This might come as a shock to most, but-
I’ve never seen Firefly.
I’ve listened to endless podcast episodes, read countless blog posts, been part of numerous conversations between creatives, where Firefly has always been touted as the best-of-the-best in sci-fi story structure, world building and compelling characters, but I still had never seen it.
So when a certain streaming provider announced their new collection of shows and movies included Firefly, you can guarantee I stuck it high on my priority list.
A few episodes in now and it lives up to every expectation. Funny, complex, action-packed, and all built around a sci-fi world that hits closer to home than the gigantic space operas with FTL drives and wormholes and the like. The characters are deep and lovable, while being far from perfect (though this is often what makes any character lovable). Captain Mal is a barrel of contradictions, except for his core motivation, the love of his crew. He would do anything for them, no matter his defensive, tough guy attitude (he’s battling a whole lotta crap in his head) and that’s beautiful.
I especially loved the second scene in the first episode where they’re floating around in only slightly less bulky, NASA-esque spacesuits, among the wreckage of an abandoned ship. I could picture our own astronauts, with our current technology, doing just the same. And it felt real.
So that’s been a fascinating and utterly worth-it dive into another faucet of the Sci-fi world, despite my conviction to get the words done, I believe Firefly has been worth every minute.
Reading on the other hand- you can’t write well if you don’t read. So, onto books!
Currently I’m reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – who was the sole inspiration for me to begin my writing journey way back when, after reading the Eragon/Inheritance Tetra-logy (something around 8-15 times each, depending on the number of the book in the series, #1 Eragon being the most read) – and I am loving it.
It bleeds with the passion and dedication of the ten years he put into the worlds and characters and the plot. Revising and re-writing over and over until it was just right. I thoroughly appreciated the shout-out to one of my favourite characters in Eragon at about 20% in (you’ll have to read it too). That sparked a few tears of joy.
He was my favourite author as a kid, before I knew anything at all about Sci-Fi. The fact that he dove right into Sci-Fi too, with all of his heart, feels like we’re on a similar journey and it’s powerful to find an inspiration like that. I’m determined to flesh out my own worlds with as much realism and dimension as he has given the Sea of Stars universe.
I’m also reading Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood by Holly Lisle (free first chapter sneak peek via the link) whose teachings have empowered so many writers around the world to learn how to wrangle that elusive muse and get it spewing words and worlds in minutes. Her sci-fi is fast paced, with powerful multi-dimensional characters, and galaxy-spanning concepts. I’m loving it. I had to put down The Longview Chronicles to read this one, as the characters intersect and I just had to learn all about the infamous Cadence Drake before going any further.
I do not regret it.
Reading is so good for the soul.
Space Unicorn Blues by T.J.Berry which is another fast-paced, strange, dark fantasy, Sci-fi novel with characters who are full of humour and attitude.
Aestus by S.Z.Atwell a dark, post-apocalyptic sci-fi where the human race now lives in cities beneath the ground. The characters are complex and fascinating so far.
I also have a full bag of library books I just had to take with me when I last visited. No guarantees I’ll read them all before they’re due back but I’m well on the way through Space Unicorn Blues so far, so it’s a good sign. I just need to remember to read while I eat and wait at school pickup rather than perusing social media (though I’m slowly pulling away from all the platforms more and more to focus on the words, and will return when closer to release).
Current Project – Novel
The words are bogged down this month, but I get something small down most days. I wasn’t reaching my daily page goals for the first couple of weeks, but toward the end that number improved.
I’m always advancing, and that’s the key.
Up to 25k so far. If you’ve been following my flash fiction pieces, my WIP has just intersected with The End and Deep Wishes. I’m dabbling further into horror than I thought, but the darkness has always fascinated me.
Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending! And not too much body horror.
Just an air of creepiness.
Also, I tried a new tactic to get those words moving again, which helped me improve toward the end of the month.
Rather than writing from the MC’s POV – as I had been for the whole draft so far – I swapped out to an omniscient POV, and just wrote each scene out, one event after the next, adding in little excerpts of direct dialogue or descriptive passages as they came to me, and it has helped immensely.
I even changed pen colour, to shift that along. Since I prefer Black ink, and I use Blue, Red and Green to add snippets and notes to reference in revision, I swapped to alternating blue and green between scenes, which just makes the writing feel less restricted.
Less like “these words have to be in the final copy,” and more like “here, have some general notes, do with them as you will.” I am loving it.
I highly suggest you play around with different colours and fonts and even stickers, for your first draft. Use them as rewards every time you complete a set of words, or a page, or a scene etc. Make the work fun and it’ll feel less like a slog, allowing you to conjure up more motivation to get back to writing every time you’re pulled away.
What’s a tactic you’ve experimented with and found helpful in getting that first draft done?
Leave your answers and thoughts below. I respond to each and every comment here on my website. Otherwise, pop over to the contact page and send me an email, I love to hear from readers and writers of all kinds.
For now, remember to:
Explore, create, repeat-
© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner