Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Memories of What Never Was Chapter 12 Draft 1

Memories of What Never Was Chapter 12 Draft 1 can be found at the bottom of this page if you feel so inclined to read it.

This chapter has Kriss and Brand getting to know each other.

NaNo Word Count: 5165 (right on track so far)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Memories of What Never Was Chapter 11 Draft 1

So I took a couple weeks off writing because work has been somewhat ridiculous, and to save up a bit of energy for this years NaNoWriMo thingy.  I figured I might as well use it as a stick to prod myself to finish up the first draft of this rewrite.  So, seeing as how today is the first day of November, and the competition is on, I've finished Chapter 11 of the first draft of Memories of What Never Was and if you so fee the great urge to read it, you can do so by clicking here

For anyone unfamilliar with it, National Novel Writing Month is an internet self challenge that happens every November (Nanowrimo.org if you wanna join in, or find out more).  Basically, everyone starts out with the same goal, write 50,000 words in a single month.  That may seem like a lot, or not that much to some people.  For reference, a normal, mainstream novel is usually about 90,000-100,000 words long, A young adult book is usually around 75,000-90,000 words long, with stuff like epic fantasy novels being more like 200,000.  So, basically, it's a self challenge to get yourself half or more done with the first draft of a book in a single month.  And there are prizes for everyone that finishes.  Seeing as how I already had a little over 45,000 words written, I figure I can get pretty close to finishing the first draft this month if, work allowing, I keep up with it.  We'll see what happens.

So, with this chapter I introduce a new little idea I had with Brand in this latest version of this story.  I figure the prophecy of the chosen one who will save the world has been done to death if fiction, so I took that and turned it on it's head.  Brand is actually the one who is prophesied to destroy the world, and he's got heroes and champions coming out of the woodwork to try and murder him everywhere he goes to save the world from him.  I came up with this idea around 3 AM or so while suffering from insomnia and thought it was clever.  We'll see if it actually turns out to be clever or not once I'm done.  It's just that there's so many stories out there about the chosen one who will save the world, including the original version of this one, and I sat there and thought to myself, well what about the other guy, you know, the one he's supposed to be saving the world from.  Also there's a bit more character development for Kriss here.

NaNo Progress: 3100 words

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Memories of What Never Was Chapter 10 Draft 1

So I made some very minor edits to Chapters 2, 3 and 7 so I re-uploaded those to my site, and I also finished up my first draft of chapter 10, you can find them at the bottom of this page.

this chapter has a pretty huge amount of character development in it.  It basically is what gives Brand his reason to fight, and shows Kriss and Raven just how evil the people they've been hunting down for the last 7 years truly are.  The rest of Brand's powers and abilities are shown off here, as well as the consequences he faces for using them, and Kriss' power is really given it's first real showing here as well. 

Memories of What Never Was Chapters 7, 8 and 9 Draft 1

So, there I was, writing full speed ahead with the new changes I planned to make to the story, and then I got to the big opening action scene and went... huh...  So, I knew that I wanted to have an action scene, and a few things that I wanted to happen during it, but I had no idea how to string those things together into an actual scene.  It took me a while to figure it out and get it written.  Well, there was that, and the new deal that the Post Office made with Amazon where we are now delivering 80% of their packages in the USA instead of the 20% we had been before the deal.  This deal basically saved the post office from bankrupsy prety much completely, so I know I really shouldn't complain about it, but I've been working 2-3 extra hours every day because of it, and with all of the bigger, heavier packages I've suddenly been getting, and all the carrying them to doors and stuff, it's really been wearing me out, and when I get home, the last thing I've been wanting to do is sit down and work out what's going to happen in this action scene.  But I'm getting used to the extra work now, and I finally just sat down and plowed through it this weekend.

Soooooo, I've got the first drafts of Memories of What Never Was Chapters 7, 8 and 9 posted on my website, and you can read them by clicking Here.

Hopefully, now that I'm past the part I was stuck on for so long, I can finally get back into a more regular writing schedule and churn out more chapters more quickly.  For the most part, the rest of the book isn't going to play out much differently than the first rewrite attempt did.  There will be a couple of added things here and there, but mostly, it's going to follow the same flow.  I'll probably be rewriting a lot of it, changing up the prose and such, but for the most part, the events will stay the same. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New, improved, revised (yet again) beginning to Memories of What Never Was

Okay, so, like I said last week, I've been revising the beginning of Memories of What Never Was because I wasn't really all that satisfied with how it was turning out.  I was trying to keep the things I'd already written intact in the new version of the story, but they weren't really working with the new story, and needed to be tossed out and changed up a bit, and I also felt that the beginning of the book was a little too boring and a little too heavy on exposition to keep someone's attention, so I decided that I needed to introduce who the characters are and what they're capable of in a much more exciting way, using something I already had in the story, but in a much different way that I'd previously written it, and then expanding it into a huge and somewhat complicated action sequence that does the job of introducing people, places and things, with the added bonus of actually being fun to read.

