Friday, October 31, 2008

Late start this NaNo...

Despite all of my attempts to prepare early for NaNoWriMo, I once again will probably start a bit later than planned.

I have been laying out my story and characters. I collected images, but I can't fight sleep and I've been exhausted all day. Even as I write this, I keep falling asleep.

So I'm going to call it a night and finish my planning in the morning. I can start writing tomorrow afternoon or night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let there be plot.

At last...I have most of my least the first half.

I would love to post it, but fear of jinxing and stealings prevents me.
So I will put down some hints of things to come in the post...with names of course missing.

Plot points:
1. Someone will leave home to seek adventure.
2. Another secretly plots to kill a sibling/rivalry.
3. War is just a giant spectator's sport.
4. The only way to really get attention to dress in drag.
5. Someone will find their long lost sibling.
6. A few people will betray each other.
7. A person who seeks revenge will befriend his enemy's child.
8. Someone lived for 4-5 years alone without any human companions.

However, I hate to leave people craving the steamy *pun intended* plot I've been I shall make a deal. Here I will post the rough plot of my writer's block novel, which is no way related, currently titled:
Mad Love (or How I Stopped Fretting and Fell for a Mad Scientist)

The daughter of a wealthy financier, who turns on her father when she discovers her has stolen the ideas of a brilliant young man and had him committed. As it turns out, her father is part of a group that intends to keep science out of the hands of the masses--under the falsehoods that science is akin to witchcraft.

Outraged that her father would do such a thing, she helps the young man escape and agrees to work with him. Their first goal is to raise money and she pretends to be held hostage. Finally funded, they begin to reek their havoc on the city in the name of science, which they believe should be free to everyone.

Their actions are discovered by another group [a League Of Like Minded Scientists perhaps, with a crazy acronym I have yet to figure out] and they are contacted. Given this option to join other scientists to fight the evils of a non-science world, the young man and his friend have a rather important (and silly) choice to make.

That's all the planning I'm gonna do for this story, since it's all supposed to work on sheer imagination and spontaneity. Mind you, this is just for when I get writer's block or bored and I will definitely post the episode-like chapters in the Excerptlopedia.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time is running out!

Time always flies faster when you've got a lot to do.

So right now I'm still at the bare bones stage and working out a few character issues. Once I have those issues taken care of, I should be able to round out the plot and finish the story.

No world planning per se, but I think I can get away with alot if I focus on the two key cities and avoid talking about the whole world. Fairly similar world view to ours in the 1900s but with a few changes. I think I'll probably do some free-writing and see what comes to mind.

As for characters, some are very clear in my mind. Others aren't clear but I can use their Greek origins for assistance. And then others...I haven't a clue. Those will be the hardest folks to tackle.

But no worries. I will be prepared...just keep telling myself that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Things are looking up

So after some pondering on the ol' inspirational spot, I started to pull my plot together. Either I have the first half of a story or the first novel in a two part series. We'll see. It all depends on how complex I want to make it.

But now I really need to start working on the characters--since the plot I came up with is simply the bones of the story.

Now since I've lost a great deal of sleep, these last few nights, to planning this story and such, I'm going to stop myself right now and head to bed.

I can work on the story tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mein gott only 10 more days!

So I'm nervous because there are only 10 days left for me to get my stuff together for Nano.


I have a protagonist.

I have a very vague/rough goal.

I have the inklings of an antagonist/antagonistic forces.


There are only two ways to go about figuring out the plot.
One is to force it out and the other is to work with the characters.

If I am to work with the characters, then there are few people I really need to deal with: Daedalus and King Minos. And two other things: the Labyrinth and the Minotaur.


A few key details from my excerptlopedia-ing:

Daedalus--is the protagonist's father and a famous inventor, who was involved in a secret project and society. He bears this secret heavily, but unfortunately it passes on to his child.

King Minos--the wealthy technophile leader of a now-defunct scientific organization, which he hopes to restore. His son is acting on his behalf.

Minotaur--an experiment or invention [which used test subjects] and possibly involving a living being.

Labyrinth--a laboratory or laboratory/commune that has been lost over the years. It may be located near or far outside the city. Or it was incorporated into the city itself.


