brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
So basically all the health stuff has continued, with a big dose of other things (including depression, hooray! I totally needed that on top of the fatigue!) With the new year I'm determined to get back onto updating Celestial Chronicle regularly. I'm also planning to try and use this journal more, to talk about writing and to connect with other people.

On that note, for the time being I've gone through my access list and taken everyone off it, because at the moment my plan for how I will use this journal does not involve friends-locking any posts. If that changes I'll want to set up the access rules from scratch again anyway. I'm not sure if people get notified when I remove access, but if so, it's not because I don't want you to see things - it's because there won't be anything to see, at least for now. :)

Also, here is an illustration I did for Celestial Chronicle, and then totally failed to really do anything with except stick it on an obscure corner of the website. You get a cookie if you recognise the blatant copying homage. :)

Sol, Luna and Kestrel on the shore of the sea under a full moon

Ep 14 delay

Sep. 6th, 2016 09:33 am
brightwanderer: "In a different world we might be lovers." (Alterniverse)
Just a quick note to explain what's going on: for the last year I've been trying to continue working at my job despite chronic fatigue. However, even with reduced hours and a generous schedule, it's too much, and I've come to the difficult decision to quit. The temporary bad news is that the process of handing in my notice etc is taking all my energy and attention for September, so I'm going to skip updating this month. The good news, hopefully, is that I may be able to go back to updating CC every two weeks instead of monthly once I'm not working. And might be slightly more of a human being, which would be nice...
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Okay! So! You know that thing where you know you ought to tell people why you've suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, but you keep thinking "oh but I'm going to get back on track any day now so it would be silly to say anything"?

Yeah, that's how six months go past without an update to your story. Sorry!

Some context (not too personal or detailed but I guess minor content warning for discussion of chronic illness - nothing terminal!). )

I'm changing my update schedule to monthly for now, with the hope that as things continue to improve (or, like, I win the lottery and can devote all my time to writing) I will be able to get more frequent again.

I'm also going to be more upfront about any delays with posting/health issues, here and on Twitter, so keep an eye on this space.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
... is up. I have a lot of feels about this chapter! Mostly about how I want to rush off and write an AU where the adorable-schoolboy-romance-that-never-was actually worked out, and another one where Akemi never had to feel sad about anything, ever.

Read it on the Website or AO3.
brightwanderer: Guardian Luna from Celestial Chronicle (Guardian Luna)
Me: I think this next chapter should be a bit of a breather. Let's catch up with normal life for these kids and deal with the Revelations of the previous chapter in a sensible...
Satoru: HI, I AM GOING TO GET DRUNK AND ANGST NOW, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT IT?
Me: Er...
Shoichi: HI, I AM GOING TO NOT-GET-DRUNK AND ANGST NOW, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT IT?
Me: ... well, I mean, okay, a bit, yes, but...
Akemi: Hey, I found this ball labelled "angst" in my bag, any idea what that's about? Do you think Shoichi dropped it? Also have you seen Hana lately?
Me: ... I guess this is what we're doing, then.


EDITED TO ADD: Website for the series is now mostly operational, with character illustrations! We're up to Ep6 at this point.

On writing

Sep. 7th, 2015 05:43 pm
brightwanderer: "In a different world we might be lovers." (Alterniverse)
Sometimes I hunt stories down, and sometimes I gradually piece them together. Sometimes I dream them and fill in the gaps with waking logic. Sometimes I find one somewhere else but I wish it was a different colour, so I repaint it. Sometimes I spend a long time building an elaborate series of ramps, strapping wheels to the story, and then pushing it off the top to see what happens.

And sometimes the story rushes out of the darkness and seizes me by the throat and shakes me until I get every last word down. (And then I'm like, where did Monday go?)

All of which is to say: Episode 5 of Celestial Chronicle went up on Saturday. It was a week late, because I was on my honeymoon (I felt this was an acceptable excuse). I am hoping to get Episode 6 up this weekend to return to schedule, but I just lost my Monday to 5,000 words of angsty fanfic so I can make no promises.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Okay! Here we go again. I am pretty happy with the rough outline and detailed backstory I have now, so there should be no further rewrites.

