Friday, July 22, 2022

An Origin Story for My S&S Hero

I have a lot of interests when it comes to writing and genre. I enjoy westerns and have outlined a series of western stories that I want to write eventually. I also like weird western, which could mean I basically turn these western stories I have in mind into fantasy by adding witches and werewolves and zombies and such. Don't you love it?

I also like clean contemporary romance and have a few ideas for stories I want to write in this genre. And yes, I mean clean as opposed to smut. There's this huge debate in the romance world about how calling romance 'clean' stigmatizes sex as dirty. People. Adultery and porn and bondage and all that crap is the opposite of clean. It's dirty. Any sex outside of a mutually submissive marriage between one man and one woman is not God-honoring. Deal with it.

Currently, I'm writing a series of cozy mysteries. I actually have three series started! Call me crazy, but one is a 'curious' cozy with a magical cat. But I get that some people don't do magical cozies and so in this same village of Sugar Pine Station, I'm writing a standard cozy mystery with no magic (okay, there's a hint of the supernatural, but not as a storytelling device.)

Other genres I want to explore include LitRPG. I've read a few short novels in the genre and it seems pretty cool. The advice I got was to read a bunch of novels, but most of them are just too long. I don't like books over 300 pages. My ideal length is 250 or so. 

Like back in the day when westerns were about 190 pages long and SF was around 240. Let's bring back the short novel! So instead of reading broadly (and getting influenced by what is 'standard'), I'm just going to write my own style LitRPG series one day with all the adventures about 200 pages each. 

Then there's SF/F. My first love. Grew up with all the classics. Discovered Mil-SF a few years ago and found some authors I enjoy, but won't write in that sub-genre. I'm not a military guy and know nothing about guns. Plus, there's too much swearing in a lot of Mil-SF so my potential stories wouldn't fit what with all my gosh darns and dagnabbits. (grin)

Now space opera I like, and I have some short stories in a universe I created, so will get back to those one day. I don't do horror, though creepy and odd spiritual suspense and supernatural thriller works for me and I have some stories in that genre that I want to add to. 

Sheesh. Like I said, too many interests. Oh, and actual crime, suspense, private investigator stuff is cool too, and yes, I have some stories in that genre, collaborating with a popular police procedural author. And for my one reader who will get this far in the blog post, I'll get back to Ned eventually. Promise!

The one genre I want to learn more about, though, and dive into a bit more is Sword & Sorcery. I've written one epic fantasy adventure already called The Sword of Otrim. (affiliate link)

I say epic, but again, my wordcount is at about 40k, so around 200 pages. Not so epic in the expansive sprawling story sense, but definitely a fantasy set adventure. Maybe it's sword and shield as there's not a lot of sorcery in it. 

Anyway, I have book 2 in mind but as I was pondering the development of the story, I realized I needed to understand my hero Otrim's backstory. So over the last three days I wrote a 6,000 words prequel story that I'm really happy with. Sent it to some first readers, got some good feedback, and now I'm going to send it out to markets (while I finish my cozy mysteries) before tackling book 2 next year. I think this origin story will make a good prologue to The Sultan's Scimitar. Catchy title, eh?

My only challenge is that there's too little time in the day to work on all the projects I'm interested in. Can I get a witness? Comment below about your current WIP or dream genre and let me know if you face similar challenges. Happy reading and writing.

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)