I wanted to post a quick update from the half-way point to confess I have been otherwise occupied for the last several days. My word count has stalled at a little over 17,000 words. Hopefully I can get things moving again over the next couple of days: Even two or three great days will have me back on track.
A few of things I’m pretty confident of after two weeks of plugging away at this thing:
1) I’m not funny, or satirical, or humourous. Where I can provoke a smirk out of a reader, it’s when the obvious ‘straight man’ unexpectedly cracks wise. My original intention was to use the conversations between a narrator who has lived for millennia and a physical incarnation of Death as a light-hearted framing device between episodes of historical fiction. I’ve been trying that for days now, and I cannot convincingly make that work. Not in 30 days, anyway.
2) As such, my admittedly provisional title is probably not long for this world. If I can’t create a spark between the narrator and the backpacker, Death is just going to have to be demoted from title-worthy down to conclusion-driving device. We’ll see if I can still work in a bit of character development: I haven’t lost all hope here. I’m just admitting things have not evolved as I would have wished.
3) When I get going, I can shoot out 2,000 words as easily as I can whistle a happy tune. When I’m trying to get going, though, it’s like pushing a gold fish across a soccer field with your nose: It’s not an impossibility, but getting it done is a laborious task, and it would probably be a sight to see if a would-be spectator should wander by.
Anyway, I need to go change my laundry load. That and writing are all I have left to do today. Happy writing for some and reading for all. Cheers!
After re-reading my first chapter, I am somewhat ashamed of myself. It’s not very good. But it gets better. I want things to be funnier, but I’m not very good at making up comedy without a straight man to set me up.
Anyway, today I found myself leaping around with my axe down crazy ice covered side hill landscape. I descended into marshy black spruce with light fluffy old man’s beard. I plucked a bunch of it and lit the rager to end all ragers. I could see my smoke signals rising from 30km away even after we picked up all four other guys. While I was flying, I realized that I don’t play my guitar that much anymore. And I thought, I’ve got to stop swinging this axe and start swinging my axe. I thought that was pretty funny. Anyway, comedy show tonight and then an early bed time. I will scribble a little more into my text edit document and then hit the hay. Hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am. Or at least isn’t going insane.
I had this idea when I started NaNoWriMo this year. I was going to kill a ton of characters. Each chapter would be about one person. At the end of the chapter, that person would die. The next chapter would be about the person who killed them. It was going to be lots of fun, murdering all these poor innocent characters. And every chapter would be a new person with a new life story to share, at length, if I got stuck for words.
It just didn’t work out that way. I started off with a squirrel, and he died like he was supposed to. A hungry cat got him. Then the cat got hit by a girl on a bike, as planned. But the girl decided she didn’t want to die. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo and uncooperative plot lines”
Hello! I’m now about 15,000 words into Grindstone Baby. Things are going surprisingly well, although I am hesitant to share very much, due to how rough it all is. Some passages are downright…. precious. But actually, my favorite part has been writing dialogue so far. It’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m finding it hard to not get carried away. My favorite character is Gordon, who is in this scene. He’s this really sarcastic and mean gay guy in his mid-twenties who works at H&M and is Sabine’s best friend.
Previous to this scene, Gordon & Sabine went to a bar opening and then to a party, after which Sabine woke up in the park. Here, they meet over pho to try and figure out exactly what happened the night before, and come to no real conclusions. I hope you enjoy it!
Continue reading “Post-Traumatic Pho”
My name is Tyler Brown and I am looking forward to adding my own brand of science fiction to Stranger Than Truth. I have a couple stories I am currently editing with Marcus Carab to put up on the site shortly.
I will also be joining the NaNoWriMo writing spree this month with a story about a time traveler and the amazing business wear he possesses in The Man In the Ten Billion Dollar Suit.
I hope you enjoy it.
Editor’s Note: Ian calls me ‘benevolent’ a total of three times in this article. I have no idea why.
As promised, I’m going to talk a bit about one of the apps I’ve been using for my iPhone Challenge. In order to make posts on the blog during NaNoWriMo, I have to use the WordPress iOS app. Before I get into it though I’ll say this….I’m at Disgraceland DJing right now. Elizabeth Kurz is beside me writing her NaNo in her notebook, and will probably be typing it up and blogging about it later when she’s at her computer… and I’m blogging about mine right now FROM MY FUCKING PHONE. My point is, I love this app. It is amazing. The iPhone Challenge would be impossible without it.
Having said that, there are a few flaws with it that I should point out, not to be critical of the good volunteers who made the app, but to be helpful to others who may be using it. Continue reading “iPhone Challenge: Review of the WordPress App”
Editor’s Note: Recently we featured some engrossing poetry from Ekstasis Amor while we waited for his novel to take shape. Now the shape-taking has begun, and the lyricist seeks feedback!
Tentative first chapter of ‘The Kleptocracy’. Comments regarding the intelligibility of this selection would be greatly appreciated! Continue reading “‘He was pale even to the lips,’”
This week we’ve seen the NaNoWriMo beginnings of Elizabeth Kurz, Geoff Micks, Halton Stoves and Tasty Yumyum, and we’ve had teasers from Ian Worte, Ekstasis Amor, Drew Beaudoin and Tim Dallimore. Meanwhile, I’ve been falling further and further behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. I don’t even want to type out the number—suffice to say it’s around a quarter of what it should be.
That being said, I’ve finally hit a reasonable groove, and I’m ready to present the first few pages of my presently untitled work, to be temporarily referred to as A Sticky City Story. I realized that whatever I wrote for NaNo had to be something I could have some psychotic fun with, so I send you into this fictional world with a warning: it will be surreal; it will be whimsical; it will contain elements of science fiction and mystic realism; it will be filled with unreliable characters and related to you by unreliable narrators; and it will very likely be full of plot holes until I edit it in December.
For the tone and style I took a little inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut and Samuel Beckett, with a splash of Cory Doctorow (though I’ve only read one of his novels). The structure (a series of short chapters from various points of view, which by the time I am done will number in the dozens) is inspired by one of my favourite novels, a WW2 epic by Louis de Bernières.
Read on and enjoy—and may I be the first to say: Welcome to Sticky City.
Continue reading “Guns, Magic & Parrots: Welcome to Sticky City”
Editor’s Note: Last week Tim Dallimore told us a little bit about his NaNoWriMo 2010 project, which I believe is untitled for the time being, and now he has checked in from Dawson City with the first draft of the first chapter. Anyone who knows Tim will not be surprised to learn that it opens on a flirtatious moment with a pretty girl and ends with an over-the-top occurrence. Read on and enjoy! Continue reading “NaNoWriMo from the North”
Editor’s Note: Yesterday we presented Part One of Chapter Two from Life Loves Death, the NaNoWriMo project of Geoff Micks. If you missed that, check it out first (or if you missed the first chapter, start there instead) then dive into this glorious second half, which finds our timeless hero in a Stone Age winter. Continue reading “Live Loves Death, Chapter Two (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)”