What I’m Currently Working On

Posted by Shannon Haddock on March 1, 2017 in Intertwined Lives, Jake's Last Mission, No More Lies, Short stories, Writing process |

I used to do posts about my WIPs regularly, but they seemed to make my blog spontaneously generate problems, so I quit.  I don’t know if this will be a regular feature or not.  But I feel like doing it today, so I am.

Titles of projects are what the files are named.  I am so goddamned creative when it comes to working titles, aren’t I?

Ready To Publish, On Hold For Secret Project:

“Hope” – It’s a story about the power of art and shared misery to heal.  It’s probably the deepest thing I’ve ever written. It’s also a story about a painter who used to be a sniper because I can’t seem to have normal characters.  You know how usually I say my writing should make you laugh or at least giggle?  That’s not the case with this one.  If it doesn’t make you cry, or at least sniffle a little, then I fucked up.


No More Lies – My romance for people who don’t like romances is about 10% through what I sincerely hope will be my last revision pass.  When I get done with the chapter I’m working on now, I’ll be sending the first chunk to my beta readers . . . which I would very much like to have more of, hint hint.  If you don’t know what this one is about by now, just click the damned tag and read my other posts about it.

Awaiting Revision:

Jake’s Last Mission Expansion – I think it’s probably going to take three or four passes to get it to be what I want it to.  I’ll probably start tackling it when I finish this pass through No More Lies.

Jake Becomes Mithoska – I finished it in November and can’t see much wrong with it at all, which either means I have finally succeeded in writing a clean first draft or that I’m still too close to it and reading what it should say instead of what it does.  My money’s on the second, so it’s sitting for a while longer.

Ren and Quinn, Hopefully Final Version – I finally have a completed draft of the story of a fifty-year-old ladies’ man finding true love after years of false starts at the damned thing!  And it’s so unevenly paced that it’s going to need major revision.  Fuck.

“The Newcomer” – This is a bit of flash fiction that I’m not sure if it’s a stand-alone thing or not yet, so it’s being left alone while I see if I’m going to get more ideas involving the character it introduces.  It’s short enough that it’s hard to summarize without giving everything away.

Still Being Written:

Ren meets Vik – I wrote a short story version of this ages ago from Viktor’s perspective and, over time, it had become canon violating in some ways, so it needed redone.  I tried redoing it from Vik’s perspective, got a page in and made this lovely note:


Writing from Ren’s POV, it’s a bit over 20,000 words long so far and I’ve only gotten about one scene farther than what was covered by the 3000 word short story years ago.  I wrote about 7000 words of it last week in about four hours, spread out over two days.  It’s going very fast.  It’s also going to be very long, I think, since I’m only about a month into a storyline that’s supposed to cover a bit over two years!  (I’m not sure why it’s called “meets Vik” when it’s going to take them from meeting to their wedding.  My brain is weird sometimes.)

Zaphnell Story – This one is completely Ed Greenwood’s fault.  I was reading an article about how he’d created Mirt the Moneylender and how he’d developed over time and whatnot.  Zaphnell had been a character that had existed in my head but never done anything more than be in the background of anything for years.  Suddenly while I was reading the article I knew what he was up to these days and . . . well, long story short, I now have nearly 6000 words of a story about a rebel-for-hire turned “perfectly honest merchant captain” (Zaphnell), a semi-retired rebel-for-hire pilot (Lyndsey, from Crown of Eldrete), her adventure loving uncle (Johann, making his story debut), a very valuable cargo obtained under questionable circumstances, pirates that want the cargo, and a route through an area of space known as The Dead Zone that’s littered with the ruins of whole systems destroyed by unthinkably powerful weapons.  Oh, and the “perfectly honest merchant captain” is wanted by a powerful crime lord because of a “misunderstanding.”  I am having entirely too much fun writing this.  I am, of course, terrified that I’m going to write myself into a corner like I do with everything with an actual plot lately, but I’m trying to ignore that voice and push through.

Vinnie and Henri – The sniper turned artist from “Hope” has a nephew that wants to become a bounty hunter.  He’s teaching him to shoot.  This one might end up abandoned because I am having trouble getting it to go anywhere remotely interesting.  It’s about 3000 words.

The Fairy Story – This was previously known as “That urban fantasy thing inspired by the dream with the purple butterfly-winged fairy and the way Mount Greylock looks on cloudy nights”, or something along those lines.  It’s now in a Renaissance flavored setting where fae, known as the Longlived collectively, can, because of a long ago spell that was a REALLY good idea at the time, only walk in the mortal world 50 years out of every 400.  So far I’ve written the prologue, which is a telling of the myth explaining how this came about.  I’ve got characters that I like.  I’ve got a plot that I don’t.  So I’m really not sure what’s going to happen with this.  It’s only about 2000 words so far, and I know for sure that about 300 of those will be totally trashed.  I’m trying not to get discouraged.  I’m hoping I’ll be better able to work on it when the weather stops being so dreary.  It’s hard to worldbuild a happy setting when it looks so gloomy out.

Unnamed rpg system – I have a stat system!  I have success roll target numbers for Easy, Average, and Difficult tasks.  I made it so highly competent characters can do Nearly Impossible tasks 97% of the time!  Oops.  So it still needs a bit of work for harder tasks.  I also found a dead mouse in the box my notes should have been in.  Turned out I’d moved the notes.  So my lunch was ruined by finding a dead mouse when it didn’t need to be.  On the brightish side, at least I found the mouse before the entire contents of the box needed discarded.  I’m just down a GURPS book I’ve not used in the years I’ve had it, and I need to move my Traveller notes to a new notebook and then set them somewhere to air for a bit.  And, yeah, that’s got nothing to do with my WIPs, but I needed to rant.

Little House on Perlithis – It’s Jake as a precocious eight or nine-year-old.  His father is poor ranch hand.  His grandfather was a warrior-priest who, legend says, killed at least 100 armored and heavily armed men with only a sword.  This is the start of a series following Jake from this little boy to the officer we – okay, I, at least – love so damned much.  I’m aiming for middle grades level for this one and the next, but might hit young adult accidentally because I never read much middle grades stuff myself, having, as far as I can remember, gone pretty much straight from Berenstain Bears to Little House.  To make it distinct to myself that I need to concentrate more on word choice and, especially, not having characters swear profusely, I’m handwriting this one, so I don’t know how many words it is so far.  I’m also considering starting over completely because what I’ve got so far is a bit of a mess.

Quinn’s Nephew – I had managed to forget about this one because it got saved to the wrong place.  Quinn, the fifty-year-old ladies’ man who falls for his best friend in the cleverly named Ren and Quinn, Hopefully Final Version, has a teenage nephew who is even more of a cad than he ever was.  Nephew is a spoiled rich kid who decides to join a pirate crew rather than showing up for work on the family owned merchant ship his father sentenced him to after having to talk one too many angry parents/cuckolded boyfriends and husbands/girls who thought they were the boy’s one true love out of killing or castrating the boy.  Imagine Bertie Wooster as a womanizer and you’ve pretty much got the main character.  I really should work on this one more.  It was fun.

Recently Abandoned, Possibly Previously Mentioned Here:

Lyn Post-Dagger – This is one of those stories that seems to work better worked into other things as referenced backstory.  It’s interesting events, in other words, but doesn’t really work as a story.

Possibly Abandoned Because It’s Been So Long Since I Touched Them:

Codex – This one which was about a magic-user whose grandfather, also a magic-user, had died under mysterious circumstances, was going great for a few pages, then I hit a spot where I needed to do world-building to continue and then life happened and, well, I may just have to let this one go.  I don’t want to, though.  And now my brain is combining this and my WIP rpg system and . . . hmmm . . .

Fantasy Story – For some idiot reason I started this one on the computer and then hand wrote some and keep misplacing the handwritten bit so this one has gone years without anything added to it.  Also complicating things was that I knew how it started, dude was the first elven mage in centuries or millenia or something like that and failed to stop a Very Bad Thing so was sent on a quest to stop Very Bad Thing from becoming World Destroyingly Bad Thing, and how it ended – which you can probably guess – but had basically no ideas for what to have happen in-between without making it read like a transcript of a D&D session.

Any of the bits of Intertwined Lives that haven’t been incorporated into something else on this list – I may revisit the concept – everyday life in a space opera setting –of it later, but those exact stories weren’t working the way I’d hoped.  I might do something with what’s been going on in the rpg version of the setting the past in-game year because that’s been a bunch of storylines that really do keep ending up interconnected, but I’m not sure.

Rewrite of “Forbidden Love” – The ever-so-creatively named “Forbidden Love” was a short story I wrote in high school.  It was a tale of a human princess and her forbidden love for an elven prince.  It fairly beats you over the head with the moral that prejudice is bad.  I decided a couple of years ago to start rewriting the same storyline but with the prince a cad and the princess one in a long line of naive girls who’d fallen for him . . . pretty much a parody of what I had originally.  It wasn’t as much fun as I’d thought it would be.

Anything else I’ve previously mentioned that hasn’t appeared elsewhere on this list except one story that I’m not at liberty to talk about freely because of Reasons – Assume I’ve totally forgotten it exists.

Totally Planning To Write Someday But Haven’t Started Yet:

Story I can’t talk about for Reasons – I really can’t say much more right now, as far as I can tell.

Fantasy travelogue thing inspired by thing I wrote for that horrible creative writing course in college – I still love the idea of a story that’s mostly just following a chef and his wife around as they travel through their world.  I just always end up writing something else first.

Kenodori ninja killing one of the Theocrats – For what should be obvious reasons, anything I write right now involving a political assassination is going to be far from subtle allegory or anything like that.  So this one is on hold.

So, that’s the end of the list.  Anything you’re particularly interested in reading?  (If it’s something I’ve abandoned, I’ll gladly send you what I’ve got and you can fucking finish it. 😛 )

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