Friday, October 18, 2013

Nanowrimo creeps up.....

As do my notes. I know the first few scenes and have figured out some of what happens when the magician returns home. So far the major beats of the novel are:
Intro: the characters find out about the town of Sunny Creek and that no one seems to know it exists.
Travel: small beats/pieces where I get to establish what each character does and how they do it. Functionally a lot like the short stories, but with less need to repeat certain information with each piece.
Sunny Creek: They reach the town, the ward on it bounces them off -- complete with curse.
Magician's Family: Scenes with his family and the town, dangers for him in returning to it and so forth.
Charlie's Family: What happens when Charlie ends up back home. What happens to a city when a god-eater leaves it? While the magician's section is more about dealing with the past he ran from, hers is about realizing the present she created.
Sunny Creek (2): They return and Deal With the rogue town. This will, ideally, be  the last half of the novel.
End beat: Charlie probably heads off to do her Own Thing for a time. Not sure what else happens.

Most of this is vaguely plotted in my head, and some sections are more detailed than others. I write out a certain amount of plot -- including notes to  myself and background bits -- but a lot of the story is left to develop on page from my vague ideas. It's pretty much akin to pantsing with suspenders, really.

EX: the term 'Cone and Grave' was made up for one of the stories. I had no idea what it meant at all and it is now a major plot point for the novel and series overall.

On the major plus(?) column, I do know all the main characters rather well as they've not lived in my head for months. Technically the magician has been in it since ~2007, waiting for his story to be continued. This will make some things easier in terms of what the characters do and how they react to events, but also limit their reaction(s) more than if I was making them up more on the fly in terms of personality and history.

The other big plus of this is that I get to visit their families and show the impact of them on their lives, which IS huge. Every novel I write is, at the core of it, about family -- the one you're born to, not 'the one you choose' and other such statements. It shall be great fun to explore facets of the characters the readers have never seen before and tease out stuff I've barely hinted at.




  1. Wow, you've certainly been working hard!

    I find it interesting that your stories have such a strong 'family' theme which, I honestly wouldn't have thought before... Like, I wouldn't have considered Boy & Fox to have a family theme interwoven in there somewhere... but then again, I only read part of one incarnation of the story.

    I'm still trying to decide which *started* story I want to work on... "Left & Right" would be a complete re-write, "Afraid of the Dark" would need some re-writing, and figuring out what to fill the currently gaping holes existing in the plot... Scarlight... hmmm. Easiest to work on I suppose, but somehow the least interesting to me at the moment...

    AND, Since I watched the BBC mini series 'Kill it, Cut it, Eat it', I've (hit me now...) started having thought of how to re-write (SERIOUSLY, hit me NOW) Simon's Oath.

    1. Originally -- way, way back when -- Boy & Fox was about a boy in a coma whose parents had placed him in an Institution (in the 80s, I believe) who might/not have been dead and everything in the 'world' outside the Wasting was an allegory for his family and friends. The ogres were his parents, as were the dragons and Shnji his ex-best friend. Bess was going to be the friend/family he chose in the end, while understanding that it wasn't the same at all. I'd never had a clue how it would end, and the metaphorical stuff tended to get in the way OF the story, one reason it failed. The other versions were more about Boy's eventual desire to return home TO his family, no matter how horrible or mean they might turn out to be. Also in theory. It's one reason I figure shifting the story into the
      'real' world might help it a lot and make it more about the casting away of family. Still not quite sure, but even writing this caused a few ideas to stir in my head.

      But yeah: even if they don't show, I try to make family and the character's relationship(s) with them a core part of novel-stuff. One downside to nanowrimo is that all of that is made up on the fly often enough so has less, well, strength than it should in the first draft. I figure family doesn't have to show up directly, but they *are* a huge part of what shapes the characters. If only as examples of who they don't want to be, even if they have no idea how to be that.

      As for yours ..... all would be awesome to read, and I *DO* want to see another version of Simon's Oath damn it :p You had an agent WILLING to consider it if you did the re-write, and that is huge! I do admit to having a deep fascination as to where you'll take Left & Right. And where Afraid of the Dark will go, and ....

      Also, googled: I thought the 'kill it, cut it, use it' was the BBC 'inside nature's giants' series, but it's not. Does look very interesting though....

  2. Ah, I guess that makes a lot more sense to me now that you're concentrating on the magician's return home :) I did remember that the ogres/etc were stand-ins for people he knew in his real life, but I do love the 'fairy-tale' setting in the version I read :) It was all so eerily *quiet*, so there was the sense it was all a dream, even though it was never really defined as such in the sections I read.

    ...but even if I completely re-write it, you do know that Simon will NEVER get into a relationship with Faith, right?

    The 'Kill it, Cut it, Use it' episode on fish is what was really inspiring me to glance over SO again... I didn't realize so many interesting things were made from fish... so, mostly world-building/industry kind of ideas, which might change certain plot points...

    Ah, yeah, I had 2 agents who said re-send it if I re-worked it... but by then I was deep into N's story, and just never got back there :p Well, mostly 'cause I really didn't know how to *fix* SO without a complete rewrite/overhaul... and there was no point tearing it apart if I didn't know how to put it back together again. I want to though... one day ;)

    I'm going to try to work on Scarlight, BUT, I might sneakily re-read Patrick Ness' "A Monster Calls", 'cause that's the book that made me realize L&R isn't too dark for MG. "The Pricker Boy" (can't remember the author's name) was also one that kindof hit the 'this is what I want!' feeling :)

    1. Oh, by the way, I went to a local Pre-NaNo meetup today and met someone who writes as much as you! His record NaNo was in the 600,000 word range when he essentially wrote a 5 book series in a row about Japanese vampires that was mostly intended to mock 'Twilight'.

    2. Ooh! Pricker Boy looks interesting ... and nicely, nicely dark. The first novel I finished that was non-nano *still* languishes in edits because people told me it was too dark for YA. Possibly because of the 'sex with one's own clone' scene, but also because it started with:

      The corpses were bleeding: in their hollow cages under the ground, staining them with embalming fluid leaking from pores, eyes opened, voices screaming without sound. The earth muffled it, contained it, embraced it. Earthworms died, but no one took notice, no one heard. Who comes, if no one hears your call?

      ... man. I really, really need to revisit it with 8+ years of writing under my belt. And the three novels in the series that came after it...

    3. Also, I know someone who did over that for one month of nano as well (ended up at 700K+). It was INSANE. I know I could do 200K, if I pushed myself. I also know I wouldn't like it and -- hell, why else do it if one doesn't like it? :)

      Re: Catch It, Kill It: AH! I just finished watching the pig one (watched the cow one first) and was wondering how the heck it had led to SO ideas rather than Afraid of the Dark ideas. Fish helps explain that; onto that one next :)

    4. Haha, yeah, pretty melodramatic... I'm sure revisiting it after 8 years will have you looking at it with a fresh perspective :p

      Oh, I already watched youtube videos about skinning bears for AotD. What I do still need to find is how they used to tan hides in the olden days before giant factory tanning drums were invented :p

    5. I know they used a plant to made woad (indigo/royal blue) for the queens of England. I read years ago that Victoria would divert journeys by as much as a day to avoid such places because the smell was so awful. I suspect that the best 'method' would be to devote an entire town entirely to the tanning process and remove it from a city proper, and preferably far downwind.