So I leave behind a poem, as follows:
Sunday, December 23, 2012
So I leave behind a poem, as follows:
Monday, December 17, 2012
1K of notes toward an online game I'm running (and research toward it)
1K written of Ghoulish Happenings in the end.
Re-reading the one scene from the first draft I plan to work into the new one, starting to add/twist/fix it, so it's not really new writing insomuch as editing or repurposing.
Fixing a poem I wrote in 2004. Also wrote the first two 'real' poems I've done this year, not happy with either.
And time spent poking odd byways of the internet, of course. For example, I know know that grawlix is the term forthe string of typographical symbols comic strips use to indicate profanity ($%@*!) and I have no idea what I shall ever do with this knowledge.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
And I was okay with that.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The kind compared it to sex with strangers. The rest — most — simply turned away. It was both too small and demanded too much of them.
Time passed. Words came at the expense of all else. Lives fell apart. It did not matter. Words happened; next to that nothing mattered. Money fell away. Things were sold, lost, defenses weakened by cheap diets. Friends and family gathered, circled like kind vultures.
The author was taken to a place that was cruel to be kind. Electroshock had been replaced with pills, they explained, and it was another death of imagination. There would be no great story to come from this, no real moment to twist into fiction. Just exercises and pissing in cups. Eventually the pills stopped making his urine smell, soaked right into the bones.
A cured status was pronounced, like a wedding ceremony gone slightly south. The author was bundled out into the world amid quiet warnings to never come back: the cured could not fall away from their new state. It was an issue of funding. Kindness, you see, comes at a price.
The author returned home. It did not matter where: it was a place to write from. Words came, and were understood. Praises were sang, a book deal offered — out of pity? the author did not know. Months from the world had shifted the author out of gear. The writing was distant, removed.
Polished, some said. Better, others opined. But better than what? And why? They would not say.
Everyone understood what the author meant now when he wrote. Everyone got it. Even he did, much as he didn’t want to.
The ending was inevitable.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Which seemed suited to YA, as a platform at least. Both Wray and Bryce get to grow over the course of the two novels and then I work out the ones after that. As the second novel is going to involve preventing the end of the world, the novels after it will not up the ante. You've saved the world, and then someone asks you to deal with some sheep being killed on a farm, say, and how you cope with that shift, and how one makes small things matter again, will be fun to explore.
Also, at one point down the line, Wray is going to put 'saved the world' on a resume when applying to work at a McJob.
On a deeper level, I've been working on urban fantasy stories for some years now, shifting characters and situations around and trying to find an idea that grabs and holds me. I make no guarantees that this will be it, or that I won't shift between this story and others, but lately every novel I have worked on ends up with plots whispering, in a chorus not at all greek, 'sequels, stupid!' in the back of my head.
I have no idea if this will be that story, or just a flavour of X month/year in my head, but we shall see. It has more potential than some, since I'm starting the characters -- and reader -- off at ground floor, rather than the usual 'established characters, A, B, C major backstory events that will be Important umpteen novels down the line' that tends to be more common. Not that I dislike that: I've used it often enough, and I think it works for what it does. I just wanted to try a different tack and see if it held together better.
We shall see :)
Excerpt from Yesterday:
And it all made Hamish that much harder to stomach. I didn't want to hate him, but I was learning that it was really hard not to hate someone when they hated you in turn. Especially not when the part of me that looked in the mirror at the ghoul that stared back agreed with him in some small way. What better response to a monster than hate? So, to drown out all of that, I walked slowly and tried on mantras, like: 'It's not me, it's you' and 'I may be a monster, but it's not all I am'. It probably didn't help, but it also didn't hurt. Much.
Monday, December 03, 2012
As for the story itself, I've reached the point where I'm entirely happy that the first draft is being tossed aside. A few lines are being kept, some scenes reworked: Say, 1,000 words out of 50,000 will be salvageable in this treatment. It is more extreme than normal, but also the first time I've tried doing a story almost entirely by the seat of my pants, hence the utter failure of story and setting to mesh together.
I've finally reached the point where my now-basic method of 'write a draft, toss it aside, redo it' has reached my brain as: 'This is your method. Deal with it and don't burn out on the story.' I'm also dealing with the fact that most stories I am working on now want to have sequels and be series despite years of having no desire to do anything like that at all.