Rather than posting chapters here, I'm going to put them on Archive of Our Own, as I've checked with the mods that it's okay to do that with original fiction as long as I'm not making money off it (and it's "fanfic style", which... very yes). It makes it a bit more visible for people to stumble upon (hopefully). I've also got a website in construction but it's not quite finished yet, I'll link it when it's done.

Episodes One and Two have been somewhat rewritten to accommodate changes I've made to the backstory.

Episode Three has been completely reworked (no Shoichi yet, I'm afraid) as I felt I was rushing too fast to get through the setup. Also because I <3 Akemi.

At the moment I'm planning to update every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Episode 4 is nearly done already, so that's encouraging.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
So I try very hard when inventing my fantasy names not to make them so unintuitive that you need a pronunciation guide at the front of the book to get anywhere - and to make them "fail well" so that even if someone isn't pronouncing them the way I would, they're still coming up with something that sounds sensible.

I have one big glaring exception to this practice: the city of Thari. The TH is hard. The A is long. It should come out as TARR-EE, rhyming with "starry", not with "carry". It ended up that way due to Totally Legitimate Conlang Considerations (tm) and it's one of the few names I am not sure I could bear to change... but I am struggling with how to make the pronunciation apparent in fiction.

So far my best option might be to have Jenna mispronounce it and be corrected - except I find it hard to believe someone as thoroughly trained in politics as she is would make that mistake. Maybe I can get someone else from Merresh in somewhere, and Jenna corrects them... eh. I feel like if I'm going to flag up "Btw, it's pronounced like THIS", it needs to be very near the beginning... my own experience with names and so on is that if I spend half a book thinking something is said one way, or a character looks a certain way, new information doesn't always change my mind.

TL;DR I probably should not have used common English consonant combination in an utterly un-English way in the name of one of my primary locations...
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Writing furious screaming matches is way too much fun.
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Worldbuilding question of the day: how do you hide your bright, shiny crystal city from the people on the moon?

Answer: [redacted], for reasons of plot.

Sigh.

Mar. 12th, 2013 02:09 pm
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Sometimes, I really want characters to just "talk among themselves" for a bit, to pass some in-scene time while I rearrange the plot furniture, and they inevitably just stare at me blankly and shuffle their feet. And sometimes, I want to throw in two pieces of information and move on, and they decide to spend 1,500 words speculating about giant catapults. I am starting to think I should learn self-hypnosis and convince them all that at any given time I want the opposite of whatever I actually want.

(Though I would always, always rather have the second problem than the first. I can at least put excess chatter into a scrap file and mine it for later use.)
brightwanderer: Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Ariel)
The weird (and awesome) thing about writing a story that's been kicking around since I was a teenager is that I periodically find very old pieces of fiction or worldbuilding that EITHER are spookily still accurate OR... make no sense whatsoever. Not just "this isn't true anymore" or "I've changed everyone's names since then" or "no, no, it didn't fall into the sea, it exploded", but "I have no idea why these characters are doing this, or what the hell is going on, and it's entirely possible that I didn't know at the time either and was just writing it because it was cool".

Also, I had an embarrassing tendency towards song-fic.

So anyway, all of this is in reference to the fact that I'm giving Kestrien a proper go. As in, I'm writing the first book and planning to e-publish it next year. And in the meantime I'm going to be posting some short stories to get a feel for the characters, and hopefully get my website up and running. Woo?
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
In the last couple of weeks, I started reading again: as in, I essentially prescribed myself books and went off to read them every day at lunch time whether I liked it or not. And then I discovered that while I wasn't looking there has been some kind of indie publishing revolution and it is the most exciting thing ever and it may well be game changing. Essentially, it is now possible to self-publish and not instantly damage your reputation beyond repair - because people are doing it whose reputations are rock-solid, proving it is not just an act of vanity or a lack of talent.

So the end result is that not only am I now powering through my pile of books I've been meaning to read for years, but all of a sudden I've bought a Kindle and I've got a list of indie and traditional sources for new books, and I am writing solidly every day for the first time ever. Because it has dawned on me that this new model - producing content regularly, self-publishing, drawing in readers by just writing what they want to read - is something I've been doing for ten years or more with fanfic. It's something I could do with original fiction. That's not a new thought, but previously I figured that by doing so I'd ruin any chance of being picked up for "real publishing".

