Monday, October 31, 2011

Nanowrimo Synopsis

And here is, finally, a synopsis for The Book Of Going Forth By Night. Not the best, but it's far better than the ones I had before, especially one that attempted to explain the novel setting in a paragraph and just left people very baffled.

My name is Aiden Nel. If you're lucky you won't have heard of me. If you're not, you probably found my webpage and need an exorcist. Most people don't believe in ghosts, but I don't hold that against them: they're made to forget the wider world that lurks outside in the dark. I come in when too much happens for people to dismiss it, and they often pay me a nice sum to keep the dead quiet.

Sheffield Bay should have been just another routine call. The Klein family run the mill town and the owner's son was convinced he was hearing ghosts in their home: it should have been a quick exorcism. Easy in, easy out, payment strictly in cash. But there's a magician playing with terrible magics and an ancient spirit stalking the family to uphold a terrible pact lost to history. If they fall it could well cripple the entire town.

All I have on my side are a friend who is trying not to become a monster and a blogger who wants to write my life story. It may end sooner than she'd like.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing plot....

Half-way through what I have listed as 'day 3' for nano, with notes as point form bits. (I find it easier to do them that way so I can juggle them about and add new ones easily when needed.) I've also reached 5 pages typed up and found myself doing the notes as though the story was third-person and not first. Which should help when typing it to make it feel that I'm not just expanding an outline when I do type it all up.

It should be interesting to see if this level of preparation helps or hinders the story but one can only learn by trying. And it had added a few characters to the story I didn't intend on, which IS fun. I know, somewhat, how it ends but have no clue about the denouncement parts at all yet. But hey, got a few days to work on it so it's all good.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The evolution of a novel

Over the past few years my writing style has changed in weird ways: I tend to write part of a novel, set it aside, come back to it, redo it from scratch at least once and see where it goes. It's probably wasteful on a lot of levels, but I find it gives me a better grasp of the characters and what works and doesn't work in the story. 

In the case of what is now going to be nanowrimo 2011, it began life as Rites of Exorcism, which took place over 2 drafts of Aiden Nel, an exorcist in high school and his attempt to cope with the deaths of his parents, graduation, his own future and some entity that had begun murdering cheerleaders. Eventually I realized I didn't have a workable ending for it and rather than force something realized the entire story actually worked better as a backstory. I began another draft, dropping it because it didn't fit and eventually began work on another project involving a man named Zeth who had done something utterly terrible in his past and gained power for it: an examination of what happens to someone who hits rock bottom and then starts digging deeper. 

Eventually the two concepts congealed in my head along with an old idea about a world where the egyptian gods were real that I'd first done up as a quick rpg game. I began work on what was by then The Book of Going Forth by Night, with the stated goal of sequels, and while busy travelling I realized that one of the major characters in it should really be in the sequel instead. Which meant redoing it from scratch as well, so my old nano idea was scrapped in favour of bloody well finishing a draft OF this story, since it's been about four years now. 

On a practical level, this means I've written over 120K of words that are either backstory or possibly plot stuff for the second novel in a series without a first novel. Because that seems to be what I do.