Tag Archives: Endless Barrage

How to write amidst the endless barrage of life

Thank you, Broaddus, for that much-needed kick in the pants to get me arse in motion once again. That is EXACTLY the reason I started this site; to get my friends to grab me by the arm and say:

“JASON! What are you working on now? Is it done now? Will it be done soon?’

Whether my work is good or bad, published or unpublished, lauded or hated, the only true failure is if I don’t keep writing.

The Excuses

They aren’t necessarily good excuses. But they’re still excuses.

I worked 9 hours of overtime last week; to some people, that’s going to sound like nothing. To others (those who log 40 but spend 20 of them at the coffee machine) it may sound excessive. To me, it’s just tiring. And when my workday is long, when I come home I kind of need to recharge my batteries. I can’t dive straight into writing unless I still have some energy.

Weekends are obviously a great time to catch up, but we had company Saturday…pretty much all day. I was also up until 2 AM, which is 5 hours past my normal bedtime, making Sunday a wash for any productivity.

New Hobbies and Old

The gathering Saturday was to create characters for a new 4th edition campaign, and one trying out some new house rules. It’s a different sort of campaign for me in that I’m trying to NOT DM — at all. My friend Rich is, for which I am very grateful. The hope is that this will leave all my creativity for writing.

The two new episodes of South Park so far this (13th) season have not disappointed.

Wizards of the Coast, with D&D Insider software tools for tabletop gaming, have disappointed. More on this soon in a full post on the subject.

A co-worker got me into Battlestar Galactica; I’m about halfway through the first season (no spoilers please) and so far I am monumentally impressed. Those who know me know that I am not easily impressed, especially by television, so this rapidly puts BSG in contention for one of my favorite shows of all time.

I finished Drood by Dan Simmons. It was really good but it could have been a lot better. There was loose ends that Simmons did not tie to my satisfaction. Still, Simmons’ real strength is his incredible ability to narrate extremely complex characters, and this shines through from the first sentence to the last.

Upon re-recommendation from dad, I have decided to give George R. R. Martin another try, so I am reading A Song of Ice and Fire from the beginning (A Game of Thrones). If I remember correctly from before, Tyrion was my favorite character. I still like Martin better than David Eddings or Terry Goodkind. (Sorry long-time fantasy buffs.)

The Writing

Most of the recent writing energy I have expended recently has been spent outlining Fragile Gods. This is an odd sort of process for me, intermingled with a lot of “wait and see.” I don’t just sit down with MS Word and outline a story end to end.

Instead, a thought occurs to me. “What if I did this?” I will ruminate and ponder the idea for several days, and it will spawn several sub-ideas; sometimes for characters, sometimes scenes, sometimes themes. If I like where these stray ponderings take me, I work them into the outline. Rinse and repeat until I feel like I have “enough”.

When is that? I don’t know. It’s the sort of thing I know when I know.

I will tell you one theme I am considering is abortion. Writing on modern topics can be deadly, and abortion is the most polarizing issue I know. “Handle with extreme caution.”

In my opinion, a good writer should not simply be pedantic about his own viewpoint. Rather he should explore the issue as fairly as possible from all angles. Straw Vulcans hold little appeal to me.

My idea for abortion in Fragile Gods is to combine the two types of magic in the world of the Drim and put them on opposite sides of the issue. It’s important that you know up front that neither the Drimmi priests’ magic nor the Sight is upheld by the story as the “right” magic over/above the other. There are good and evil practitioners of both.

My idea is that those with the Sight are sometimes called upon to See the mind of unborn children, and at early enough development when there is no neural activity, the Seer sincerely reports that the child has no mind to read. The proponents of abortion in this fantasy world cite this as evidence that abortion does not destroy human life.

The Drimmi priests, however, have a kind of pantheism which includes honoring all life; including unborn life. Their own power over the elements and the Drim lends credence to the idea that they may know more about the inner workings of the unseen universe than the common man, too.

This (if done correctly) can be moral dilemma at its finest. Two credible parties on opposing sides of an intense issue, each with dissenters among their own ranks.