Writing in the Attic – New Projects and Old Ideas

Yesterday I published a new writing guide. It’s been a while since I did one of those. But I did mention I was working on a few, I just needed time to put the finishing touches on them and figure out which one to publish first.

Yesterday’s article on The Voice was easy to pick because it’s a subject my buddy Timlah (from GeekOut South-West) and I talk about quite frequently. Yesterday I was looking at the rest of the—unfinished—writing guide entries and couldn’t decide on which one to pick for today. So, instead, I’ll cop out by asking you all to help me. Please vote on which one you’d like to see first and I’ll publish them from the most to the least voted:

  • Characters: Some guidelines into fictional characters and the pitfalls you can fall into when designing and writing them, such as the “Mary Sue.”
  • Narrative Pitfalls: Yeah, there are bad ways to tell a story and it’s very easy to fall into them, from purple prose to narrative redundancy, I’ll cover them all—with examples.
  • Genres – Urban Fantasy & Alternate History: These are two of my favourite genres to write and read and often overlap with one another—and with Cyberpunk and Steampunk. But if you’re gonna attempt it, there are things to be aware of.
  • Scenes – Sex: Intimate scenes between characters are very delicate and one false narrative move can take it from classy to raunchy. Remember what Isabel Allende said: “Erotica is using a feather. Pornography is using the whole chicken!”
  • Fan Fiction vs Original Fiction: Fan Fiction gets a very bad rap and the internet and critics often slam them very harshly, but do they have a point?

I mention Fanfiction in the guides because I have another competition to announce. In honour of the anniversary of The Legend of Zelda (30 years), Tomb Raider (20 years), Resident Evil (20 years), Donkey Kong (30 years), Metroid (30 years) and Diablo (20 years), all of them in 2016, the next writing competition is on fan-fiction stories in any of those settings or those of the many other games and series having anniversaries this year. You can find the full list here.

The prize for the winner will be up to £60 in your choice of games from those series. The rules are as follows:

  • Maximum Length: 7500 words.
  • Previous Work: If you’ve already written a story, you can of course submit it.
  • Submission: Send your story pasted on the email’s body to kevinkutlesa@thementalattic.com.
    • The Subject line should be “Game Story” and the game series in which the story takes place.
  • Deadline: July 31st 2016

And to close off this and wish you all a happy weekend, I’d like to talk about my fiction. I know in the past I mentioned I was going to finish Bad Blood following the same restrictions I imposed on myself (no outlining and publishing the first draft), but with so many things happening lately in my life, so many changes, it proved impossible to get back to it, particularly without an outline. Without a solid plan in place, it’s very hard to pick it up where I left it.

Besides that, I’m very critical of my work, as those closest to me are very aware. I’m the harshest critic of my work I’ll ever meet and the improvisational way I’ve been writing Bad Blood has left me unhappy many times.

I don’t want to keep doing that anymore. So I’ve decided to leave the current version of the novel as it is and go back to the drawing board, get a proper plan for it and start writing it again. Once I’ve finished the novel, I’ll publish it as an e-book for free for all of you to read and enjoy.

Right now I’m focusing on—slowly—finish editing my second novel, which I really like. But once that’s taken care of, I’ll get to work on Bad Blood…or Summersalt, remember that one?

Yeah, Summersalt is still in the works.

So now I leave this next question to you: on which project should I focus on delivering first: Bad Blood or Summersalt? I’ll leave a poll right here and you can tell me which story you want to read first!

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