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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
(Slow start today, and slow brain; standing on concrete for two hours… 
13th-Feb-2014 11:41 am
Julia - fist
(Slow start today, and slow brain; standing on concrete for two hours for a show last night did me in, and bonus Flexeril last night has kept me groggy this morning.)

In response to yesterday's post about me and writing, a few of you brought up Shayara, hoping that some day I would come back to it.

(For new readers, that's the world I made up when I was 16; I used to post story snippets here, tried twice to make it a comic book, launched it as a web serial with incidental art until my body got the better of me, sold it as a six-book package to Drollerie Press which then promptly went under, and set it aside for now.)

Before all of the various kinds of fuckery that kept me from writing at all, there was a lot of thought and a tentative plan. I will tell you about that!

When I started writing Shayara, I was not a good enough writer.

I mean, I did fine. And I know y'all liked it, and I appreciate that. <3 And what I was doing was publishable, certainly.

But I want to aim higher than "publishable".

And I can now.

I can see the progress in my writing from my first short stories to my more recent work, but more than that - Cicatrix is the best writing I've ever done. Cicatrix is me aiming high on every level - more than I can or should list here - and hitting my goal. Writing Cicatrix has, in itself, made me a better writer. I've since found the magic keys to Places You Haunt - two things that, again, I wasn't capable of achieving as a writer before now. But now I am.

Cicatrix has been leveling me up. Places You Haunt will level me up in a different way. The book I'm working on now, likewise, and because it's a thriller, not SF/F, it has me reaching in completely new directions and expanding the hell out of my skillset.

So the plan is to do these first. With short fiction and poetry as they come.

And then go back to Shayara.

Shayara's never been dead; these characters and their world still live in my head. They've been evolving this whole time. And instead of just writing the basic stuff I was writing years ago, I'll be doing something more, something deeper, something better. Shayara's a very important story to me. I think that, with the skillset I'm getting from everything else, I can do amazing things with it.

So yes. That world will be back. Those characters will be back, and better than ever. It won't happen soon. That much I can promise you. Sorry! But it will happen, when it's time.
13th-Feb-2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
I adore that you are so open with your process. It helps me so much to hear how you are doing things.

13th-Feb-2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it helps; that's a big part of why I choose to be open about so much! :)
13th-Feb-2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
Sometimes stories have to take a break, either by choice or not. Then you go back to them and make them better. Even though I used to wish that I'd written Young Blood ten years ago back when I was in the planning stages (rewriting the much worse versions I wrote when I was even younger), so much has happened that has made me who I am. The younger me couldn't have written as well as the current me does, so as a result, the stories are better.
13th-Feb-2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
Exactly so.
20th-Feb-2014 02:07 am (UTC)
Part of why I don't really write anymore is that I lack faith in both my ideas and my ability to do any idea justice in writing. Reading about your leveling up gives me hope and makes me even more curious; what exactly are you leveling up and how are you doing it? Rhetorical question.
31st-Mar-2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
I can't put into words how happy I am to read this. Sara Lerner (my character) is still going to NA meetings in Shayara, because she's a recovering addict and because that's where some of the coolest people seem to wind up.
31st-Mar-2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
She is welcome there always. :)
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