So, anyway, I've posted the Prologue and chapters 1-6 of the newest version of Memories of What Never Was here if you feel the great urge to read them.  I'm off of work through next Wed, so I expect to get a lot more of it done over the next few days while I don't have the distraction of having to go to work.  The next chapter is where things are really going to start diverging from the original version, and so will probably take more time to get finished, but I'm off for a whole week with nothing else to be doing, so I should be getting it cranked out pretty quick.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Adventures in Road Rage

Sooooooo, a little update on Memories of what never was.  I decided that the beginning I had planned out wasn't really working, and that it needed a bit of changing to something that better shows off who and what the characters are, and what they're capable of.  So that's what I've been working on and why I haven't posted anymore chapters, I'm outlining a new beginning, and decided what, from the original beginning, I want to keep, and what I want to toss out.

Now, onto Adventures in Road Rage...

So, I was driving home from work today, light up ahead of me turned yellow, I was too close to stop without screeching my tires, so I sped through.  Someone in a big white truck in the left turn lane on the other side, leans on his horn as I pass like he thinks he's important or something.  Because, apparently, having to wait 1.7 extra seconds to turn is just too much for him.  He does a U-Turn and follows me to the next light where I stop.  He gets out of his truck all red-faced with veins all bulging from places they're not normally supposed to bulge from.  Right off, seeing this dude in my side mirror coming for me, I can tell that he's got way more muscle than brains, and probably spent his childhood picking on kids like me.  If there's one thing in this world that I absolutely hate, it's a bully.  If there's two things, it's mayo and bullies, but if there's just one, it's definitely bullies.

I could tell that things were probably not going to turn out very well for me if I just sat there, so I reached into my pocket for my trusty, postal issue pepper spray.  We use it to get rid of dogs, but it works just as well on people.

The guy storms up to my window and starts yelling at me about something that I'm sure makes perfect sense to him, but makes absolutely no sense at all to a rational, even semi-intelligent human being.  I told him that I'd be sure to let him know when I start to care, and that I'm sure he'll get over himself one of these days.  I'm kind of a smartass that way.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, this big, brainless douchebag leaned in to punch me through my window, and I let him have a face full of pepper spray.  He made a very satisfying scream and dropped to one knee beside my door with his face in his hands.  This put his head at just the perfect height, and I really couldn't help myself, so I pushed my door open as hard as I could.  It hit him in the face, probably broke his nose from the amount of blood, and knocked him flat.  I jumped out, and grabbed a folding shovel I keep in my back seat in case I get stuck in the snow, and went about expressing my displeasure with his attitude and assumptions that I was just going to sit there and allow him to bully me.  I got in a couple good whacks before someone from another car grabbed me and stopped me.  Big, muscly bully was on the ground in a fetal position and crying by this time, and I really couldn't bring myself to sympathize with him or even feel all that bad about going postal on him.  I've long felt that bullies are worthless wastes of human life, and this guy was really no exception in my estimation.

So the police arrived shortly after, got the story from me, asked witnesses to verify that was what happened, and arrested the guy who tried to punch me, asking if I wanted to press assault charges.  Which I most certainly do.  I asked if I was in trouble or anything, and he told me that four witnesses saw the other guy take the first swing, so I was clearly defending myself, which is perfectly legal.  He eyed my work ID hanging around my neck and said, "remind me never to F%&k with a postal worker.  You're like half that guy's size and he's in the back of my car bawling like a baby."

So yeah, could I have handled that better?  Definitely.  But, you know what, I was bullied so much as a kid, that it just sets me off like nothing else can.  It's really the only thing that gets me mad enough to do violence to someone else.  In my experience, bullies will NEVER leave you alone, unless you beat them mercilessly into submission.  If this guy is going to be so childish as to think that real life is still elementary school and he can push around anyone smaller than he is just because, he's going to find out very fast that I've had enough of playing that game, and have absolutely no patience or tolerance for it.  I will fight dirty, and I will make sure that he understands that if he ever attacks me again, he is going to end up crying in the back of a police car, on his way to a holding cell for the night.  I had my fill of being bullied.  I will not be bullied again.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memories of What Never Was - Chapter 3 - Draft 1

So I've finished up the first draft of Memories of What Never Was Chapter 3, and if you're so inclined, you can read it at the bottom of this page.