We change, and what/how we write changes. I figure as long as I still enjoy writing -- which I do, even past the dreaded 1 million words marker -- I should just embrace things and run with them. Hopefully they shall lead to a finish line :)
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Waking Dreams (2003): 52,214
Higher Ground (2004): 105,857
Guardian Monsters (2005): 54,347
My Cat Used To Be A Buddhist (2006): 50,074
New Fires (2006): 50,857
The Coroner's Tale (2007): at 62,857
Roadside Attractions at the End of the World (2007): 50,314
Necessity and Power (2008): 74,988
Roadside Attractions (new version) (2009): 50,269
The Adventures of the Miskatonic Elementary School Kids #1 (2009): 50,277
Shadows of Never (2009): 50,002
Monsters & Miracles (2010): 67,571
Dogs of War, vol. 1: Contact (2010): 72,747
Found (2011, summer): 50,045
Rites of Exorcism (2011): 69,681
The Long Way to Home: a journey of a Boy & Fox (2012, summer): 51,695
The Second Theft (2012): 75,086
Ghoulish Happenings (2012): 62,691
For a staggering 10 year total of: 1,101,572.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
In another 60,000 words, it may not be at all but we shall see when we get there. So far the plot involves Wray being asked to help ID a body and track down who or what killed the hiker along with some fun character bits and hints towards people's pasts.
A small snippet:
I frowned. "Now you don't?"
Monday, November 26, 2012
I plotted ~8 chapters, with some end-points. Had I plotted more in terms of story/character arc, I would have realized that if you give someone the magic to wish things to happen the chances that anyone will be able to imprison them to stand trial for crimes is a bit difficult. I got a lot out of penance and the desire to be punished, but if I'd been plotting better Jake's growth in his magic would have been a lot slower and him being forced to rely on the myth of his previous time in the world to bluff people. Or done the entire novel from Thomas's pov.
On the other hand, it was a good sign that pantsing a novel can't work for me at all. As was Ghoulish Happenings which literally began with 1 page summing up all the characters and the plot. As a result, I lost the MCs voice often and ended the novel realizing that the setting needed a drastic overhaul and the final third of it wouldn't remotely be in the next draft. But hey: one writes, one learns. One gets better. I use nanowrimo not to make 'I will publish this!' novels as much as framework-drafts and notes to myself on things not to do and do better next time.
For example: I am working on the second version of GH now. 6K words. 4.5 is setting and character and notes on magic, 1.5 is 3 pages of plots. 20 points, story plotted out. I've moved several points, know the person the novel is meant 'for' in-world, i.e. it's a letter Wray is writing to his sister, or more likely a series of letters never sent. And knowing that should keep the voice more solid. A lot of the story worked. I had a few awesome moments.
We shall see what the next version brings....
Saturday, November 24, 2012
I am 1K from 50K on this story, and think it will end in a very fast and ugly method so I can begin the next version with a more solid idea of the MCs voice. It will be a better story, and none of this is wasted since a lot of it might get reused, but still a very crappy thing to figure out.
Otoh, on the plus side I realized the story simply can't work as I originally envisioned the setting and I think I'm going to bump ages up a year or so. And that, for the voice to work, the novel has to function on some level as if it IS a voice to someone.
Which means I need to figure out who that someone is :)
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
- The MC has resisted the urge, at least once in-story, to kill someone and eat their bones. (Granted, he is a ghoul and in this story they prefer bones over most anything.)
- Said MC is tortured and threatened to acquire information via having his toes cut off and being made to eat them. It works.
There is also underage sex, but given the MCs are in their late teens I'm not really considering that an issue at all. As the story could be cast as post-apocalyptic and the MCs food preferences are spelled out from the first sentences I think it still could fit in YA, but definitely late teens.
More amusing problems ...
I tend to have a default voice in my head for first person, so Wray tends to slip out of character some times and into it. It won't be major tweaking to fix, but it it is something I've noticed and will need to correct in another draft. It isn't anything really major at least and the story is about the MC finding, well, something to do with his life. (His boyfriend, otoh, has figured out what to do with his life, but hasn't found it rewarding enough. Which would be easier to explore if he wasn't terrified of cursing or blessing people by accident when talking to them...)
