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.