Writing During a Pandemic

Stephen’s latest post from Fractured Faith [link] reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about how COVID has affected my writing style, what I write about, and my writing schedule. It certainly hasn’t been the free time I thought a lockdown would bring me. I do, oddly enough, feel like being disabled has helped me though this in some ways.

I go back and forth between genres I write, and the length of stories I write. Despite my three short stories I’ve sent to publishers all being somewhere within the horror genre, I also have a romance novel in the works. It’s a paranormal/fantasy romance–as I put it on my Twitter [link,] my plan is to write a world “where everyone is queer, there’s no underlying corruption, and I’m going to drag you [my Twitter followers] all along for the ride with me.”

So far Satin Stars has been a lot of fun. It’s been a blast to make a character who’s truly not human, and have Istvan flip who I thought he was going to be. When I began writing, I expected Istvan to be a snobby rich guy sort of character. Instead he’s turned out to be a complete sweetheart who keeps his fiance’s disability [she’s hard of hearing] in mind. Istvan also reads as autistic, so I’m just going all in and writing him that way.

Which brings me to worldbuilding. That’s something that’s really changed during this time. The worlds I write used to be more dark fantasy sort? But these days I find myself writing what would maybe be considered “too cheerful” for some fantasy writers. Especially the Satin Stars universe (for example, everyone knows sign language. Everyone.)

I do write stories that are much more focused on the personal, even when big world-shaking events and characters are involved. I write about gods and supernatural entities falling in love with both humans, and each other. I write about New Years festivals on other planets. I write ghost stories where the lead character’s disability is a strength.

In writing, I’ve gotten much kinder to myself with how much I write. I try and write at least 300 words a day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. When I think that I need to be writing All The Time, I remind myself that I’m not a Writing Machine, and that it’s okay to just meet my base goal.

So those are my thoughts on writing, and how it’s changed during the pandemic that’s going on.

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