I’ve made a lot of progress with my Dythoids trilogy lately. It hasn’t all been words-on-page progress, but it has been progress.
My writing has been a big coping mechanism for me lately.
The world, especially my North American corner of it, is struggling. Social and political issues have been forefront for some time now, but the weather patterns of late have made things even worse for my deeply empathetic heart.
I have not been directly impacted by the recent hurricanes or wildfires or earthquakes, and I’m not trying to make them about me by saying I’m experiencing pain as a result of these disasters. We need to care. It is okay to feel for other people.
Being a part of a society means that we should care about and support each other. It’s maddening that so many people seem to disagree with this sentiment.
As writers, we’re told to write what we know. I know empathy. I know looking out for the underdog and less fortunate. I know the current state of the world.
I think it will be obvious to far-future readers that I wrote this trilogy when I did. It is a post-apocalyptic story set after “anger fueled the skies, the seas, and the souls of the people.”
There are points in the story when it might be obvious that I am not letting myself bottle up emotions about the current political or actual climate. There is one scene in particular in Book 3 when this shines on the note of differing world views.
This might upset some potential readers. I understand and accept that. I’m sorry, but I hope that those of you who fall into this category (whatever your world views) still give the story a chance.
In the story I don’t fool myself that one side is completely good while the other is completely bad. There is a basis for disagreement between the different sides. As the writer, I’ll admit that I don’t agree with one of the sides, but I understand why there are different sides and hopefully those reasons come across to readers.
This story may offer you a more understandable perspective by offering some distance from reality. It may help you understand the hurt that some of your friends and coworkers may be experiencing. I encourage you to approach the story with open mind and open empathy.
Also, please understand that as a creative, I am not just a source of entertainment. This seems to be a trend at the moment for entertainers (including athletes).
Caring for people and standing up for issues I believe in is my lane. Writing is just my means of transportation.
To put it bluntly: I am not a robot shooting out stories. I am a person. I am more than words on a page. Yes, your feelings are important, but I am more than your enjoyment of the story. I have my own views and opinions and those views and opinions do filter through in my writing, whether people realize and want to recognize it or not.
Please understand this, friends: if I am fortunate enough to have readers some day, I will use my voice to try to make the world a better place. I may ruffle some feathers, but consider that maybe they need to be ruffled. A bird can’t fly if its feathers are stuck. We can’t get better as a society, as people, if we are stuck.
My Dythoids trilogy is forward-looking (well, technically that’s not true but stay with me in this timeline). This isn’t just a cautionary type of tale. The series is about growth and strength and hope. It is about moving on and figuring things out when the future only looks bleak. It is about proving that we as people have the strength to keep going despite our internal and external conflicts.
I have written some really hard scenes lately, and have plans to change some things earlier on to make it even worse for my characters. They struggle. They break. They lose their way. But they are not alone. There are other characters there trying to help them. There are also characters there trying to hurt them even more. So is life. But as in life, there should always be hope.
Idealistic? Maybe. But isn’t it the point that we strive for our ideals?
I don’t write post-apocalyptic to show the darkness of the world. I write post-apocalyptic to show the light, the hope, the goodness of people. Sometimes that requires darkness.
It is important for us all to know that we are not alone in our struggles, even if it seems that way.
Sometimes I forget that. Especially when it comes to my writing.
For a long time I felt like I couldn’t share the weight of my story beyond some simple tidbits here and there. This isn’t the shallow story I started in a workshop class. This trilogy is a lot more than the story enclosed in the first book. It has grown into much more than that.
With the weight of recent discoveries about my characters and some heavier scenes, I was feeling overwhelmed. I finally gathered the courage to reach out to a few trusted friends, asking them if they would be okay accepting spoilers about my trilogy in exchange for dealing with emotions. Mine and their own.
This has been a big step for me, sharing the inner-workings of my mind. Friends describe me as a ray of sunshine, the nicest person they know. I was afraid. I am who I am because I can see and understand the struggles other people face and I don’t want them to feel alone. Sometimes this is intuitively.
Just as there are mountains, there are canyons. I help others climb the mountains because I know there are shadowed canyons. I haven’t myself experienced them but I know the raging rivers that carved those canyons can carry a person away until they drown.
I was afraid to share my understanding of the darkness, of the canyons. But I am lucky to have the friends I do. My small selected group has been supportive and encouraging.
I typed up a crash course of the trilogy so far (with an emphasis on the characters causing me so many positive and negative emotions at the moment). I also sent a few snippets right from the rough drafts. Reactions have been helpful.
It has been a boost in my confidence as a writer. It has also been a boost in my confidence in this story, in these characters. Most importantly, it has been a reminder that I am not alone on my journey to write and eventually publish this trilogy.
To end things on a fun note, I wanted to share the working covers/titles for the Dythoids trilogy.
I like the working titles for Books 2 and 3. I hate the working title for Book 1, but it’ll do until my mind decides to come up with something better. For now the order is:
I was considering titling them “Time”, “Location”, and “Form” after the Dythoids themselves, but I’m not sure. I’m open to you thoughts on these title ideas, friends.
Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your day.