Pirate Twins, 8

Learning to stop myself when I know the next dialog sequence between the characters.  That allows me 24 hours to play with the beginning of the next section.  Thus:  I saw the first ten lines between Logres and Libby yesterday.  I know what they talk about when the cross the Channel tonight.  As to what happens next, I’ll know before I sit back down to write in 23 hours.

Sneaky, old, clever, and lazy works for me.

Continue reading “Pirate Twins, 8”

Wandering into the Future

Editing and cover for ‘Cursed Hearts’ complete and the hardcopy proof will be in my hands Thursday or Friday.  I’m sure there’s a half dozen more surprises lurking in there for me.  So for now, I can sit back and relax…!

[Wanders around the house.  Vacuums upstairs.  Looks at interwebs.  Glances at watch:  noon]

Bored!

I’d a notion last night this would happen, but was far too drunk to worry about it.  In the few quiet moments at Mass this morning, I did.  If I don’t start writing something, I’ll go crazy.  So, I paged through some notes and pondered.

At first, I thought about striking out in a completely different direction:  going back to the script I wrote for the Steampunk Reilly graphic novels; it has a good series of stories held together by a coherent overall arc and a brace of interesting characters.  It also has nothing to do with Machine Civilization.

About a week ago on A Writer’s Path (a super resource), I read an article about why a writer should, basically, “stay on message;” if you do SF, do SF.  If you write romance, write romance.  Given that I’ve written SF, religion, magic, romance, horror, friendship all through visual novels, traditional novels, websites, and picture books, I considered that to be a crock of shit.  In fact, I’ve very deliberately chosen to change genres, just to see what I can do.

However, there might be a useful nugget there still:  while I have used different characters and settings to tell different stories, they’ve – so far – all been in my future history, Machine Civilization.  Mulling on that – and that I think steampunk is much better suited for a visual medium – I put the Reilly story away.  Again.  So, what to do?  There on the sidebar (or in the Menu, depending on how you’re viewing this) is my free novel/writing experiment, “Defiant.”  It’s just possible that I could edit Acts 1-3 into Part 1 of 2 of another novel (and that would be a lot of editing!  It was never designed to be a free-standing story!).  It has some romantic elements that I could turn up or down, as well as a strong military theme.  Some politics, but not so much that my head starts spinning by page five (as it did with ‘Crosses & Doublecrosses).

Then again, having just come off of a novel, do I want to undertake something big again?  Would maybe two or three short stories be better both to keep me writing and the creative process engaged?  Short stories can also be scaled up, witness, ‘It’s Just Business’ (that was the original title) turning into ‘Cursed Hearts.’

Sighing into my computer screen, I imagine Ai’s family, Nichole’s family, and anyone left alive at Neuroi Corporation, sighing back at me, wondering when Stupid Writer will tell more of their stories.  Apologies, friends:  I’m trying.

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent Cover?!”

Apologies to Henry II Plantagenet.  I’ve eleven days to decide a book cover between my two finalist.  I’ve been stumped for two days and want to be done by this weekend to get published, soonest!  A link to where you can take a look and vote is below.  Opinions welcome.

They’re both so tanjed good!  How to decide…?

https://99designs.com/contests/poll/2nc3oq

 

Train. Wreck.

After a busy fifteen days of Ohayocon prep, staunching the constant bloody nose of Dog #1, and writing a script for a 24-minute animated short, I’m finally back to Cursed Hearts.

[re-reads the last couple of paragraphs; scratches head]

[re-reads the last few pages; wonders who are these people?]

Oh…kay.  Looks as if I’m going to need to ‘re-familiarize’ myself with just what the Hell is going on in my own story.  Wonderful.

Writing Horror

I don’t think I’ve a hand for this, either.  I had my wife read the part I just wrote, in italics, below.  She wandered off muttering “I like your romance, better.”  As if I can effing write romance stories!  She praises me with faint damns.

The taxi sat silently in its parking space at the small lot at Okadama Airport. The driver’s side seat was fully reclined, allowing Maya more easy access to the driver’s brain. After finding clothes and money at Neuroi, she’d taken the rail south into Sapporo city. At the main rail station, she’d wandered about until locating the cab station and asked a driver to take her to the airport. Arriving at Okadama, it matched nothing in the memories she’d eaten. The driver said the big airport was an hour to the south, but she’d not been specific! Would she like to pay for a drive there, too?

She’d reached around from the back seat and crushed his windpipe. Maya thought about the next step, ignoring the gurgling as the man slowly choked to death. She scowled slightly; had she not killed him, he could have driven her to the other airport! Ah.

She would learn to drive a car.

She left the vehicle and looked about. There: a small bamboo patch. She inspected and rejected several shoots until she found one of just the right size. Returning to the back seat of the car, she shut the door and dropped the driver’s seat back. He was almost dead.

Maya tore out his left eyeball. With a sharp drop of her right fist, she rammed the bamboo tube through the back of his eye socket. Oxygen deprivation kept him from fighting back more than feebly. Wrenching the shoot up and left, she put her mouth to it and began sucking his brains out.

See what I mean:  clinical.  This isn’t an horror story, it’s an autopsy report.  I don’t know what to do to ‘scare’ the reader.  Yes, yes:  I chose something outside my comfort zone to push me as a writer, but maybe I shouldn’t have done that in combination with NNWM!  The other half of the story, with Chris and Cat, is coming along nicely:  romance!  Well, sort of.  Too much exposition, but cleaning that up is what December is for.

Official Word Count:  9032.

“The English love an insult.” – Ben Franklin

At this point in time, it’s the only explanation in time for just how helpful people like Jordan Thornton (LLB Honours Grad; U of Portsmouth) and now the good (person/people?) at BooksChatter.  I’ve never thought of myself as a nice person, so they must be enjoying the insults….

Two years ago, with no prompting from us, a law student from southern England, Mister Thornton, sent 3-AR Studios a link to a huge TVTropes page about our flagship visual novel, OTChi Kocchi.  All his initiative, all his time.  We’re still getting sales as a result of folks stumbling across his page.

Two years later, not only is BooksChatter, of the UK, hosting my first traditional novel for a day, they’ve hotlinks throughout it, images pulled from half a dozen sources, and even put together a YouTube playlist, for heaven’s sake!  That’s a lot of work!

My family’s been in the US since before it was the US; it’s entirely likely that, 240 years ago, my ancestors were shooting at theirs.  Why are these good people being so nice to me now?