National Novel Writing Month 2017

I’m going to be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. I’ve written upwards of 20,000 words in a month before, but a full 50,000 is going to be a stretch for me.

While it’s not likely that I’ll be stumbling over the finish line on November 30th, I’m hoping NaNo is the kick in the butt I need to work ahead on Astra Nullius. I’ve got big plans for 2018, most significantly a change in the way I’m publishing stories. Starting in January 2018, instead of dumping a whole story on the site once a month, I’ll release one point-of-view character’s segment once per week. This means I can be more flexible with the lengths of my stories, letting them end when they need to end instead of forcing everything into the same 4000 to 5000-word box. It also means I’ll have space for some fun pieces of short fiction that don’t quite fit into the arc of a longer story, like snippets of characters’ messages to each other.

A new thing I’m doing: commissioning art

Now that I have some spare cash from a new job and I’m not throwing all my extra money into a downpayment savings account, I can finally start doing something I’ve wanted to try for a while: commissioning work from artists. This is Sera in her usual outfit, drawn by Pukaon on Tumblr. I love it!

This is Sera’s typical outfit–she cleans up nice when she has to, but rarely feels the need to go out in anything fancier than this. I wanted her look to be a cross between Han Solo’s iconic vest and Kaylee from Firefly’s coveralls. She’s very much inspired by both those characters: rough around the edges, morally flexible where local trade laws are concerned, frequently rushing to fix a busted ship, easily distracted by doe-eyed brunettes.

Sera is by far the easiest point-of-view character for me to write, which is why she’s been disproportionately represented in my stories this year. Even when she’s not the focus of a story, her impulsivity and her shady past are great sources of conflict. I’m jazzed about getting the chance to roll out her character arc over the next few years; she’s got a lot of old scars, both literal and metaphorical, and some of the decisions she makes are going to change the shape of life on the Benevolence in a major way.