Things are progressing as they ever are.  Sometimes I think the key to a perpetual motion machine would somehow involve me working on this novel.  Chapter 4 is… maybe half done at this point.  Maybe a little more. I’m not entirely sure.  I keep adding little nods from Fate to Kate’s end of day and each time I get a little smirk on my face.  Which, I suppose, is a little disturbing.

Over yesterday’s lunch hour I created a new folder.  One aptly titled Nanowrimo 2012.  Currently it contains a single document.  Ideas.  I started fleshing out some of the ideas that I’ve had rattling around my mind.  The killer now has a certain style, certain requirements, and a preferred method of subduing his targets.  The protagonist has a suitable tragic back story and his own personal problems to overcome.  Some of the plot points were jotted down as well, though I’m sure I’ll refine and expand on them prior to the start of November.

There is, I think, something amusing about imagining the future.  Story wise it gives a lot of ground to play with.  And having it set at the transitional period where space travel is on the cusp of being common place allows for the fantastical without needing to explain, especially with a first person perspective from a man disinterested in the advances.  To have all of this wonderous technology evolving and the people not being affected by it yet.  Just the average person going about their day, doing their best to survive while companies are planning mining colonies on Mars.  Exploration of Titan.  To have all these hints that humanity, as a whole, has finally gotten its act together and have them shattered by the realization that no matter what people don’t change.  That no matter how evolved we become, how far our species spreads across the universe, there will be the psychotic individuals who will kill because they are compelled to.  For whatever reason they deem fit.

I suppose I just enjoy the potential dichotomy of optimism and pessimism in the story I want to tell.

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Playing around

Chapter four is coming along nicely.  Much better than the first night of writing it anyway.  I’m enjoying the pace and how it was meant to happen.  Originally, in all those previous drafts, Kate was introduced in a very… bland way.  Much like the original prologue, it was… clinically sterile.  You didn’t get a sense of who she was, aside from a girl who had a troubled home life and a habit of skipping high school. I think there was a hint of an artistic side to her but I could very well be imagining it since I don’t think I saved any of those ancient drafts.

As I was writing her introduction I kept some of the old ideas.  The home life.  The skipping school.  As I’ve touched on before one of the major conflicts is between fate and free will.  And since Fate itself is a pseudo character, albeit behind the scenes, I figured she would have a… morbid sense of humor.  So Kate, on a day that would be her last as who she was, is reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as she makes her own head long tumble-down her own rabbit hole.  There are a few other things I have planned, specifically the dream comes up again which becomes more of a… prophesy at that point.

One thing that I’ve found refreshing about writing Kate is her perspective on life.  Between Foxworth’s stoic resolve and Emi’s aggressive enthusiasm is a bit of a relief to have someone, relatively, innocent who still has optimism.  Optimism despite what life had given her up until that point.  And she’ll still have that optimism when her entire world is torn from her.  She may stumble, she may fall, but she will always pick herself up.

Slow Start

Chapter four has entered what can only be called its infancy.  185 words.  Two and a half paragraphs.  The issue, I believe, was two-fold.  I wanted to go a bit more into the new characters broken home life and her last “normal” day.  This lead to a about half an hour of planning, new ideas were brewed, and the decision made to make her introductory chapter only from her point of view.  The cut over to the established characters will now take place in chapter five, and will deal with her transformation and, I suppose, her integration into everything that is happening.  The other problem was that I was interrupted and had to deal with other things well before I had originally planned.

My goal with Kate, I suppose, is to have her rise above everything that’s happened to her.  Her parents’ constant violent arguments, living in a sketchy low-income apartment complex, witnessing her parents brutal murders, her subsequent transformation into something not quite human, and having her entire concept of reality destroyed.  I’m not going to play her as a victim.  There will be a defining moment during her transformation where she’ll question what she’s become, if she’s lost her humanity (if there is such a thing).  But she’ll rise up to the occasion, reluctantly at first but fully embraced by the end.  She’ll make the best of what happened to her and she will take the opportunity presented to better herself and other innocent people.

Only time will tell if I’m able to succeed at protraying her like I imagine her to be.  Fingers crossed.

Cakes

The following pictures have been on my cell phone for a while now.

While impressive looking the sheer amount of icing was kinda off-putting. Those eyes? Made of whipped cream. I know. I was both shocked and awed at that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find this amusing because a) I’m not 30 and won’t be for a few years and b) it’s only on there because Kristine wanted more icing. You won’t believe how many fake birthdays I, her family, and herself have had.

