Works in Progress

While I typically only actively work on one or two projects at any given time, I have a great many works that are in some flavor of progress, ranging from actually writing it right now to haven't touched it in four years but I think about it every day to this sure would be fun to write when I have a minute. Yes, I count that last one as a type of WIP. I'll try to keep this page semi-updated, but for more information about any particular series or story on here, check out my On the Taleweaver's Desk series or the appropriate project tag (linked from the project heading).

Sequels and Prequels to Published Works

This is more of "anything directly connected to something I've published," but that's an awkward title. These tend to take top priority as far as my writing goes.

Blood in the Earth

What is it? Blood in the Earth is the sequel to Blood in the Snow and a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses crossed with the myth of Hades and Persephone.

Status: First draft finished; awaiting revisions.

I finished the first draft of Blood in the Earth last October, right before I started writing Gilded in Ice. It's a mess, but there's a lot of good bones in it . . . it's just that the bones are, currently, the narrative equivalent of a Brontosaurus: mostly the right pieces, arranged in the wrong way to create an incorrect story. I'd like to start edits on it sometime this year if things work out.

Bastian Dennel, PI #3 and Beyond

What is it? Exactly what it says on the tin.

Status: Several ideas in my head. Currently unwritten, but I hope to start soon.

Not a lot I can write about this one — but I can say that I intend to keep writing Bastian Dennel books as long as I keep having ideas about them. And, at the moment, I have one solid idea and three rough ones bouncing around in my head, and I plan to start writing the solid one sometime in the very near future. I can tell you that I have one Cinderella (which replaced the Cinderella I originally planned), one Bluebeard (possibly genderswapped), one that doesn't have a story attached yet but would heavily feature a minor character introduced in Gilded in Ice, and one that would technically be a spinoff focusing on Roselle.

Once Upon a Dream

What is it? A light steampunk (or gaslamp fantasy?) Sleeping Beauty retelling; the predecessor to The Midnight Show.

Status: Edited several times over. Awaiting another round of rewrites/expansion/edits.

Once Upon a Dream was the novella I wrote, oh, some years back for the Five Magic Spindles Rooglewood Press collection. Like Blood in the Snow, it was a finalist in the competition, but it didn't make it into the actual collection. I've been meaning to polish it up and expand some of the parts of the story so I can publish it for a while now, especially since The Midnight Show and Gilded in Ice are set in the same world (albeit several decades later). That said, it's not a top priority, especially since I'd like to get at least a few more Bastian Dennel, PI mysteries written and published before I jump back in time.

Novellas from the world of Blood in the Snow

What are they? Currently, three and a half ideas for spinoffs, most of which are also fairy tale retellings: one Puss in Boots (no, really), one Orpheus and Eurydice (probably crossed with a similar Japanese myth, Izanagi and Izanami), one Snow Queen (that's the half an idea), and one that's not currently a fairy tale retelling but would be about Gan and Azuma before they were animal-keepers at the emperor's palace.

Status: Well, one is, as I said, only half an idea. Of the others, I have rough ideas of scenes in two of them, and a general concept for the last.

I'm not sure what else there is to say about any of these? I think they'd be fun, but the actual sequel takes precedence. Also, of the two I'm most excited about, one (the Orpheus and Eurydice one) doesn't even take place until after said sequel, and the other (the Gan one) would, I think, be best read after the sequel as well.

Standalones and Series Starters

These aren't currently connected to another work, or if they are, they aren't strictly a series. They're the most likely to get written, after the books connected to a published work.

Between Two Worlds and Binding Destiny

What is it? Between Two Worlds is a portal fantasy adventure about what happens when you come home from the adventure, only to discover that the adventure isn't quite as done with you as you thought. Binding Destiny is a tale of what happens when trying to revive old traditions accidentally turns "the way it's always been" on its head . . . into which the main characters of Between Two Worlds invited themselves. They're not technically a series, but they are connected.

Status: The first draft of Between Two Worlds has been done for some time; the second version should probably just be restarted at this point, but will take less time than some of the other items on this list. Binding Destiny has yet to make it past a notebook, but shouldn't be terrible to edit aside from cutting the NaNoWriMo messiness.