All at once I'm not sure it matters. Maybe what matters is teaching myself to produce new content quickly and skillfully and then putting it out there for people to read. Maybe I'll make money off it, but maybe it doesn't matter if I don't.

I am so excited right now. I feel like a great big anvil of expectation has suddenly dropped off my shoulders. There are other options. Where I've always had in front of me a sort of big, monolithic goal with no clear set of steps to achieve it (write-a-novel-and-get-it-published) I am suddenly seeing a set of steps. Get into the habit of writing regularly. Finish my dangling fanfics, work on my speed and self-editing so I can upload a chapter every couple of weeks instead of every three months. Start doing the same thing with original writing at the same time. Talk to people on forums and comms and blogs. Be interested in books and writing and storytelling. Go to conventions. Write stories. See if people want to read them. See if the people who like my fanfic want to read my original fic. See if there really is an audience for my weird shoujo-manga-western-fantasy-novel blended tastes.

And, of course, actually read on a regular basis. If nothing else, I've read two (traditionally published) books in the last two weeks which I'm absolutely convinced I could have written better. That's encouraging. I keep meaning to write a semi-review, which is in fact why I logged on here, but I seem to have become distracted by glee.

I also totally have a brand new Kindle sitting in a box beneath my desk and I am dying to open it and play with it...
brightwanderer: Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Ariel)
I had decided that I wouldn't be doing NaNo as such this year; the ideas I had weren't working for me, and I'm very attached to my story from last time. So I was thinking I would just dedicate November to working on The Eighth Day, with or without signing up for the site...

... the use of the past tense should be clueing you in as to where I'm going with this.

About a week ago I stumbled into a concept and a set of titles - Stormlight, Windchild, Starfrost - for a series of (I think) children's books. And having brewed for a week, yesterday the whole thing asploded and I think I may have to write Stormlight as this year's NaNo. 50,000 words is a good length. It's a trilogy in the form of three complete stories that form one complete arc. I'm not sure yet where it's going to fall on the surreal/dreamscape vs Plucky Adventurous Kids line, though the setting and concept are firmly in the former. And somehow a bunch of random concepts I've had over the past few years for stories set in Oxford have attached themselves to it, meaning I suddenly need to do an awful lot of reading in a rather short time.

I started to reach for characters and to my surprise they were already there, and oddly both taken from particularly vivid dreams. Hazel and Sebastian seem to have found a home. It's a rather breathless and exciting thought.

I think I'm going to have to actually pay attention to Lewis Carroll for a bit, too...

So yeah. o.o

Boom.

Sep. 2nd, 2010 09:07 pm
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Whether I write it for NaNo or not (please no, it's a trilogy for heaven's sake, although I suppose I could make it my goal to write the first book...) Demira has all of a sudden done that thing that worlds and stories sometimes do, and made a dozen connections to draw itself into a coherent whole. I walked home from work tonight just to give myself time to think. I've suddenly got the 1000 years of history that were missing sorted out, and I now know what happened to Atalan. There is a comet. It is awesome.

Random (related) question: if you were reading a book set in a fantasy world with no connection to ours, would you find it misplaced if one of the characters were called Persephone? Or would you 'translate' it to assume it referenced some similar myth/concept in this other world?
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
It's getting towards NaNo time of year again, and since this year I want to plot and outline in advance, and then hopefully end up with something with a beginning, middle, and end, I thought I'd play around with some ideas. Except that the one I thought I was going to write is just... not working for me. It was stolen from a fanfic idea I had, and very romance-heavy, and looking at it now, it's just not sparking for me. :(

And as I was sketching out concepts, my brain helpfully piped up "OH HEY we could have another go at a story from Kestrien - how about the Fall of Demira?"

And I went aaaaaarghhgarblflargh WHAT no but now the idea won't go away.

THIS DID NOT END WELL WHEN I TRIED IT WITH THARI.

On the other hand if I had an actualy outline this time... and at least I know how it ends. (Hint: Boom.)
brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (NaNoWriMo09)
It's taken me 24,000 words to get something I don't mind posting, but here we have SPONTANEOUS CREEPINESS WARGH.

They're in the middle of a hurricane... )

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brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Helen Bright

January 2017

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