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Wanna help me make a decision?

Posted by Shannon Haddock on September 22, 2014 in Writing process |

Which of these should I work on for NaNoWriMo?

Space Opera: The Artist's Book, Michael J. Wel...

Space Opera: The Artist’s Book, Michael J. Weller (Visual Associations, 2000) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Richie

Synopsis:  Slice-of-life in a space opera setting about an up-and-coming rock star trying to juggle that with family life.

First paragraph:  Somewhere out there in the tri-galaxies, one of Richie’s older sisters was fighting to free a world from tyranny.  Somewhere out there, another of his older sisters was engaging in a bit of smuggling.  He, however, was in the nursery of his house in Namenlose Province, Sweytz, trying to convince his daughters to take a nap.

Pros:  It’s different, which might be what I need to recharge.  Despite this, it’s a setting I know very, very well.  I love Richie.

Cons:  Richie presently occupies an annoying place between ordinary person and could be the protagonist of a more exciting story, which makes it awkward to write.  It’s been over a year since I touched it.

Amount already written:  1,622 words

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

  1. Kayden

Synopsis:  Slice-of-life in a space opera setting about a stay-at-home dad, his apprentice jeweler husband, their baby girl, and Kayden’s large family, most of whom are in some sort of exciting career.  Focus would be on the contrast between his life and that of his siblings.

Pros:  It’s different, which might be what I need to recharge.  Despite this, it’s a setting I know very, very well.

Con:  Kayden might be too boring to carry even a slice-of-life story.

Amount already written:  Nothing

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

  1. Bobby’s Daughter

Synopsis:  This is sort of a sequel to the novel I’ll have coming out next year, No More Lies.  Twentysomething years after it, someone shows up on Bobby,’s the main character of both stories, porch claiming to be his daughter.  A bit of self-loathing occurs and disappointment from just about everyone, then adventure will happen.  And a bit of stupidity.  It’s a space opera, though a bit small scale for one.

First paragraph:  The knock on the door surprised me a bit.  Most people who’d be visiting unannounced at that time of day would’ve just walked in.  I slid a knife into my left hand and opened the door with my right, figuring I could never be too cautious . . . especially after the shit with Andrei last year.

Pros:  I just wrote a whole novel and rewrote a short story in Bobby’s voice, so I’m very, very familiar with it now.  I know the setting very, very well.  I have notes on some of what will happen next, so I’m not completely pantsing it.

Cons:  I’m a bit tired of Bobby and would like a break.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.

Amount already written:  4,172 words

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

  1. Giant Space Spider

Synopsis:  In a different, more pulpy space opera setting than the other works, a ship goes to investigate a world no ship has ever been able to get past.

First paragraph:  No one knew what lurked beyond Alzas.  Spacer rumors had put everything from ancient evils from before the dawn of time to pirates very determined to keep their stronghold secret.  All that was known for sure was that something was there, and that something didn’t let anyone past.

Pros:  It’s different, which might be what I need to recharge.  It’s more pulpy than any of the others on this list, so I don’t have to worry about so much about things like psychological realism.

Cons:  I know no more about the setting or story or characters than what I’ve already written.  It’s been over a year since I touched it.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.

Amount already written:  789 words

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

  1. Jake’s Early Years

Synopsis:  This is a prequel to my novella Jake’s Last Mission.  This would be the story of how Jake went orphaned ranch hand to military officer.  It’ll start a space western and shift as it goes on to military space opera.

First paragraph:  “I can quit school.  I already know how to read and do math and such.  I can figure out anything else, Dad,” I said, sounding as mature as I could at eleven years old.

Pros:  I know the setting very, very well.  I love Jake.  I already have a timeline of the major events in it.

Cons:  I stupidly switched from first to third person partway through the part that’s already written, so I need to rewrite it.  I’m not sure it’ll actually be that interesting.

Amount already written:  Don’t know as some of it is handwritten.