This entire story has been pantsed [I plotted nothing at all...] thus far and is actually working surprisingly well. My notes for it consisted of brief character names and 2 lines of backstory on each, and half a page as history of the setting. For me, that's downright beyond minimalist, but it does work rather well since Wray isn't much concerned with the world beyond his immediate sphere of friends and neighbours: how the City functions and how food and power make it in aren't important to him. It happens, the why and wherefore are stuff he vaguely knows via friends.
Certain plots are coming together now that the story is at the 25K mark though the actual cause/instigator of the Major Plot has yet to show up except for a brief scene, though he is mentioned pretty often. I suspect I'll need to alter that in the next draft, but we shall see. Still having a blast writing it, so that is really what counts.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Nigel Rosenblatt laughed the sound short and ugly, tearing his arms free of the car-tire chains they'd used to tie him to shelving. I heard bones break and knit themselves together, magic burning through his body like acid. "Human children playing at magic. You think you can kill me?"
"Wray," Sheldon snarled from the top of the stairs. I could smell his gun out, aimed at us. The old lady behind him was chanting some prayer, maybe Latin or French. Something foreign.
"I could, but I'm not supposed to," I said, and shot a glance at Bryce. I didn't want him to act, but I think Sheldon would have shot me if I'd beat his son into the ground, no matter what Nigel had been turned into.
"Stand still or hurt," Bryce said, his voice low and flat.
Nigel stepped forward with a snort then let out a gasp of shock and stopped, muscles and bones twitching as Bryce's curse dug into his body. "I care not if this body dies."
I ignored his words and bent close, taking a deep whiff again, trying to ignore hunger, to deny need. I could have eaten him and never needed to eat again; his memory alone food for a life. I tried to think past that, catch anything, grabbed his mouth and tore a tooth free.
Nigel roared in agony, hand snapping out and hit the ground in a convulsive fit. The tooth tasted sharp, bitter on my tongue, the smell of rotten egg and burnt sugar hitting my nose as I spat it out into my hand.
Bryce was hiccoughing beside me, fighting back tears as Nigel twitched painfully at our feet.
"Let him go," I said to Bryce.
"Blessings against a curse," Bryce managed, his voice cracking. "Your anger to unmake pain. Please work," he added, barely above a whisper.
Nigel – the thing inside him – let out a deep ugly laugh, rising from the ground.
I shoved my left hand into his chest, his tooth in my right and hissed: "I have your bones, as you have the the bones of others. I bind you to this child, your bones to his, your life his life, his death your death: do you doubt I can do this?" I had no idea where the words had come from, why I was speaking them, but Nigel stilled at them.
He eyes narrowed to red slits. "I am nothing to the monsters that made me; they will destroy you."
"Maybe." I held up the tooth and grinned, whatever had been speaking in my voice gone. I hoped. "Or you can leave him and this world and never come back. Choose."
Nigel let out a low growl, his eyes flaring crimson, and then collapsed between one moment and the next, his body shuddering as it shrunk down to the merely human. Above him the air melted. Colours slid into each other, the world blending to grey and sickly-green and swirling into a funnel that pulled something into it.
I knew something had left this place, this world, I knew it in the bone-truth of a ghoul, but what it had been, what it looked like: nothing. My brain had simple shut down, went blank, refused to let me grasp what I had seen. And that was somehow almost scarier than having someone else speak through me.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
.. IF the story of a 16 year old ghoul in the broken remains of a City in a world where magic has come back and led people to flee cities entirely works as YA. It might. The trick is finding and holding the character's voice; I've deleted entire sections that felt too adult/exposition-y thus far. But it is fun and a neat and weird change to work on, so that's always good. I've no idea how it's going to end but at least have a basic idea/framework to pants from.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Came across this by chance and wondered about clocks that made other things, esp. in a setting using magical methods (or nanotech, if one wants the magic-by-science route): a clock in a smithy that makes weapons, for example, or even just hilts for weapons, or something to make clothing or tools for any artisan/smith in a setting would be pretty useful and handy.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
The past 3 days have been the bleh of not feeling good and also the fact that the entire middle section of his novel has been done via pantsing rather than plotting. And all it proves to me is that I absolutely suck as pantsing and shouldn't do it for most novels I am working on. (For weird things, like this story it works somewhat.) I try to hit a mid-point between having some stuff plotted roughly and leaving a lot of things open so the ending is free to surprise me and keep me writing to find out more about it; for this story I had a solid 6-7 chapters roughly plotted out, and then after that vague goals to hit before novel's end, most of which I have reached.
