“Should Have Prayed For a Canoe”

You can now read my flash fiction story “Should Have Prayed For a Canoe” on the Mormon Lit Blitz page!

Vote for your favorite finalists between June 1st and 5th. I hope I make it into your top four!

Happy Yarning.

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Too Many Novels!

Lately, with all the great ideas my husband and I have come up with from our brainstorming game, I’ve found some shiny new ideas for novels. Not only that, sometimes the ideas fit well with old existing story concepts and rekindle my interest in those projects.

I’m writing them all down for later and sticking to Featherfolk, because I know what happens if I stray down one of those enticing new paths without completing my current project (nothing gets finished).

But my head just feels so crammed full of energy for other projects.

Anyone else feel like this some days?

Happy Yarning.

Also, happy All Hallow’s Eve! Don’t forget the Saints as you devour your loot tomorrow. (Americans sure are good at twisting holidays around.)

Which Project to Pursue?

 

Which manuscript copy

At the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, I had a conundrum. My Camp project was 50,000 words long, but several chapters shy of “The End.” Meanwhile, I had a mostly-finished fourth draft of another story to finish up, which I’d set aside for the month of April. And upon picking that up once more, I realized it was going to need more than a quick read-through to finalize the draft.

What to work on?

Raven’s story was begging to be finished so I could start querying agents and trying to get it published, yet if I were to put Lia’s story away, losing all my excitement and momentum, I knew I might not get back to it for a long, long time.

Working on both simultaneously also wasn’t looking good. I have to turn on super-editing-mode at this point with Raven, and getting the editor to shut up when I want to pump out a first draft was causing Lia’s story to stall out.

(Not to mention they take place in different universes, with different cultures and magic systems. Lia’s story alone contains three distinct magic systems and three different narrators.)

After whining about it to my writing buddy Whitney, I came to a decision. I’ll let Raven sit and stew a little longer. After all, it didn’t hurt him during April. I’m going to stop being lazy and sprint for the end of Lia’s story with NaNoWriMo-esque speed.

Happy Yarning! (<–my battle cry)

What creative conundrums have you faced and vanquished lately?

 

Considering Economics in a Fantasy Setting

griffin carrots

I don’t have to worry too much about getting food. I get it from the store. I cook it. I eat it. Maybe I’m super awesome and grow my own strawberries or tomatoes, or maybe I don’t.

How do your fantasy characters get food? What does the economy and infrastructure have to be like so your party can mosey on into a tavern at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere and get a meal along with all the other patrons there that night? And is your economic system consistent over a whole shire, state, country, or planet? Whatever your setting, it’s important to consider economics. Magic, especially teleportation abilities, will have a big impact.

My husband and I put together a story idea about a society made up of humans and griffins, at about a 1:1 ratio. For a while, we assumed our griffins were carnivores–you know, because they’re half lion and half eagle.

Then we considered the economics of the situation. What, and how much, did the griffins eat? We asked the internet how much meat a lion eats in a day and realized that with the scale we were considering, all the prey in the area would get eaten up pretty fast. And we didn’t want to make our griffins be nomadic while the humans were agrarian. Ok, so maybe the humans raise goats and the griffins eat those. Bam. Solved.

Until we calculated how many goats it would take to keep a family of griffins fed for a year. Something like 200 goats per family. That wasn’t going to work either.

So, obviously, the griffins were omnivores. If a creature can be both a bird and a mammal and have six limbs, it can darn well be an omnivore if we need it to be. Now we have griffins helping out with plowing and harvesting in the fields, hunting game in the woods, and eating the same meals as the humans.

Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions of your setting, or let others ask. In the end, your story will be healthier.

Happy Yarning!