Friday, April 28, 2017

Writing a mystery

So I'm probably not going to make my Camp Nano goal for this month, and I'm at peace with that. I've had a chance to dig back into a story that's been languishing for a bit, and I'm enjoying that. However, it's definitely revealing some areas of weakness that I hadn't noticed before.

The story started as an urban fantasy setting, but, well, plot needs to be a thing, too. So my plot became a murder mystery, and that's where things got...interesting. I know who did it, and I have a decent idea of how, but I'm having a hard time 1) figuring out why (other than demons, but even demons need motivation) and 2) giving any of this information to the main characters. They're cops, so there are some things they're going to be able to get pretty easily. They're also cops familiar with the more fantastic elements of this world, so that will help. But what ties the victims together and how the cops will figure that out is still, well, a mystery.

I realize that part of this is what happens when I start writing without a complete, firm outline; at the same time, this is part of why I like the hybrid approach of outlining and winging it. Right now, I've just gotten to a point where I'm stuck after winging it for a bit, and I think I'm going to have to go back and outline from here in order to move forward.

Also, I need to decide just how connected the victims need to be. Victims of circumstance or opportunity are part of our world now, where someone's just crossing paths with a murderer because it's Tuesday or what have you. I'm just trying to figure out if that would be a cop-out - there is no connection, everything's random - or if it would be a bit too on the nose to have everything linked. If any of you have opinions on this, please feel free to let me know.

And now, back to writing. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Break for Norwescon

Norwescon was the first convention I ever went to, lo these many moons ago. I had been a geek for a very long time, obviously, but there was something very different about being a geek with a small circle of like-minded friends, and learning that there was a whole community of us. It was a little overwhelming, to be honest.

I'll never say that the geek community as a whole is perfect. It's made up of people, after all, and people aren't perfect - something it's always good to keep in mind. Still, there's something freeing about being surrounded by people who understand the excitement you bring when discussing books, movies, games, or other media. It's rare to be able to find someone who understands how exciting it is that a new book by a favorite author is coming out, and is willing to listen to you discourse about the pros and cons of the series.

Additionally, there's the joy of watching people learn about new things. There are frequently things that people will bring up, either during the panels or during random conversations, that I've never heard of, and never knew I needed in my life until that moment. There's something magical about watching someone fall in love with a media property, game, book, or any other thing that falls under the "geek" umbrella (which, frankly, is everything - being a geek is about how you love, not what you love).

Monday, April 10, 2017

Camp Nanowrimo Day 10

So far, doing pretty well! Also, I'm rather fond of this one, so have a bit of Steve and Human-Steve.

Steve was troubled, there was no other way to put it. Several of the humans had hidden themselves away in one of the smaller recreational rooms, and on occasion there were loud thumps and other sounds that indicated someone might be in danger. Any time someone would attempt to enter the room and see what the problem was, however, they were rebuffed.

Steve knew that Human-Steve was in the room, and had been for some time. It was not like Human-Steve to spend so much time around others, as he was what he called an “introvert” and preferred to spend time alone. Whatever was happening in that room must have been very important to the humans in order to draw Human-Steve’s attention.

Steve had walked by the door of the room again, trying to find the best way to enter without being noticed, when the door opened and Human-Steve stumbled toward the hallway. “Steve!” he shouted, reaching out in the human gesture called a hug. “Buddy, you gotta come see this!” Before Steve could move their tentacles out of Human-Steve’s reach, they had been grasped (gently) and pulled into the room.

Inside, the room was even louder than Steve had imagined. A large viewscreen took up one wall, and there were several moving symbols flying across it. In front of the viewscreen were two humans, each bouncing and moving their feet in some complicated method that Steve could not decipher. They looked up at Human-Steve, their confusion causing the hairs on their torso to curl.

“Dude! It’s DDR.” Human-Steve reached over to an open box and pulled out a can. “You know, I bet with all those tentacles, you’d kill at this.”

Before Steve needed to react to this frightening statement, the sound from the viewscreen ended, and one of the humans called to their roommate. “Your turn! Try to beat that score.”

“Hold my beer!” Human-Steve cried, which was greeted with many cheers. Steve had heard this phrase brought up in many conversations with humans, and wanted no part in watching their roommate attempt something either ridiculous or deadly. Or both. Steve fled in the ensuing chaos, hoping they would see their roommate again in one piece.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Q1 Round-up and Camp Nanowrimo Day 7

Starting with the second thing first, Camp Nanowrimo is going slowly so far. I believe I'm overthinking the Steve and Human-Steve drabbles, which is making it difficult to make progress. I also decided to spend some quality time with Living Cities, which right now involves reading through what I drafted and remembering what the devil was going on. Fortunately, reading through it is giving me inspiration to work on it again, huzzah!

And now, the round-up:

Words written YTD: 364 on one project (S&H-S). I did mention that it was going slowly, right? To be fair (or not), I hadn't actually written anything until earlier this week.

Writer-ly things accomplished: Technically I wrote a couple of short bits on Tumblr, but they don't feel like they count, somehow. Even so, I'm getting back into the swing of things.

New books read: Many comics/graphic novels, the first book of the Craft series (now nominated for a Hugo), and a book on the history of the severed head in science and society (appropriately titled "Severed").

Old books re-read: More Discworld, the first three books and many of the short stories of the Incryptid series