The Stories:

Between Two Worlds

Katelyn's story is over. That's what she thinks, anyway. That's the way it's always worked. Once you go home, you stay there. You're done. So whether or not she likes it, it's time for her to get used to normality again. It's time for her to let go of the friends she's made and shut away the memories, both good and bad. She never expected a friend she never thought she'd see again to show up one day. She didn't expect him to tell her that she wasn't done after all, or that everything she was using normality as an escape from is about to smack her in the face. She didn't expect that the two worlds she's caught between could ever collide, but now her adventures have followed her home, and she must make the choice to fight to save everything and everyone she loves. Her first adventure was just the prologue. Now chapter one begins.

Related: Pi(e) Day- a sketch about Katelyn, Aedon, and pie set before the main novel.

Binding Destiny

Mikkel is the Hero of Rushire- or will be, once he finishes his training. Chosen by Destiny herself, he serves under the city's last remaining Hero, Sir Leod, and awaits the day when he can prove himself. Taika is the ward of Martius Coradin, latest in a long line of sworn foes of Rushire. For generations they have fought the city in various ways- but in recent years their power has waned with the changing times. Yet Martius has made a new plan- a plan which, he says, will reawaken the old ways and make people fear the Coradin name once more. But when his plan spirals out of control, it's up to Mikkel and Taika to work together to save their world.

The Way of the Pen

What is it? Self-aware fantasy adventure about a girl and her author.

Status: The first draft is sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting for its turn back in the spotlight.

I wrote this around the same time as Between Two Worlds — I think Between Two Worlds came first, though I could be wrong. Anyway, they've both been sitting on the shelf for a while. Again, I love this story, and I want to go back to it, and I think it could be rewritten with less effort than some other things on this list, but it hasn't fit neatly into my writing schedule. Quite frankly, Rinna would probably be very happy if I just moved on and continued to leave her alone, but the whole story is about her dealing with being in a story, so I'd hate to waste all that character development. This is also one of the few books that still doesn't fit in the multiverse as a whole (or if it does fit, it does so in a different way), so it's my best candidate if I decide to submit something to small-press or traditional publishing.

The Story:

Tuira is a land without an Author. It has been for two hundred years, though the bards and bardesses insist that the land's stories will be written once more. Now, however, the waiting has come to an end. A new Author has been appointed- but she's not like anything the people of Tuira ever expected.

No one was more surprised than Rinna when the new Author appeared to her, of all people- especially not since Rinna has been denied entrance to the Order of the Pen multiple times. However, that doesn't even begin to cover Rinna's shock when that same Author informs Rinna of a threat to Tuira and to her position as Author. Before long, Rinna finds herself on an adventure that will not only decide Tuira's fate, but challenge everything she ever believed.

Unnamed Fantasy Murder Mystery

What is it? Exactly what the headline says. A prominent noble is murdered; his adoptive daughter is poised to inherit his lands and position — but some are saying her hand was behind his death.

Status: A growing, but often-shifting idea.

I've had this in mind to write for a while — since before Cedarville, in fact. I've mentioned it in a few posts, though none are recent. But until recently, I haven't had the courage to try my hand at writing a true mystery, let alone one that would be so heavy on politics and so light in magic. That's probably good, since that gave this story enough time that I think it's stronger now than it would've been if I'd written it when I first imagined it. Still, I don't think I'm going to tackle this until Blood in the Earth is done.

Long-Awaited Series

Also known as: those two series that I've been working on longer than any other project and which need heavy rewriting. They're low priority in terms of getting actual work done, but I think about them too much to leave them alone.

Dust of Silver and sequels

What is it? Classic-ish fantasy retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses crossed with Rapunzel, the first book in what has the potential to be a rather long series. Also, a rewrite of a book I wrote years ago that won't let go of me because CHARACTERS. It will eventually have at least one sequel (a retelling of Beauty and the Beast crossed with East of the Sun, West of the Moon) and probably more. It will probably also stop being fairy tale retellings after a few books.

