easily proven wrong in a few years. So I'm doing my best to research a lot. It's led me to read a lot about things like quantum entanglement and the search for earth-like planets. It's pretty fun research but...it's a lot lol.
I'm not working on anything, haven't since January apart from one short story, and don't expect to until December.
And I'm loving it...
I think a lengthy rest is going to be good for me. Hoping for a fantastic summer holiday; the school where I have my day job breaks up in a week and a half... then it's 100% enjoyment! ... and here's the Science bit.