Way back when, I got it into my head that, should you ever get stuck on one writing project, you should try working on another. Then when you come back to the first, you'll be more likely to look at it through a fresh pair of eyes. Now, believe me when I say this is fine advice! It doesn't necessarily work for everyone. But if you feel like you need to get away from your current story, yet you still feel like writing, I'd say go for it!
I, on the other hand, have a different sort of problem. I've started multiple projects . . . and I haven't finished many of them. This has left me with five unfinished stories, as well as a sixth that I want to start in the near future.
Trust me, I don't know what I was--or am--thinking either. But it's now my plan to whittle down these list until I'm no longer juggling so many stories. But before I get into the plan, here's some info about each of these tales.
An Old Face, a New Game
So I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I used to post a lot on LEGO's social media site, the LEGO Message Boards. Writing stories on here was a big thing, so, after trying my hand at a superhero novella and a sitcom, I wanted to write a story that was original and had a regular format (as the sitcom was written like a script). This was the result. I asked other MBs users to be main characters in the story, so that was quite fun.
Plot: They all thought he was gone. After the Tribulation of Spam, he was banned. But he's hacked back in, and his army of spambots outnumbers the users and Mods.
His name? Cheatcodes.
After announcing that he's inserted a virus to lock everyone into the virtual LEGO World, he chooses twenty users to pair up and find items of power for him. These users adventure all over the map in search of said items, while getting into scrapes of their own. Meanwhile, back home, a rebellion is being planned. But Cheatcodes is anticipating it, and his plot might have far worse consequences than anyone thought possible.
For he has more than just the LEGO World in his sights.
Before you ask, yes, Cheatcodes was a real user who was banned only a few months before I joined. He was infamous for breaking numerous rules, far more than any other person.
But here's the thing: I started this story back in fall of 2013, and I'm still only one-third of the way through the plot. And this was going to be the first story of my Servants of Entropy Trilogy. The reason that this has taken so long to write is because I had a couple of long breaks from it. Now I wish I had just plowed ahead and finished it . . . though I do actually still love this story.
The Tournament of Convicts
This story is a fanfiction for a LEGO TV show, called Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. I absolutely love this show, and I'm super excited about season 8 coming out. On the MBs, there were a ton of Ninjago fanfictions, many of them quite good. I just had to write my own, and as it turns out, this story has one of my deepest dilemmas.
Plot: Kayne is a normal guy with a normal life. He dreams of starting a family of his own, making great friends, and meeting his heroes, the Ninja who protect the land. But none of his dreams have come to pass, and he's losing hope. To top it off, he's framed for robbery, kidnapped, and brought to a mysterious island, where nothing is as it seems.
Master Chen is hosting an underground fighting tournament, where twenty convicts are pitted against each other in fights that can happen at any time and any place. If Kayne wants to survive, he'll have to choose his friends wisely, watch his back, and reach for the winner's prize of freedom. All the while, he wrestles with one heavy question:
What do you do when nothing in your life goes right?
Kayne has quickly earned his place as one of my favorite characters, the reason being his similarity to me, exaggerated as it may be at times. I relate to this guy, and I feel sorry for him, because I know how the story ends.
Season 4 of the show did something similar in the fact that Chen hosts a tournament on an island where the Elemental Masters fight one another. With my story, I asked, "What if Chen had to test the whole idea out before he hosted the Tournament of Elements?" That's how this story came to be. I actually know pretty much all of the events that happen; I just need to write them out.
This story is different from the others due to the fact that I may be publishing it as my debut novel. Originally started for the MBs, its progress halted when college life began. The shutting down of the MBs didn't help either. Now I have to decide whether this story will be my first to share with the world, or if my sixth project will take that honor.
Plot: Captain Brixton is the proud leader of a treasure hunting crew. They've seen much, accomplished more . . . but it's time for something bigger. Something more spectacular.
Something like stealing a diamond from one of the empire's governors.
Things go awry, and Brixton has underestimated the determination of the governor to get his diamond back. The crew flees, but they soon encounter more enemies, all of whom are gunning for the prize. On top of that, a mysterious entity known as the Maelstrom is stirring. Should it awaken, the empire is doomed.
In the end, the treasure hunters will need to decide if they'll look out only for themselves, or if the world is more important than the diamond.
