Wednesday, 22 July 2015

What I've been working on

I realize this isn't exactly a fair comparison, but for me, blogging to writing is like fast food to gourmet meals: when I don't have the patience, energy or inspiration to cook (write) anything that would require true dedication and commitment, I dive into the freezer for a pack of goat cheese ravioli, quickly whip up some butter-and-garlic sauce, and serve.

Not to say that ravioli with butter-and-garlic sauce isn't good. It's actually something that is usually met with cheers around here. A lot better than sweating for hours, concocting some elaborate dish, only to have my kids turn up their noses at it.

What am I getting at? When I'm not blogging, you can be pretty sure I'm hacking madly at the keyboard, working on a plot twist of my latest novel. Or changing a diaper. 

Recently I've been busy working on my latest project, a YA futuristic dystopia called Wild Children. True to my system, I'm putting out a 1,000 words a day. It's a stretch, even with weekends off, but so far I'm pretty happy with that and hope to finish the first draft shortly. The book is planned as a single novel of about 100K words. Some excerpts will hopefully be published soon. 

I'm also doing revisions and editing on Paths of the Shadow. Of course, this doesn't leave much time for blogging, catching up with friends on Facebook, answering my emails or breathing.

Wild Children is a challenge because it's a change of genre. Many times, I've heard this bit of advice to beginning authors: choose your genre, preferably your sub-genre, and stick with it, so that when readers see your name, they know right away what to expect ("John R. R. Smith? That's epic medieval-styled fantasy"), but I find that terribly limiting. So, though I've spent many years in the land of Tilir and am most comfortable there, once a good but different idea grabbed me, I went with it.

Writing science fiction is more difficult than writing fantasy, first and foremost because there is more research. I need to stop, think and check facts often, unless I want to make a fool of myself in even the most basic things (such as, what if a particular kind of plant doesn't grow in North America?) Also, the language, especially the dialogue, is by necessity different in a modern setting. 

I do not mean to say I'm leaving Tilir and its world forever. The Quest of the Messenger trilogy has a spin-off which I have currently put on hold, because there is only so much one can do at a time, but which will be eventually completed. More projects might come in the future. 

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