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Derfel Cadarn

Boarders writing a novel

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I'm writing an alternate history novel set in my own hometown in Indonesia.

The idea came to me after reading several dystopian/alternate history books. Whenever I looked at the political maps of these alternate/speculative realities, I always wondered what is happening in my hometown.

One book series described the planet being covered in a multi-story continent spanning city. Would some islands like mine be the exception? In Robert Harris' Fatherland, it tells of a Nazi victory in Europe but  a defeat for Japan. I wondered what would become of Indonesia. Would it still be decolonized or not? And either way, would racist ideologies from Europe spill over into how people are treated in my hometown? In Orwell's 1984, where I live it is constantly changing hands between Oceania and Eastasia. Does that mean the folks of my hometown keep becoming slaves to either super state and how would day to day life be like in such a scenario? Finally I asked myself how or if I myself could survive in an alternate reality.

Obviously I could not write in somebody else's established universe. So I had to come up with my own fictional narrative to indulge my imagination AND get credit for writing it instead of being dismissed as fan fiction. I know that there is a story to be told here.

My story takes place in an alternate 1953. For reasons that will be revealed the Dutch have not left Indonesia, but are facing local rebellions and are tightening their grip on power with the military. My home province historically was the most pro-Dutch province in Indonesia so the locals are wondering why their rights are being eroded. The story is told from the limited perspective of a local coffee bean picker. One day he is found guilty of a minor theft but sentenced to four years hard labour in a sulfur mine. He escapes and seeks out the rebels hiding in the jungles.

The book is mainly to indulge my imagination, but I hope to insert some real world facts into the book to make it educational also. I hope before the end of February next year to have it finished and published as an ebook (and printing as a paperback for my own bookshelf and some friends and family). I'm open to suggestions for the book.

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4 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Had a sword and sorcery piece accepted for the next issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Yay. :)

Congrats!

Sent novel to another agent, and got rmail to chase up if not heard in two weeks. 

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4 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Had a sword and sorcery piece accepted for the next issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Yay. :)

Congratulations!

 

2 hours ago, Ordos said:

I'm open to suggestions for the book.

Sounds interesting! Good luck with it!

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While I'm waiting to hear back from my agent regarding The Evil That Men Do and with 24 manuscript pages written for the sequel, Blood For Blood, 2 weeks ago I woke up with the idea for a story that takes place between the two novels.

I let it percolate inside my brain for a few days and realized that I had enough material for a novella titled Blademaster. I decided to run with it and started writing it last week. 7700 words later, I'm having fun and things are progressing at a nice clip. Plus, it's allowing me to set up a lot of stuff for Blood For Blood, which will give me a chance to focus more on the storylines when I resume working on it.

So I keep fighting the good fight! :)

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Finished final exams so now I can focus on writing (among other things). Finished rewriting another section of "Scotland's Heir" (so 2/6 now). Also, I wrote two more vignettes for the Mistland Metaverse. (After talking to our editor and a friend, I decided to include all three vignettes in the anthology so now the total page count (minus stories #8-11 and #13) is 92 pages.) On top of all that I've started writing two more short stories I'm calling "The Wolf in Red" and "The Dragonslayer's Daughter".

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Touched base with my agent last week and finally heard back from him. The Evil That Men Do is next in the rotation, so I'll get some feedback in the coming weeks. Hopefully he likes it and wants to rep it, or else it will be back to the drawing board for me.

For those waiting to hear back from potential agents, keep in mind that lots of authors took advantage of the pandemics to write novels. Pretty much my agent's entire roster did, which is why it took such a long time for him to get to my manuscript.

Blademaster is progressing nicely. Wrote for a few hours today and the novella now weighs in at about 10,000 words. :)

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I'm confident I will finish my book because I know how it ends and I am constantly getting more ideas for the book. I'm currently writing Chapter 5. Each chapter will go through at least two rounds of editing.

I had 2 other books I started writing but abruptly stopped. One from writer's block and another from loss of enthusiasm. Although I have a grain of hope that one day I will pick them up from where I left off.

I'm also surprised at my ability to write dark elements into my book. It's intentional obviously, but my previous books I've written (published with very limited circulation) generally had a feel of self censorship. This book is very different from my previous writing projects so I'm excited at the potential.

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13 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

An agent has replied, advising they are enjoying my novel and to send full thing!

Fingers crossed :)

Great! I'm rooting for you. Don't forget us when you're a rich and famous author!

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Posted (edited)

Finished rewriting two more sections of Felix's "Scotland's Heir" so that means I just have one more to go now! In other news, I wrote two more vignettes set in the Mistland Metaverse and commissioned artwork for all three.

Edited by The Grey Wolf Strikes Back

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After a few months of procrastinating, I've finally read through the first draft of my newest novel and come up with a revision plan. Started in on it this morning. One chapter down, many more to go...

Feeling a bit down about my writing because I've been both drowning in rejections and slow at making new material. But cautiously on an upswing in productivity, having now written four short stories this year and plus now starting my new novel. Got a rewrite request for an anthology and just resubmitted so really hoping it gets picked up. Also had my boyfriend read one of my stories and he said "You must be sending these to people who can't read." And okay yes he's biased, but he also really means it and enjoys my writing. So that made me feel nice.

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6 hours ago, Starkess said:

After a few months of procrastinating, I've finally read through the first draft of my newest novel and come up with a revision plan. Started in on it this morning. One chapter down, many more to go...

Feeling a bit down about my writing because I've been both drowning in rejections and slow at making new material. But cautiously on an upswing in productivity, having now written four short stories this year and plus now starting my new novel. Got a rewrite request for an anthology and just resubmitted so really hoping it gets picked up. Also had my boyfriend read one of my stories and he said "You must be sending these to people who can't read." And okay yes he's biased, but he also really means it and enjoys my writing. So that made me feel nice.

Don't stop believing!

Remember that Stephen King was drowning in rejections until selling Carrie.

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1 hour ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Just been offered representation by a literary agent and spoken briefly :D

 

Congratulations!

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Don't stop believing!

Remember that Stephen King was drowning in rejections until selling Carrie.

Not to mention his wife had to fish it out of the trash and convince him to keep trying.

Edited by The Grey Wolf Strikes Back

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