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Sunday, 12 August 2018

Choices, Choices

NOTE: Many apologies for my lack of activity between Saturday and Thursday. I was on a camping holiday in Herefordshire with three other generations of family. Not entirely nice due to my inexperience with camping, but enjoyable enough that I'll remember it.

The life of someone trying to get published as an author is hard. You finish one work, and immediately think about moving on to another one once you've recovered. But is there any point? You're not published yet. Yes, there is a point! There is absolutely a point! Stopping at one work won't cut it. Some authors can tenderly refine and improve their work over so many years and strike lucky with an agent or publisher. But that's not my way. You can still refine and polish one work while writing another. And that's not counting short stories, and posts like this.

Right now, I've got between three and four possible large projects to pursue. By large, I'm talking about novels. Short stories can be completed in around a week, though that's without taking editing and proofing into account.

My first possibility is a strange blend of sci-fi and fantasy, inspired by two things; that amazing trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, and pirate stories ranging from On Stranger Tides and Treasure Island to contemporary offerings such as Laputa and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Basically the romping tale of one woman's selfless search for a wish-granting island, it's something light and friendly I can do after completing an extremely weighty sci-fi revenge story.

The second is slightly darker, and comparatively easier. A take on Lovecraft where the Eldritch monstrosities he described are simply how we appear in a simultaneous parallel "Other" realm crossing the prose of Lovecraft with the fleshy weirdness of Cronenberg. I'm setting it around North Wales, particularly Anglesey - my home, and consequently the perfect setting for me to describe a place with native detail and twist it using the filter of the Other.

The third is something that occurred to me on holiday, while I was playing the card game Once Upon A Time with my mother, sister and niece. I'd long had the idea of creating a grand adventure in a "classic" fantasy swords-and-sorcery realm which would help question many of the genre's accepted tropes. The role of the hero and "princess", what evil is, the sometimes-contrived events that happen along the way. Combined with the card game's premise of telling and influencing a story based on the cards in your hand to reach your "Happily Ever After" inspired this concept. A grand fantasy world where the hero's actions and events encountered were influenced by a group playing a game in the real world. The only one conscious of this at first is a single player expelled from the game that has entered the world controlled by the cards to tilt the game in favour of winning its freedom from control.

Those are the best contenders. And so, as the title of the post says.... Choices, choices.

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