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

  1. Second Kavaliro Cousin, Version 1

Synopsis:  Lyndsey and Taliza, the main characters from my novella The Crown of Eldrete, and a team are going to Polthaina to try to secure the space port and naval base with the help of local rebels.  Someone’s been feeding the bad guys intel.  It’s space opera.

First paragraph:  When Lyndsey got to the bridge of the yacht, Taliza was already there and talking to someone.  “I understand that,” she was saying, “but we’re unarmed, so clearly there’s no reason to fire on us.”  Taliza hit the button that let other occupants of the bridge hear what was being said over the comm.

Pros:  I know the setting very, very well.  I get to write Lyndsey and Taliza again.

Cons:  I don’t know if I really want to continue this version of it.  I’ve already cut 9,000 words.  I’m not completely more than the plot of the bit I left is salvagable.  I haven’t touched it in over a year.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.

Amount already written:  2,553 words

Aiming for:  Novella

  1. Second Kavaliro Cousin, Version 2

Synopsis:  Lyndsey and Taliza are meeting up with rebels on Polthaina.  That’s all I know.  This one is more space fantasy than straight up space opera.

First paragraph:  Polthaina had been attacked by enemies so often in its long history that the entirety of the world was covered in ruins.  Lyndsey paused to try to read an inscription on a vine and moss covered arch in one of these ruins.  “Hey, Cousin?  You got any clue what this says?”

Pros:  I know the setting very, very well.  I get to write Lyndsey and Taliza again.

Cons:  I have no clue where to go from the beginning I’ve got.  I haven’t touched it in over a year.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.

Amount already written:  363 words

Aiming for:  Novella

  1. Lyn, Rek, Ana, and Bobby Have An Adventure

Synopsis:  This is set years before the Kavaliro Cousins series when Lyndsey’s wife, Anastasia, was a Dagger (rebel-for-hire) too.  She and Lyndsey were on a mission when they ran into Bobby (from No More Lies and Bobby’s Daughter) and his best friend, Rek, who are on a mission for the Sweytzian Defense Force Special Forces.  The two groups are targeting the same organization, but for different reasons.  It starts with Rek’s disguise being good enough to fool Lyndsey so she shoots him, and things go downhill from there.  This one is also space opera.

First paragraph:  Son of a fucking bitch! Lyndsey thought as the guard got into sight.  He was looking right at her.  Guess I’m not as well hidden as I thought.  With a quick prayer, she pulled her holdout blaster and shot the guard.  Having not taken the time to aim, the bolt only scorched his leg a bit.  Should at least slow him down some, she thought, quickly hitting a button on her comm with the hand that didn’t have a blaster in it.

Pros:  I know the setting very, very well.  I get to write Lyndsey and Bobby.  It’s probably going to be pretty fun.

Cons:  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.  I think I might want to switch it to first person, which would mean rewriting what I already have.  If I do that, it would mean more Bobby first person stuff which I’d like a break from.

Amount already written;  6,809 words

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

  1. Magi

Synopsis:  Elianthir has just become a mage.  His grandfather died under mysterious circumstances years ago.  His girlfriend, who’s a member of his hometown, just found brutally killed sheep.  An evil mage is somehow involved in all of this.  That’s all I know so far.

First paragraph:  Elianthir touched the intricately carved silver cover of the codex with trepidation.  He knew that once he opened it, all of his grandfather’s hard won knowledge would disappear from its pages.  The words — those the Order of Tylar considered important anyway — had been carefully copied into the Grand Codex of Tylar, of course.  But that didn’t stop Elianthir from feeling like he was about to destroy something of great value, to destroy the last remaining bit of his grandfather, who’d vanished in a cloud of pale blue smoke while fighting a telazir years before.

Pros:  It’s different, which might be what I need to recharge.  It’s fantasy which is what I really wanted to write for years.

Cons:  I know nothing more about the setting, story, or characters than what I’ve already written.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.  Been reading Name of the Wind and now feel like my idea is seriously lacking in awesomeness.  I’ve not been able to finish a fantasy story since a horrible creative writing class in college.

