So today is the day I acknowledge that while I have characters with story arcs, a world with a reasonable degree of detail and depth, and all the parts needed to build a story, the Agarthan Nations setting is not getting a story told in it at this time. My brain is not in the space for it, largely thanks to the ongoing nightmare circus of politics intruding no matter where I am.
Were I on a contract for the story, I’d force myself to white rabbit the hell out of the story and salvage it from there, but I’m not and so I won’t. The chthonic world gets to go on a back burner for a bit while I work on something else. There’s nothing wrong with admitting defeat – if you’re not on a deadline, you’ll save yourself the trouble of beating your head against a wall when you’re just not there to write that story.
The next step after admitting defeat, though, is regrouping. In this case, it means looking at myself and trying to figure out what I’m in a mental space to go ahead and write instead. At present, I have a couple of possibilities. One is somewhat escapist; one is more cathartic than anything.
The escapist option is a story I’ve been noodling around with for a while, which I previously have kept adjusting to try to find a good fit between story and setting. It’s a story of a princess and her bodyguard, both friends since childhood with unrequited love between them, when a coup overthrows the kingdom and only the two of them escape. I’m not sure I’m in the headspace to write this simply because it wants to be a more light-hearted kind of story, not one easily used for catharsis on my part, and writing it now may make it twist for the darker side.
The other story, on the other hand, is a science fiction piece; a colony on another world, well established, is ready to spread out and establish secondary settlements. Humanity’s place on this other world is relatively secure. The tale follows a team sent out to investigate a few of the possible settlement sites, which have odd anomalies about them that can’t be easily resolved via robotic telepresence. It promises ample opportunity for catharsis and the ever-popular thing where annoying a writer means you get written into a story to be a victim. It can be immensely satisfying, and I’m presently leaning this way. The big plot question is whether or not the colonists are actually alone on the planet – there’s nothing on those orbital maps suggesting they’re not, but those only have so much resolution possible and the planet is quite unexplored otherwise.
There are several other options, but these are the two speaking to me the most right now; and that means they’re going to be the easiest for me to write right now, whether or not I’m fully in the headspace for the story they should be. I’ll make my final decision soon, since I’ve got less than a week before the writing starts.
Check back to see what pans out, yeah?