A lot of frustration goes into writing. Oftentimes, it seems like you know what you want to do, but pesky things keep getting in the way, like the laws of space and time, general physics, or the fact that characters can be far more stubborn than you like. You know, the usual suspects. Eventually though, those difficulties sort themselves out.
What’s even more frustrating? Wanting to write, really, really wanting to write… and having nothing to write about. Having your source of stories sucked dry, suddenly making you realize it was what defined your life and shaped your thoughts. That is really frustrating.
I know because it happened to me for six months.
Six of the most productive months I have known.
Never, ever, focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else. For around ten years, I focused on my writing like it was my calling. It was ‘my thing’, and it was the only thing there was in my life. Sure, I told myself, I’ll do that other stuff I need to in order to survive. But writing – that’s what I need to focus on. That’s where my future is.
I won’t say I was wrong, simply because I haven’t an inkling where the future is (and know it now). But I will say that I was blinded. I had come to rely on writing so much that when it spontaneously stopped eight months ago now, I stopped with it.
It took me awhile to find other ‘things’ to fill the gap. Things I needed to do. Things I needed to learn. And then, by January, when I was finally back on track with where I should have been all along, writing came back.
And here I am, once more, with another fan fiction.
So, during my six month hiatus, what’s changed? Basically everything. I’ve detailed a lot (but not all) of it in my FFC blogs on Heroscapers. Essentially, I’ve found a lot of information, created (and disproven) a lot of theories, and tested a lot of ideas. It would take way too long to list everything here, so I’ll settle with just telling you about this fiction.
So back before the great void swallowed my creative writing juices, I wrote Rise of the Valkyire – Utgar. It could have been better. But I’ve long since learned that you can keep editing and rewriting a story forever if you let yourself. It’s better to write it, get it done, and move on. Keep up with the flow of interest. So that’s what I did. Utgar had some good parts and some bad parts.
But those bad parts kept bugging me.
During my productive six months, I had plenty of time to think about how the story of Utgar should have unfolded. I had so much time, that when I was finally able to write again, I found that my interest was there more than anywhere else. Well, follow the interest, right?
So I literally rewrote a story I had already published.
Don’t worry. Valkyrie is completely different from Utgar. I mean, sure, Utgar is in it, and he starts out in vaguely the same place, but that’s about it.
Now you might be thinking that the stories have got to be more similar than that. And you would be right, if not for one thing: during those six months, I had time to look at twists, and specifically how to craft a plot around twists. Not complications, but game-changing twists which take what you thought you knew and chuck it out the window. And not those expectation-subverters of Rian Johnson’s either. I know where to draw the line.
… We won’t go there.
Point is, there are twists in this story. This is the first time I’ve built a plot specifically around twists, and I really look forward to hearing how you, the readers, like them.
But by now, you know enough about the story. It’s time for me to stop talking, and you to start reading.
So dig in!