I’ve three pages of notes; no, that’s not correct. I’ve three pages of handwritten questions about where my next novel is to go. I’ve named Nichole’s story “Part One,” so there’d better be a Part Two and it had best be along presently! My aggressive date is Labor Day; my passive-aggressive date is Halloween.
After writing my first novel, T4L, I’ve always tried to do something different. ‘Echoes’ was a ‘road story’ and Cursed Hearts a horror-romance. The never-completed Crosses & Doublecrosses was a political-espionage thriller. “The Saga of Nichole5: Part One, Friend & Ally” is… well… I don’t really know what to call it… it’s her voyage of self-discovery, but the three Acts of the book each revolve around a different battle, so it’s also a war story.
Anyway. At one point Nichole is speaking to the Mayor – read: dictator – of what’s left of Portland, Oregon, offering her and the help of the resurgent Empire of Japan to make his remnant city-state into something like the Athenian Hegemony, but on the West Coast of the former US. That’s in one hemisphere of my mind.
In the other… when I first saw the café/pub that is Zom’s, just at the northern fringe of Portland State U, I’d the Tubeway Army lyric in mind:
Down to Zom Zom’s a place like it was built in one day:
You can watch the humans try to run
Oh, look, there’s a Rape Machine I’d go outside if it’d look the other way;
You wouldn’t believe the things they do.
From it’s inception, I’d imagined a Bad End. For the café? The City? All my characters? Honestly, I didn’t know and I still don’t, but the pull in that direxion is overwhelming. Playing with ideas, I’ve seen Nichole at the crest of the West Hills, looking down and east into Portland… the city an inferno. Maybe if the camera pulls back a little…?
Gil rested his hand onto her shoulder.
“You did your best.”
“I still failed,” she replied.
There was a gurgle and cry from Mackenzie: sedated after Gil dragged the barbarian raider off of her in mid-rape.
“What now?” he asked.
“I must report my failure to the Throne,” was her casual reply. “Perhaps I shall be deactivated for my incompetence?”
Yeah. Lots to think about. I’ve never been one to plan a story, but I do like to have a feel of where the path is trending, and the footing on this one is rocky.