I don’t normally do announcements as posts but I want this to get as much exposure as possible so please share the link. That sounds ominous but don’t please don’t worry, this post isn’t going to offer up any terrible news!
Life is hard right now and outside stress can make it difficult to feel and be creative. I’ve been writing for about 34 years and I’m struggling. I forced myself through the challenge in April and gave myself permission to fail in July because shit got so fucking…terrible. The world started to feel mean and I needed a full retreat.
So, I reset, hard. I took some time to figure out what I wanted to write and what kind of story appealed to me. I started having conversations with others about what I was thinking and feeling regarding my craft. I didn’t finish my Star Trek story because my second story was in a modern police environment. I recognized that after I told myself that July wasn’t going to work for me.
I created a channel on Just Write to discuss the issue of the Sentinel and how it very often merges with contemporary law enforcement fandoms (NCIS, Hawaii 5-O, etc) which is reasonable because the original show was a cop show. My biggest Sentinel/Guide AU is actually in the Stargate fandom so it’s entirely possible to avoid the police aspect to some degree in writing a crossover.
But then in the course of a 3 am conversation with Jilly, I came across a secondary stumbling block in the Sentinel/Guide world-building that I normally write in. This is going to sound weird considering the world circumstances but the lack of privacy inherent in a world full of Sentinels has become seriously off-putting. I don’t know how I got here. I’m not saying I’ll never write an S/G story again because that’d be crazy cakes. It’s one of my favorite tropes. I might even still write it in November.
I feel like I should apologize for the road trip I just took you guys on through my head.
Regardless, the reason for this post is a pretty simple one. The world is shitty right now and some of you (us) just can’t fathom dedicating a whole month to writing a story in a modern police environment. Some can make alternate choices (The Hobbit/LOTR, Stargate, etc) but there are those who only write in certain fandoms when it comes to the S/G trope and they’re screwed for November as the challenge is currently presented.
During the discussion on Just Write (the channel is called #the-struggle-tw) about a solution, I decided that an alternate theme might be helpful to anyone struggling with the Sentinel/Guide concept on the whole due to the law enforcement situation in the US and just the stress of the pandemic. It occurred to me that maybe we just need to immerse ourselves in something out there. It’s certainly helped me personally with my Quantum Bang 2021 efforts.
One server member on Just Write (thanks Elle!), suggested that the alternate theme be a shifter au which is both similar to the S/G concept (ie special abilities and bonding) but different enough that it would help those struggling due to modern police fandoms.
I’ve updated the November 2020 challenge to reflect this alternative. As the challenge current stands — you can write an S/G AU or a Shifter AU with an additional trope to create your “layer” for the overreaching theme of November. Remember we also have different levels of word count minimums starting at 25k
I’ve carved out a new writing space in the world we’re living in and I encourage you all to do the same.
PS- Please feel free to join us on Discord!