Monday, May 04, 2015

Evolving the setting

Sorry, Brandon Sanderson!  After having the first Mistborn novel on my "What I'm Reading" list for months, I gave up.  200+ pages in, and I still just couldn't get into the book at all.  I give up and quit trying.  I donated the book to the public library's second hand book shop.  I'm still on the look-out from among my collection of what to read next.  Because I have a lot of tie-in fiction, I'm almost certainly going to go that way.  In fact, what I probably most want to do is finish off the Abyssal Plague series (and then probably donate the entire series to the library again; I doubt I'll enjoy it so much that I'll want to keep it and dust it off to read again anytime soon.)  I also want to finish the Nagash trilogy that I started; I've only read the first of three novels there.  I also want to keep going on the Arkham Horror tie-in novels; I've read two of three novels in the Lord of Nightmares trilogy and one of three in the Dark Waters trilogy.  I actually only own the first two of each trilogy, because that's all that was out when I bought them, so I also need to buy book three in both trilogies in order to proceed--with the exception of the one book, Bones of the Yopasi, which I own but haven't read yet.  And of course, I also have many other options in print.  And my Kindle book list is almost as long as my print book list, although it contains a lot of first books in series (because they were free) and I'm also less picky about giving up and moving on from Kindle books.  I still haven't mentally made the jump of equating physical and Kindle books as equals.


One trend in the Black Library of Warhammer fiction that I'm watching with a little bit of curiosity is the End Times series.  Shared universe tie-in fiction usually has one important caveat; status quo.  Changes to the setting are limited to very local or even the personal level, so that the "sandbox" is reset to the same status quo at the end of it.  This policy has ruled in Warhammer for pretty much forever, and it is widely applicable across franchises as well.  Series like Forgotten Realms don't always do that, but fans tend to dislike the tendency to "blow up" the Realms, for instance.  And yet, that is exactly what is happening to the Warhammer world.  I'm a little curious to see how it turns out.  I've had pretty good luck with Black Library fiction in general--I tend to like it as well as I like most other fiction in the genre, unlike the situation with Dungeons & Dragons fiction where I've only liked the very best of what's on offer and have found most of the rest of it to be mediocre at best--and often quite a bit worse.

I've got a similar situation brewing in my own setting, which isn't a shared world, of course, so I can adopt whatever process I feel like.  With Hutran Kutir, the Hex-King, recently raised and poised to start reconquering the fractured Baal Hamazi empire that was his legacy (assuming of course that the Hex-King truly is Hutran Kutir) the status quo of my setting could change quite a bit.

That is... once I start doing something with it.

Sigh again.

Gaming and fiction writing still tend to be pursuits that elude me, as I find my time very constrained and when I could make time, I find my energy and enthusiasm to be missing.  My earlier ventures in fiction writing in the setting have been completely abandoned; I'm not sure, at least right now, what outline I would follow for a potential novel, or even what characters I would use.  I'm completely back to the drawing board.  My gaming potential has pretty much dried up; I could probably recruit some of my old gaming buddies back into the fold, but to do so, I'd have to put myself in competition with the game that we're currently nominally playing--although which we haven't actually played much of in months.

With any luck, the advent of the summer will win me some potential free time in the evenings.  If I can devote half an hour a day, at least four days a week to writing, I could bang out a draft in a single season of a novel.  Then I could allow myself some time to clean it up, attach some sort of cover image on it, convert it into a .mobi file and sell it on Amazon.  We'll see.  That's what I'd like to do, anyway.

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