Archive for October, 2010

I’m doing backgroundy things in the NaNo tab up top here: Filling out characters and background, hunting up resources, figuring out some plots. OK, narrowing down the plots by hunting and caging plot bunnies.

This idea comes with exploding plot bunnies. There are so many little ideas – some suitable only as subplots or even micro-plots that can be used to fill out and add detail to the main story, and then there are Plots. These could take a novella’s worth of words to develop. What I’m looking for, though, is the Plot Mama – the PLOT that the whole story is about.

See, I’ve got this family that’s suddenly populated with superhero abilities, set in an enclosed and gated community of paranormal creatures – each with their own agenda and needs and quirks, and straddling the two is the security force, on which one family member serves. There’s involvement between the family and the gated community. But it’s, so far, mostly mundane – what teachers do with their students, police with their precinct, and the community with the schools and police. It’s blah, blah, blah. I could certainly write an interesting story about blah, blah, blah, after all, isn’t that what literature is about?, but I want to write a STORY, not a story.

So, I’ve been detailing things, setting up personalities and needs, adding in forces and hoping they’ll congeal into STORY.

Otherwise, my NaNo will just be blah.


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NaNo Idea!

Heh. It’s kind of surprising, but I have an idea for NaNo already! Usually, I don’t get one until November 2nd or 3rd.

I’m smashing up 2 TV shows that have good premises but poor execution to generate something different. I am so very, very tired of writers who don’t do their research. I am even more tired of this trend to make all characters juvenile, immature, selfish, stupid, and egotistical. It’s not amusing or interesting. Characters should be conflicted, but they don’t have to lose IQ points over it. Villains should have a reason for being villainous, and “because” just doesn’t cut it.

The 2 shows are in their first season and have only aired 3 or 4 episodes. One is about a dysfunctional family gaining super powers and the other is about a gated community of paranormal people trying to pass as normal people.

What I want to write is a story of a non-traditional but functional family gaining superpowers while living and working with a gated community of paranormals trying to pass as normal. They intersect because one “super” parent is the night chief of their security service, and another parent is a college math professor to the paranormal kids, and the third parent is a pharmaceutical chemist in the surrounding city. the story picks up after the family discovers their superpowers but before they fully understand them.

My characters will be conflicted but not stupid. The paranormals will have their natures to manifest or battle. The superpowers may come into conflict with the paranormal powers. Hopefully my characters will have personality because they certainly have their hands full. Superheroes living among vampires, weres, gargoyles, demons, and mythological creatures has its own issues, as do the vampires, weres, etc with one another. They created the gated community as neutral territory to learn to live together and to learn to live among normals before they try living out and about among normals openly as paranormals.

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Trying Something New

I’ve been experimenting with using a wiki to keep my writing notes in order. It works. But I find I am spending far too much time in formatting. It’s not easy, not intuitive, took forever to get it all right, and taking far too much time from real writing as opposed to documenting. It may work for some people, but it’s not for me.

So, I’m back to blogging. I learned a few things about compartmentalization and organization, so I can’t say the wiki experiment was a waste. I’ve come a long way from the days when I scribbled everything willy-nilly into a spiral notebook, then spent ages extracting the actual story out of one notebook and into another so I could proof and editing it, and then taking that notebook and typing it all up on a Brothers electric typewriter.

We’ll see how successful this is – or not.

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