And should all else fail, I have a back up novel of fluffy goodness entitled "I'm in love with a Mad Scientist", which features the adventures of a young socialite who falls in love with a scientist, who is committed to an insane asylum for his theories by her father who really just wants to steal his ideas. She decides to free him and becomes his sidekick, as they seek revenge on her father together.

In fact, I might work on that whenever I get writer's block during Nano--and to alleviate the stress.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Writer's Block is a curious thing...

So after my last post, I thought I was truly stumped.
Of course a few hours later, I started thinking and out of nowhere the wheels of inspiration started moving again.

And suddenly...a flow of ideas.

I will not mention them, for fear of jinxing myself before I really figure out the full plot. But I will leave you with these few thoughts.

My breakthrough came by looking at alternate scenarios for the original story, like the opposite game. Basically I thought to myself:

What if Theseus had not come yet?
What if the Minotaur wasn't killed?
What if Daedalus and Icarus escaped?
What if Icarus didn't die?

All of these opposites have helped me create an alternate universe for characters based on the Greek myth.

Key themes I plan to deal with:

Gender roles
Power/Playing God

Tehee! That's all for now.
I shall reveal my grand scheme later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So after helping my Penny with her plot, I've found I'm at a loss with mine.
Although I am using the Labyrinth for inspiration, I would really prefer to not just make a steampunk version of the same story. I want an interpretation.

But that is causing problems since I don't know where to start.

Maybe I should approach this how I would directing a play. Of course, one does not generally change the plot when doing this, but it could help me figure out the most important elements of the story and figure out how to work them together there.

Somehow I need to figure this out. And maybe that's how. After all, I can come up with all the outlandish plot ideas, but in the end its gotta go back to the basics.

So to the excerptlopedia!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Right now I'm focusing on the bits and pieces of the original myth to inspire the story.

Originally, Icarus's influence was only going to appear in a set of mechanical wings. But then I had a curious thought:

The main character sees a heavenly body in flight--a winged man. Then abruptly someone falls to the ground before her: a man wearing a pair of mechanical wings. At first she thinks he might be dead, but then he gets up, dusts himself off and begins muttering to himself something about calculations and mistakes. Eventually he realizes he is not alone and turns to face his audience. Dust coats his face, his eyes hidden behind equally obstructed goggles, which glow as if lit up. Then the lights dim and the lenses are lifted [they flip up] to reveal a set of intriguing grey eyes. The man smiles warmly and extends a dusty hand.

"Hello I'm Artemus."

This image has nearly burned itself into my brain. I don't yet know what role he will play, but it will be a big one. Artemus is also not a name I completely set upon but it will do for now. Not all of the moment was written down as they have a bit of banter about how the protagonist would have assumed his name to be "Icarus" and the man laughs and note the reference to his wings and fall.

So yes, we have an Icarus-like character, but the falling and wings is mostly where they relate. In contrary, my first impression of this character is that he is rather brilliant, eccentric and a bit mysterious. There is a possibility that he might even be dangerous [but not an overall antagonist]. While he generally thinks before he acts, his may think quicker than most of us and therefore seems to act brashly.

Side note: he may have been experimented on, the creator of the labyrinth or the reason for the labyrinth...we'll see which.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Indecision 2008

This has nothing to do with the elections.

Rather it has to do with what story to prep for the fast approaching Nano.
I was going to figure this out last night, but I fell asleep at 10pm [super early for me]. So I'm going to hash it out here instead.

-------------------Begin "Scrubs" moment-------------------------

The Contenders!

In one corner, holding the age old influence of greek mythology and the ancient glory ripe with characters is a story based on Daedelus, Icarus and the amazing labyrinth.

And in the other corner, is an original but fragmented story that puts a young girl as a companion to a brilliant man, who doesn't remember who he is.

The Fight!

The mythical tale seems to be a heavy hitter, with its already existing story providing a very good layout for a new story to be based on. Oh no, the original story is being knocked down for it's lack of goals and clear antagonist. Wait, the original story is back up, jabbing back with it's intriguing characters and possibilities as a series. Yet another jab with its left hook of unfamiliarity and darker elements.
It looks like the original story might win, it's even strutting around the ring--but it's back is turned. And whammo! Mythical came from behind with a one two jab of limited time to come up with a compelling story. Oh and now original's been hit one more time with the chance for comedy.

