Over the next few posts, I will explore the various projects I mentioned last time in an attempt to figure out where I am with each one and which one interests me most to pursue at the moment.
The first project is a series of short stories called The Donosti Fae. Donosti is a variation on the Basque name for San Sebastián (the city where I live in Spain near the French border).
The series focuses around Daniel, a 20something half-Brit, half-Basque guy who moves to the city from northern Englad, falls in love with the place and gets mixed up with Basque, Spanish and British fairies.
It’s a fun series to write because Basque fairies aren’t well known in English fantasy, so it gives me something novel to write about. Also I love the self-absorption of Daniel whose main interests are perfecting his body and getting laid.
Forcing someone like that to realize bit by bit that other people exist and have feelings provides a lot of potential conflict to build stories around. It’s also fun to make stereotypically capricious fairies seem more responsible and civic-minded than the human they deal with.
I am writing Daniel’s tale as a series of short stories in a “monster of the week” style, moving the larger plot along bit by bit.
As I said in the last post, I’ve written five stories, have translated several of them into Spanish and have one up for sale in English and Spanish versions.
When I went to start on the sixth story, I had no idea where to go, so started an online course offered by Holly Lisle called How To Write A Series. She has recently expanded it to focus on short serial-fiction, so it was a perfect opportunity to explore what I wanted to do with Daniel.
At first the course went well. I came up with six or seven “seasons” each with an overall plot but that would also allow the episodic feel that I wanted.
Plan in hand, I started to write the sixth story… and promptly lost all interest in the whole series. You see, I primarily write to tell myself stories; getting out to others comes a far second. Having decided what was going to happen over the next eighty episodes, I no longer needed to write them. Plus the secondary character, a Basque friend of Daniel’s, isn’t at all like I pictured her. And to top it all off, The rest of the characters were acting like marionettes being pushed around by the awkward and clunky plot.
In other words, a total mess.
What will I do to break the block and move forward? Throw out the long-term plan, holding onto the awesome themes that I came up with. I will also allow the friend, Leire, to show me who she is without trying to force her into a predetermined box. I am even toying with the idea of telling the sixth story entirely from her point of view, as she knows things that Daniel can’t know without ruining the flow of the series, but that at this point the reader should start learning about.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
(By the way, if you are interested in knowing more about the Donosti Fae series, check out the Catalogue link at the top of the page.)