I missed my post last week (busy summer is busy) and I had no idea what to write today. But! I can react to Kelly’s post.
I’m working on some tie-in fiction too, which means I’m also playing around in somebody else’s world. Mostly though, I’ve been enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I love world building, but it’s kind of nice to have all the basic crap already covered. Things like geography, climate, history, cultures, and god%*$&# mother$*%*&^% names. Instead of making that up, I can look it up. Then I can figure out how to bend my story around the world that’s already there– or how to bend that world around my story, if I can get away with it. Tie-in’s are mash-ups for me. I take a world and carve my story into it, working with and (a little) against what’s already there.
Really, it’s not a lot different than writing urban fantasy. I sure as hell wasn’t allowed any hand in world building real life. Which is probably good- there would be dragons. But it’s still fun to set stories in the realy real world. And easier. Especially with Google.
There are limitations. You’re stuck with the rules of magic and religion that are in place, world-shattering events are frowned upon, and you can’t just decide that all the elves have antlers.
That’s okay though. When I want to design my own worlds, I still can. So if I finally decide to set down the tales of Buck Rackgood, Night Ranger, I just have to start typing.
The door crashed open and a tall figure threw its shadow across the common room. It was a dark and horny elf.
Well, Kelly has her secrets, and I have my whiplash.
Like I said a couple of weeks ago, my latest project is that fantasy book that I had trouble with at the end of last year. I finally finished my world building (for a very loose value of finished) and started cranking out the words. That was going well– in two days of work I had over three thousand words. Not an astronomical count, but pretty good, especially for the beginning of a project. Finally, this book was starting to move along.
So of course another project jumped in front of it.
My not-so-secret project that’s been humming along for the past few months is a possible novel for a gaming company. I’m not going into great details about it now, not because it’s secret, but because I want to get the whole thing a bit further along before I start blogging about it. This being work-for-hire, I actually have people I have to talk with about the project– I can’t just slap something out and then hope somebody pays me for it. Instead I do pitches and outlines and see what the editor thinks of them. Yesterday he got back to me about my outline. He liked it, which is good, but he wanted a few changes. Which means the book that had just started revving up now gets punted to the side while I work on outline version 2.
Somebody wants to pay for my writing. This is a good thing. Having to rearrange my schedule around that is okay. This is part of being a professional writer. Your freedom to work on whatever you happen to feel like gets curtailed, because you start having responsibilities to others. Because they want something from you. Which after spending years of sending submissions out, only to have most of them get bounced, is kind of a nice change of pace.
Who knows? Maybe soon I’ll have a deadline. Or deadlines. That I’ll get to complain about bitterly.
That would be awesome.