Overall, I'd say today was a fantastic success in helping me out of my slump, even if writing group showed up a little later than expected (read: like three hours later).
At first I just did as I had planned: Wrote a few first chapters, one of an urban, vampire YA fantasy, and the other an idea I'd been harboring for a while. At this point, I got tired of doing it on my own, so writing group and I decided on a new tradition: First sentence writing prompts.
The idea is simple and not exactly novel, but it is certainly fun. One of us (pre-designated in the future, but it was me today because it was my idea) would give a first sentence for a novel, story, chapter, whatever. Then, we'd have fifteen minutes to plan, and an hour and a half to write. We then pass the writings around, mostly for fun, and give basic feedback.
Anyone who has written can get why this exercise is helpful, and fairly common. It helps get the creative juices flowing, as well as help one become a better discovery writer. It also can be entertaining to see where things go: Mine was (as expected) a fantasy with snippets of sci-fi (an idea I'd had for a while but had never taken flesh; this allowed it to come to life); Derek's was a sci-fi pseudo distopian; and Jason's was...well, let's just say the main character was the source of all entropy in the universe, and his parole officer was Death. Yeah, it was interesting.
For those wondering, the sentence I chose was: "I never minded the Peacemakers, until one of them tried to kill me." I figured it offered a bit of preemptive world-building (what with a class of people titled "Peacemakers"), as well as forcing us to write in first person. Needless to say, success.
On that front, the thing I wrote actually might be what I keep writing. I presented the first chapters to writing group (and my wife, who I guess is part of writing group too so I didn't have to give her special mention, but she's my wife so it's all good) and asked which they liked best. The vampire YA (I can't believe I'm writing vampire YA) and the writing prompt bit, currently under the file of "Graffiti" (which is the name of the magic/tech used by the characters), won out. So, for the future, I concluded I'd write a second chapter in each, send that off as well, and see which wins out.
Personally, Graffiti is winning. I like the magic and there are already three characters that show terrific synergy. However, we shall see.
You might wonder what this means for Effulgent Corruption. I'm wondering too, believe me. I think the problem is I'm not ready to take on such a huge task as of yet. Planning for EC made it look like another 200,000 word monster, and it is also the first in a two book set. The ideas and settings are probably the "coolest" I've thought up, but that should give me all the more reason to put it aside for a while and hone my craft until I'm prepared. Just know I am not completely abandoning the story, I like it too much for that. However, it might have to wait a few months (or one month, depending on how into these stories I get) before I finish it up.
In other news, I've gotten a little more Paradise Seekers feedback, but there are still a few quiet Alpha readers. Get on that! (I mean that in the nicest way possible) My goal is to have it revised and done before the middle of July, and then start sending it out.
And now, a very brief quote from Graffiti.
" Good Techtappers were hard to find; most could only use two or three fingers and create basic shapes and objects. Exceptional ones could manage three, usually the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. Rosemary took to the art like a fish to water; the Tips on her fingers glowing miraculously as she drew living energy with her left hand. I’d heard rumors that, at the heart of the Steelgod’s empire, there lived Techtappers who could use both hands to draw.
Watching Rosemary, I couldn’t see how this was possible. Her fingers moved with a grace and precision I couldn’t hope to ever match in my lifetime. Piano players, harp players, and even the most skilled bards and minstrels all paled in comparison to my step-sister. Her fingers drew beautiful lines, some glowing, others not in the still night air. They throbbed with her movements, a few fading away as she erased them with a rub of her thumb. "
Expect an update tomorrow on what I decide to write.