Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
The last week has kept me busy! After my last update, I powered through some rough spots on my fourth chapter of Oo-De-Lally, crafting and rewording until it finally seemed smooth, collected and gave me a little smile pushing deeper into the chapter. The weekend found me pulled away from any dedicated writing with yard work and a long desired excursion to see Avengers: Age of Ultron on Sunday, which was a movie with several levels of awesome!
Getting home from the film Sunday afternoon, I found that the next Challenge on my Reddit writing group had been posted. I will admit that the prompt had me quite vexed and distracted for a day as I tried to piece something together. The prompt is to write an “Anachronistic Fantasy” story in two-thousand words or less which involves fantasy characters doing something anachronistic in a pseudo-historical setting.
It’s a very nebulous prompt and hard to interpret. In a constructed fantasy world where Vikings and computers exist together, that’s not truly an anachronism in my opinion, because it exists within the time-frame of this world. A true anachronism in my mind would be a work trying to be historical fiction where we then read about George Washington checking his email on an iPhone.
Further discussion on the prompt seems to reveal that it will be subject to very broad interpretation. That’s good, but didn’t help me with coming up with an idea. I ran through several concepts… A knight fighting a Deinonychus in a cornfield with the aid of a wizard was one I had, but it felt more “constructed world” than “anachronistic”. I went to bed not feeling anything pulling at my creative urges.
Monday started badly with my wife having an early morning asthma attack brought on by spring allergies and an unseasonable heat wave. I took a day off from work to help her recover, and as she improved I took a walk to clear my head. Then, BOOM! All my random thoughts about the writing challenge coalesced into an idea that I rushed home and started writing into a story. It turned into an immensely fun to write and action-packed tale! I drew my “anachronistic” vibe by taking historical persons whom mostly never coexisted in any way, added fantasy and retro-science, and tweaked them all into a constructed world that basically amounts to huge number of history “what if?” daisy-chained together.
Yesterday, Tuesday, was another day off from work for me. This time a planned vacation day I used to see a theater screening of The Last Unicorn, a staple and inspiring part of my childhood! Featuring a beautifully restored HD print of the film, not only was it a joy to see on the big screen for the first time, but the author of the original book and film screenplay Peter S. Beagle was there as well!
Peter seems like a cool old guy, very personable even though you could tell he was up way past his bedtime. He gave some writing advice in his Q&A and his anecdotes were great! He was a charming presence after the film, chatting with fans and signing books.
I had been looking forward to the event for weeks along with my friends, and in doing so a unicorn story of my own began to take root in my thoughts. I’ve decided to run with it, and my initial plotting is giving me enough smiles and “oh yes!” moments to tell me it will be a fun story to write and share!
The working title is The Accidental Unicorns of Mystic, Maine.
It’s just a wire-frame at the moment, but the anchoring scenes I’ve fleshed out so far have an emotive strength mixed with varying degrees of humor that seem to be a good formula for me. The idea started after reminiscing with a friend about how The Last Unicorn had a big effect on her and I as children. The next day driving to work on the highway, I got to thinking about how I had hardly done anything story-wise with unicorns as an adult.
My imagination kicked in, and I had a vision of a family of unicorns keeping pace with the cars speeding down the road, playfully weaving between them.
Everything else has grown from that moment. :-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some fiction, take care!