Writing again, finally

Creatively speaking, my well has been pretty much completely dry since 2016. This has nagged at me, because I know I’ve got several unfinished projects in limbo. But on the other hand, among the things I learned during my stint with breast cancer is that for me, stress is a huge impediment to my ability to write coherent fiction.

At first glance, so far this year, 2020 should have been continuing the pattern. But for whatever reason, this year, I’m finally finding more water in the well. I don’t know why. Maybe it was burnout from trying to do the Kickstarter and deal with the trilogy for Carina at the same time, and maybe I’m finally to a point of recovering from that burnout? Maybe I’ve passed some critical threshold, and now my subconscious is able to go “fuck it, the world is still horrible, but if I want to keep functioning in it I need to make words happen”? Maybe I’m just tired of not having new work to show y’all?

Whatever the reason, I’ve started writing again. I’ve been trying an experiment that’s gone well the last few weeks, doing a very low daily word count quota of 200 words, and working on a story with a bare minimum of planning. I’m coming at this with the sort of mindset I used to employ in my MUSHing days, coming into a roleplay scene without really knowing how it was going to play out. I have a very rough sketch of a plot in my head, but for the most part, I’m letting the characters run this show and trying to plan no more than a paragraph or two ahead of them.

The rough sketch of the story is this:

Andis Karnsdottir, a young dwarf smith in the city of Djarsvald, serves as journeyman to the renowned Master Venka Hammersdottir. But when her master takes a troubling commission from a human general–and dies shortly thereafter–Andis and her brother Kemli must seek the truth of Master Venka’s death.

Soon Andis herself is offered Master Venka’s commission. Only with the greatest reluctance does she accept, but she sees no other choice, for Venka’s last words to her carried a warning of injustice against an elf mage she called teacher and friend. For Venka’s sake, and for the sake of the she-elf Rellawen, Andis steels herself to fight the treachery that killed her master and which threatens to bring the peoples of the land of Estenar to war against each other.

Here is a list of things I expect this story to contain:

  • A she-orc soldier who’s a total tank and also a total cinnamon roll, in the vein of Scorpia in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
  • A human noblewoman and practicing medic who’s about to be very, very angry at her father the general
  • An elf mage who has had quite enough of bullshit from the humans
  • All three of these women teaming up with Andis to help her burn down a little patriarchy

And oh yes: I also know at this point that this tale is set in the same universe as the Rebels of Adalonia books. Those of you who’ve read the Rebels books may be observing at this point, “Hey Anna, you didn’t have any orcs or dwarves in those books!” And you would be correct, there aren’t any orcs or dwarves in those books.

Because there aren’t any orcs or dwarves in Adalonia.

This story, however, is not set there. It’s set in Estenar, a country that I’m pretty sure is on the same continent as Faanshi’s mother’s homeland of Tantiulo. That continent is south of Adalonia, and I’m pretty sure as well that Estenar is on the southeastern corner of that continent.

So far, the story does not have a title, and I am also not sure yet whether it’s going to be a full length novel or a novella. My gut instinct currently thinks “novella”, but I am historically shitty at estimating how many words it’ll take me to get everything into a story. So right now, the plan is “keep writing until I’m done”, and whatever length I’m at when I’m done, that’s what length the story will be. Modulo whatever editing has to happen to it after that.

Right now, this story is also an exclusive for my Patreon supporters. I am posting the first completed drafts of scenes as I finish them, so anybody who supports the Patreon will be able to see the work in progress. Supporters at my highest tier will also be given access to polished ebook copies of the story once I’m to the point of producing those.

I’m almost to the end of Chapter 2 now and just crossed 8,000 words tonight. Chapter 2 will be going out to the Patreon probably tomorrow night, and if not then, then definitely Friday.

If what I’ve written on this post sounds like potential fun to you, then I invite to you consider my Patreon and come say hi to me there. Thanks in advance for your consideration, y’all. Those of you who are already supporting me there, thank you for that support.

And I hope you enjoy Andis’s story, whatever it winds up finally being called!

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Author of the Free Court of Seattle series as Angela Korra'ti, and of the Rebels of Adalonia series as Angela Highland. Geek, fangirl, musician, and raving admirer of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music. Also a.k.a. Anna the Piper!