A few weeks ago, I talked a little about how I came to realize the way I experience the world isn't how the majority of people experience it. As a result of that particular journey and the things I learned along the way, I came to realize I had written at least two of my characters as autistic without actually setting out to do so. Having come to this realization, I had a choice.
Rewrite them to be neurotypical, which is another way of saying "normal," which in and of itself is just a way of describing how the majority are, or I could keep them as they were.
The thing is, I cannot really imagine either Pyrrha or Asa being any other way than how I have been writing them. Plus, for me at least, nothing has really changed about how I view either character. Both are still strong, intelligent, kick butt women. They have places where they struggle and places where they shine like anyone else. There's just a concrete, neurological explanation behind some of theirs.
I wish I could say returning to writing after almost a year and a half of barely writing at all, aside from business correspondence, has been a breeze. Well, I suppose I could, technically speaking, but it would be a lie.
Truth be told, returning to writing and soaping has been difficult and rather frustrating. It isn't for lack of trying or a lack of desire to begin creating again. I'm just horribly rusty, so it's a bit like returning to a sport after sitting on the sidelines for a season or two.
Creativity, much like any other mental skill, has been compared to a muscle so much it has become a bit cliche. The thing about cliches though is they come to be because they contain an element of truth. "Use it or lose it" applies to mental skills the same way it applies to physical dexterity and strength.
Okay, I know I'm supposed to be publishing another back to basics article today, but between the prep and aftermath for Nerdy Noel 2.0 and being sick the last several days, I just can't seem to find the brain cells for a full on article. Besides, it's the holidays. It's time for something fun, so I've decided to do The Naughty List tag, created by Jenna Moreci.
I had a really difficult time trying to decide between doing this tag for The Icarus Project and the Myth and Science universe, since I am working on a short story anthology for that one. So I decided to do them both! Today's post is for The Icarus Project, and I'll have the one for Myth and Science up next Tuesday.
Have you heard the advice about taking a break between steps in the writing process? As with many things when it comes to matters of art making, there are multiple schools of thought on the practice. Some say it's a waste of time. Others say it's essential. Some prefer short breaks or "pauses," and others believe anything less than months at a time is the same as just plowing through.
Personally, I hold to the pause method. One, just because that's the way I've always worked on an instinctual level, but also because I've learned I need those pauses to produce better work.
I thought I'd mix it up a bit this week by answering a writer's tag I found online. It just has ten simple questions, so this should be short and sweet.
1. What do you write?
A quick scroll down the categories over to the right of the page ought to prove I write speculative fiction. Spec fic covers a wide range of genres and their subgenres as well as mashups of those. I tend to stick more with science fiction, but I do dabble in fantasy now and again. And like with the Yekara series and the Myth and Science universe stories, there are times when I use both science fiction and fantasy elements in the same piece.
Looking back over the year is something I'm always wary about doing. I'm one of those people who set overly ambitious goals at the start of each new year, and I'm inevitably disappointed when I look back at those goals.
I did make goals for the year back in January. I managed to grow a full garden, and I've gotten close to a couple of others. But that's about it. I didn't manage to publish TIP as I wanted, and I haven't even started the prewriting process on the second Yekara novel let alone have it roughed. I'm a good thirty pounds away from the weight loss goal I'd set. Still, I have made progress.
Today marks the first day of NaNoWriMo otherwise known as "National Novel Writing Month." Those participating attempt to write a 50,000 word "novel" within the month of November. To do this, participants try their best to write at least 1600 words each day.
Will you be participating this year?
I've given it a try for several years, and I've never managed to hit the goal working on any one manuscript. Life gets in the way, especially now that I'm a grown woman with adult responsibilities and a family of my own. I mean, it falls right at the start of the holiday season, and I run a handmade business. Still, I think I might try to follow the spirit of the event if not following lockstep with the rules.
Early in the summer last year, I had Icarus fully outlined and was making headway on the first few chapters. Back then it looked like I would easily finish and be ready to publish not too long from now. I received the cover art back from artist Nathan Smith, and I thought having some bookmarks printed up that I could include in bags with sales at conventions would be a good way to market the book. Stupidly, I put, "The adventure begins in spring 2016," on them.
I've been a disappointment to myself this year. While I did manage to finish and release Daydreams and Myth, as you can see from the rough draft progress bar to the right of this page, I still have a long way to go before even the rough draft of Icarus is complete. I still have beta feedback, rewrites, edits, formatting, and proofreading before I can even order the proofs.
It is for shame. Two weeks later, and I've barely written any more on Icarus!
I've managed some writing these first two weeks, but it's been almost exclusively in the form of blog posts. I had one day at the end of the first week where I had to fit in hours and hours of errands and what not, and it threw me so far behind, I just managed to catch up yesterday. I did manage to refresh my mind on what I'd already written and moved forward a bit yesterday evening, but that's been it so far.
I think I'm going to have to start writing all the blogs on the weekends and save all the weekdays strictly for work on the book in progress as I go forward.
Anyway, I thought I'd give you a bit of an update on how the work is going, and I hope to be back later in the week with a bit of flash fiction for you.
New? Begin with lesson one.
The biggest things you will need to fix during the rewriting phase is filling in plot holes and correcting sequences that are out of order. No matter how throughly you planned out your story, they're still bound to turn up during the drafting phase. As you write, new ideas form, old ones shift, and characters take off in unexpected directions because your subconscious mind is always working ahead and making connections you might not see consciously.
It is to be expected, especially when writing your first few stories. It's a natural part of the creative process, and this is one reason rewrites and edits are essential steps. Plot holes and trouble in the sequence of events aren't disasters at this stage. All it takes is a keen eye to find them and a bit of work to make these changes fit into your narrative without lapses in logic or flow.
A. B. England is a novelist, all around geek, avid crafter, and the home-schooling mother of two.
She is an autistic creator with a love of mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
77384 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Series Book 2
Sketched w/ Some Drafting
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4