?

Log in

No account? Create an account
NaNo update - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
View My LJ [By Tag]


November 18th, 2009
02:11 am
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
NaNo update
Week 1: The muse frolics about in the playground, running from shiny thing to shiny thing, shouting "Wheee!" and exhausting herself on the slides and swings.

Week 2: The muse sulks at the edge of the playground because, when she built a huge sand castle directly underneath the slide, her friend Authorial Standards promptly came down without looking and squished it.

Week 3: The muse's sulking is interrupted by a Novella in a nearby van. "Want some candy, little girl?" he whispers in a husky yet strangely alluring tone. She gets too close to the vehicle, arms reach out, the door slams shut, and before she can scream they are 13,000 words down the road.

So, yeah, there go my pretensions of frittering NaNo away via the completion of dozens of scattered half-finished projects. I can't abandon my protagonist now! He's running from the authorities after spoiler spoi ler spoilersp oi le rspo iler! Plus, y'know, backstory! And the worldbuilding is all falling together! And and and ...

I'll have to figure out how I can "with one bound, Jack was free" my way out of the mess, so I can get back to the various requests and writing trades and finishing up of old projects and then planning out the Fireborn game that starts in December and catching up at work and and and augh. I'm glad November is just a part-time thing.

Anyway, NaNo user page has been updated with an excerpt from "The Time In Her Eyes." If you're interested in beta-reading and offering constructive feedback, drop me a line in some fashion; it's a neat enough story to be worth second-drafting once all the words come out.

How's your novel going, if you're writing? How's your month going, if not?

Current Location: ~/brainstorm
Current Mood: accomplishedwordful
Current Music: Bax's NaNo game music mix
Tags: ,

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 18th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
Incidentally, it occurs to me that this happened the last time I tried writing a month of short stories, too: Dangerous Waters similarly abducted my muse, and it ended up wrecking my NaNo but becoming one of the best things I've written.
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:November 18th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
(Link)
Bwahaha! Teh NaNo ownz you. I understand. It ownz me too.
Me, I'm stuck in the murky waters of week two halfway into week three, on account of late start plus unplanned journey, but hey, it's not supposed to be easy, and given crazy daily wordcounts I may still catch up.

Also I added you as a NaNo buddy.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 18th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You've been doing really well for having started so late! Keep on writin'.

What's your story about this year?
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:November 19th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
I know. It's hard. :| I'm in full "Why am I doing this to myself" mode right now.

This year, I can't seem to make a plot hold together, so I'm writing a set of vignettes based on the setting I had in mind.

Think, pre-industrial alternative Europe, about 20 years after a major outbreak of the plague. The disease wiped out a large chunk of the population and durably upset the organization of society, with nations collapsing and smaller city-states slowly rising anew. This is the sort of time from which a new societal order will arise, and which one exactly will depend on who plays his cards best, between the erstwhile nobility, the rising class of powerful traders, and, perhaps, the foreign forces that are rumored to be massing abroad, with their odd ways and their worship of strange new gods.

In all this, Main Protagonist is a young just-not-woman-yet with a pronounced tendency for getting into trouble, who somehow managed to become a gemsmith's apprentice, which doesn't go as great as she'd like but still brings in enough to help her mother out, as she is but a single, unmarried seamstress.

Now it's a bit more complicated than that, because 1/ Main Protagonist's illegitimate father is the city's archbishop, and her mother earns a steady wage for the job of keeping it quiet; 2/ the archbishop is the descendant of a line of men with, ah, a peculiar ability, and 3/ Main Protagonist has inherited it, though she doesn't know it yet.

Basically by performing a little, ritualized act of will, she will be able to make objects or creatures or anything she can imagine come into existence, which is actually a pretty crappy power because it's insanely hard not to imagine something horrible during the ritual, like your arms turning to ash and falling off, for the same reason that it's insanely hard not to think of an elephant while reading this sentence.

... And that's it. c_c Beneath all the piled up setting there's a plot screaming for help, but I yet have to excavate enough debris to pull it free. Writing is hard!
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 19th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
(Link)
> Writing is hard
... let's go shopping!

Hey, more power to you with the vignettes; I've built up more of a coherent universe for TTU via short stories, encyclopedia-type entries, cultural fragments, etc., than I ever have through novels. And sometimes it takes time digging through words before you excavate the shiny buried plot.

Sounds like, if the archbishop and his line have this awesome ability, there's a compelling suggestion to get a big church conspiracy involved. What's the church's official position on that sort of willworking? (Or is it totally secret; and thus probably seen as witchcraft?)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:November 27th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
> ... let's go shopping!

Heavens, I had never heard that one before. >O.o< Thank you for the link!

And, that's an interesting idea! I hadn't thought of involving the Church. In truth, my archbishop is based on a fascinating political figure from the 18th and 19th centuries: deprived of his right of primogeniture by his father for being lame, pushed out of the way into the clerical orders where he rose high and fast, he later organized the appropriation of the Church's belongings by the revolutionary government, in which he sat not for the Clergy but for the Third Estate, and took part in the redaction of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, before managing to negotiate the neutrality of London toward the young republic. After emigrating during the Reign of Terror, he returned under the Directory, and befriended Bonaparte while working for the Directors -- which sometimes involved going against their orders if it meant furthering peace in Europe instead (and obtaining money for himself). Then he betrayed the increasingly warlike Napoleon on several occasions, yet the emperor still couldn't do without him, up to the day when Napoleon fell to the Allies and our man immediately organized elections for a temporary government.

