April Beckons … with Deadlines & Goals

Rolling into April feels more like tumbling for me. I had 2 short story deadlines at the end of March, with another this coming week. Thankfully, my critique group and critique partner provided feedback to push those along another notch. Crossing my fingers for their success, I can move on and add about 200 words to a 3rd short story to fit the submission criteria.

Original cover for short story, Mother's Mountain

April brought Camp NaNo, a one-month, set-your-own goal(s) writing challenge. I set 2 goals: add 10,000 words to my Novella (hopefully, bringing it to conclusion) and edit the current 48K words.

I’ve been stalling these past 2 weeks on the novella and figured these goals would push me to finish it. I’ve had so much fun writing it, and researching tons of details, that I think I subconsciously don’t want it to end. I keep reminding myself that I can continue to explore medieval themes, weapons, and characters in my trilogy that’s also set in this general time frame.

Luckily, neither is an historical piece. Since they not set on Earth, I can be a flexible with my medieval background. Yet I want those who are familiar with this period to be comfortable with the setting.

About medieval times

Many people have a specific, and later, time frame in mind when they think medieval, but the period spanned hundreds of years. If all we know about that era is from movies and television, we have a skewed viewpoint. Knights did not ride by themselves around the countryside in full armor and helmets, looking for maidens in distress. Let’s face it, that heavy armor made it almost impossible to mount a horse unassisted or to go to bathroom, to name just 2 important tasks.

Weapons evolved, both from innovation and encounters with other cultures. Low-ranked and peasant soldiers did not wear the heavy armor of mounted knights. They ran ahead into oncoming weapons and thus needed some protection while fighting, but they could not afford the same level of protection knights wore.

Researching the various types of protective gear, armor, and weapons they used and the animals they rode became important as I expanded a long short story into a novella that approaches “short book” length. One weapons resource has become a guilty pleasure: the TV show Forged in Fire. I’ve been watching this reality competition for several months and when not feeling well a few days ago, binged on a slew of episodes. The weapons these modern-day smiths are tasked to create, many of which fit my medieval period, cover a wide swath of worldwide history.

Forging Ahead

I hope that next week’s post will be a return to the author interviews for Peace, Love, and Crime. I got behind schedule in sending out questions and thus any break is on me. As I get these back on track, they’ll be primary for a while. But I also think an interlude from time to time is a good thing.

Feel free to post comments. I’ll be sure to get back to you. Until next week . . . I’ll be back in my corner writing.

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