I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve set myself writing challenges, only to give up before I’ve achieved anything. So I’ve come to a solution: I need to stop doing challenges and just start writing. I need to take things one day at a time. That way, if one day ends up being a bust, there’s no need to beat myself up over it because tomorrow is always a clean slate. I’ll set myself writing goals, but I’ll do it one day at a time. No more of this ‘1k a Day’ business, giving me something to catch up on if I fall behind or berate myself when I don’t meet it. Instead I’ll wake up and see what I’m equipped to deal with that day. And if I don’t hit that target, I’ll set a different one tomorrow. Routine is good for getting writing done, but at the same time, getting worked up over not accomplishing every little goal is never going to get me to where I need to be going.
And so this is my new non-challenge. To write, one day at a time. I’ll do updates on here as and when the feeling strikes me but I’ll try and do it regularly because talking about my work keeps the enthusiasm up! So let me introduce (or re-introduce for some) my novel!
Title: The Remnant Keepers
When & How Did It Start? I first got the idea in 2013 when I saw a dog with two different coloured eyes. Somehow that one little thing became a monster concept over the course of a couple of months!
What’s It About? A Remnant is like a soul shard. A part of someone left behind when they die because they have unfinished business. But they can only achieve this by attaching themselves to a living person, effectively becoming a parasite. A co-habitor. These people are known as Keepers. Sometimes worse, depending on who you talk to. Considered pariahs by most, this story is about a band of Keepers who come together to find their place in the world and help their Remnants’ move on but who get caught up in something so much bigger than all of them.
Who’s It About? The story initially follows Evan as she is forced from her home and endeavours to resolve her Remnant’s unfinished business. But I hesitate to call her the main character. Because along the way, she joins a motley crew of not just other Keepers but also scientists, inventors, sorcerers, bards, ninjas (even ninja bards!) and faces many an adversary along the way. Ultimately, it’s about a found family.
Why Did It Stall? There’s a reason this blog is called “Tales of the Procrastinator”. I get easily distracted and demotivated which inevitably led to me writing this less and less. And it wasn’t out of lack of interest on my part, it was more just lack of direction? I’m not much of a planner but it became obvious 94k in that this needed planning. And the prospect of that was a little daunting, to say the least. There’s also the matter that I started this four years ago and I’m not the same person I was four years ago so there’s quite a disconnect with what already exists and what would exist were I to continue from where I left off. Which is why I’m starting from scratch.
Why Am I Still Trying? Several reasons. I love these characters, first and foremost. And I think other people would love these characters, too. I always see posts from readers begging for certain kinds of characters and sometimes I’m like “hey, I have that!” but no one will know or be able to enjoy it unless I finish the thing. Also, I know the idea will never leave me unless I get it out.
Five Random Facts About My Novel (Without Spoilers!)
- It used to be called The Remnant’s Keeper before I realised that it was going to be more of ensemble piece, rather than focused on the one Keeper. And so singular possessive became simply plural!
- Here is an illegible picture of my relationship chart. It features 28 characters, location divisions and a metric ton of colour coding. (And also needs updating.)
- I have been using an online map-creator over at Inkarnate to better plan out the regions and surroundings. A must have for fantasy novels and it’s really easy to use too!
- I made the mistake of asking my friends to help me name some of my characters in a hurry which is why I have gotten stuck with a horse named Susan and a falcon named Brian. Learn from my mistakes, kids!
- At one point, when I found myself creating yet another female character, I asked myself if maybe there were too many women in this story. And then I laughed heartily at the idea of a male author ever questioning himself when he added another dude into his story. I went ahead and added her. And a few more for good measure.