Tuesday, January 29, 2008

OK Maybe Just a Little

Last week, I wrote about how Gethsemane does not want to be a spiritual book. But, yesterday, I wrote a three-page sequence where Keeler monologues with God in the form of prayer. Because it's Keeler, it's a riff for the most part, whose centerpiece is a warped rendition of the 23rd Psalm. (Partly based on the LOLCat Bible version, but not so much.) So, even though Gethsemane is not going to have a spiritual theme to it, part of the story development is Keeler wrestling with his personal lack of religious consciousness.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Notes on the Writing

Couple of notes on this week's Book 09 writing. First, I've been kind of concerned that what Keeler decides to do in Chapter 01 doesn't make any sense and is quite out of character for him; i.e. volunteering for what could be, as far as he knows, a suicide mission. My hesitation over why he would do this was inhibiting my writing because I was wondering what was motivating him, and then it smacked me right in the face why he was doing it. And it's interesting because the character knew all along why he was doing it, but it took the idiot author a while to figure it out.

Also, when I first envisioned Book 09 way, way back when outlined the original ten books of WA, I had it in mind that it was going to be a really spiritual book. As the outline has evolved into the story, it's clear that, like a stubborn child, Book 09 doesn't want to be about spirituality. Maybe it's because I think I made my points on religion back in Book 07. But Book 09 just wants to be an adventure tale with a big shoot 'em up at the end. And the mushy bits in the middle want to be less mushy and more hard-headed, in the one place, and less romantic in the other. So, even though all of the books have turned out differently than I first imagined, Book 09 is the one that's just out to be as different from the first idea as possible.

Minor note on characters. There's a minor character in chapter one who was pretty bland, until I just pictured him as Bill Cosby. Then, it all came together. I may have to give him a bigger part.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A tantalizing snippet of dialogue from Book 09

“You mean, you want me to fly a Nemesis through the flaming debris of a destroyed planet and outmaneuver an army of space demons to detonate an anti-matter hyper-missile on its target.”

“Unh-Huh.”

“Neat.”

Friday, January 11, 2008

Book Nine Spoilers

So, things were a little slow yesterday, and so I wrote about five pages of Book 9 (bringing us to about 18 of 120-140 pp) and then started thinking about where I was going with the plot.

Sometimes, you have a set-up in mind in your head, and then you realize, it just isn't going to work. The McGuffin in Book 09 is that because children can't pass through the Heaven's Gate that the Gethsemanens have built to escape the doomed planet, their children have been left abandoned to fend for themselves. One storyline in the book was the effort of the crew to evacuate said children from the doomed planet.

So, yesterday, I'm asking myself, "1. How would that work, as a practical matter? 2. How can I make the rescue interesting and not some cliched Sally-Struthers 'save the children' infomercial?"

My original thought was that the children would have been gathered into one big concentration camp. But then I questioned why a people faced with annihilation would have put together the effort. Besides, having all the kids in one place made the plot a bit facile.

So, I thought the kids are not only abandoned, but scattered around the planet greatly complicating the rescue effort. I thought about how the kids would react to the hope of rescue, and how they would behave after being abandoned. I think they would be somewhat feral. This also complicates the rescue effort.

That's when I got the inspiration. The only way to gather and rescue those children is to stun them first with pulse rifles.

Well, so much for Sally Struthers.

So, now, much of the rising action of the book will involve Marines running around on a planet shooting children with frickin' laser beams. (FYI: Anaconda (Taurus) Rook will be in charge of the evacuation.)

And that, I think, will be pretty cool.