When It All Goes Sideways

As I was making what I thought was some fairly impressive progress on my novel “Requiem for a Laborer,” moving right along with finding research for the opening of the story, I hit a small snag.

Well more of a major disaster, really.

I lost the file where I had an annotated map of the setting for the opening, as well some character notes and plot points. You know that feeling you get when you’re already late and you are about to step out the door for an important appointment just to realize, at that point, you have no idea where your keys are? That is a pretty good summation of how I felt. Just when I was going to start the rumbling engine that is to be my story, somehow I had lost the keys.

NowI know what a lot of you are thinking, “Why didn’t you back up the thing, to begin with?” I have a perfectly reasonable answer for that: “I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking.”

“I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking.”

We all make bone-headed play like that, don’t we?

So after the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and finally coming to acceptance, I thought that what I would need was a little time away from the site of the now key-less story. So that Is what I did. I worked on the house some and the yard a little. I read a good bit, too.

What I am learning, as a writer is to take these inopportune happening and see how I can turn them to my advantage. In this case, I reread my first draft and I am trying a different angle to open Requiem. Although I liked the changes that I had made, I felt that I was still telling more than showing. This had been the demise of many of what might great novel

This had been the demise of many of what might great a great novel. If the writer doesn’t grab the readers’ interest early on, it’s pretty much, “Ya know? I could be doing many more fun things than reading this. Sitting in a dentist’s chair come to mind.”

So for me, this has been a learning experience, Not only will I be saving more often, but also taking the chance during something negative to build something positive.

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So I Was Asking Myself “What If?”…

A funny thing happens when you ask “What if,,,?” And just let your mind wonder.

I was sitting at my computer thinking about my NaNoWriMo project. I am going to be writing a steampunk story about a laborer that rises up against the system. So I was researching steam power generation and what happened next was interesting to say the least.

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What if I were to write a technologically heavy steampunk novel, sort of a Jules Verne meets Tom Clancy. Would this even be possible?

So I spent the next two hours looking up and downloading/ printing steam age technology articles and the more I read and found, the more I was interested in the possibility of this flight of fancy taking off!

Anyway, I know that a novel like this is going to get very complicated very quickly. And I am welcoming it.

I am beginning to see the possibilities of this and its many branches. Best of all none of them are any more or less correct than any others.

I know that I need to develop plot and story arcs, but I am thinking that the steam technology might be an interesting backdrop, if I can write it out well. It could also have the added bonus of a sort of credibility.

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Bestest of best luck to my fellow NaNo writers!

T-minus 3 days and counting.

 

 

I can already see the first incoming rain clouds on the horizon as I start my new novel. I’m hoping that’s it’s a mere pesky shower and not a full on tempest that will blow some, what I think, out to sea. I want to include real historical figures in  an alternate history/ steampunk novel. Now here is the issue:

How much historical accuracy should I include with the character to make her not only recognizable but also compelling? At what point and how much do I use artistic license to fit a historical person into the story?

I know that these aren’t easy questions to answer and the best way to head off potential disaster in a goodly amount of research into the real person and events.

I started that today and into the project specific notebook went a good four pages on hand written notes. I’ve also started printing out some documents concerning the whys hows and wheres of the historical events, the person’s Wikipedia article and even downloaded her autobiography in to my Nook library. I’d like to have it read by the beginning of next week, if possible.

So, if nothing else gets accomplished today I did some pretty solid work on bringing one of my characters to life. Not bad for also working my eight hour shift and getting laundry done.

 

 

Trying Too Many Things?


So I have been putting too many irons in the fire for the last several months. Between concentrating way too hard on my grad school application, (to be set aside for a semester, at least), politic-ing at work for a promotion and a few other odds and ends, I’ve lost sight of what I really enjoy. That is my writing. Here and other places,

What was I thinking allowing myself to be distracted from what I really want to do?

NaNoWriMo is coming up and that will be a great opportunity to expand on this.

Anyway more to come tomorrow. Maybe even some thoughts on my writing projects. until tomorrow…

Peace

Challenge Accepted

So today I took on the challenge of National Novel Writing Month starting November first. The challenge is writing a first draft of a of fifty-thousand word (minimum) novel starting from word one on November first with nothing but the back story, character sketches and back stories done before hand.

I might not have a lot of free social time in November but it will be worth it for me.

Cheers all!