Lessons on Anxiety, Writing, and other Updates

I’m not going to bury the lede: The Curious Chronicles is on an indefinite hiatus. I’m not done with Simlit (not by a long shot, you can scroll down to see what’s coming in its place), but I am (for a variety of reasons) done with this story for now.

I don’t feel bad about this at all–which is a testament to the wonders of therapy because that little voice inside of me which likes to point out my flaws and shortcomings and amplify my doubts would typically have a field day with something like this.

I don’t know who needs to hear this but if a thing isn’t bringing you joy anymore, it’s okay to stop doing it. You’re still a boss and if you change your mind, you can come back to it.

Working on The Curious Chronicles taught me so much and frankly, if I didn’t try to do it (and FAIL SPECTACULARLY Y’ALL), then I wouldn’t be in such a good place with my new story. It’s such a cliche saying but goddamn it, you can’t know what you don’t know and when it came to making my first Simlit: I did not know anything.

That’s me. I’m Jon Snow.

My Story Was WAY Too Big

Twelve different protagonists? On my first try? Like who the $#@! did I think I was? Every time I think about this, I just have to laugh. I spent two weeks visiting the UK and wrote every day and barely made a dent in the story. Not only did I have twelve characters, but each of those characters had relationships with tons of people that needed to be fleshed out. And because I had the story moving back and forth in time, all those characters and their family members had to be aged up and down constantly.

Chronological order? Who needs it?

ME. I NEED IT. I had a major plot point planned for Cassandra Goth that I had to abandon because she would have literally been 3 years old when it took place and I didn’t catch this until it was too late because I confused my mother#$@!-ing self. When I realized that I spent all this time writing out a scene that physically could not have happened with the laws of space and time, I nearly screamed.

Suffice it to say, there’s a reason why it’s good to start small and keep it simple. The plot begins to runaway with itself otherwise.

I Did Not Want to Kill My Darlings

I had a lot of ideas when I started (I had so many years of gameplay!) and even though I knew it would impossible to fit them all into one story, I did it anyways. This happened a little bit at the time and I made lots of excuses, but ultimately, instead of having a cohesive narrative, I ended up having to expand the world and make it needlessly complicated in order to suit each story. And listen, hats off to the people who can make it happen but I’m not one of them. I vastly overestimated my ability.

Jettisoning even one of the story ideas I had would have made it doable. Nope. See, there I go again. I needed to choose a single idea, not all of them. Kill your darlings. Writing without doing so is pure hubris. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

I Didn’t Write What I Wanted

Does that sound strange to say after I just got finished telling you that I put like every idea on the planet into my story? Well, it’s true. You see, I really love the romance genre. Like LOVE IT. I used to be really embarrassed about this and I’d cover it up with all sorts of justifications and qualifiers: I just need something fun to turn my brain off! I know its kind of silly, but it’s a guilty pleasure! I definitely 100% read serious literature for funsies, this was just something I’m trying out! Blah Blah Blah!

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Listen y’all, I’m a smart woman with advanced degrees and a fancy job and I love romance. I’m a cheesy-Hallmark movie loving-romcom watching-d&d playing-Slytherin romance fan. And I ain’t fittin’ to be shamed. In fact, if we had 35 more hours I would tell you all about why I believe reading romance is both a feminist and revolutionary act. That’s my second TED Talk.

But TL; DR: I wanted to write a fun paranormal romance Simlit and I didn’t write it because I was embarrassed and so unconsciously/consciously, bit by bit, I added other elements to bury the romance part and before I knew it, my story had moved far away from my original intentions. And the crazy part is, I’m a fan of so many Simlits that are romances. Like. What. Is. Wrong. With. Me.

Also, it goes without saying that I overwhelmed myself with “writing advice.” I was so afraid of a committing some writerly sin that I ignored my own instincts.

And Also, All the Other Stuff

I had a lot to learn about setting up screenshots, editing images, dealing with CC, etc. It took me a long while to find an organizational system that worked so for a good part of the story, my writing and screenshots and edits were spread between a million different folders on my computer, in google drive, in some online writing software I paid for (which I swiftly abandoned because trying to organize so many timelines in it was headache-inducing. For reasons known only to the universe, I did not see this as a sign).

And my lordt did I take so many shots.

WHY? WHY SO MANY?

I said it before and I’ll say it again: I didn’t know what I was doing.

I mapped out the first part of the story in great detail but had only hazy details in place for the rest of it. By the time I figured out how to make all the plot points work I couldn’t make any changes. Those hazy details? They mattered. And don’t even get me started on how long it took me to figure out that I should have been downloading and building locations as I needed them. For many screenshots, I was only using a room, sometimes just a single wall. And yet, I’d build (ok mostly download) an entire building. There were so many scenes that I ended up adding shit to just because I couldn’t bear to let the whole lot go to waste.

Lesson learned.

So What Now?

First of all, if you’ve been reading my story so far: THANK YOU! Having anyone read my stuff is beyond my wildest dreams and I’m incredibly grateful. I hope you’ll stick with me (though I won’t be offended if you decide to peace out because this is not your thing!).

I’m excited to say that I have a new story! I’m going archive all my Curious Chronicles stuff so I can pick it back up again in the future if I so choose. I did borrow some characters and storylines that I really liked so you may see some familiar faces, but The Curious Chronicles is going to disappear from the site. I’ll be under construction for a bit as I work to launch my new story.


When Death Enters a Baking Contest (A Paranormal Romance)

Let your freak flag fly? More like snatch it from the flagpole and bury it as deep as possible.

Alice Martin is twenty-nine years old and cursed. Since the age of thirteen, she’s been sharing her headspace with Ben, the God of Death (and resurrection and agriculture and fertility and nectar, as he often reminds her). The arrogant, all-powerful being has run roughshod over her life, sending her on “quests” that have turned her into the town weirdo and putting everyone around her at risk with uncontrollable bursts of power. There are no two ways about it, Alice is a monster and monsters don’t get friends, love, or dream jobs. 

When a reality TV baking contest offers a magical prize that can undo anything, Alice sees a chance to finally get the normal life she craves and distraction in the form of a handsome vampire is definitely not part of the plan.

No way. No how.

Almost certainly, kinda no.

Right?

Change is good? Please. Change is overrated. 

At 544 years old, Vladislaus Straud is a vampire uninterested in change. Oh sure, he’s willing to update his clothes, speak simlish instead of olde simlish, and even he can admit that cars are far more convenient than horses. But who he is on the inside will never change. Or at least that was the case before he ran afoul of a powerful witch. Now, the brutal king of the vampires is haunted by his past deeds and struggling to contain an emotion he is very unfamiliar with: guilt.

When he hears about a magical item with the power to undo anything, Vlad sees a way to get back to his old self—the monster without a conscience. And the monster without a conscience is definitely not going to fall in love.

Absolutely not.

Well…probably not.

Right?

Coming September 2019 🙂


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