Status: Several chapters into the rewrite, but those several chapters have been sitting for . . . a while.

So, yeah. I started rewriting this for the Golden Braids Arista Challenge, about two or three years ago. I didn't finish rewriting it because I decided to rewrite Mechanical Heart instead . . . I think because I thought it would be less work, or at least easier to finish on time? I'm not sure. I want to get back to it eventually because I want to eventually write the whole series and do all the characters and relationships the justice they deserve. (This is one of the most romance-heavy series I have, which . . . is still not saying a lot, to be honest. And most of the couples don't really show up until the sequel. But two of them get their start here, and I'm very excited about them.)

Berstru Tales series

What is it? A classic epic fantasy series and the longest-running series I've worked on (either in the number of books written or in how long I've worked on it.

Status: Needs to be rewritten from the ground up, but the bones are good.

Some people might question why this is even on the list. I started writing it almost ten years ago at this point, and it shows in the storyline. But, as I said, the bones are good, and the characters are good (though some of their ages will need adjusting), and — look. The Way of Kings originated from the first character Brandon Sanderson ever wrote. The character and the story around that character changed and grew a lot before it became the story we know today, but I'm calling that proof that I shouldn't give up on Berstru just because I wrote it so long ago. It's going to take a lot of work when I do go back to it; like I said, it needs as dramatic a rewrite as Mechanical Heart did. When I go back to it, it'll probably be a project that I do primarily for myself (and to set up some other elements of the multiverse) more than something I write because I know a lot of my readers will be super into it. But I'm not letting go of it — not when I find myself thinking about it on a weekly, even daily basis at times.

The Stories:

“Black Letter” (Berstru 0.1; short story)

The assassin Aleta is used to receiving dark news . . . but this particular letter hits home in a way she never expected. Featuring hints about the past of one of Berstru's most mysterious figures.

Unnamed Book 1:

Rachelle Elyn wants nothing more than to join the Forest Warriors who defend her home, but everything changes when she stumbles into another world. Dustin and Hunter Firhirt have been planning how they'll avenge their sister for years; now they finally have their chance. Gwen Alyron asked for nothing but to be left alone, but her sister is up to something and she's the only one who can stop it. When a bandit attack unexpectedly brings these four together and Dustin and Hunter learn that Gwen might know who killed their sister, they decide to join forces, but in the course of their adventures, they discover more than they ever dreamed they would.

Unnamed Book 2:

Roughly a year after the events of Book 1, Nightshade Alyron has been spotted lurking among the forests of Uldea. Dustin and Hunter set out to find out what she's up to and send Rachelle to Hoaka to alert Gwen. Along the way, they meet new companions, discover two different plots against two different rulers and learn more about the Circle of Eight's plans to conquer all of Berstru.

"Return to Alyron Village" (Berstru 2.5; short story)

Gwen Alyron returns to her hometown after three years, looking for information about her brother Jake's whereabouts. While there, she learns that tragedy struck while she was away.

Secrets and Searches (Berstru Book 3)

Emma Alyron just wants to be left alone, to leave her family and her disgrace behind and create a new life for herself in Port Metre. But when she least expects it, both trouble and wonder come knocking on her door. Jared Alyron wants to live his life the way he likes, with no one telling him what to do . . . but what seems like a cushy setup allowing him to do just that will test his commitments to his lifestyle, himself, and his family. Gwen Alyron and her friends came to Port Metre looking for Gwen's brother, but their search is interrupted by terrible news from Dea and Ariana. Lives and dreams collide in this story of love, intrigue, family, and adventure that will test all involved.

"Burning Dreams" (Berstru 3.5; short story)

Every year, Nightshade returns in the night to her hometown to remind herself of where she's coming from and where she's going. But this night is not quite like the others.

