Friday, September 30, 2016

Writing at the Speed of Light

Sometimes I think too much. That should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Sometimes, I spend all my time thinking and not enough doing. that's why I spend three months planning a story, then I spend weeks or months working on it.

Sometimes, maybe, I need to stop planning, stop thinking, and just do it, right now. And thus, High Speed Stories were born.

The rules are simple: there is a time limit. Now, I've written 50,000 words in a month, that's easy cake oven. No, I'm talking a real time limit.

One hour.

That's one hour to come up with characters, setting, etc., and write the damn thing. Can it be done? We'll find out. The plan is to go to my list of writing prompts, set a timer, and go.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Whatever Doesn't Make Me Stronger Kills Me

Well, we're back on vampires. Specifically, what kills them. Really, what causes them harm at all. It's a question of how much I want to follow tradition, and how much I want to make it up.

Traditionally, vampires are vulnerable to stakes, sunlight, decapitation, fire, silver (sometimes), garlic, holy symbols, and running water. Sometimes, they can’t enter a home without being invited, and they’re obsessed with counting things (suddenly Sesame Street makes so much more sense).

Friday, September 23, 2016

It Gets Funnier Every Time

I think things are stagnating a little with the constant "I don't know what this story is about." So we're going to talk about something different today. I actually wrote a whole post about lines and bits of dialogue I've collected, but I've had way too much coffee, and it really doesn't make any sense. So we're going to try this again.

Looking through all my collected stuff… how about running gags? Those are fun. If you're not aware, a running gag is some amusing thing that keeps popping up. It's Family Guy's giant chicken, Avatar: The Last Airbender's "My cabbages!", and basically all of Arrested Development.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gaining Perspective

I did say that I would do a post on point of view (POV). So here it is. This is going to be a kind of informational type deal, because, well, I'm full of information, and every so often I have to let some out, or it'll overflow or something terrible. I'll just run around yelling random facts. It's horrible.

So, getting to the point, there are three basic POVs. First, second, and third. There are some subcategories.

  • First - uses "I." You're right there in your character's head. This comes in two flavors.
    • Central - the main character tells the story. "I" am the hero, right in the thick of it.
    • Peripheral - a side character tells the story. "I" am watching the hero, and telling you about it.
  • Second - uses "you." This isn't all that common in fiction, outside of Choose Your Own Adventure.
  • Third - uses "he/she." You're outside of the characters, but there are variations.
    • Omniscient - the narrator knows everything about everyone. You'll see what everyone is doing and thinking.
    • Limited - the narrator knows everything about one character. You'll only see what that character is thinking.
    • Objective - the narrator only reports what can be seen. It's like a movie, in that you'll see what characters are doing, but not what they're thinking.

Me, I tend to go for first, third limited, or third objective. When I find my main characters, I follow them closely. I don't report on what the bad guys are doing in the meantime. Should I? Maybe, but that's something to work on in the future.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Continued Adventures in Planning

Des Mackenzie, perpetual twenty-something, had grown accustomed to the life of the nearly-dead. But now he must face his greatest challenge: selling ice cream.

Coming this November, from renowned procrastinator Mad Cooper: Cold Blooded.

Okay, I don’t know if that's the title. It’s a good placeholder, at any rate. My main character (or "MC" as we say… in the business), does in fact have a name now. So that's cool. I think it suits him. There was a long and complicated process that led to that name. Basically, I saw one name that made me think of a show, which made me think of another name. And here we are. I could get into the details if you want.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

NaNoWriMo Prepares for Launch

NaNo Prep has officially begun, beyond my slow and laborious plotting. As Municipal Liaison for my region, I have ordered the "ML Kit" which mainly just means stickers to give out at events. People love stickers. Don't ever underestimate that. And I'm getting some posters, and I'm just really excited about all of this.

This year, I have a brand new co-ML. See, I had a co-ML my first year, but then I did the past two years all by my lonesome. So now I have to learn to share power again. Already, that's a challenge. I want to do everything my way, but I have… to… not.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Punk Goes NaNo

I've made the realization that my punk band backstory has to move up to the mid-90s, because I really want to call them Winter on Venus (now promoting their debut album, Retrograde). See, that's in reference to it "snowing" metal on Venus. Because how kick ass is that? But it also wasn't really postulated until 1995, after the Magellan spacecraft took a trip out there. And I just have to be right about everything.

I think it's probably for the best, since I'm familiar with punk bands who started in the 90s, while the 80s, not so much. A bit before my time.

On the other hand, I could call them that anyway and just offer no explanation. How many bands have weird names with no discernible meaning? (I'm looking at you, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.) Damn it, now I don't know what I'm doing.

The ridiculous thing is that this is all for backstory. It has very little bearing on whatever the main plot is. All it really determines is how long he's been wandering around as a vampire. So at this point it doesn’t really matter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Two Parts Heartbreak, One Part Explosions

Something amazing happened yesterday (Monday). I learned some fascinating things about my character. It all started with Reddit. Something mentioned that Jim Croce had died in a plane crash. "Why do so many musicians die in plane crashes?" I asked myself. I mean, Patsy Cline, John Denver, half of Lynyrd Skynyrd… And then I thought, maybe one 1980's (or so) punk rocker got "lucky" and was got help from an unlikely source. Namely, vampires.

So then I was at work, and I suddenly had this whole story going in my head. They're in a plane, on the way to some show. Something goes wrong. They crash in the forest. One survivor. But he's not out of the woods yet, literally or metaphorically. He's not doing so good, but he's going to try to find his way to civilization. Spoiler alert: he's not going to make it. Suddenly, vampires. He has to be turned if he wants to make it out of there more or less alive.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Slow, Arduous Progress

At this moment, I have very nearly reached 1000 views on this blog. Exciting, no?

Already, I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo. I'll be getting my ML stuff, and the requisite annual poster. I even have a co-ML this year, so that'll be cool. All I need now is a novel to write.

I've pretty much decided that this vampire story is going to be my November novel. I'm hoping I can fill it with enough stuff to reach 50,000 words. I have about two months to figure it out. It's going to be a bit boring for you in the meantime, unless I get struck with the inspiration for some smaller project first.

As far as the novel goes, I have a bit of a setting and, like, half of a character. It's not a lot to go on. I have zero idea what the plot is. All I have is the line, "You want me to sell ice cream? Fine, but I'm not wearing one of those stupid hats." Like, for some reason, running an ice cream parlor is the normal thing for local vampires to do, and this guy's just getting roped into it. Why? I don't know! Haven't you been paying attention?

I don't really have anything else interesting to say, so I'm just going to leave it there for today.