I love pirate stories. The Golden Age of Piracy is actually one of my favorite historical eras, and thus, I based this story on that. I wanted to write a story that has all the epicness and action of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, yet has more meat to it. If it's a story that gives readers a book hangover, then I know I accomplished that. While I don't want to disclose too much about the story, let's just say it deals with some really important issues to me.
A Totally Epic Pirate Story
On the subject of pirates, I started this story earlier this year when I was in college. As a goodbye gift, I had hoped to write a comedy that featured all of us students, as well as our teachers, in it. While it was hilarious to write and read aloud to them, I didn't have enough time to finish it.
Plot: Vile Veronica and her EMO Gang have attacked the Perfectly Normal Town. The council hires Captain Joanne, head of J to the Fourth Power, to track down these pirates and bring them to justice. Veronica, however, intends to awaken the Dark Entity to get her revenge. These two teams will clash with each other and various foes along the way, but little do they know that they are all being played . . .
This story was a hoot to write when I was in college. Now that I've graduated, however, my passion for it has died majorly. I'd rather be spending my writing time working on projects that will one day benefit me, or that I'm more passionate about. However, I promised some people this story, so I guess I'll see what I do with it.
Man and Machine
This story, tentatively titled, is a sci-fi superhero mystery story for the Five Poisoned Apples contest. I haven't written a whole lot yet, but I'm enjoying the whole experience. I've never written a sci-fi before, save for a writing dare. My characters are also really different from others that I've written.
Plot: Ryder is a superhero, but not by choice. As protector of Prince Edward Island, the world's largest technological center, he keeps to himself most of the time. There is, however, one android unlike the rest, named Ceinwen. She seems more human than the others do.
Then a heinous gang shows up, led by a figure of the past. They capture Ceinwen for an unknown reason, but Ryder is determined to find her and bring her home. There's just one problem.
He has a horrifying disease, one that'll be the death of him if he can't bring it under control.
(I would've added a picture here, but I found nothing that suited the story. Sorry about that!)
This final project is different, because technically I've already written it. This was my pseudo-feudal-Japan fantasy I wrote for the Five Magic Spindles contest. The feudal age of Japan is also one of my favorites, because samurai and ninja and other cool stuff. What I want to do now is extend it into a novel and eventually publish. I don't know if it'll my first story to get published or not, because, while it could be considered a stand-alone, it'd actually be the first of seven books in my fairy tale retelling series.
Plot: There is a great celebration afoot in Yashan. Princess Emiko is turning sixteen, entering womanhood. All princes have been invited to come and bless her.
There is also great danger afoot. A weapon most dangerous has fallen into the capable hands of a ronin, who was rejected by the emperor years ago. Now he's back, and with him is a curse that puts the princess to sleep. One prince vows to wake her back up.
Takeshi, a childhood friend of Emiko, sets out with a loyal companion in order to find the cure. But time is ticking, as Emiko encounters a vicious dimension hidden within Yashan, and their enemy becomes more powerful by the day. It will take great sacrifice and true love to save the land, but even that may not be enough in the end.
This story is actually one of my favorites that I've written. I was so proud of it at the time. Re-reading it not long ago showed me there were many flaws, but I anticipate adding depth to the whole story. It shall definitely be a lot of fun!
Now here comes the juggling side of things. Which story do I work on first? Well, I've determined that Man and Machine takes the highest priority right now. After all, it does have a deadline. If I hope to finish writing and editing by fall, I need to get myself in gear.
The extension of Darkened Slumber and the completion of Maelstrom come next. Because they're vying for the position of "first published book," they're both a pretty big deal. And while The Tournament of Convicts isn't something that can get published, I still want to get this project done because I know how it plays out.
An Old Face, a New Game is a story that gets done when it gets done. If it's been going for almost four years now, I think it has some patience. Though I also know a lot of what happens in this story, so this'll probably my go-to for when I need a break from my current project.
Lastly, we have A Totally Epic Pirate Story. Like I said, my passion for this story has fizzled over the last couple of months. There are just better things I could work on. I'll have to think on it and decide what this project's fate shall be.
Well, that's that! I know this was a long post, but I felt like sharing some of my writing journey with you guys. I hope you enjoyed!
How many projects do you have going right now? If you could choose, which story would you pick for me to publish first: Maelstrom or Darkened Slumber? Are you entering the Five Poisoned Apples contest? Do tell all in a comment!