illustrated portraits of three . young men and one young woman

So, one of the trials of writing a daily blog post is obviously having to come up with something new to write about every day. I may sit down this weekend and plan out something of a content calendar—more a list of prompts than specific topics, so that when I sit down to write each morning I’m not struck by a lack of inspiration. I’m hoping that once this daily writing becomes more of a habit, I’ll not need any prompting, that ideas will just bubble up to the surface waiting to take flight.

For now, though, I’ve decided to institute Fiction Friday, wherein I’m allowed to blather on about my current fiction projects. I might also use it to talk about books I’ve read, or random thoughts about fiction that are wandering around in my head. Or maybe I’ll just post some fiction I’ve written.1

Today I’m going to blather about City of Bridges. For those of you new to the blog,2 this is a fantasy story I first started publishing online in 2011,3 though it has a much longer history than that. It lives somewhere on the line between “serialized” and “episodic” fiction—each installment is a single scene, and while the scenes build on each other in terms of character development, they’re also meant to stand independently. It doesn’t have the kind of interconnectedness and plot development that a typical novel does. As a prequel to the actual novel I’m (nominally) working on, it’s pretty much me entertaining myself with stories about the things the main characters did when they were teens. I’m crazy about these characters, and while it is also a good opportunity to practice my fiction writing skills, I mostly enjoy giving them a chance to flirt and fight with one another without having to worry about saving the world. 

I started publishing City of Bridges on Wattpad in February, mostly because having people read (and hopefully enjoy) my writing is a great motivator. I know that some people look at Wattpad with a level of skepticism (there IS an awful lot of One Direction fanfiction there), but I have found some really good writing there, and more importantly a community of writers who are all doing the same thing I’m doing: trying to work on their craft and get their writing seen. There are also some legitimate professional opportunities to be found, if you can push your way through the crowd.

City of Bridges is doing all right there. It’s not a runaway hit but I did cross hit the first major milestone a few weeks ago: 1,000 views. Now, that doesn’t mean a thousand people have seen it. Each time a chapter is opened counts as a view, and it even counts my own views each time I open something to review comments or make small edits. But it’s still pretty significant, and I promised myself early on in my Wattpad experience that when I hit the 1K mark I would reward myself by commissioning character art of the main characters. And here it is!!

Barris, Tierce, Romeric and Neda, flirting and fighting their way through the City of Bridges since 2011.

Isn’t that great? I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Thanks to Dezaray of @oblivionsdream for helping bring my kids to life! 

I’ve also got a new cover coming along sometime soon, and I’ll be doing a rewrite of the “cover blurb” (or summary, as they call it on Wattpad). All that’s to prep City of Bridges for the Wattys, the site-wide contest that is the best way to garner attention for your work and (maybe) earn some monetary rewards. The attention is the big thing.  

I have to admit that I feel a little guilty about acquiring new artwork for the story when I haven’t been producing any new words for it. It’s been a couple of busy months, including two graduations and a new job, but I can’t keep using that as a pass for not writing. I need to buckle down this weekend and get to work, so maybe Fiction Friday is where I set some goals for myself and then hold myself accountable. Let’s improvise a format for this.

Updates and Challenges for all Works-in-Progress:

  • City of Bridges: The last post was “The Frog”, released on the website and on Wattpad on April 184. In this post (told from the POV of a new character, Pash) shows us the gang on the way to the masquerade ball, the Triennelle. (Note to self: make sure you update the event name to that in the published versions of “Masks” and “The Frog”!). I have planned to do a number of posts at the masquerade itself, one from each main characters point of view. I feel like I really need to start with Tierce, because I have only used his POV once since the second chapter, in the first “Boys’ Night” episode, and he was drunk there so it hardly counts. I actually have a really rough draft of this composed, but I’m not sure I like it; it involves him getting mistaken for Romeric by Jaciel’s team and ending up unconscious in a boat heading downriver, with Neda chasing after. Meanwhile, there’s Barris having to deal whatever Sindera has planned for him for being ballsy enough to show up for the event, Romeric chasing after Calette (and maybe Cael), and Neda toting around a real sword secretly and illegally. I really like the idea of this tangle of events going on, and Tierce kind of playing the damsel in distress, but it’s really not holding together for me emotionally. So I think I need to scratch what I’ve got, sit down for a dedicated brainstorm on it over the weekend, and see what else I can come up with. (Note to self: remember how well your dedicated brainstorm worked when you had to submit an actual whole book plot summary when you first submitted for a feature; you can do this!)
  • Novel WIP: Haven’t worked on it in months. Still need to address the first chapter issues. 
  • Mirror Witch”: On the slush pile – should probably inquire because it’s past their stated response time.
  • Unicorn story: Just need to get focused and start in on revisions.

Goals for this week:

  1. City of Bridges Triennelle plot summary – due Sunday pm (schedule writing date with Anna on Saturday?)
  2. City of Bridges Draft of The Barbarian chapter – due Friday pm 
  3. City of Bridges Draft of The Princess and/or The Ghost (depending on how the plot summary evolves) – stretch goal, due Friday pm
  4. City of Bridges rewrite summary for Wattpad – due Friday pm
  5. Other WIPS – nothing scheduled, going to focus energy on COB because of the Wattys
  6. Other – dust off that writing journal and start using it again
  7. Daily blog posts

Let’s see how this goes! I’ll plan on updating this list next week.

  1. I’ve also considered “Me Mondays” for random news and info about me, and “Writing Wednesday” which is maybe more craft focused than Fiction Friday. We’ll see!
  2. I’m going to keep pretending that I have an audience here.
  3. That sounds like a long time, but there’s really not that much there, since this was the start of my years-long creative crash. In fact, City of Bridges was an attempt to stave off what was happening; it just wasn’t very successful. There are years between some posts, and those written in the midst of my creative crater are lackluster at best. But I started writing new posts in March of 2018, and have written almost as many posts in the past year as I did in the previous seven years.
  4. Ugh, it’s been longer than I thought.

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