Frontier Update #11: Life, Love and Video Game Fanfics

Things can get pretty complicated pretty quickly.

Back in July when I posted Update #8 I had things under control. I had enough time on my hands to finish this thing. Then I got engaged to the love of my life, quit my job, started two companies and began planning a wedding with my new fiance.

Not so much free time now, as you’d expect.

In fact I have not actually turned on my console since well before TTK launched. Still, I intend on finishing this project, even if it’s going to take me a bit longer.

Good news! Thursday was my new record for views (132) thanks to some kind words and bumps on some facebook Destiny groups. I post to a few active ones each time I publish but you never know who will see it and who won’t.

I was asked if I’ve tried to get Bungie’s eyes on my work and perhaps get myself on the community spotlight, but honestly I don’t see that going anywhere. Sure, I could spam Deej on Twitter, but honestly it would have to be a community effort and not just me. Perhaps when I’m done this thing I’ll give it a shot.

How about we delve into some behind-the-scenes thoughts!

***Spoiler alert! Please don’t read on until you’ve read up to chapter 30!***

Act 06 was the first step into the climax that I have planned for this saga. By this point most of the pieces I needed to complete my plan were in play. I’ve had a crack or two at writing large battle scenes but I needed some of the tone here to resemble the chaos and brutality of WWII movies. Storming the beach being held by an entrenched and endless foe. I’m not sure I really got that across but that was the intent.

Ultimately, this act was about breaking up Warden. Figuring out exactly how I was going to do this really didn’t end until I started actually writing. That happens sometimes. If you can force yourself to just write, things happen. What ends up on the page may be inspired or trash, but even if you have to start all over, you’ve got the wheels turning. Getting those wheels turning is often the hardest part of writing. In the end, having him die in a sacrificial manner seemed best to support the impetus of Vatyr and Telemica. And yes, once again there are some dead giveaways to where this is going if you’re a Dune fan.

Act 07 was the new normal. Some of my readers have noted that the new Guardian Arrenn Gee seems a bit stoic and fades into the background easily. That isn’t so writing him is easier, in fact I’ve noticed things are a little harder without a proper third wheel. What you’ve experienced is Arrenn’s character and there is a lot of purpose behind it, but you’ll have to wait to find out what that purpose is. And if you were wondering, yes, his name is a gag on RNG, but that in itself is also a clue to readers.

I’d like to talk about chapter 24. The mysterious conversation came out much better than I thought it would, to the point where not only did people understand just the right amount of what was going on, but actually wanted more. I’m going to attempt to write another chapter like that, but it’s a fine line to walk. These chapters are purposefully loaded to the brim with foreshadowing and if I give too many hints or arrange things in the wrong way, the story will be ruined. 24 took quite a while to get right so I’m hoping you’ll all be forgiving when it comes to more long stretches with no posts.

Let’s talk about sex and violence. Act 07 held two of the bigger challenges I’ve set for myself up in this project. The first was chapter 26 which was my first attempt at writing soft erotic elements. Why go erotic at all? In my opinion, sex is a much an element of life as anything else, so avoiding it to me never really feels real. So did I go too graphic, or did it just come off silly? I have not really received much feedback on this so if you have any thoughts on the matter, please let me know. I did this for a few reasons. Firstly, I needed to anchor in the concept that Vatyr was being guided by a damaged heart. His devotions and secrets were all plainly coming to a head. Some may have noticed that Vatyr had a past with the Queen all the way back in chapter 12. I also wanted to paint Vatyr as a bit of a reckless rogue when it came to taking risks in the interests of what he cared about, which takes us to the violence in chapter 29. Originally, I planned on a simple hard-vacuum knife fight between Vatyr and Uldren, but after trying to write something as kinetic as that, it seemed to fall very flat. I’ve noticed that in most novels, melee fights are very short because it’s exceedingly difficult to write them in an entertaining way if they last more than a few swings. Also, there was the issue that I couldn’t kill either character. I had planned for the Queen to intervene at the last moment, but that would not have given me the resolution that I needed to progress. I didn’t actually plan on having Vatyr save Uldren until I was halfway into writing the chapter and began to add the gravity elements.

***End of spoilers***

That’s it for now. On to Act08! Hoping to find some time in very early November to sit down and hammer out some words. Ask whatever questions you’ve got in the comments section, and spread the word if you can.

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