And this is but the beginning. He will still live to serve and betray three more kings. To this day it is not known whether the man was a political genius with a long ranging vision for peace and stability in Europe, or a cunning scoundrel who would betray anyone so long as it served his personal interests and noted vices.

So my archbishop is, likewise, lame of leg, and a difficult man to understand, a ruthless politician who, perhaps, means well, for what it's worth, but whose methods are anything but reputable. The city where the action takes place is something of a backwater to him: after displeasing one king too many during the fallout of the Plague, he got told, in essence, "You're a bishop originally, right? Why don't you go be a bishop way over there?" But instead of bishoping around he leads the city by proxy through the affable but incompetent burgmaster. To him the power manifests mostly as a tendency for things to go his way. I don't think he uses it consciously, but then, what do I know?

Not that it matters anymore. When off to the funeral, I decided I would use what time I had there to write a short flashback detailing the outbreak of the epidemic through a new viewpoint character. The short flashback since exploded into a novella of its own at 20,000+ words. So now I have under 10,000 words to go and there is not going to be a lot of plot development left. Maybe this is a waste of a good setting, but from the start I tried not to care about that. Revising can wait till December.
From:drake [begriffli.ch]
Date:November 18th, 2009 11:43 am (UTC)
(Link)

Gwuh? *wget* *gimp* I thought so. Your icon contains "to to write" in frame 91.

How's your month going, if not?

“Captain, the bogon field is beginning to fluctuate rapidly! … I can't compensate!”

“Localized bogon incursion frequency is increasing exponentially. Structural integrity failure on decks 37, 38, and 39.”

“We only have an hour left before we're destroyed by the bogon flux. We still have to modify these probes before we can launch them. If we can't cycle the bays in time it could be disastrous. What's the status on those modifications?”

“Almost done, Commander, but it's a long shot. There were tests at the academy, but those research papers don't tell us much about how to apply the new technology in the field.”

“New technology?”

“We had to go to our backup plan. The simulations were already marginal. With bogosity levels this high, nothing we know of other than the experimental graduated S-type coolant will keep the firing chamber from overheating.”

“Fine. It'll have to be good enough. Divert auxiliary and emergency power to power management. Shut down all research labs, shut down anything nonessential. Prepare to cycle the bays on my mark. Three, two, one… mark!”

Orchestral background music with trumpeting tritones plays. Cut to exterior. A large sliding door begins to open, but WEDGES halfway through and grinds to a halt. Cut to bridge. The entire ship is shaking.

“Damage report!”

“The bays have jammed, sir! Power transfer allocation is… failing! We've got a bogon incursion in the main control computer. Sir, it's starting to affect other systems, we've—”

Cut to bridge. The communications signal fritzes out temporarily, resulting in unintelligible audio. Every light dims sharply. A falling-pitch sound effect sounds.

“Report!”

“All main power is offline. Compensating with emergency power. Minimal life support only.”

The bridge officers glances at each other, in hot water now. Cut to exterior, focusing on the jammed bay door as a fritzing bogosity field effect continues to pummel other parts of the hull. Dramatic sting. Fade to black.

… so yeah.

[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 18th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)

Bogospace: The vinyl frontier.

(Link)
*laughs* At least it makes enjoyable reading! :-p

I can't help but think that your analogy isn't complete until a computer on the bridge explodes, sending a shower of sparks across the command crew, as some sort of subspace collision lurches the ship, sending everyone flying across the room. "The bogon compensator, cap'n! She canna take it any more!"

... Of course, if you want to talk about the logical consequences of the stories we tell, I just set my muse up to be cruelly abused, murdered and then thrown into a gutter somewhere. So perhaps it's for the best that our respective analogies are only partially realized.
From:drake [begriffli.ch]
Date:November 19th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)

Re: Bogospace: The vinyl frontier.

(Link)

Bonus points if you can determine what it is I'm attempting to do and having difficulty adequately managing from the cookie crumbs in the rendition above.

[User Picture]
From:jolantru
Date:November 18th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Trying to write, with children, one just a little baby. My month is going ... just going. :P
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 18th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Your word count has been incredible -- especially while herding a family. I'm envious!

Hope November perks up for you. Take a few hours off the keyboard and go treat yourself to something nice -- you've definitely earned it.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 18th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My month... hmm.

My muse lies perched on something behind me, pitching things. "Pad it out some more. You write too much introspection. Oh! Get them attacked by spiderhands! That way they can get funneled to the next floor!"

"I've already armed them. Why wouldn't they just shoot the spiderhands?"

"You gave them zappers. Just say that the ammunition is limited. It doesn't have to be that bad - maybe the one Tony grabbed was low. They want to have charge left for next time they run into Sedaris's pet project, right? Oh! Oh! Also, chimera angst!"