Another Chapter Completed

This 7-9pm block has been successful.  Much more so than I would have expected because, let’s face it, I’m lazy.  But despite the odds chapter three’s first draft is complete; though in the back of my mind there are things screaming to be tweaked and expanded.  But the original deal was to ignore that and push onward.  No editing until the entire first draft is completed.  Three chapters and a prologue later I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go back on that plan.

Chapter four is, for all intents and purposes, another brief glimpse at the world outside of the previous characters’ point of view.  It also introduces the third protagonist, who has been designed to do two things: act as a surrogate for the reader and to get the perspective of someone having their entire world shatter in the blink of an eye.  At this point in the story the reader has an idea of this organization and what their goals are.  They also know of bad blood between it and two other groups doing the exact same job.  There will be a little exposition.  A little horror.  A little bit of everything really.

 

 

Impressive

A while back, when I was looking into the Nanowrimo requirements I figured out how many words I’d need to write on average per day to finish.  1666.  It was… a little daunting I suppose to actually have a hard minimum per day that I’d need to write to increase my chances from “not ever happening” to “slim”.  On average, the hour I spend writing a night nets me around 600 to 700.  But that’s with difficulties, blocks, and (I’ll be honest) moments where I just space out.  In the two hours I wrote last night, including the blog post, I hit 1500.  With the afore-mentioned spacing out.  I’m going to keep at it, the 7-9pm block will hopefully continue to be productive.  I didn’t quite get to the solution I touched on last night, but it’ll happen tonight within a few paragraphs.

Now the Nanowrimo.  I read an article a while back, this one I believe, regarding the need for science fiction to get a healthy injection of optimism.  Now my writing style, the stories I want to tell, are never very optimistic but it got me thinking.  The Nanowrimo is going to be, at its heart, a very dark tale.  A serial killer at work in the nearish future, a beaten down investigator working through dredges of a cyberpunk styled society.  I’m not intending it to be grim dark everyone dies horribly, but it will be dark.  And people will die horribly, just not all of them.  But I’ve been thinking how in the background, there are little hints that humanity is pulling itself from the quagmire its found itself in.  Colonies on Mars, on the Moon.  Deep space exploration on the horizon.  How humanity is expanding past the confines of earth.  How there is a future.  And how that future contrasts against everyday life for the protagonist.

Currently I’m planning to work on the novel up until October 27th.  At that point I’m going to sit down, probably lock myself down, and plot out the frame-work for the Nanowrimo.  I’ve got general ideas down: how the killer works, his style, how I’m going to write his chapters.  I’ve also got a rough idea of how the protagonist behaves, his goals and worldview, and how he gets dragged into the search for the killer.  I also have a few set pieces in mind.  In my usual fashion these are, of course, the beginning and end.  The middle… well there are hints of ideas but I need to expand on them.

Over the last few weeks I have also read a few books: Assassins Code by Johnathan Mayberry, Virtual Light by William Gibson, and currently reading my guilty pleasure of Frozen Heat by fictitious Richard Castle.  Assassin’s Code was great and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and it cemented Ghost as my favorite character.  For Virtual Light I needed to track down an actual physical copy as, for some reason, Kobo doesn’t have an e-book version (but does for the two followup novels).  Still enjoyed it immensely, despite having to go to Chapters.  I also have This Book Is Full Of Spiders by David Wong preordered and should be getting it early next month.

Fickleness

Life has a way of going against plans.  It often seems as if Fate itself takes a look at what I have planned, scoffs, and says “Oh yeah?”  Writing?  It’s been going.  I haven’t stopped, nightly writing sessions have been the norm for a few weeks now.  I’m just not writing as much as I’d like.  It’s the catch 22.  I need to work to support my writing, but I need time to do said writing.  Not to mention the times where I can’t just work out how I want a scene to play out.

Take for example Saturday.  I’m sitting down working on an interrogation scene.  And it’s going well, it’s not coming to me as easily as I would have liked but it was working.  Then I hit the logical wall.  For the rest of the story to make the slightest ounce of sense the person being interrogated needed to die.  He knows to much.  The story would go from being a desperate gamble to find out what is going on to stop it to… I guess a walk down the street to take someone in?  So the conundrum.  He’s cuffed to a table.  The two people interrogating him wouldn’t kill him, just wound him.  I figured it out, eventually.  Literally as I was falling asleep that night, after wasting most of the day.  The creative process is, at best, fickle.