Destinies and Decisions (Berstru Book 4; currently in edits)

The winds of war blow through Berstru as the Circle of Eight leaves behind subtlety in its quest to conquer Berstru. With the south firmly in its grasp, the Circle gathers its armies to strike against the still-free countries to the north. Ariana, Rachelle, and Dustin set off on a race to warn Uldea— but enemies appear in unexpected places, and Ariana is keeping secrets. Could she have at last discovered the Nightblade's Heir? Or is there something more sinister afoot? Meanwhile, Gwen knows that she needs to be ready to defend Uldea when the Circle attacks, but first she must get her family to safety through the Circle-controlled lands of Beylend and Diopas . . . not an easy task when you have a gaggle of younger siblings to protect, a young Rider to train even though she's too afraid of her powers to even try, a sister who seems to question your every move, and a friend whose grudge may be the doom of you all. Will they ever reach the north? Or will they succumb to attacks from within and without and fall before they can get to safety? Amidst all this, Jared Alyron, accompanied by the genius Bianca D'lynn, is quite literally running from responsibility, but every step seems to bring him perilously close to involvement in something bigger than himself. He knows he must make a decision soon— but will it be the right one?

"The Lay of the Nightblade"- inspired by The Lay of Beren and Luthien, this is a central piece of lore in the Berstru Tales.
"In Which I Have an Argument with a Bardess"- what happens when I have to restart a scene and decide to have a little fun with it. Incidentally, this little scrap of writing helped inspire a whole novel, so . . .

D&D Campaigns

Which, legally, I cannot publish and therefore probably shouldn't put on this page, but I like them and I like to talk about them, and they're my testing ground for ideas I can't fit in a novel yet. Also, this is my blog, and I can do what I want.

Defenders of Serys

What is it? Defenders of Serys is the homebrew D&D campaign that I run for my D&D group.

Status: Finishing up the first module of Season 4.

As a word of explanation, since this campaign started during our senior year of college, I set it up to run more like a TV show than your average D&D campaign, with linked one-shots and breaks every so often for me to take a break from DMing and get ahead on writing the adventures (thus the term "Seasons"). While we've shifted from the linked one-shots to a more traditional campaign format, we still take breaks every so often. I have four adventures in mind for Season 4, and I'm quite excited about all of them.

A Tower of Portals

What is it? A second D&D campaign inspired by one of my favorite video games.

Status: On hold; worked on when I have new ideas.

This is a side project that I worked on for a few months in 2020, but which I set aside once I started running up against deadlines on other projects. It's very different from any of the other writing I do, and the format of the campaign and the need to adapt certain elements from the inspirational material to D&D 5e in a way that's interesting and fun and isn't just a carbon copy of the original makes it an interesting challenge. I'm not actively working on it, but when I have time and come up with ideas for a new section, I'm prepared to pull it out and write more.

Worldhoppers Inc./Mythology D&D Campaign

What is it? Yet another homebrew D&D campaign. Or two. Technically it's two possible themes for series of connected one-shots and short-term adventures, with a few adventure ideas for each theme and a chance that I'll just try to combine them.

Technically it's two separate ideas that I might combine into one. Idea one focuses on Worldhoppers, Inc., an organization that takes care of your magical, strange, and paranormal problems . . . for a price. Idea two is more of a series of one-shots and short-term adventures based around fairy tales, folktales, and myths. If I combine them, Worldhoppers, Inc. becomes a more noble organization whose agents maintain the storyline in both fandom worlds and folktales.

Status: Mixed?

So, these ideas came from a few places — a realization that a particular Welsh myth would make a pretty good D&D adventure (though it wouldn't fit into my current campaign), players in my current campaign commenting on how fun it could be for their characters to end up in different fandom worlds, a few songs that gave me concepts for adventures, and so on. Eventually it settled into two ideas — Worldhoppers, Inc. (think adventuring guild, but in multiple dimensions!) and the mythology campaign (in which storylines would be pulled from myths, folktales, and fairytales) — which might be combined into one concept (an organization that deals with magical problems throughout realms while making sure the "storyline" of each world isn't interrupted). A few of these adventures, I'd like to write so I could have them on hand if I'm asked to run a one-shot or a mini-campaign. But, like many things on this list, I haven't had the time yet, especially since I prioritize novels over D&D writing.

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