So, some weeks ago, I posted this about writer’s block and indecision:

I’ve been stuck at 80,000 words or so for a particular SF novel for, I don’t know, it seems like practically forever and is certainly more than a year. … A good many things are opaque to me, unfortunately, including not only the specifics of the ending but also the details of the secret plan of the pov protagonist AND the details of the secret plan of the other protagonist. I do know everybody has a secret plan; that part is quite definitely true. … Wow, am I stuck.

Well, I’m not at the point I’m willing to share a snippet from this book, but I AM REALLY HAPPY BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT TO DO TO MAKE THIS BOOK WORK! Or at least, I’m pretty sure.

Whew, I thought this plot was NEVER going to work itself out, but I honestly think it has. As far as I can tell, two things contributed to this sudden forward progress: my brother made a suggestion (What if they’re not at war?), and my laptop was forcibly removed from my hands (I’m glad something good has come out of this otherwise infuriating situation). Once I was forced to stop working on other things, well, one thing I COULD do was think about this book. I now have two pages of (handwritten, ugh) notes about everybody’s secret plans.

I will tell you a little about this story, even though I don’t want to post a snippet until I actually have finished a complete draft.

It’s science fiction, not fantasy. The title is Invictus, which is the name of the ship on which almost all the story takes place. Invictus means unconquerable and I love that as a ship’s name and a title, so wow, am I happy the title is taken care of! Also, I guess that’s a reason not to use Latin titles for the Tenai trilogy. Anyway, the setting for this story is rather far future; whatever traces of our current societies remain, those are just traces.

The protagonist (Syova) and the other protagonist (Ila) and the initial situation are set up to deliberately echo Tuyo, except that in this case the older person is a woman. I actually was intrigued by that suggestion for Tuyo, and this story grew out of that idea. Of course, despite the echoes, this situation is different in a zillion ways. I mean, among other things, in this one, nobody is a sorcerer, but everyone has secret plans. There’s a definite thread of romance through this story, with major, major obstacles that (I’m pretty sure) I now know how to resolve.

And I guess that’s all I’ll say at this point. Except that now that I’ve figured this stuff out (probably! pretty sure!), this story has moved up in the queue of projects for this year. I hope and expect I will be posting a snippet from a finished draft well before the end of the year. Honestly, it shouldn’t take that long to write the rest of it now that I know what I’m doing!

Wow, are projects piling up.

1) First, finish reading through The Sphere of the Winds and correct typos. Get the cover (I’ve seen a sketch so far) and release this book.

2) Second, and actually kind of concurrently, finish coming up with titles and back cover copy for the Tenai trilogy plus finish some revision and correct typos. Get the covers (I hope I will decide to ask the same artist who is currently working on The Sphere of the Winds cover for me) and release those books.

3) Promote the audio version of Tuyo and in fact all editions of Tuyo as heavily as possible (ongoing all year) (my God, marketing, ugh).

This link here, by the way, should let you listen to an audio sample.

4) Revise Tarashana and send that out for proofreading; correct typos and get a cover (yes, an eagle, I emphasized the eagle after thinking about the cover and now there is a pretty great eagle in the story). Release that book. Start production of the audio version, which I’m happy to say the audio producer for Tuyo asked about, so I know that unless something dire happens, I can count on him to do it.

And from here on down the rest of this list, not sure what takes priority, but:

5) Finish Invictus.

6) Play around with books 4 and 5 for the Tuyo series — I want to at least get them started this year.

7) Write three Black Dog novellas and release the 4th collection.

8) Think about the 5th Black Dog novel.

9) There is this interesting and complicated fantasy novel I’ve started which I definitely want to go on with.

My goodness, that is NINE things. Wow. What a year it’s going to be!

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5 thoughts on “Unstuck!”

  1. I’m kind of in shock that your brain can handle all of these projects at the same time, but am VERY excited about this!

  2. This sounds like a VERY busy year, but tremendously exciting for us! (I’m very glad to hear about the eagle.)

  3. I’m so happy for you! That’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m super excited to see some of these new books. They sound fascinating and delightful.
    I commented on that earlier post that I, also, was stuck. And lo, a quiet evening and some hard thinking, and now I think I know how to resolve some story elements. Time to think seems to solve most of my blocks, too.

  4. Good for you, EC! Always so fantastic when a problem suddenly works itself out, that’s for sure.

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