…I’ve started writing a Sword & Planet story.
In case you’re wondering what the heck is Sword & Planet, think Conan the Barbarian in space. With giant lizards and man-eating plants. And half-naked princesses getting kidnapped by evil technomancers with giant four-armed bodyguards that wield laser-bladed swords. Basically, science fiction in the style of the classic 20s pulp adventure novels.
In other words, this:
I’ve read a lot more Heroic Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery than straight Sword & Planet, but I figure there’s a good deal of overlap. I read A Princess of Mars way back in college and really enjoyed it, and of course I’m a huge fan of Star Wars and other series that were heavily influenced by the genre. Basically, I want to try my hand at a classic science fiction adventure style, without the scientific rigor of Hard SF or the sprawling world building of Space Opera. It’s all about the adventure, with liberal helpings of awesome sprinkled with omigoshomigoshomigosh.
The tentative title for this book is The Last Warrior Princess, though it’s about a twenty-something college grad working a wilderness job in southern Utah who accidentally finds a portal to another world while wandering around Arches National Monument. The princess comes later, though not too much later. I don’t know much about her yet.
In fact, I don’t know much about the story at all. I’m discovery writing everything, and I do mean everything. This is a fly-by-your-pants ready-set-go kind of book, with no restrictions and no limits–just me and the muse, not caring what anyone else thinks. My internal editor is bound and gagged in the cellar with the spiders, and if he breaks out somehow I’ll hamstring him and toss him back down. This project might never get another mention beyond this post, but I’m okay with that because it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.
For those of you waiting for the next Star Wanderers story, don’t worry, I’m still writing those too. This is more of a side project at this point, so I won’t put up a progress bar for it until I get fairly close to the end and know it’s something I want to keep. Which might never happen.
So basically, it’s just a personal pet project for now. It’s interesting, though, because when you’ve got nothing to fall back on but your own creative impulses, the words start to flow in remarkable ways. Take this passage, for example:
I drove up just as the sun was setting. The crescent moon hung like a razor in the yellow-orange sky, with Venus a twinkling point on its edge. Blood-red Mars was not far off, while Jupiter loomed ascendant.
I have no idea where that came from, but in the white-hot creative heat of the moment, it just spewed out onto the page that way. The only word that I changed was “loomed,” which I had originally written as “hung” (maybe I should change it back? Nah, who cares). In a little over an hour, I committed about 1,500 words, all just like this.
So yeah, if nothing else, this project will help to shake up my creative process and get the juices flowing for other projects. I could really use that right now, what with a couple of recent life roles (my grandmother passed away last week, which wasn’t unexpected but it did throw a kink in my already rocky routine). And who knows? If it turns out well, you might see me put it out as a novel in a few months. Or maybe the first part of a new series … nah, better not get carried away. Better just write it first.
Besides the A to Z challenge (which I may also turn into a book at some point) and Star Wanderers: Reproach, that’s what I’ve been up to recently. I’ve got a Star Wanderers omnibus in the publishing queue, but there’s nothing firm I can say about that yet, other than it will probably be for Parts I-IV and feature a professional cover (though I plan to keep the space images for the individual installments). I could say more, but I want to go for a walk. Later.