That happened

Sooooo… I finished a draft of the isekai-style novella. In like, a month. Granted, I tore through the last 40% or so while I was home sick with what turns out to not be COVID (hooray!), as a way of distracting myself from the situation. Still, like… wtf, universe? I take six years to write a book in this series I’ve been super attached to for decades, and I whip up this frothy little dessert of a thing based on a joke, and it just sails out in a month? Whatever.

Next steps: Some edits, though I don’t intend to work it over in detail, some shagginess is fine; trying to contact the folks who originally came up with the idea, and ask for permission even though I sound like a complete weirdo; commission a cover artist (gonna have to get an actual illustration done, exciting! scary!); come up with a new pen name, because lumping that in with Healers would be a branding nightmare

Okay, so takeaways from this experience so far:

  • Perfectionism sucks.
  • It’s fun to break out of your usual milieu sometimes.
  • I’ve always said tropes aren’t bad by definition; the thing is, tropes are easy, and it’s fun to play with them in a number of different directions. It was fun as hell to write about a bucolic medieval-theme-park town surrounded by sheep farms and populated by elves and shit, without thinking about the economy or infrastructure or cultural underpinnings. (I was tempted! I was so tempted to get into “what happens to the economy if a dragon starts hoarding all the hard currency in its lair.” But no. Not today, Satan) (anyway, that’s skating closer to Spice and Wolf territory, and that series did fine with all of that already)
  • Outlining is great, I really want to try to do it more with my next Healers book. I outlined this thing lightly — a sentence or two per chapter — and it still kept me on track.

So, assuming the podcasters who accidentally sparked this idea don’t tell me to go to hell, we may be open for beta reading. Light, not-close beta reading; the grammar in this is intentionally kind of rough. It reads a LOT more like my blog posts than my past books.

This one is:

  • short (clocks in around 38k, or 80 pages as a document)
  • comedy / romance / drama / psychological (yes, all of those within 38k; it’s a bit of a roller coaster)
  • heavily influenced by isekai light novels/anime series, while not following all of its beats properly. My mental vision board was “Adult Kiki’s Delivery Service meets Princess Tutu in a kitchen-sink-fantasy small town”, but I also bent a lot of tropes around for the fun of it
  • gay as hell(tm), wlw in particular
  • elevator pitch: the joke title that inspired it is “I Became a Therapist in Another World”. The protagonist dies in a traffic accident and wakes up as an anime heroine, blue hair and all; she then finds out that in this fantasy universe, people with emotional upset or mental conditions tend to attract demons who feed on their mental energy. But between her past-life skills as a therapist and her newfound magical powers, she can guide people to fight against them.

yes, I wrote that shit. I don’t know why or how. I had a ton of fun. Zero regrets.

If the permission quest ends up with a no, then that’s okay. I’ll have enjoyed the experience in any case.

So… that’s what I’ve been doing. That and sucking at Slay the Spire. Good times.