What to write?

11 December 2016:

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a lot of my thoughts and feelings down. It felt as if I was pushing myself to really think and consider things: how I felt, what I felt, my situation, who I was, what I believed.

I didn’t post any of it; I never post those kinds of reflections. I have a writing document, or a journaling word document. It’s where I can work through thoughts and confusion and realizations. Or at least it feels like I am. I don’t have to worry if the paragraphs fit together, or if it makes sense, or if it has a unified topic, or if it is writerly or witty or just good writing. I don’t have to worry about if my feelings sound good. I can just focus on what I mean or what I feel.

Almost two weeks ago, I posted a verbatim one about my purpose and why I write. I hadn’t written anything since then.

Today’s the seventh Anniversary of The Princess and the Frog. It’s the only Disney movie that directly influenced my writing. That winter soon after it premiered, me and my immediate family went to Walt Disney World and stayed at resort near Animal Kingdom. It was an awesome place. (It was connected to the safari/savanna so there was a waterhole area outside where you could view animals; we saw a giraffe drinking on the last day.*) But it was really out of the way.

More importantly there was a lot of PatF stuff being promoted. So, the African décor, animals, PatF, and the Christmas lights and spirit mashed up in my mind to deter and take over the second book of my Aladdin-lyric story.

That’s a really bad working name, but it’s the best I can think of to explain it.  Essentially, I wanted to take the cut lyrics from Disney’s Aladdin and see if I could create a compelling story out of it. Or more precisely, if I could take a lazy character and a spoiled character and see if I could make them compelling. By the end, it had begun to deviant from that idea and sink into a strange fog focused on the early stages of my Dreams. Then PatF came out. And I got two new characters that changed the plot.

Now I think their plot would work between in a later arc.

I just wish the stories and arcs and such would stop shifting. Like Romance of Three Jewels has a pretty set plot: two people in love, one is purposely sent away, the other goes on an epic-style journey to find her, while she goes on her own quest (more spiritual/supernatural?) to get home.

Or Dragon’s Eye (which I facilitate on whether it’s worth my time; I was putting it away for storage but then I took a Revolutionary Writing class that said to find out what mattered to you and it was the first story I thought of. And then Moana came out… Of course, I haven’t revised it properly for a month, except for a three day period where I quick-revised two chapters + plus re-read the rest of the story to orient myself in plot revisions).

What was I saying? Oh, yes, Dragon’s Eye at least has a stable plot. Does it need work? Yep. Is it necessarily worth writing? Debatable. But at least I know what the basic pull of the story is, even if it’s not a good one. (Admittedly the characters are less developed compared to an earlier fanfic I wrote, even though the non-OCs in the fanfic were vastly OOC. But that’s what I do. Take known characters and create them the way I want. I’m horrible. I know.)

How do I know which story is worth working on? I’m not even talking about writing? I mean, okay, writing-wise, I could write:

  • Moon Lineage: Kingdom of the Moon – is the most draining and probably life-influenced (as much as a Moon Kingdom with story fairy tale themes can be), has hints of Biblical Eden; I question if there is a STORY here so much as a set of vignettes or short stories (Worth wondering if Wild Moon, White Tree is the same way)
  • “Painting Story” – basically I realized I have strong feelings for stories about women who fall in love with a painting/ghost; I have lots of very specific details about it and the characters
  • Romance of Three Jewels – it’s a slow burn but I have a lot of love for it; it’s about a third done; I tried doing it for Nanowrimo once
  • 3 Flowers Story/Garden of Flowers – my CHTHONIC FLOWERS: their lives, their imprisonment, their rescue; woven with Mesopotamian and Biblical and Aztec mythology; CHTHONIC WORLD (I have VERY STRONG FEELINGS about this environment and world)
  • Nights of Heroes: Short Stories – there’s always something; seriously, practically everything I write is about these characters or their parents or their children
  • Moon Lineage: Moon’s Daughter – basically the creation origin of the Woods, the “Journey Beyond the Woods” and the ice faerie and demon romance that served, in the original outline, as the first part of Wild Moon, White Tree
  • Moon Lineage: Reflection/Refraction – one book complete or else part one of book one is complete; started spontaneously after I finished Dragon’s Eye and was allegedly a story that “lived on its own” but I’ll be hard-pressed to find out how that is; originally about something waking up in a forest and the half-demon descendant of the Moon’s daughter hooking up with someone to have a son who would be the first Ruler of the first Seat; edited to include more fairy tale themes (ice shards); then edited so the half-demon would be the first Ruler; also, some difficulties around the half-demon’s possible asexuality which cuts the lineage down which I’m pretty sure survives or else the new frame story for Wild Moon, White Tree wouldn’t work (chill out, Losarjk, geez). Also, has always had an undercurrent push toward SEA travel and demons either in a desert or on islands. It’s kind of a big question mark.

Okay that’s everything I am writing (Ro3J, NoH: Short Stories, Moon Kingdom??, Reflection????), I have outlined (Ro3J, 3 Flowers, Moon’s Daughter), and I am brainstorming (Painting, Moon Kingdom, 3 Flowers).

So…

I am writing and have outlined Romance of Three Jewels

I am writing Nights of Heroes: Short Stories. (I’m trying to finish like three right now!)