Except that then Darth Real Life clears her throat significantly, my muse jumps about two feet straight up and tries to hide behind me, and I don't get writing done because I have classwork and sleep. My muse sits next to me on the bus or in class or while I'm working and chatters away nervously while Darth Real Life glowers at her, and most of the things my muse comes up with then aren't very good when DRL is satisfied and I look at the notes I made.

Or Cosmos hooks me in. Because it's awesome. But I think I'm doing okay. 31k!

...Also, the ultimate villain's part-part-part icular way particular way paaartiiiicuuuular waaaaaay particularwayofspeaking particular way of speaking is great for fluffing out the wordcount. Even if I can't really reproduce the sound of it and might be overdoing the effect. Yay, demifanfiction! Yay, Youtube dialogue files!
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 19th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, my muse is really, really not good about playing well with DRL. (Un)fortunately, she's also a lot sneakier and more insistent when the big ideas come a'callin. To the point where I kind of give up on getting productive work done during work, and keep a notepad open in a hidden window so I can flip back and forth scribbling down enough plot notes to get her to shut up long enough for me to answer all the customer requests I need to handle.

The villain sounds awesome. I'm picturing a sort of un-echo, like a roomful of really different people all trying to simultaneously read a script without being able to hear each other. If you get this particular story professionally printed, it would be a great excuse to do sordid things to the typography, like overstriking letters at a slight offset or printing the words in a cloud of grey letters around the main black text or something.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 19th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
(Link)
Huh. Yeah, right now my muse is mostly providing scenes for what I'm actually working on, but sometimes she bombards me with unrelated bits of inspiration. I have so many unfinished stories just sitting around... It's always been easy to start, hard to finish.

The villain is SHODAN. ( Listen! Note how parts of her voice skip from one earphone to the other) Parts of it are supposed to mimic a malfunctioning sound card. Hey, I said it was demifanfiction. And SHODAN is one of the most awesomely creepy villains ever.

Though any time I think about her too much I have dreams about being turned into a cyborg. Three this year. They aren't nightmares exactly, even the one where I got burned alive before being put in a suit, but they're all... Well, I never choose to become a cyborg.
[User Picture]
From:frameacloud
Date:November 20th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
(Link)
The way you've written it conveys that kind of sound fragmentation perfectly. Well done.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 21st, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
I really don't think I can take full credit. There's a novel-length fanfic called Free Radical which focuses more heavily on characters I'm uninterested in, but has one or two lines from SHODAN - "Look at you, insect. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you hope to challenge a perfect, immortal machine?" in different fonts, some bigger than the others. Didn't really duplicate the stutter, though.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 21st, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
http://www.shamusyoung.com/shocked/main.php?24 , to be exact, right at the bottom of the page.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 21st, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
Huh. Not as cool as I remember it looking. Reminds me that she hardly talks in that fic at all. She's quieter in the first game than in the second, but she still talked sometimes.

While I've never played either System Shock games, I've watched Let's Plays, think playthroughs with commentary. Because I don't handle horror well. Jumped out of my skin the first time I saw a clip of that woman being chased by a hybrid, screaming.

...Of course, in a sense I'm writing survival horror. But with more exposition, defeatable menaces with understandable origins, and defiant, non-cracking protagonists, so I guess it's got the setting and trappings of survival horror but not that crucial bit that makes it actually survival horror.

I'm afraid that I'm ripping off aspects of System Shock 2 pretty heavily. Oh, well. It's NaNo. I'm writing for me.
[User Picture]
From:frameacloud
Date:November 21st, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
"Didn't really duplicate the stutter, though."

SHODAN is a perfect machine and therefore took a speech impediment elimination course.

Weird voice effects and their typographic equivalents fascinate me. Audio-wise, used an effect similar to SHODAN on the female android's voice in the Inspector Gadget sequel, with glitched-out giggling, stuttering from one dissonant voice to the next, out of sync with the android's motions. I thought it sounded super cool and intriguing, but then they overdid it until it just felt like a cheap gimmick with a stock sound disk. Print-wise, the otherworldly chorus voice of the gestalt Mars entity in A Miracle of Science carries over perfectly by means of an effect similar to the one you used: a central message in huge bold letters, framed by a cloud of the same phrase repeated over and over, overlapping, in smaller gray letters.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 21st, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I find it interesting that when she's impersonating Polito she speaks with perfect clarity. That must mean that she likes the bizarre discordant speech.

Same here. It's just interesting. Someone on Baxil's flist made a GLaDOS/SHODAN pic, and their typography matches really well with their voices. Well, in GLaDOS's case it does for how she sounds for most of the game; after her morality core was destroyed she sounded fairly different. It's here.
From:deirdremoon
Date:November 18th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My muse TOTALLY does that.

The month is good. Like, pretty drama-free in my own life. Yay!
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 19th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
We are fans of low drama. :)
[User Picture]
From:murderoflawyers
Date:November 19th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
> How's your month going, if not?

Started good. Last week, though, was less good. Hoping it'll get good again before the month ends.

Hooray, vagueness!
Tomorrowlands Powered by LiveJournal.com