Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome back to the River Blog! It’s been a while since I had a good post up, but I hope everyone has been doing well.
July and August were especially busy in these here parts: we had family vacation in Wisconsin (ENJOYABLE!), a family reunion (ENTERTAINING!), my roommate’s move-out and wedding (SAD BUT TOUCHING!), my parents’ home renovations (DUSTY!), my grandmother whose husband passed away moving here and staying in the spare room at my trailer until my parents finish renovating (ADJUSTING BUT NOT UNPLEASANT!), AND I have been in my brother’s guest room for a week because, after moving into a different room in the trailer to give Grandma more space, I discovered that there was mold in there. How did I discover this? Because I broke out in the same spreading hives I got the last time this happened and now I can’t stay in that room (DECIDEDLY NOT PLEASANT!)
So I feel, I dunno, maybe at least a little slightly justified that I haven’t been fully keeping up with this website? ^^; (I know, I’m still a lazy bum.)
ANYWAY, life updates aside, here are story updates! I recently posted “Eggs and Spaceships“, the third story in my short story series currently titled the Bruce & Dennis Adventures. (I REALLY need a better title than that. XD; ) So I thought I’d talk about my plans for that series, and some of the challenges I’ve found.
I’ve never done a short story series before, so it has been an interesting animal to tackle. You feel like you have to reintroduce the characters every time, but hopefully in a way that doesn’t slow the story way down or bore the long-time readers. This has been especially interesting for the fact that of my characters takes at least one fairly long sentence to describe generally, although I think I’m getting better at spreading out descriptions of his physical traits.
BTW, for those curious, this is MORE OR LESS what the felnim look like barring future adjustments and improvement in my drawing skill.
Let me know how I did in getting this across in writing!
My second biggest challenge is that I began to worry I was repeating certain themes, trying to underline them too heavily. A major one in these first three is Dennis’s dislike of aliens and his situation but also how he is slowly coming around to appreciating them. I think part of the challenge is that I essentially started the story in the middle, so I am fighting for balance between establishing the characters’ personalities and prejudices, and not constantly hitting my readers of the head with them. I am actually considering going back and adding several other races besides humans into the scientific expedition, but I’m not sure if that’s really necessary. (The joys of posting on your own website: infinite editing capability! :D) Regardless, there WILL be more changes as things go on, especially if I ever decide to try and publish all this. I’ll try to keep ya’ll apprised of big ones so you don’t get confused.
BTW, the first two stories HAVE experienced some edits already. It’s not as noticeable in “The First Marker,” but if you want to go back and reread “Technical Difficulties,” I highly recommend it. I’d really appreciate feedback on if the changes positively or negatively effect the story as it’s been revealed so far.
My overall idea for this series is to break it into 4 sets of 3. This will not only give me a definable ending to shoot for, but plenty of space to explore everything I’m hoping to explore in this setting. The setup is roughly as follows:
PART 1: Dennis’s Perspective
- These three focus on events from Captain Dennis Rales’s POV: introducing the situation and world setting, hinting at pieces about his past and the war raging on the planet, and overcoming his fear/prejudice towards the felnim.
PART 2: 3rd Person Perspective – The Beginning
- These three stories will introduce what actually brought Dennis and Bruce to the planet and into Patricia’s company.
- Stories 4 and 5 will be about Bruce and then Dennis’s lives before Part 1, including why Dennis came to the planet and more about the people in charge of their Settlements. There will also be some setting up of conflict to come later in the story between Patricia’s crew and the Settlements.
- Story 6: How Dennis and and Bruce met and were “captured.”
PART 3: Bruce’s Perspective
- These three will be from Sergeant Bruce T’shano’s perspective and cover his attempts to make the most of his situation while also delving into what Patricia and her company are looking for. There will also be a heightening of the conflict.
PART 4: Patricia’s Perspective or 3rd Person
- We’ll see what happens when I get there and whether or not it goes into Patricia’s perspective or makes more sense to keep it with Bruce and Dennis primarily. This section will bring the conclusion of what the scientists are searching for and how it effects everyone. I can’t go into it much more than that without spoilers, plus I’m still developing the story as I go, so there’s sure to be developments I haven’t thought of yet!
Overall, this is quite a challenge; I’ll probably have written the equivalent of a small book by the end of things. Honestly, I am playing with the idea of eventually releasing the B&R Adventures as well as a smattering of other short stories in the same universe (like “Abducted!” and a few others I haven’t posted yet), but that’s a long way off.
In the meantime, this leads to my final announcement: I’m going to be cutting way back on posting short stories here on River Writings for a while. The reason being is that I have three major personal projects going on right now, and it has gotten overwhelming. Of the three, the short stories seem the best choice for putting aside temporarily; one of the other projects is a comic that has regular viewers, and the third is my book, which I NEED to give some priority so that it might actually exist someday.
But in the meantime, I hope to keep working on this and other stories on the side. Short stories on River Writings will be dialed back to about once a month, but I will try to keep interested parties updated on my progress, both with the B&R Adventures and my novel.
I suppose that’s all for today! Thank you for your patience and for sticking around! If you have any comments or just want to chat with me, please, really, go for it. I honestly crave feedback, both for my betterment and for the enjoyment I get from interacting with other people and hearing that they are invested in my stories. =)
Peace out, my friends!