Friday, November 03, 2006

8,917 words down, 41,0832 to go before December 1st.

Holy crap.

I've noticed that the faster I type and the more often I glance down at the clock in the bottom right corner of my screen the more odd things happen in the story.
I don't know if the plot is poorly thought out and malleable or if the novel is just becoming this weird organic thing.
Either way, my 8,917 words followed me around through sleep and a shower, tugging at my subconscious and self-editing like little demons. The friendly adjectives from yesterday have become mocking, bitter little words -- and there is no good among them.
Whoever finds this journal, please tell my family I love them.
The pains of clunky dialog sap my strength, leech my will to press on and create no small amount of abdominal cramping.

Actually, I strayed from my outline early on, changed some planned character names and altered the mythology to make it easier to describe.
This is what I love about "speculative fiction":

Cyborg pirates with laser swords

Since those aren't in my book, I'll dwell on the other thing I love about "speculative fiction":

In mythology, there are basic ground rules established which communicate how the world works. Magic always has a price, they say. The hero always denies the call to action at first. Every terrible monster has a weakness.
With speculative fiction (arguably the modern mythology) no matter how fantastic the setting, there still have to be rules.
In Star Wars, hyperdrive technology enables the characters to travel to fantastic locations.
Star Trek uses warp drives and transporters to accomplish the same thing.
The failure of either of these established conventions becomes a plot point that ends up with Han and Leia flying crazy through an asteroid belt and Kirk trapped on a planet with a lizardlike Gorn intent on killing him.
If Luke Skywalker could be beamed out of his fight with Darth Vader, Star Wars would lose something and the audience would notice.
Were Kirk to switch on a lightsaber and hack the Gorn to pieces it would break Star Trek. Arguably the last example could also reform Star Trek into something better and more awesome, but this is just more proof that adding a laser sword to anything makes it at least 40% more awesome.
Holy crap! Adding laser swords is totally Airwolf!
I tried to figure out a way to communicate these rules for my own setting without falling into a canned-sounding sidebar or pulling too long away from the action.
Whether or not I am successful all depends on the behaviour of these awful and numerous little words.

3 comments:

katy said...

Wow. When you make the words responsible, you are no longer under any pressure whatsoever.

Just watch out that they don't give you carpal tunel.

I passed the 10k mark this morning. It makes me feel more of a man.

Come to my neck of the woods for the library write-in tomorrow. It'll be a weasel-y good time. (As opposed to last weekend, which was a Weasley good time.)

Shana said...

I eat your dust, fellow writers. The dust chokes me - can no longer write. Must...give....up...

Garrick said...

You can't give up, Shana. We are only three days into this.
Also, writing a well thought out cohesive story is a surmountable obstacle to word count.