Thursday, February 11, 2021

My Own Worst Enemy: Pantsing a Mystery #scifi

My writing style has always been chaotic. I don't write linearly, I don't plan, I don't even have a central theme in mind. I just write. Usually it's a handful of random scenes that may not even be the start and/or finish. These give me the bare bones of the story, which I then flesh out, which may involve swapping scenes around.

Bearing this in mind, a mystery running on a countdown to a fixed event may not be the best thing to attempt. However, my muse is as chaotic and capricious as my writing style. Back when I was trying to write some holiday themed stories while battling my own resistance to the concept of Christmas in Spaaaaaaace!, I switched to the idea of using astronomical events since so many were the basis for our pagan holidays that were later adopted by religion. Solstice on Vintro was meant to be a scifi romance...but it didn't work out that way. While it does have a love story at its heart, it's not what I would classify as a true romance. Instead, it became a mystery. Which was fine, except my writing method doesn't work particularly well when trying to build clues and deaths to a set finale. I'm not sure I could have made it much harder on myself!

So perhaps it's not surprising that completing the story has taken a mind-boggling seven years for a 30K novella. Yes, you read that right. SEVEN. YEARS. I have an email discussion with the cover artist dated 7th December 2013. That's what happens if you don't plan and don't write linearly and decide to write a damn mystery!

But if the pandemic had a bright side, finally completing this marathon of a story was part of it. After copious rereads with lists of what happens where and to who or what, it finally runs in a smooth chronological order.

But I'm never doing this again!

Vintro. The planet that had stolen all her dreams.

Melandria Solei has always dreamed of commanding a starship and exploring the universe. When her own dark-eyed older lover steals the position she's worked for, she never expects to go chasing after him in a stolen ship to a world colder than revenge...

Writing Update
The next side story in the Redemption series is due to release on the 20th of March this year, and the main book three is scheduled for edits in June. Eep! I still have a lot of unfinished pieces lying around that I'd like to get done, but although I'm currently off work again due to the pandemic, I am supposed to be working from home. So that's going to take priority...
Chook Update
While us humans are in lockdown, so are my girls due to avian influenza. So even though I'm home, the girls are confined to barracks. However, I am due to be having three new girls delivered in March/April - more bantams but this time a special breed that will lay eggs through the winter (unlike my current madams other than Pixie with her beautiful pale blue eggs), so I'm looking forward to that. Frankly, there's not much else to get excited about right now. Sigh.

Stay safe!


  1. Sounds like an interesting read, Pip. But also a difficult write :) Is it out yet?

    1. Thanks. Yep, it released on the 21st of December last year (our winter solstice, lol).

  2. You write like me; no order (and often no idea!) Sadly, lockdown has had the opposite effect and my writing is stalled. It does mean I can concentrate on crocheting chickens though! Must get this book.

    1. I'm not writing as such, it's more editing. When the weather was nice, I spent it with my real life chooks, but not this time of year.


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