Original is down for the count. He's been K.O'ed!

Mythical wins! Mythical wins!

--------------------End "Scrubs" moment-----------------------------

Okay...I supposed I solved that one myself. And perhaps I already knew the answer.

So I'm going to say it here and now (and hopefully not jinx myself), the basis of my next NaNo story is such:

A steampunk adventure story based on ideas and characters presented in the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Specifically involving the Labyrinth of Minos.

For those who don't know or forgot the story, it goes like this:

In Crete, King Minos' wife was cursed to mate with a bull and produce a monstrous offspring known as the Minotaur [half man and half bull]. The king decides to encase this monster within a Labyrinth and hires Daedalus to build it. Daedalus and his son, Icarus, build the maze and Minos puts the Minotaur at the Labyrinth's center and lures men there to be eaten. Of course, the King decides that he would rather not have people know that Labyrinth's secret so either locks Daedalus and his son either in the Labyrinth or a tower [depending on the version]. Nevertheless they escape by flight by fashioning makeshift wings. Icarus, however, is foolhardy and flies too high, melting his wings and falling to his death. Daedalus survives and mourns his son in a much safer city and lives to a ripe old age.

And that's the most important part of the least what will inspire me.

The key words being inspired. I have no intention of writing a story that is verbatim or even following the similar turn of events--that would be boring. Rather I plan to use these key elements from the story:

Labyrinth--could be a maze, a machine, prison or a city itself

Minotaur--animal, human, metaphor, ghost, mistake created by science or a machine

Wings/Flight--mechanical, magical, genetic, well made or shoddy

King Minos--rich man, king, eccentric, position of power, old friend

Daedelus--father/mother/brother/sister, brilliant inventor, shambling fraud, old, young

Icarus--son/daughter/brother/sister, innovator, curious, young, old

What a good start...always helps to make up your mind first.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Yes I delve now into the steampunk world...

So that last post was bunk. Sort of.

Anywho, in light of the very fast approaching November and the Nanofest it brings, I must buckle down. So Bloodstone is on the back burner. If ideas come to me while I plot for this next one, then so be it.

But now onto newer things.

All I can say is that it will be a steampunk story...or gaslamp fantasy [as it may be an AU or original world]. There are two potential stories fighting for my attention. One that is hella complicated and another that is a bit simpler and confined to a single novel.

My goal for next Nano is to not only win but to finish the novel, so that any extra work is rough drafting and finalizing.

So what does that mean? Well it means that I need to get all my planning and plotting down. This is best shown with a list [as I like lists], see below:


1. A complete cast of characters [with traits, backgrounds and such]:
Last Nano I got to know most of my characters as I went along--for some that was good, for others not so good. Really bare bones others were flat as paper.

2. An opposing force [for each character]:
Every one has a conflict. Some are the focus of the plot, while others are small and personal. Don't forget them.

3. A working knowledge of my world [maps, lifestyle, history]:
Might not be as necessary for this story, but it is still helpful.

4. A well written plot outline [summary, timeline, key character actions]:
I wanna know what is going to happen before I start. Not all the nitty gritty, but at least an idea. And of course, how it ends!

5. Sketches [of machines, characters, places, etc]:
While imaginative, I can have a hard time describing things. This time I need those images in advance, so the descriptions seem real.

6. Know my villain:
This has got to be the one thing I've had the most issues with. The motivations, goals and desires of my villain or antagonist always seem to fail me.

7. Reference information [historical, scientific, anatomical]:
Since I'm doing Steampunk there needs to be a degree of accuracy in period elements and machinery, so this will be handy.

8. Novel title/cover art [for fun]:
Completely unnecessary, but it would be a nice little project to do.

9. A Nano timeline:
Worked for me last time, it should work again.

10. A lot of patience and a good headstart:
I plan to write a bunch on day one and two as they are on the weekend.

And I need all this before Oct. 31 11:59pm!

We'll see how that goes.


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