The question, of course, is going to be what to work on for the rest of November ..... I may, just may, work on the story linked above a bit and naught else, but we shall see.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Then there was today. I woke up with the start of an entirely different story in my head, complete with the first line and characters and some scenes. And I have not been able to get it OUT of my head despite attempts to work on nano.
Now back to trying to focus on the nano and get at least one chapter finished during the day ...
(Sadly, I also have 6+ pages filled out in a small notebook toward the story I was working on before nano as well.)
Monday, November 05, 2012
I have also passed the end of plot, which means at some point I need to sit down and write out plot for the next few chapters in rough point-form to avoid the problem(s) of other novels where I throw in filler that makes no damn sense at all. OTOH, I'm having fun with the one character being genre-savvy and the secrets we keep from each other for -- in our minds -- their own good and what that does long-term to everyone.
On a plot level the War-derived sexism of the Kingdom was fun to explore, both in arguments for and against it along with other questions regarding how, in a society where nobles can have anyone killed on a whim, progress is made at all. One of the key points for this story is that the novel isn't sett on earth, so our morals and beliefs don't necessarily fit to this world, and the reserve is as true. It also makes it difficult to ask more complicated questions ...but that will be the subject of another post once I work it out for myself.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
The way I see it, most people wouldn't be able to improve another world directly. Oh, you know how X and Y work, yes, but to build them from the ground up sans any tools at all is something else entirely. Which means it's little things, like the characters wearing underwear and the astonishingly intricate seams of their clothing, that attract notice and the amazement of others. I'm also having fun lampshading worries, like eating the food on another world and worries over diseases you might get or bring with you. That said issues are taken care of via the gate between worlds doesn't stop the one character from getting worried about things like that.
Plot wise, the character that should be the most fun to write is showing up soon in the one timeline; I am not quite sure what is going to happen in the other though Jake being tried for war crimes is now complicated because he is travelling with a deserter from the army and said deserter's son.
Notes for me:
- Having brought up skin tone, it shouldn't come up again often. Jake had no reason to mention it as he has been in the Kingdom before and is aware that, as a Caucasian male, he isn't common in some parts of the Kingdom but it's hardly cause for wonder or alarm. (At least in the southern parts of the Kingdom.)
- The deliberate lack of female characters thus far - Seri excepted - will come to the forefront soon as the status of rights in this world (both noble and commoner, male and female) collide with the sensibilities of Jake and Thomas and the extent one should impose on other cultures or seek to change them.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The internet is not your diary.
"I can only take the buses which advertise companies I don't find immoral."
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Boy's answering smile is kind, but does not reach his eyes at all. "I've known you for two months, Jack. I could tell the police so many things and they would hound you like a wild hunt, drive you from city to city without needing any magic at all."
Monday, October 22, 2012
The three sources likely share enough of the same cognates to work and also fit the idea of the world as a refugee vs. my idea of giving each major centre a different country as a naming basis. The nobility travel, as do merchants, so names and naming would spread, ditto with naming children after the king, heirs to the real, important nobles and such. That's old magic, naming your child after someone famous to deflect harm from them.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Two years had passed, years of frantic search and worry. He told no one of where he'd been or what he'd seen, convincing himself it had to be a dream in order to keep on living. The family pulled their lives together,his silence becoming theirs. Time passed, and wounds were not healed but left to hibernate.
Now, as Jake is up for promotion at work and planning his marriage with his fiancée, and they have come for him again. And this time his younger brother is dragged with him to the Kingdom, where they must face old ghosts and each other while seeking only to return to the world they know.
Tagline: Trapped on another world to answer for crimes committed when he was a boy, all Jake Sinclair wants is to return home before rent is due, his finance leaves him and his car is impounded.
The tagline is too long, but other than that this isn't too bad for a blurb written out rather quickly. It is likely too backstory/info-dumpy for a real blurb, which would probably more focus on the war crimes, but it works for now I think.
... now back to adding locations in the Kingdom and giving thought to naming conventions and the fact that the story NEEDS more characters in it.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Things that are done:
The main characters have been fleshed out, roughly. Jake needs to find his anger, Thomas to let go of his and the larger arc of the story is the brothers coming to terms with all the lies they've told each other and the mistakes each has made regarding the other. It is easy to think, "I've changed! Why doesn't anyone see that?" and not give them the benefit of the doubt of changing as well.
