Right now, I have a good dozen projects either in the works--meaning physically tangible files and scribblings--or in my mind, waiting to be brought into the works. I am not and have never been an author who prefers to keep a lot of works in progress. Alas, trying to write fanfic and original fiction at the same time, stories for other people and stories for myself, makes it pretty much inevitable.
So I have made for myself a bit of a schedule. It is certainly not rigid, and I will go where the inspiration takes me, but it helps my put-in-sideways brain to see my creative projects put in some sort of order.
- Finish fanfic projects, namely:
- "The Tapestries," for Jenni's birthday. It is close to being done, I just need to draw it to its conclusion. It's probably my strangest story to date, so I will need lots of time for revision and contemplation and will probably begin posting it in November, weekly, as I am currently doing with BtLoR and AMC. (Jenni, of course, will get a copy of it on her birthday.) It should be a long multi-chapter short story or a short novella; only the time (and muses) will tell.
- The currently untitled story for Kasiopea about Caranthir's engagement to my Felak!verse OFC Taryindë. It is several pages underway and put temporarily on hold to make way for the Fëanor-inspired "The Tapestries."
- I owe many gift stories to many people. I have plotbunny eggs from sinneahtes and apoggiato that need to hatch into full-fledged plotbunnies. There were other birthdays that I missed or people to whom I would like to give stories but don't know their birthdays. You all can probably suspect who you are. I haven't forgotten you.
And that concludes the most-pressing of my fanfic projects. As far as orginal stories go....
- Finish "The Lanternkeeper," my original fantasy short story, post, and prepare for revision. Perhaps connive some poor soul into doing a beta of it.
- Finish revision of "Cold Hands," which was kindly beta'ed by Jenni, but we all know how much Dawn loves revision (especially since deciding to rewrite the beginning of the story...).
- Begin horror stories for the month of October.
October is to be a special month. More on that in a moment, but I view it as sort of a pre-NaNoWriMo, a self-imposed challenge to get some of these ideas out of my head and onto paper. October is reserved for original fiction, though we all know that fanfic could creep in at any time. The October challenge is original-fic-based; currently, I have three ideas, with one outlined on paper.
November is the infamous NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month). Anyone who has ever cursed my name and my extraordinary productivity probably can imagine that 50K words in a month is not much of a challenge for me. I did it last year in two weeks, so I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo in any official capacity this year. I will, however, be doing it in the sense of using the opportunity to focus on finishing my original fantasy novel, still untitled, that I began last year for NaNoWriMo. I haven't decided if I am going to simply challenge myself to add 50K words to it, have a weekly word count challenge that is a little more...well, challenging, or something else.
After November, it's anyone's guess what I'll be doing. Probably a lot of revision. Or maybe beginning/continuing one of the Chronically Neglected Projects.
Chronically Neglected Projects
- "He Came Home." I don't know why I neglect this. This is one of my favorite stories, the novella from Earwen's PoV about the darkening of Valinor. It's just one of those easy projects to set aside in favor of other more pressing concerns.
- The Fëanor/Nerdanel novel. Also known as the prequel to AMC, this is actually completely outlined in my writing journal, and I have entire scenes written in my head. I just need to do it. If I wasn't so eager to finish my original novel, I would consider working on this for NaNoWriMo, but my Midhavens novel has turned into one of those easy-to-neglect projects, and that's not what I want, to have my most ambitious original project languish unfinished. *sigh*
- "The Election Farce of Nargothrond." If fanged_geranium is still around, she will be pleased to know that this satire is something that I hope to finish. Hopefully by the next election farce *ahem* Presidential election.
- "The Tree of Hours." Based off of my short story of the same name, Bobby and I have been talking about cowriting a novel for about a year now, and we finally decided a few weeks ago to expand "The Tree of Hours" to novel length. We each need to outline our ideas, then collaborate to come up with a master outline, figure out who will write which bit, and actually write the thing. This will be my first cowritten project, so it should be interesting and fun.
Now there are two projects I am undertaking that have components of audience participation.
First, there is the October horror challenge. As I said earlier, this is my pre-NaNo attempt to focus and actually produce something. Because I have given up literary fiction for the baser goal of writing speculative fiction (/sarcasm)--particularly horror and fantasy--and October is a month-long celebration of Halloween for Bobby and me, then my October challenge is to write and finish four short horror stories to be posted on each of the four Fridays that month. (These will be posted under f-lock, of course, so if there's anyone lurking out there who actually wants to read my original stuff, please let me know so that I can add you.) But I would like to invite anyone else who is interested in scary stories to join me in this, to write and share a story for Halloween. Bobby's already a taker (though he takes after his tight-lipped wife and won't give me a clue what his story is about). I have three of my four stories planned in some sense--one actually outlined on paper--and hope to begin them just as soon as my fanfic obligations are out of the way.
Now because I will be spending over two months doing mostly original work, I recognize that my Silmarillion muses will probably start nibbling. The muses that bite are rarely the ones that I want, so I am resigned to this. There have been a few drabble projects on which I have wanted to work that tend to get swept under the rug of my more-ambitious fiction. The first (and second) of these are drabble "tours" of Beleriand and Numenor. There was a long-ago challenge at silwritersguild pertaining to setting and a current challenge pertaining to "The Akallabeth," and these challenges have helped inspire this idea.
The third drabble project is the one for which I would like some input. It is tentatively called the "Maglor's Fates Drabble Series" because it is a set of drabble series about the various fates we writers ponder and create for Maglor. Stories pertaining to Maglor's fate seem among the most prolific in our fandom, and while I have my own Felak!verse idea that will conclude the AMC series of stories, I find the different theories and stories floating around out there to be fascinating.
So what I would like to know: What is your personal vision of Maglor's fate? I need ideas for my drabble series, so if you don't mind me using your idea (with credit, of course), I'd love to hear it. It can be as bizarre or banal as you'd like, ocurring in Tolkien's history, world history, or modern times. I already have several series finished and more in the works, but I'd love to have more minds than just mine pondering this one.