Friday, July 21, 2017

Interpersonal Relationships

I meant to spend the morning writing, but I got distracted by a genealogy search. All because I wanted to know how old the little desk in my living room is. Answer: about a hundred years old. Maybe a hundred and ten, depending on what age boys start carving their names in things.

I saw an episode of Pawn Stars yesterday, and now I'm on a history kick. Of course, if you know me, you'd know my whole life is a history kick.

Anyway, then I got distracted and traced my family back 1,000 years. What does that have to do with today's post? Not a damn thing, probably, but it's part of the reason it's up so late.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Once More With Feeling

The relationship between my two characters is still in the early stages. So what did I decide to do? Separate them. Now, I don't know if this was a Good Move™ because I don't read romance. I don't know the rules.

"Well then, you should learn the rules."

Why you… you're absolutely right. So I've done a little research, grown a little as a person, all since the last paragraph, and I've learned one thing I'm definitely failing at here.

The reader is supposed to identify with the heroine.

This is a chick-centric genre, after all. You should feel for the heroine, as she goes about her… adventuring and romancing and whatnot. So she has to have *shudder* emotions. At the moment Catherine's upset and kind of pissed because she's all alone and Nick may or may not have gotten himself stupidly killed. But, boy, do I not know how to describe that without making her into a puddle of emotional goo. Like, she's either emotionless or pathetic. There is no in between.

I literally googled "how to write emotions." It did not help.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Different Kettle of Fish

I haven't worked on the story all week. That's my confession for today. It's my weekend, and so I'll write another chunk and catch right back up. It's fine.

I didn't know what today's post was going to be about until I started to try to outline what happens next. One of my upcoming plot points (the next one, actually) is "Discovery of the green herring." Now, that's a play on words, but it's also not.

See, they've just come across an underground river, inhabited by some bioluminescent creature. They think perhaps this vast animal is some kind of amphibian and the source of all their problems. Spoiler alert: it's not. It's not an it. It's a they. From where they are (rather, from where I unceremoniously left them), they are a good distance above the river. So they can't tell that "it" is in fact a whole school of bioluminescent fish, who move as one entity. The green herring. (Side note: worst superhero name ever.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Keeping Secrets

So I'm sure you're all wondering how the SubOccDeRom (Subterranean Occult Detective Romance) story is going.

And well… it's going.

They're wandering around underground, detecting things occultly, but… The romance is going to be harder than I thought. At this point, they don't seem to particularly like each other. I'm going to have to throw them into some peril that will force them to rely on each other and make them grow closer. Because at this point, Catherine is just on a mission to find her father, and Nick is kind of a jerk who doesn't like sharing anything about himself.

On that note, it's becoming a bit of a running joke that she'll ask about where his weird-ass clairvoyant powers come from, and he'll change the subject and say, "Hey, what’s that sound over there?" whether there actually is a sound or not. Is this because I haven’t figured out where it comes from? Partially. I know the basics, but I don't have the specifics. And he just doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would divulge that much information upon first meeting someone.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Stories We Don't Talk About

I haven't been working too much on my Camp NaNo project. I will. I'll reach my goal before the end of the month. I always do.

But mostly, I've been catching up on Supernatural. Every time I get back into it, I wonder why I ever stopped watching it. I mean, it's been around my entire adult life. I have some… emotions… about it. But you know what it tends to make me think of, and what we're going to talk about today?

Fan fiction.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lost in the Labyrinth

First off, happy Independence Day. Or, if you're not in the US, happy Tuesday.

Camp NaNo: July Edition has begun. I've thrown myself, half-assed, whole-heartedly into it. As per usual.

I kind of have a plot. I'm still working on an outline. I'd like it to be a little more sketched out before I get too far into the story, but we can't always get what we want. I'd have to actually know where it's going in order to draw out a road map.

Right now, my biggest concern is that my occult detective has some occult skills. Of some kind. I don't actually know what they are. He finds things, somehow. That's why Miss DeWitt hires him. She knows the Lower World, to a degree, but it's a labyrinth down there. She needs him to narrow down the search. But I don't know how he does it. That seems kind of important, doesn't it?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Last Minute Plotting

I'm continuing with my amazing skill at writing vague summaries that make the story sound way cooler that it probably will be. I was just doing a little scribbling, trying to get the backstory and setting worked out, and I came up with this:

The Lower World was uncovered some years ago at the bottom of a mine shaft. It's an endless labyrinth of tunnels, marked by ruins of some forgotten civilization. The inhabitants have long since vanished.

Or have they?

Have they just moved further down into the darkness? What still hides in the shadows?

Several expeditions were sent, led by Professor Harcourt "Harry" DeWitt, in an effort to map the Lower World and learn of its former inhabitants. On one such journey to the highest city, not far beyond the modern, human realm, DeWitt even brought his preteen daughter, the adventurous Catherine. She grew up among the ruins and the artifacts, learning the lost language of Subterranea.

And now, on a recently funded expedition to the lower reaches, the professor and his team vanished. A rescue team found nothing, and risked becoming lost themselves.

So Catherine, now grown and an explorer in her own right, must seek out a man with unusual skills, if she ever hopes to find her father.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

To Hell on a Handcar

After writing my last post, I did in fact play a lot of Minecraft. What I can tell you about spending most of your time underground is that you really lose track of time. There's no day, no night, only artificial light. Then you come above ground and you're surprised to find it's dark out, because it's always light where you've been. It's disorienting. I don't know if that's going to have any bearing on this next story, but it's certainly something to consider.

Now, in addition to digging all those tunnels, as I do, I've been laying rails. Minecarts. Transport. All that. So there's that railroad. Then I've just finished that story that starts on a train. And I'm nearly through Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam, which is about, you guessed it, trains. So I have trains on the brain. And I had a thought for the introduction of my main character, occult detective, who still doesn't have a name. And wouldn't you know it, it involves a train.

Imagine this: the story opens on some… something… happening, deep underground. A murder. A mysterious shadow in the dimly lit tunnels. I don't know. It's the teaser before the opening credits, if you will. We leave that unresolved a cut to our hero, on a train from somewhere. Maybe he's on his way back from his last job. He's about to be recruited by Miss DeWitt, on a mission of utmost importance.

Friday, June 23, 2017

For the Love of Clichés

Ah, romance.

I swing wildly between thinking the romantic aspect of my story is going to be the easiest or the hardest part. "Oh sure, I'll just throw these people together and they'll grow to like each other." "Wait, is this a horribly clichéd and contrived plot?"

Now, I've never read a romance novel. I've considered it, for research purposes. But they always sound so boring. It all "Sassy von Heroine spent her life doing X, but everything changed when she met Hero McStudPants." And I don't know if those are just the crappy ones, but that's what I keep seeing. So I just googled "best contemporary romance novels," clicked the first thing that wasn't Fifty Shades… and well, I'm not impressed with that either. I just don't see the appeal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Will the Plot Ever Twist or Will I Still Resist?

I have so much to do for my next project, and only about two weeks to do it. It feels like such a big undertaking and I don't where to begin.

I need characters.

I need a setting

I need a plot.

You can see the problem. I mean, sure, I have some vague ideas. But it's a far cry from an actual outline.

But we're not going to talk about my shortcomings. Not those shortcomings, anyway. No, we're going to talk about a vital piece of plot that I've never really managed to use.

The Plot Twist.