Meri's Monthly Musings - Fall 2020

Welcome to the latest Meri's Monthly Musings! This is turning into a not-so-monthly thing since my last was in August, but that's okay! It's been a hectic, draining past few months, and when you're chronically ill, life tends to simultaneously speed past you while knocking you out.

Add in a global pandemic and I've definitely not had the most productive of years. It's hard to find creativity and motivation during a pandemic and this is a problem a lot of writers and artists have been dealing with, so if you're also in this boat, try not to fret. It'll come back again. Any forward progress is forward, no matter how slowly or how slight, and even if you're just spending a few minutes a day brainstorming creative things to do in the future or thinking creative thoughts, that's forward! Some days all I've been able to do is journal and some days all I can do is spend a few minutes thinking about my characters and some days (more often than I'd like) I can't brain anything at all. Whenever I can, I've been trying to focus on small goals and small tasks like character development, worldbuilding, or book brainstorming. It's not the rewrites I'd wanted to do this year, but it keeps my head in my writing and my series moving along. So no matter what you're creating or not creating, be gentle to yourselves.

August/September/October Projects:

  • Outlining! Those are massive spoilers up there, but it's really cool to see books 1 and 2 taking shape. I love these huge whiteboards! Earlier this year I realized I needed to combine what was books 1 and 2 into one book, which is still titled Colorweaver. (That's the first picture.) It's much more detailed because I'd already had several drafts of both of these old books. New book 2 (what had been book 3) got a title-- Flashover-- and is slowly coming together. This one is brand new and hasn't had any drafts yet, so the first step was what's in the second picture: sorting out the timeline. This book takes place in something like 4 locations at once, so first I had to nail down when all the main events have to happen.
  • Updated character info. I've been going through my characters and updating their bios and the moodboards that go along with the bios. Since the last Musings update, I've updated Blythe, Etri, and Sol, which means I only have Dray left of my mains.
  • Character backstories. These have changed, too, as I've worked out what happens in this trilogy and what the events were leading up to it. Here I've caught up with the main cast by sharing Blythe's and the twins'. (This one is a double moodboard because Etri and Sol obviously share a past.)
  • Worldbuilding. These are always the most fun posts to write up! I've been working on this series for about seven years and it's such a cool thing to see how much my worldbuilding has progressed. The two most recent ones are about Concordia's art magic and the place of shadow, which is a sort of mirror world to my main one. If you'd like a recap of the worldbuilding thus far, check out the Cultures & Locations tag.
  • Short stories. Unfortunately I don't have anything to show for this, but I did outline a short story about two of my secondary characters. It's about Ametrine as he grows up, befriends a ghost, then falls into a relationship with said ghost, all because of dyslexia, a kazoo, and a missing sweater (which might also be dead). This may become part of my NaNo project this year.


November Plans:

  • Start Flashover (Book 2). My goal is to start the first draft for NaNo in November, so that means wrapping up the outline. That's getting there and I'm hoping to have it ready this first week of November so I can start writing the book this month. I'd wanted to have the outline done by now, but October was not a good health month so I didn't get much done. (That's also why my updates on my blog and social media have been lacking for so many weeks.)
  • Short stories. This may actually be were I start NaNo this year. Since it's been almost two years since I wrote new story words, it feels so daunting to start NaNo with a novel. So I might write the Ametrine and Skia story first, then slide into Book 2 later this month. 
  • Moodboards. This may get pushed to the backburner and picked up again in December. Once I finish Dray's bio board, I'll be moving into updating the secondary characters, or at least the ones that have had the most change, so that means a new bio for Ametrine and likely Talan and Feren. I'm also going to be introducing Skia, the aforementioned ghost and the character who's rapidly becoming my favorite.


I'm hoping that I'll be more active the rest of the year and not fall into another hiatus, so If you'd like to follow me for regular updates about what I'm working on as I share them, I'd love it if you followed me on Twitter, Instagram, or my author page on Facebook. You can also sign up for two kinds of email alerts-- one will give you a post like this as a monthly newsletter (at least until I decide how I want to do the newsletter moving forward), the other will send you an email every time I share content to this site.

Since this is still the endless year that is 2020, I'm going to sign off with the wish I had in the summer post: I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
~Meri

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