In trying to continue working on last year’s NaNoWriMo project, I’m hitting a couple roadblocks. So I had a sit-down/brainstorm with a friend who basically ended up giving me a couple homework assignments:
- Map out my characters and character groups, and their relationships to each other, and
- Write a 500 word short featuring one character — it can be backstory, future scenes, whatever, but 500 words.
So I’ve been writing ideas down as they come to me, and have a sizeable list at this point. Now I just have to pick something, and you can help! :) Do any of the of the options in the following list catch your interest? What kind of short-form stories do you like to read?
- Backstory: A scene from Harolyn’s childhood — surviving on the streets or fighting her way into a children’s street-gang
- Backstory: A romantic scene with Harolyn (the main character) and [former love interest] (a character who shows up in the novel)
- Backstory: Harolyn and [rival smuggler] butt heads (pre-novel, but this is an ongoing and unfriendly rivalry)
- Behind the Scenes: Harolyn on a smuggling run — something sneaky? something completely mundane (or, “What does Harolyn do when she’s on a job that bores her senseless?”)
- Behind the Scenes: How Brezo (Harolyn’s broker — the guy who finds her work) fixes up a meeting with an untrusting contact — part of the TCW, but happens off-camera
- Future: Harolyn post TCW — Where does she go? What does she do? Interactions with other people (some who recognize her, some who don’t)
- Backstory: What’s the story with Harolyn & Ginna? (a young barmaid — minor love interest character in the story)
- Backstory: Ginna & Dinka/Adevich (The two proprietors of a sea-side inn — minor characters, basically Ginna’s guardians)
- Backstory: How Verity (the politico/gentlewoman) and Rhyme (her maidservant/bodyguard) became associates
- Backstory/History: How Verity became the mediator for the Speakers (a Veridian activist group trying its best to work with reluctant/distrusting lawmakers to enact change) — possibly tied to her meeting Rhyme?
- Backstory: School, political, or social scene with Verity and Traver (a fellow politico and colleague/on & off love interest)
- Backstory/History: Chymanic (a terrorist organization on the planet Veridia) R&D — developing their “bomb packs” (montage of sorts?)
- History: The negotiation and/or signing of the Yedri’in Stellar Trade Alliance
Admittedly, most of these don’t really fit the spirit of the assignment. 1, 4, 5, 6, and maaaybe 12 do. Ideally, I’d like to end up writing all of these. It would be a useful exercise to help me flesh out character backgrounds and personalities a little more concretely; and it would also be cool to have a bunch of shorts that I could compile into a collection as a companion to the full-length story.
I think I’m leaning toward 1 or 4. The first one is completely disconnected from the current storyline, and would highlight some of the foundations of the way her personality formed. #4 could show us how she functions in, alternately, a high-stress situation of her own devising (as opposed to being tossed into the fray against her will), or when she’s more or less at ease and on her own. Hmm.
What do you think? :)
One of the interludes (read “info dump”) from my 2010 NaNoWriMo project, about Mediums and Mages, two special classes of people on the planet in the story. The formatting for this was edited/cleaned up. Content was not (or at least very little), and my NaNo draft is reeeally rough, so I’m sure this is full of holes and info that makes no sense, or needs to be tightened up or clarified. I’ve got one or two more of these little info dumps written already, and notes for much more, but they’re a little disjointed, so I’m prepared for people to be confused about stuff. Feel free to ask questions if something is confusing or just plain doesn’t make sense. It’s likely you’ll hit on something I forgot, or haven’t thought about at all!
All this time working on my notes and research for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been hard put to summarize my project — mostly, I think, because I’ve been trying to fill gaping holes in my plot outline. :p But I’ve finally got a blurb I think I can work with. Some of the details may end up changing a bit when I actually start working on it, but here it is:
Harolyn Flynn’s life is not an easy one, but it is rarely complex, and she likes to keep it that way. From street urchin, to petty thief, to accomplished smuggler elbowing her way into the ranks of the big boys, she has survived by her wits and the strength of her will. And if she happens to be running from a past she would rather forget, nobody yet has been the wiser…
Until the day a rival intent on revenge inadvertently lands her in the middle of political intrigue, and a manhunt that will threaten to expose everything she’s hidden, and then some, and throw her carefully constructed life into chaos.
And that’s the story! Sort of. This sounds so…mundane compared to what it actually is in its entirety. For starters, it’s not set on Earth. Also, the people on this planet aren’t human. Humanoid, but not human. Elves would be our closest equivalent — and don’t you give me that look. My elves are electric! >.> It actually started out as an exploration of the planet (Veridia), and it still is, but we’ll get to see it through the lense of its people.
Really? It’s a little silly how excited I am about playing in this [electrified, sentient tree- and elf-populated — yes, really >.>] world. Now if I could just come up with a working title that isn’t completely cheesy, or which makes it sound like something it’s not… :p
Still doing NaNoWriMo prep, and last night, after a planning session with my partner-in-crime, I’ve decided to do something that seems a little crazy: I’m cutting out about a third of the original cast of characters from my NaNoWriMo project. Those characters will also take a large strand of story with them, which means it’ll change a good bit, but the fact that I can cut them out and still make the story work (and better, I think!) says something. Essentially, I’m cutting out the “Princess Space Pirate” aspect of it. So instead of the focus being the ship’s crew getting pulled into the planetside story, it will be the world itself, and the things going on in it. I think this might be what I wanted all along, but I’ve been trying so hard not to become too attached to the story, and the PSP concept was supposed to make that easier. But really, it just ended up kind of getting in the way.
So. PSP gets set aside again, but I’m actually pretty excited about what this project has turned into. My NaNoWriMo posts will henceforth be tagged “Greenpunk,” instead of Princess Space Pirate. We’re not quite back to square one, because I’ve got notes and things I can and will still use. But my focus has been elsewhere up to this point, so I’ve got some catching up to do. :/ Different and new characters to familiarize myself with; more details for the plot outline that I need to work out/fit in; world background that I need to figure out. Oy. And only three weeks and change left til we get this ball rolling.