WIP-it Wednesday: November 15th, 2017

Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

This week has been alternately exhilarating and frustrating. It’s been great to have my website done, and after its launch only a few minor things came to light (likely unnoticed by anyone but me) that were easy to fix. I wanted to get back to my fiction writing in a big way this weekend, but leftovers from the recent expansion of my social media presence recently came back to haunt me.

Delays took a few forms. One was simple exhaustion and sleep deficit needing the remedy of rest. Another was that some of the new media channels and projects still required nursing and cleanup work to get started.

One of these was my new Twitter project, #SciFanSat (Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday). The event had a very successful premiere with more than thirty participants/submissions! I didn’t expect those kinds of numbers to start… instead I was expecting (and would have felt happy with) more like six or seven. So that was awesome, and it’s a great feeling to see my writing prompts inspiring so many. :-)

I pretty much pulled that whole thing together last week, and learned a lot about how to host it on the fly. But I don’t think that next week will be nearly as complicated now that I’ve got a schedule and plan in place.

And as an additional complication, I wrote a 1,200 word essay/reply to a discussion on author websites on the r/fantasywriters forum on Reddit that I help to moderate. Obviously, my recent activities have given me a lot to share on the subject. It was also posted by a supportive friend and I wanted to help her post out with the best conversation and info I could provide.

Other practical matters came up too, like setting up my social media schedule and content for the last half of November. I’m on track to get that done for Friday and keep it from interfering with my upcoming weekend.

I did get in a few hours of fiction writing on Sunday, however. I used them to create an opening epigraph for my current WIP, The Shadow of the Black Tower:

What do you think? I really wanted to open up the story with an epigraph to set the tone and allude to the fact that it is a tribute to the works of RE Howard and HP Lovecraft. Initially, I was trying to do the epigraph with two actual quotes, one from each author, but I couldn’t find a matched pair of excerpts that balanced and worked for this story.

So instead I crafted something inspired by the tone of RE Howard’s oft-quoted opening epigraph written for The Phoenix on the Sword, his first story featuring Conan the Barbarian:

Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars …

Robert E. Howard, The Phoenix on the Sword.

I used that as a base, and tried to keep its timbre throughout as I added the Lovecraftian concepts. To express those ideas, I tried to pull from HP’s words directly where I could. The choice to end the epigraph on “Nameless Cities” is an allusion to Lovecraft’s short story The Nameless City, considered by many to be the first story of his Cthulhu Mythos. It was also in this story, although it is more famously used in The Call of Cthulhu, that Lovecraft introduces one of his most well-known couplets:

That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons even death may die.

H.P. Lovecraft, The Nameless City.

I’m rather happy that I was able to work “strange aeons” in as the hinge of my epigraph’s transition. Overall, I think it works as a mixture of the authors styles, although the tone leans slightly more towards Howard.

As I wrap-up this week’s check-in, I want to remind you that tomorrow another installment of my new Flash Fiction Feature will be published. The first one last week was well received and fun to write, so I’m hopeful the next will be enjoyed as well. And coming up this Saturday is the start of my serialized superhero / magical girl novelette, Cretaceous Queen!

I’ll be posting a new thrilling and cliff-hanging chapter of the story every Saturday morning, from November 18th until its conclusion on December 16th. I’ve gotten tons of positive feedback on Cretaceous Queen from my critique partners who have all thoroughly enjoyed it, so I hope that it turns out to be a real Science-Fantasy-Superhero treat for all of you as well!

The tale will even feature some original artwork by my multi-talented author friend Madicienne! Check out some of her other artwork on Instagram, but know that a small percentage of it may be considered NSFW. Mad’s contribution of art is special for me, as it was her joking around on Twitter that actually sparked my idea for the story. ;-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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