• M. York

The Post The Author Forgot

Hi! Did you know it's Wednesday? I thought it was Tuesday! Silly, right?

My husband got his first Moderna shot on Monday (yay!) and was home with side effects yesterday, so I did... not much yesterday. It felt like a weekend. I still finished another chapter on Derelict Paradise, so my brain did a work, even if my body pretended it could not. The other strange thing about today is that, for whatever reason, my Wednesday RP game is cancelled! That's right! I'm one of those heathens who plays tabletop games that involves dice and make believe! My giant dice collection has not been used in over a year, though. Thanks, Covid.

(My Wednesday game, by the way, is a fun thing I do with a fellow author friend, T. E. Shariss. Their book, Painted Nightmare, is amazing and their partner, Ssapdra, did the cover for my upcoming book. Please support them, they're amazing people.)

Derelict Paradise is coming together. I'm enjoying it to a point, but I'm realizing I have not connected with a character with much emotional depth since Ciel in Of Reapers and Ravens. Not her after that, by the way. I feel like I lost my connection to her early on in Of Warlocks and Crooks. That said, when I was planning out the next Gerhardt book, I cried thinking about how her thoughts would go. Maybe I just need to go back to them. Well, that IS the next book I plan to write.

The creative process is weird. I admit I've been emotionally detached from my characters (except Ciel in the first book) since the start. I have this problem with my characters. With Wynn, her story was years in the making and, by the time I released it, I wasn't all that interested anymore. Apparently people enjoyed it anyway, but my swiftly evolving character interests are yet another reason why I've been rushing through writing and probably not giving it the care that I should. Not once in the writing of Derelict Paradise have I cried for any of my characters, despite the struggles they've faced, despite the tears my beta reader has shed. I'm detached from them, dissociated.

It's a strange feeling. I read so much from other writers who sob for their characters, laugh with them, get angry on their behalf, but the last time I cried for any of my characters was the beginning of Of Sorrow and Souls. But that wasn't because I was empathizing with them, at least, not in the same way that drives me best.

The Gerhardt Detective Agency series was always meant to center on Ciel and her problems while also exploring strange, fantastical mysteries that could only exist in this made up world. It's changed from that and I may've disliked it as it strayed from my initial vision. There's always times to fix things. Well, as long as a person has breath and thought.

Derelict Paradise will be a different beast in many ways. It's a different style of writing, different genre, probably similar themes. I've talked about getting close to what I'm trying to get across with the story, but I highly doubt it'll do what I want. That's okay, though. Is the book for me or for the reader, really?

The answer is yes. Yes, books are both for the writer and the readers.

Writing is, for me, a way of working through my problems as well as exercising my imagination. I will say, though, staying inside all the time does take a toll on the imagination. I need to get into contact with a fandom or something that would spark more joy, like my beta reader's wonderful D&D game (I really cannot wait until she gets to DM again, OG Ciel needs to watch her patron get into a fight in a Walmart parking lot with her boyfriend's patron, but that story comes another day). I just need something to get me excited again. I'll probably do an Alan Wake or Control playthrough again to that end.

Regardless of all my complaints, though, I'm doing well on writing. I can't wait for you to see the entirety of Derelict Paradise soon. I'm nervous about how short it might be, but I'll try and make it comfortable for reading and for my writing. I recognize my writing is sometimes nonsensical, but I'm learning to reword for easier communication.

I hope you're all doing well! Please go out and get your covid shots when available, keep protecting yourselves, your friends, and everyone you love. Have a great week, y'all!

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