Friday, October 28, 2016

Further Adventures in Vampirism

You might recall how I realized the only thing I'm actually good at writing is murder. Well, today I got to work 30 minutes early and had to do something, so I started pondering my novel, teeny little notebook at the ready. And I realized what this story needs.

A serial killer.

See, all Des wants is a home. A place to belong. And he's about to get a little too cozy, so I have to ruin that for him. So what would threaten his quiet little un-life? The possibility of exposure or death. Or exposure followed by death. So I think we need some vampire hunters.

These vampire hunters were drawn to this quiet little college town by a string of gruesome murders that look to be the work of vampires. But are they? You'll have to wait and see, I guess. Anyway, our group of peaceful, ice cream serving vampires are going to find their lives turned upside down as suspicion begins to fall.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Feminine Mystique

Female characters are hard to write. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. I'm not sure why they give me so much trouble, but it's just so hard to give them a proper personality. They tend to be very flat and just… bleh.

Why should they be any more difficult than any other character? I don't know. There's certain expectations. Like, you're supposed to have strong female characters, who are badass and go for what they want. They're supposed to be role models for little girls oppressed by the patriarchy everywhere.

There's a lot of pressure.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Character Lacking in Characteristics

So I've been thinking about this other character for a while now. This character who comes into my main character's life and pushes him toward some kind of change. And I've been pushing them away for just as long.

See, my first instinct was that it was a female, but that just pushes the whole thing into teen vampire romance, and that's not going to fly here. No way. We're not going to do that. But this girl has stayed in the back of my mind. She's making herself at home, sleeping on the couch, eating all the food. Clearly she has no intention of leaving. So I guess I have to let her into my story. Honestly, that's true of a lot of my characters.

"Who is this girl?" you might ask. Well, I can tell you that she's twenty-something, blonde, and a terrible driver. I mean, there's a reason her headlight's in 57 pieces. And she has a cat. A calico. Named Ember. Beyond that, I'm not really sure. She doesn't even have a name. Or much a personality. Or a job. Although, she might be a college student, in which case she's just forgotten the first two.

Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do.

NaNo starts in a week and a half (dear god!). The prewriting stage is nearly over. I really need to figure out what this story is about. And who's in it.

I'm going to cut it short today since it's already so late.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How We Got Here

I would have written this last night, but, uh, video games were happening. I'm not going to get into that. Suffice it to say, Battlefield 1 is pretty awesome.

Anyway, I was actually thinking about this last night (early this morning) when I went to bed. It's a matter of what I guess you'd call narrative order. I'm sure there's an actual term, and maybe I'll look it up later. What I mean is the order that the story is being told in.

Now, if you want to get technical, the story of Des Mackenzie begins in 1964. That's when he appeared in the world as a very much not vampire little baby. But we're not going to start there. That would be ridiculous. Things don't really get interesting for Des until the late 80's. He starts a band, they put out an album, things are going good for them. Well, until they aren't, and most of them die in a plane crash. Except for Des, but he doesn't make it very far and more or less wakes up a vampire.

But we're not starting there either.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Simulacrum of Sense

Sometimes it's not about what you say. It's about what you might have said.

Cryptic, no?

There's a site that someone linked on Facebook forever ago (and then moved on from like a normal person) that takes your past posts, and jumbles them up to give you something that sounds like something you'd say. I have it bookmarked. Every so often, I'll go there, and save the best ones.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trying to Put Things in Order

It's a late post again today. See, usually I write the post the day before, but yesterday I was trying to clean out my spare room. Largely that consisted of going through a big heavy box of old school papers, and moving what I wanted to save into a smaller, less heavy box, and then adding all my recent school papers to it. This left me with a pile of textbooks that needed to go on the shelf. Yes, I keep my old textbooks. The interesting ones, anyway. I sold my Finite Mathematics book the first chance I got.

Anyway, this led me to the realization that I need to rearrange my books. My fiction bookcase is overflowing, and my nonfiction is not sorted according to the Library of Congress system (which bothers me). So it's like a huge ongoing process. And I found a poem about bookends that is probably from my time working at the library:
Where, oh where, have all my bookends gone?
Books fall haphazardly, with nothing to lean on.
This lack of stability and sanity depends
Upon the tragic loss of all of my bookends.
But you didn't come here for that.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Boring

I've been watching The Vampire Diaries. A lot. I think I'm on season 3. Research, I've been calling it. And a lot of that is research into what I don't want to do. That show has some things in common with Twilight that I'd like to avoid. Namely, this whole eternal teenager thing. If you had essentially an eternity to do whatever you wanted, why would you spend it in high school?

Des, my protagonist, helpfully informed me, "I'm not one of those teen romance vampires who spends fifty years in high school. Fact is, I was twenty five when this all went down. Sure, I could pass for eighteen, but why would I want to?" Me personally, if I had to be in school forever, I'd at least be in university, getting my 76 different degrees.

But that brings me to what we're really talking about today: The Magna Carta.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

I have no idea what to write about today. That happens most days. I stare at this blank page, and hope that some reasonably intelligent, insightful collection of words will magically appear. Sometimes they do. Sometimes, I have to take a bunch of boring, vapid words, and shove them all together until they sound intelligent and insightful.

So why keep doing it? Why not quit, now that I've run out of things to say? Why not just give up on the whole thing? The same reason I keep doing everything I do.

Because I said I would.

I said, I'm going to keep writing this blog, and not get bored and abandon it like every other journal I've tried to keep. I said, I'm going to finish this degree even though I could be doing something better with my time. I said, I'm going to keep this summer job until the end of the season. I said, I'm going to work on my Russian every day.

I said, I'm going to write a novel.