I am brainstorming and (maybe) writing the Moon Kingdom. (I wrote some a few days ago.)

I have outlined and am brainstorming the 3 Flowers. (yay!)

I have outlined the Moon’s Daughter. (Yep. I’ve tweaked it a bit; I’ve removed the wolf character because I wanted the ice faerie to have a stronger role in the story and I’ve made the Moon Daughter become a foster sister to the Architect, a character influenced by a toy from my childhood – only my twin will know who I mean. Also, worth noting: in the outline the Moon’s Daughter (Sulani) and her companions actually come upon the Moon Kingdom. But as I tweak that story, I’m becoming less sure if they’d actually be contemporary… Ahem.)

I am brainstorming the “Painting Story”. (And trying to take my time and not write it until it’s had time to simmer properly. Sometimes I feel I write too prematurely so I have to go back and change more things than I would if I had waited a little bit to make sure it was more…rooted.)

I am writing and have written Reflection/Refraction.

And that’s just literal writing ideas and projects. Now here’s what complete or near complete stories that need to be revised or completed. The reason I’m –

Is that my problem with Wild Moon, White Tree? That I never finished it and I’m trying to revise it? Well, I’m not trying to revise it, I’m trying to get it to be a cohesive whole and make it seem organically connected. (Even though the first half of it, if I go with my original outline, is the Moon’s Daughter I mentioned above.) Meh.

  • Dragon’s Eye – first complete original story I wrote (kind of), has a lot of themes that are important to me, needs lots of work, was written backwards but I didn’t develop background and characters as well as I do now, also may reveal why writing a story for someone else is different from writing a story from my own internal sources.
  • Wild Moon, White Tree – old, old, old idea (which has changed from a moon myth to demon history. Well, no, it was always about demons. And paradise. But the central romance was originally a myth to explain why the moon changed. Also, the original, retrospectively, was sad. It’s still sad, but there’s no longer the “searching for my lost love” thing. Ahem.)
  • Nights of Heroes – weirdly old ideas + plus really new ones (see the start of this post); has gone through two full revisions, like five short ones, and now I’m wondering if I’m newest revision needs to be scraped; also, wondering if I need to rearrange the Arcs – one on hand, I’m like “no! I like the way I broke up the themes; on the other, I’m like “Yes! I don’t have a plot until the 8 Siblings (even though I have the new ones with Maliabeyo and Aladdin (French style) and, you know, demons, and the really old revolution story). But most importantly I can bump the Herc-character up from Arc Three to Arc Two and get to the meat of the stuff faster. Yes! To be more precise on what needs to be revised:
    • Novella: Arabian Nights inspired story (Ali Mercury + Wily Dahila + parent backstory)
    • Novella: mystery (I don’t how this story got so long; it was supposed to be a short story)
    • Actual Nights of Heroes: four written books, a fifth partially written; I stopped when I came to the fifth because I realized that the first few did not set up where the story was going/where it went; now it’s evolved to the point where the, well, where it is/was going isn’t actually wrong but the way I connected characters was wrong (HOW could you forget, me, that you already had a bro/sis/sis set up in your Dreams that you could use for the 3 Flowers??? Rather than hijacking the magical thief lineage??)
    • The Corpse Beast (Nano 2015): finished it this October and am in the progress of typing it up so I can revise it; it’s a collection of short stories connected in a longer plot set in a colonial autumn setting; it features one of my favorite characters from Nights of Heroes
    • Short Story: mystery (does this need a lot of work; a good example of why writing about children and stuff post what I’ve actually written or what I know is fact (which is sometimes pretty flexible) in the Actual Nights of Heroes is not always best.)
  • Ugh…

It’s been almost an hour. See, this is why writing is hard. Which do I choose? Which do I focus on? Do I focus on Dragon’s Eye because it’s shorter and has themes I care about? Or do I focus on Nights of Heroes because it’s mostly what my mind thinks about? Do I focus on short stories? Do I focus on the 3 FLOWERS because I have feelings? Do I focus on the Moon Kingdom, just to get it out of the way? What??? Which one?

This is also why it takes forever to do anything.  I’ll decide I’ll focus one thing, then I slide into another one or I lose confidence that it’s worth working on.

I’m the same with my online presence.  I want to share my writing and my thoughts and my characters. But that’s really hard. Because where do I post? How do I post it? What do I post?? And instead I make list after list of the same stories and the same arguments. Seriously, I’ve written these kinds of list hoards of times. Actually, I made a categorical outline for my stories by subject (Moon Lineage, Nights of Heroes, Garden of Flowers, Legendary Romance) already on my journaling document.

And still no answers.

Also, I love how this started out as reflective and then it fell into the pit of my repetitive lists and the question of what do I do? And now I just feel defeated. I wasted time. I found no answers. I feel dried out and dead. But this is the only way I can explain what I mean. This is my confusion. This is my reality of my writing ideas and writing revision.

(And the worst part is that none of this matters in the grand scheme of the world. I should be more concerned with doing good for the world or the people in my life and I can barely have a proper breakfast.)

 

*I’m not going to address whether putting one landscape into another is a good idea. My instinct says “no”, even if (especially if), it’s for tourist principles. Ecotourism or tourism of derived from already existing environmental conditions: animals, landscape, etc., is another thing.

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