Amount already have:  2,619 words

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

  1. Loving Her

Synopsis:  Renata, Bobby’s sister and Lyndsey’s mother, is stabbed in the lung and nearly dies.  The story contrasts the way her husband of thirty-three years and her “not-a-boyfriend” of a year and a half handle this, and the “not-a-boyfriend” realizing he can’t keep up the charade that he doesn’t love love her.  Her marriage is open, so this has nothing to do with a love triangle or anything like that.  This will be a romance in a space opera setting.  It also will have stuff about her debating retiring from being a Dagger.

First paragraph:  Renata and I had been enjoying each other’s company in my tent when the alarm sounded.  Within moments, ((enemies)) were pouring into the camp from every direction.  The battle was long and hard, but I don’t remember much about it now.  Nothing about it was nearly as important as what happened near the end.

Pros:  I’ve got lots of little ideas for bits to have in this.  I know the setting very, very well.  Quinn and Viktor are interesting to write from the viewpoints of.

Cons:  I’m not really 100% sure what tone to take with this.  I’ve already started it over once because of this.  It’s a bit more depressing than I tend to like writing.

Amount already have:  2,601 words, and some bits here and there from a writing exercise thing that I might be able to incorporate

Aiming for:  Novel

  1. Super Hero Story

Synopsis:  Super villain stole an important thing.  Super hero team that usually deals with such things is too well known to super villain, so they’re recruiting a new team.  I think I was planning to go with something Avengers like . . . new team learning to work together while thrust into the crucible sort of thing.

First paragraph:  The red energy field contained by the pentagon pulsated.  Mona Cathar, known to most as the Pink Spider, studied it from afar, daring not to get close enough to be tempted to try to touch it.  The others present, actual scientists, unlike her, jabbered about “revolutionizing our understanding of Quaglon science” and “non-electrical power” and other such things.  Mona, however, saw one thing when she looked at it:  Money.

Pros:  It’s different, which might be what I need to recharge.  It’ll probably be really fun.

Cons:  I haven’t touched it in over a year.  I know nothing more of the characters, setting, or story than what I’ve already written.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.

Amount already have:  372 words

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

  1. Viktor’s Life Story

Synopsis:  Viktor has finally conceded to have an official biography written, decades after killing the tyrant Drochslem and bringing peace to the Vorton galaxy.  That’s the frame story to him telling the tale of how he went from quiet bookish teenager to war hero to Dagger to Drochslem’s slave to Drochslem’s killer to crippled bar owner, poet, and professor.  Space opera, needless to say.  Space fantasy to a certain extent too, I think.

First paragraph:  I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d expected Viktor Blue to look like, but it certainly wasn’t the gentleman standing in front of me.  His silver hair, the only part of him that betrayed his age, hung to just past his waist, part of it pulled back in an elaborate braid.  His clothing was much like that his husband normally wears, but tamer:  a loose, long-sleeved white shirt with ruffles at the cuff and collar; a black vest with silver embroidery; black silk pants; and black boots polished to a gleaming shine.  His jewelry was plentiful, but simple and understated, save a pair of silver filigree earrings he absent-mindedly untangled from his hair as he limped towards me.  There was a black cane with a pearlescent handle next to his chair, but he’d left it behind.  He was tall with piercing blue eyes and spoke in a cultured baritone.  He sighed softly before asking, “You’re the Royal Historian, I presume?”  His accent was odd, which I didn’t find surprising since he hadn’t learned to speak Allurian until he was in his thirties.

Pros:  It’s interesting to write from Viktor’s viewpoint, partially because I get to describe things more.  I have very old versions of some bits of this to draw from.  I know the setting very, very well.

Cons:  I feel like maybe I’m ripping off Name of the Wind a bit much with how the frame story goes.  I’m worried that maybe his life story isn’t actually going to be as interesting as I’ve always thought it would be.  There are parts of this that will be very, very depressing.  Feeling less than confident in my ability to handle any kind of story that requires an actiony plot after getting lots of bad reviews in the past couple of months.  This is my severalth attempt at this, so I’m not altogether confident I’ll ever be able to finish it.

Amount already have:  1,111 words

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

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