And so it begins. Yesterday I finished writing the notes for my novel, A Collection of Shards. I mapped out the basic plot, main characters and setting in those notes. I am impressed with how the idea for the novel is coming together. The novel will have a tight plot with lots of action. I plan on putting a lot of attention to details. The story will feel visceral at times, dreamy at others. I based my characters on real people, should they should feel alive. On top of that I plan on narrating the story in a weaving manner, to make it feel layered. And thanks to the real locations and technology, I can attempt to write a story based on an “altered reality”, similar to that of Strugatsky’s The Roadside Picnic.
With the novel already well planned, I’ve started writing the first chapter. I changed the beginning to a totally new scene that I’ve not worked with before. Still I’m excited about writing this novel. It make turn out as the next science fiction epic.
I’m going to have to keep these next upcoming posts short. I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment, with the sheer amount of things going on at the same time. I still want to try to keep going forward on the projects already in progress. But I will not add anything new to my plate for the next few weeks. I’m seriously planning a trip to Europe this year. Planning this trip will take quite some effort. Still a short update is in order.
I got meet up my university friend Rob yesterday. Have not talked to him in ages. I did spend a long time with him. But it was great to talk to him again, and I needed someone in a similar position to my own to bounce ideas off of.
I started to compile some notes for my novel. I wrote down most of the background of the novel. Now I plan on completing my notes and sketching out the plot. Then the serious work writing can begin. As for programming, I’m working on a PHP powered website for justCheckers. Also I am slowly reading through a book on coding C++ and Qt, along with a silly application I plan on writing to learn the Qt framework.
Went to a fantastic party hosted by the Huddarts, Friday night. I enjoyed myself throughly. Meet new people, had a few too many drinks, and had a lot of fun. Some of the conversations ended up as discussions about my novel.
I’m at an impasse with my novel. I have to decided the setting of my novel. The setting turns out crucial when developing the plot, since I desire to keep things realistic The novel can either take place on a post-nuclear war Earth in the near future. Or it can occur on the planet Mars about 200 years from now. In both cases, a central element of a swarm of military drones and a covert ops team trying to infiltrate a ruined city works. However the Mars plot called for starships (the original plot). These starships act as vehicles for the plot: one gets shot down, another acts as a carrier to launch fighters and a third acts as a spaceborne heavy weapon. And they play pivotal points in my plot. The last two can be replaced with either a land-based facility or an orbital platform. But I can’t come up with a plot element for the first one. I need a reason why a military group finds itself under fire from a swarm. And said military group has to be far from safety, carry some sort of important mission-critical cargo and needs extraction. Being dropped from a crashed starship explains it all.
Now in the post-nuke Earth starships don’t exist. At least not in any large form. However with a near future plot I can use real life experience, existing technology and current events to make the story more realistic. I also face the danger of offending readers if I make things too realistic or tie my story too close to the current world. And I’m not in the mood to deal with snarky, political vigilantes and their poisonous e-mails. Besides I do want to give the story a sort of a ruined future in the desert feel. The Mars plot nicely abstracts all that away, but I lose realism. The Earth plot bases itself in realism but I’d have to do a balancing act to keep the plot neutral and interesting.
So what should I do? Stick with the easier to write but more space opera Mars plot? Or a realistic, gritty Earth-based plot that needs a good explanations, and realistic equivalents to my Mars plot?
Update: Played a bit of Alpha Centauri, and I would absolutely love to write my novel in such a setting. But a Earth far from Earth comes with its own set of problems.
Another fine morning and another beautiful sunrise rising over Toronto. This may seems like a common theme, but I love the mornings. I love the mornings cause it matches my personality. I am a forward thinker. I enjoy peering into the future. Little wonder why I enjoy trying out beta software. Or why I follow future trends. And I feel happy when I see I bright future coming.
The sky just turned a flamelike orange. And the Sun is a brilliant orange ball of light. Amazing how far away the Sun is, and yet how bright and warming it is. Beautiful.
I figured out my plot and my setting for the science fiction novel I plan on writing. Interestingly the setting turned out a composite of reality and my own past imaginings. And plot, influenced heavily by games and novels that I played and read through, should be rather original. While the novel recycles many of my old ideas, I think it will be original as a composition.
I also found two main characters. Should prove to be an interesting duo. An interesting contrast of personalities, hopefully that will drive the story forward. Part of me is proud of my achieving believable characters in such a simple manner. Part of me is telling me to not reveal too much and to mix it up more. As Marika notes: getting good characters is something a writer has shape, model and chisel away at.
I think I will start the story off in the morning, with the sunrise. I run off to write the first chapter.
I think I can say that this is the last remnants of my malady. I can say this by the increase of sinus induced headaches and the symptoms of hay-fever. Also my throat no hurts… and so forth. Yesterday was OK too… except in the morning where I felt not too hot. Oh, and it was Mother’s birthday. Oops… I forgot everything about it. Anyways after a bit of coaxing I went with them to Awenda Provincial Park. Which was enjoyable as it was mostly me loafing around on a beach doing mostly nothing except writing. Then we went kayaking on nearby Kettle Lake. The sensation of gliding silently across the still water, gazing at the strange forest of dried pine mingled with water lilies, and grasses… serene. No unusual wildlife was seen but that is alright too.
When it comes to writing, I began to jot down notes about the different characters, factions, and plot of my story. I decided upon the title to be: Echoes in the Ether. I changed the beginning a bit, and made the background history interwoven in the conversations and thoughts of the characters. While I did notice a fair bit of influence from Battlestar Galactica (especially with the robotic Daedus faction), and the Homeworld games, I still think my idea as a whole is fairly unique. I am also glad that in the process of creating my universe I managed to get rid of the whole “Pregenitor” race idea, and still kept the Maker in the story. I hope that I can get the right mix of high tech science fiction and mystical religion as a backdrop for the story. I don’t want to turn into a fantasy story by adding too much crazy magic and mysticism. Overall I have most of the backdrop finished, I just have to finish notes on the last two factions. Then I have to jot down the back story, some technological details, and bit of landscape details. After that its just main character descriptions and plot.
On the programming front, I didn’t get much done except removing CHARVA and CLI elements out of the justCheckers code. The old style stream messages are still there. Maybe I can make a user interface from that. As for school preparations, a big fat zero. Oh well…