Things that are not done:
Everything else. I do know the end scene of the novel and how at least one antagonist meets their end. And I think it has to begin roughly like the first version did because their lives before they are dumped in the other world is important, as is Jake's new car.
I need to flesh out the Kingdom of the Seven Keys. Right now my rough notes make it an ugly aristocratic-driven kingdom with magic reserved for the rich and wealthy and most crimes being punished with death. Which makes sense, given the transition in the thousand years since The War but it does remain woefully generic. Sooo....
- The world (faerie, according to humans) originally 'belonged' to the hingari, or at least -- next to the People -- they were the first inhabitants. As such its shape needs to be fluid, no map adequately fitting the territory. The seven keys/locks are old magic that allows seven city-towns to remain solid and serve as the focal points for the Kingdom. They don't move, so it is easy to find them. The rest of the kingdom is less easy to pin down, and movement between towns can range from an hour to several days, which makes travel uncommon and difficult.
- This shall fit into the idea of the middle ages and how people never knew the wider world since no one left home. Add to this the idea that the Kingdom is deliberately encouraging this looseness of geography and holding back scientific (and magical) advances that can allow the Kingdom to better fit together in order to keep the power structure intact.
- At present, due to lack of training for many, most magics are small and unimportant.
- (finish later)
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Listen: the world is never how we think it is.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
“We’re only on the third page.”
“I know. But this story — this novel? — it feels too much like a book the author is reading, in tone if not in content. We can’t be allowed to exist.”
“But this isn’t that book. This was never that book. We existed before the author read that book!”
“Even so. This version of the story is starting to echo the novel he is reading. It is a matter of principle.”
“But I don’t want to die, brother.”
“We’ll exist. The story will find a new form. Some day.”
“I don’t. Want to die.”
“It is a matter of principle.”
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I believe I was attempting a clean start to the novel by altering even the relationship between the brothers but one reader who had liked the first version intimated, half of why the novel worked was because of the idea of the younger brother rescuing the older. So I'm basically deleting all that as useless and building notes from the original idea, though I think I will not even attempt to include some things that didn't make even the original version of the story.
For example, I had notes on a 'species' called the Krisk, as follows:
"Krisk: What the coat hanger people call themselves, or perhaps the sound they make when parts of their body rub together. Their language is very hard for others to understand and since most people who meet them are more concerned with not being shredded and hung on various hangers little is known about them at all except that they’re very scary. "
... so, yeah, somehow I never did use that at all in the 2004 version. And won't in any other, for some reason.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The crappier the present, more dystopic (or, in reacting to all that, utopic) the sci-fi settings are for that period. The novel is set in the future, but it is also a meditation of privacy and cameras and a big-brother/ID tagging society, so the core of it is set in present worries and concerns. Fair enough: a novel without relevance isn't one anyone would want to read.
And yet it feels like a long-term rut, in a lot of ways, and I find my mind straying back to fantasy worlds that never-were and considering settings and character ideas for such a story again. Part of me wants to revise an old novel from 2004 about two brothers who end up on another world and whose goal is to get home, the one brother worried about rent and his car being towed because most 'travel to another world' novels tend to ignore issues like that and it royally bugged me. On the flip side, while the novel I write now would be a lot better I am not sure I'd be saying anything new to add to the concept. The other idea involves the stereotypical 'prince sets off on quest' from the POV of the prince's manservant wondering how the hell the King and Guard and so forth are letting this happen and would lead the prince and servant to realizing how little power the throne really has and such.
I may write one of those. I may not. Hell, I could end up doing one of them for nano given my brain. It would be a fun change at least.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
As shadows conceal;
Faces burn with quiet shame
As passions congeal.
Hands reach slowly for the light,
Bodies hide away --
Fear shatters the twinned embrace
As light brings forth day.
Walls rise between shared feelings
-- Two bitter smiles then --
Eyes saying what words dare not:
"We will meet again."
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Our friendship can survive the test of years
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Writing requires discipline, but disciplined writers are not necessarily prolific. Most good work gets produced over time, sometimes many years, allowing the writer to grow with the material, to allow his world, his command over craft, and his psychological maturity to coalesce at just the right moment to produce something of value. This process often involves dreadful periods of not writing, or, worse, periods of writing very badly, embarrassingly badly. As time passes in a writing life, the writer learns not to fear these arid periods. The words come back eventually. That's the real discipline: to train the mind and heart into believing that words come back....Be willing to wait. In the meantime, write when you don't feel like it. If you can't write, read.
