Over at my favourite writing community, Runaway Tales, it’s Alternate Universe month. Considering my ‘main canon’, the world I predominantly write in, is contemporary sci-fantasy (the nice--and much shorter--way of saying my main character, Milos, is a genetically modified elf who’s been forced to work for the government), this promptly gave me a headache.
I mean, when you’re already writing about elves, what do you do? I thought about sci-fi, but most of my previous worlds are in that genre and I didn’t really want to rehash it for a sixth time (also, oddly, I’ve never been all that big on Elves In Space and I didn’t want to give Alex, Milos’s human superior--or so he’d refer to himself--an excuse to be a bigger dick than normal). I even considered the comedy-drama of an anime/manga style gakuen, or school, setting, something I did for two of my sci-fi characters a couple of years ago, but although the idea of Milos and Alex in school uniforms was appealing I just didn’t feel inclined to go that way again. I considered steampunk, but I’ve got another idea percolating on that (it takes a while for my brain to get its act together) and this would have just stepped on its toes.
Which somehow only left me with high fantasy, and another headache.
I’ve not written high fantasy in years and when I did, the worlds were devoid of elves or magic, although they did have a liberal helping of nosy gods and reanimated priestesses. I’ve never been one for castles, although I love exploring them in real life, and my favourite eras of history aren’t ones involving chivalry (or the lack thereof) and knights.
I’ve got no idea, in fact, what possessed me. But here we are: I’ve written two stories already and I’ve challenged myself to write and post something every day for April.
I think I’ll regret this decision. I think I’m already regretting it, as I’m staring at my third ‘chapter’ and failing to get words to fall into coherent lines and wondering just when Alex sprouted a family his real-world incarnation most definitely doesn’t have. I don’t even have the excuse of doing Camp NaNo. I’ve just randomly decided to be stupid and set myself challenges I don’t think I can keep.
But even if I crash and burn in five days time--or even tomorrow--I’ll have written more in these three days than I did in the whole of the last month.
So maybe even random bursts of stupidity serve their purpose...
We’ll see if I’m still saying that next week!
(If you’re curious, it’s the tab at the top handily labelled as Unravel AU - Index and it should be updated every day. Should. But I’d be more than happy to take suggestions on a new name. The entire damn thing needs a new name to be fair, but mostly because I can’t stop seeing the ‘Alternate Universe’ abbreviation as ‘Australia’...)