2017 in Review, Looking Forward to ’18

Happy New Year!

While 2017 may have been a political dumpster fire, my life was actually pretty good this year. I began attending university after getting my associate’s degree. I’m now pursuing my bachelor’s in fine arts for creative writing. In my personal life, this was the year that a relationship I’ve been patiently waiting for finally crystallized. I moved in with my partner and my quality of life has been substantially improved. I’m more focused and aware of my own mental health, less overwhelmed.

As for Aserra, I’m starting to make progress on building The Dollmaster story. I have some more world building ideas too. Now that my general studies are done, I can focus more on writing, and my writing classes have provided me with more stability. I think when I’m writing using the backbone of our RPG, it’s more challenging than just letting a story flow. I have to revise what’s already been written and put it into a coherent voice.

My writing classes also give me an opportunity to explore other ideas and write some short story ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. Last year, I wrote a couple short stories for character backgrounds that I had been wanting to explore. I wrote a couple personal pieces in different styles. I also wrote “Changeling,” a story that had been kicking around in my head about a man kidnapped by fairies, then unwittingly falling in love with his half-fae daughter after he leaves the fairy world.

Some world building ideas are percolating too. I’m toying with adding another Idayn (or elf) race, which will be Asian in appearance. They will be the descendents of Idayn and humans in the aftermath of the War of the Gods, who make their own sylvan society in western Thiskel.

This winter break, I’ve also been looking at doing some revisions of several races. Iengi (giants), Kiar (hobbits? gnomes?), and Kuzo (goblins), which are all close cousins to humanity. Iengi, rather than being dumb giants, are being given a deeper background and more intellect. They age 33% slower than humans, which includes early childhood development. Aside from this, their challenge in the world is that they are not as sociable as humans (a bunch of introverts), which led to the downfall of their ancient civilization and their current decline as they live as solitary, feral survivalists. However, they have the same intellectual potential as humans.

Kiar and Kuzo are now tied together. I wanted to consider a new origin for Kiar rather than placing them in Kalesten from the start. So, they began in mountain valleys in Ageond (the destroyed continent). They age 33% faster than humans, giving them a short life span and the potential for rapid reproduction. During the War of the Gods, the dark gods created the Kuzo from the Kiar to serve as foot soldiers for the Danaij. With the short lifespan, rapid development from childhood to adulthood, and quick reproduction, the Kiar were an ideal base to start with. The surviving Kiar are descended of refugees who fled Ageond during this time and settled in Kalesten.

So, there are some of my ideas. I also never updated after I workshopped chapter 3 of The Dollmaster, either. After editing, it was clear that chapter 3 would be better broken into two chapters, so now it’s 3 & 4 and the one that I began is chapter 5! The prologue will introduce our villain, Voris. Chapter 1 is Naclia and Terin’s arrival in Kosony and meeting Laban and Rayina. Chapter 2 is Talen meeting Adra and his reluctance to marry being overcome. Chapter 3 is the introduction of Pharen and Thalia, written primarily from Pharen’s perspective, as they go to Talen’s wedding. Chapter 4 is primarily Thalia’s perspective from the beginning of the ceremony to Adra’s kidnapping and the decision for her, Pharen, and Talen to attempt to rescue her. Chapter 5 is then the arrival of Naclia and Terin in Talen’s hometown and the reunion of the one-time lovers at the worst possible time! Avion will likely be introduced in 5 or 6, depending on how things go, and 6 or 7 will be a chapter focusing on Adra and Voris.

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