Farewell 2017, and hello to 2018! S and I have just started our traditional New Year’s pork roast and sauerkraut. It has to be in the oven for at least 4 or 5 hours, so it’s important to start in the early afternoon. This is our big New Year’s excitement here at Unicorn HQ. Well, that and the champagne that we open after supper while we watch a movie. It’s quite the party.
Looking back, we’ve made some serious progress on Magnificent Kingdom. Those of you who are keeping track at home will recall that Magnificent Kingdom is the story of the founding of the main country in our fantasy universe. S has been wanting to write it for years now, and we finally got around to planning and starting it this year. We’ve written through the end of Act I (the first quarter of the story), and a few chapters into Act II. Sometime in the new year, we’ll regroup, look at the outline, and start tackling the second act.
S had a tough year, obviously, but she did manage to write half of Act I of Magnificent Kingdom, and she wrote fanfic in four different fandoms, which is pretty cool.
I also did some writing on the side. In April I wrote Black Eagle Rising, which is the story of how a civil war gets started in our universe. I’ve written a number of other stories set during that century-long war, so I thought it was important to set up how everything began. Then I wrote Unspeakably Wooed and (in November) When You Are King, both sequels to Black Eagle Rising. In the future, I think I’m going to stick to writing these civil war stories chronologically, since it helps keep the characters straight and saves a lot of rewriting and retconning later on. Already, some of the first stories that I wrote in this time period, like Lady’s Knight, are going to need some revision to make them match up with everything else. It’s best to avoid that whenever possible.
Oh, and for S’s Christmas present, I wrote Twilight at Noon, the story of an exiled secret agent. It takes place hundreds of years after the civil war stories, closer to the “main” timeline of the Myrciaverse. S and I had been talking earlier this year about Orson Scott Card’s MICE Quotient, and we noticed that, although we write fantasy novels, we’d never really done a proper Milieu Story. So Twilight at Noon is my attempt at writing one. I also did a bit of an experiment with the structure—rather than just doing the traditional three acts, I built the novel around my main character, Martina, experiencing the stages of Culture Shock. So that was a lot of fun.
Anyway, for the new year I’m already planning the next novel in the Myrciaverse civil war timeline. It will probably be my Camp NaNo project for April, I suppose. But first, of course, I need to plan my classes and get ready for the start of Spring Semester. I’m going to be teaching some new classes, and as I’ve mentioned before, preparing for a new class is a lot more work than teaching one you’ve taught a dozen times before.