I am not a fan of writing blogs, not usually. I think it is because I tend to ramble about things and not really get to a point. Ancillary to that, I often find it is what I publish and then it is out there. When I write stories I put them through revision after revision before I ever share it. Were I to do these revisions (just did it here by the way) with a blog, I have a feeling at least, it would be all-consuming and leave me, therefore, with little left to do aside from posting to a blog.
Now that I have said that, I am committing myself to writing this beast. I say beast because it gives me a since of heroism in tackling it. When writing the blog I can slay the beast. Please bear in mind as you read this, it is my struggle to blog versus writing a story about someone else.
So a little about me, let’s call me DJ Morand. My initials give me some bit of anonymity. Although I have no illusions that this will remain my secret, it is a fun thought in any case. I am 33, yes I know, I’m old. I have been writing short stories, D&D campaigns, fantasy world building, and poetry for 20 years. Sadly most of it has not survived the test of time. What I mean when I say that is that I have met some people that were unkind and either trashed my work or intentionally destroyed it. These occurrences nearly took the heart from me and I gave up writing.
Take that with a grain of salt, I still wrote; in small bursts anyway, but the heart was lost from it. I met a coworker who had a passion for writing and he introduced me to NaNoWriMo, for those that don’t know that is National Novel Writing Month. I decided to try this amazing spectacular challenge. I failed. I began writing a story about some D&D characters (hey it worked for Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) and their venture into the divine. I grew bored of the project and did not meet my writing goals, so I gave up.
This upset me. I felt like I had found my niche once more and again it was stolen from me. Not stolen through the actions of a malevolent ex, but through a more sinister force: doubt. It was Ray Bradbury who said, “You only fail if you stop writing.” That is the only saving grace I had. So I had to discover the why behind my discouragement. It took a bit of searching, but ultimately it was a simple concept. I was bored of mainstream fantasy. I had been writing medieval fantasy for 20 years, I was burned out!
What recourse then did I have? Do I write mysteries!? I don’t even know how to unravel a mystery let alone write about it. So I took a close look at what I love to watch and read. Science Fiction. It was like an epiphany. My muse was tired of the medieval world of swords, sorcery, goblins, dwarves, and elves. My muse, I have learned, is not Tolkien reincarnated. My muse is a conglomeration of all the things I have loved through the years. So I decided to write a Science Fiction Space Opera, what I wrote was more Space Opera meets Space Western. I did NaNoWriMo again in April, an event called Camp NaNoWriMo. I forged full speed ahead, in March I planned the universe, created planets and ships and did research on Quantum Theory, Space Travel, Inhabitable Zones, Warp Drives, etc.
I learned more about space than I ever thought I would have the chance to think about. When April hit I began typing like a mad man, I was possessed by the spirit of my characters. Day by day my novel grew, 1,000 words, 5,000 words, 10,000 words, 50,000 words! I finished NaNoWriMo a winner, I had over 52,000 words for my first novel. I was ecstatic. Until I read it, as Ernest Hemingway said “The first draft of anything is crap.” My novel was crap. I decided it could not be left this way and I began my first round of revisions, before I knew it I had a novel that was over 70,000 words and had a coherent plot. This is it folks, I have a novel!!!
I couldn’t stop though, I am working on a second novel already, a sequel to the first. I am also building a new Fantasy world, not medieval so much as Dark Ages and it is a blend of horror and fantasy. More on that in a future post though. For today I think this is it, maybe a post about Kodiak (my first novel) will be next.
Your friendly neighborhood author,