I haven’t been posting, but boy have I been writing! The first 8 days of January I was still in Taiwan, and thus didn’t get anything done, but I made up for it. After that I only had one missed day, and that only because I knew whatever I wrote, I’d just delete it in the morning.
January Round Up
Words Written: 55,587
Hours Written: 34.8
Productive Universes: Corin & Ezra (YA urban fantasy), Rog Sidestory
In the final days of January I also did something rather silly, which is start an entirely new project. I know, I know. But I finished my solo pieces earlier in the month, and the ones I’m working on now are collaborative, which means sometimes I can’t write until I consult with my writing partner, and that’s frustrating. It’s good for me to have something I can write on my own.
This new project is one of my self-titled “Self-Indulgent Projects of Ridiculous”, where I write something that’s chock-full of tropes I enjoy, no matter how silly, or which is written solely because there isn’t enough of it in things I read already. In 2010 I mixed “kick-ass girls who are good friends (ie, ‘girl bromance’) and who don’t fight over a boy” with “sentient spaceships” and “threesome relationships” to make the one I affectionately title ‘THREESOMES IN SPACE’. In 2011, I mixed my love of science fiction, Lord Byron, and Napoleonic-era British repression to write HORIZON’S VERGE, aka “Repressed Brits … IN SPACE (feat. Lord Byron)”.
This one stems from a few things, mostly ones that aren’t written well enough in other things. The first is the idea of enspelled loyalty (e.g for bodyguards, soldiers, etc.) — it’s done a fair bit, but it rarely plays with the implications enough for me, nor the power dynamics involved. The second is young female sexuality — I recently read a book that I enjoyed, until the lesbian romance it spent the entire plot setting up was dropped at the last minute in favour of a traditional one. I want to write something about girls who fall in love and stay in love. The third — power dynamics and love vs. duty — is everywhere, but I like it to a ridiculous degree.
This has all meshed together into what is possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever wanted to write. Just for fun, here’s the rundown:
The Oath: a magically-enforced promise of loyalty from a guard or servant to their master. The Oath enforces any orders made, making it impossible for the guard to disobey any order given to them, no matter what. Generally looked down upon as akin to hiring mercenaries, as the Oath implies that either the taker is too untrustworthy to serve without it, or that the master is such that without enforced loyalty he would get none at all.
Thalia is the daughter of a minor lord, in love for the first time with her best friend, Saren — who thinks she might be in love with Thalia, too. Problem is, Saren is Thalia’s bodyguard, and took the Oath at the age of 11 after her brother, seduced with promises of power and riches, turned on Thalia in their childhood. Since the Oath provides a magical sense of loyalty and heightening of feeling, neither Saren nor Thalia know what’s real and what isn’t — as if first love isn’t difficult enough.
Nathaniel, a Duke, and Rafael, his guard, have loved each other for many years, but the conflicting pressures of duty and the imbalance of power kept Nathaniel from acting upon it. After an assassination attempt, Nathaniel’s advisors insist that he employ a guard who took the Oath; Rafael offers to take it himself, rather than allow himself to be removed from Nathaniel’s side. Now that the Oath is in place, the relationship which was at one time ill-advisable has now become impossible — at least from Nathaniel’s point of view. But Rafael insists he knows his own heart. The problem is getting Nathaniel to believe him.
You may have noticed this is a little light on plot; that’s because I have no idea what it is. No biggie, though; I’ll figure it out as I go. :)
Which brings me to … FUN THINGS. Apparently self-indulgent stuff isn’t just fun to write, other people want to read it! At least, according to the people I’ve blabbered on about this to. Which is also fun!
I’m thinking of doing an experiment: publishing the first draft of this as I go, to show people that first drafts are nothing to be ashamed of. That they’re the first step to something greater. Now, this would not be in public posts, because I’m not that brave, but rather password-protected posts to which anyone interested in reading could request access. Still, I think it might be fun for people to get involved with the first draft process — not as the final version, mind you, but just to see how things change along the way.
A couple people have expressed interest in this already, so just let me know! :)
What’s the most self-indulgent plot you could ever write?