- Monica Wood, "The Pocket Muse"Good for entire weeks in which nothing moves and prose feels dead on the page. Like a whole long weekend on one attempted story that only died each time I tried to work on it.
"Perfection is only something to flee from, ever and always: it is the most terrible lie in the entire world."
Saturday, September 01, 2012
No man means all he says, yet few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is vicious.
- Henry Adams
- Common term for Artificial General Intelligence; none exist any longer.
- A class of people who can modify generic AutoMake outputs into novel designs.
- Autmatic Makers, nanotech devices that create basic clothing and food at need; businesses have specialized ones.
- having cybernetic body parts.
- Like a MedDoc, these are basic programs that can analyze simple problems and issues with a pleasing visual interface.
- Global one set as 6 months/year, with 6 day weeks and 60 days in a month. Holidays exist at the ends of each month as needed.
- The Census Network, a government body.
- Term for one of the 1000 cities that exist in the world. Each boasts a population of ~10 million.
- The people artists steal from. Original designers, often programmers of Makers as well.
- Lowest-order of citizens, compromised of ne'er-do-wells and prisoners along with clones. They monitor the global camera system and examine specific citizens 24/7 or situations System flags as suspicion to see if they are actually suspicious.
- 'Cities' that exist under the City-States in the ruins they are built on top of. Population and amounts are largely guesswork.
- Any citizen elected for government office in a City-State.
- Terrorists who try to alter System.
- The people who fix and repair things; work for WorldGov and make sure the world functions.
- Slang term for AutoMake.
- Any body-modification, from altered skin tone, different eyes or movable tattoos.
- the magnetic train system used for almost all travel in and between City-States.
- A government organization.
- WorldGov army, exists to defend the moon base, mars and earth from possible alien attacks.
- machines inside the body. Intelligent ones are highly illegal.
- Police officers; they often respond to Watcher notes about crimes and investigate problems in person.
- WorldGov career politicians, often with short actual careers. Social science fits into this along with diplomacy.
- Those who program System; often City-State level workers designed to make System operate at maximum efficiency within their City.
- Catch-all term for the people who design all the tech that keeps the world working.
- Civil servants, employees of WorldGov.
- Short for System, aka the internet
- Prolonged use of the internet via virtual inteface.
- The global computer network.
- Virtual-Education, the education software that teaches everyone how to be human.
- low-ranking job; assigned to watch Drones and decide is incidents Drones have flagged are worthy of police attention.
- Slang term for any generic citizen holding a job.
- The global governing body. Consists of Politicians, Police, Scientists, Military and Maintenance.
* Both these terms see very wide use and consequently tend to be confused and misused.
Friday, August 31, 2012
- The first 20 or so pages were good. Not great, but they flowed, the world made a certain kind of sense and a few lines jumped out as being more than decent.
- The bathroom sink that was an AI and sex-starved stole the show. It turned out to be my favourite character and some of the stuff struck me as funny even 7 years later. That being said, the humour is at odds with the more dystopic aspects of the rest of the story.
- The combat scenes were all badly done. And there were many of them. Entire combat scenes shouldn't have existed at all as it ended up feeling too easy.
- The psychic kid, while fun, was poorly thought out and too trope-y. To be fair, I was aware of that at the time and figured I'd fix it in a second draft.
- The Whispering/Psychic Dragon sections were sci-fi. In that they would make sense after one read the novel at least twice and bordered on incoherent otherwise.
There are other issues, most relating to the setting and that it wasn't developed enough at all. I had about two notes on setting, and 4-5 on characters, the latter in surprising detail including presumed 'growth' during the novel and info on the core of their personalities, even for characters who barely show up. And a lot of them do that, or appear in the novel for seemingly no reason, their motives entirely unexplained to the reader.
On the plus side, the Buddhism parallels with the one main character were fun, though too obvious in some spots, and the idea that the nearly-immortal Rich people were all businesses whose stock values fluctuated depending on what they did was a fun, fun idea that I barely did anything with. Much like the introduction of the bathroom sink, I pretty much tossed too many sci-fi concepts it and the entire thing fell apart. Haven't finished re-reading the draft, so shall have to see if the ending was quite as bad as I thought it when I was done.