This chapter hasn't changed much from the previous version of it.  Mostly what was added were a lot more character building moments for Kriss, to show how truly messed up she really is inside.  Most of the dialog is the same, but a lot of her inner thoughts and feelings are different, making the dialog mean something completely different in places, by giving it a completely different context.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Memories of What Never Was - Chapter 2 - Draft 1

So I've finished the next chapter of Memories of What Never Was, Chapter 2, and you can read it if you are so inclined by clicking right here

This chapter is Brand's introduction.  This character has changed so many freaking times over the many different versions of this story that I can't even remember what he was originally intended to be.  Now he's an outcast, bitter at the world, but wanting to find a place in it, who constantly makes jokes and sarcastic comments about just about everything in order to make others laugh and put them at ease around him, being that he's something of a monster out of legend and all.  Something I wanted to do with him is have a sort of running commentary going on in his head, making fun of pretty much everything that crosses his path, and to have him have actual conversations with himself inside his head.  I think I did pretty well with that, and with giving him the right personality I was going for with his character.  He's kind of a comic relief character that also has his deep dark demons that he deals with, as you'll see near the end of the chapter.  This is a really long chapter because a lot of really important things needed to happen in it.  Brand had to be introduced, as well as his plight, his connection with Kriss needed to be hinted at, and some of the background of the world had to be filled in.  I hope I was able to do a better job of showing instead of telling as I kind of tend to do while setting up worlds.  I think I did, but I'm somewhat biased. 

And on I go to the next.  With the new prologue, Kriss' new introduction, and Brand's new introduction out of the way, things are going to be more closely following the first complete rewrite I did of this book for a while, meaning I'll hopefully be able to crank out a few more chapters with a bit more speed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Adventures in Mail Delivery Part 1701

So, for the first time ever, my route is actually big enough to get a substitute carrier to fill in on my days off.  That's the job I used to have before I got my own route.  It is, basically, a terrible job, because you are only guaranteed a single day of work per week.  And, during the rest of the week, any other work is given out by seniority, and rarely scheduled in advance, meaning that you work 1 day a week, and are on call the other 5 business days.  Which, in turn, means that you cannot have another day job, or take school classes during the day, because you might get a call, and have to go in to work, and if you say no, you get fired.  As you go up in seniority, you get more steady work, but until you've gone up to, say, the top three seniority spots, you're not really getting much work beyond your one day a week. 

Anyway, so, my route is finally big enough that I get a day off every week, and they finally hired someone to cover my days off.  So I've been training this guy this week.  Now, one thing most people don't realize is how dirty mail is.  It's really, really dirty.  After a day of handling it, your hands are pretty much completely black with it.  It happens every day, and there's really not much you can do about it other than wash your hands when you're done.  So, I'm out, sitting in the back of the truck and reading a book while my new minion does all the work for me, because, really, if you had your very own minion, wouldn't you?  And this guy starts freaking out.  I mean, like, literally, freaking out, twitching, mumbling to himself, etc.  I deliver to two schools, a gas station, and an Arctic Circle.  When we got to the first of them, before I could even show him where to take the mail, he makes a mad dash for the bathroom like his bladder is one drip short of critical mass.  He spent like five entire minutes just washing his hands.  Seriously.  Five whole minutes.  Doesn't sound like a lot?  You try washing your hands for five minutes straight.  He did this at the next school, and the gas station, and the Arctic Circle as well.  Not to make light of mental disorders such as OCD, but holy crap man, this is a dirty job.  If you can't handle that, it's probably not the job for you.

So, the next day he brought latex gloves to wear.  And all four of those stops he went into the bathroom and washed the freaking gloves.  This day, he was asking me all sorts of weird questions. 

"What happens when it rains?" 
"You get wet, obviously.  You work outside.  Weather happens." 
"But I can't get wet, do you know how dirty rain water is?"

"What happens when it gets really hot in the summer?  This truck has air conditioning, right?"
"Oh sweet, naive child.  Do you honestly believe that the post office would actually pay for you to be using air conditioning in the summer?  You're going to be hot and miserable.  Bring lots of water."
"But... but I'll get all sweaty!"
"Why, yes.  Yes you will."

"There's bird crap on that mailbox.  I don't actually have to touch it, do I?"
"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor avian excrement shall stay these carriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
"Ah, man.  Seriously!  I actually have to touch that?"

"We don't go out in the snow, right?"
"So you've never gotten mail on days with snow before?"
"But I'll get all wet and messy!"
"I've heard that the sky is blue, but I've never bothered looking up to see for myself..."

By the end of the day I was just messing with his head for the fun of it because I finished my book and didn't have anything else to do but prod the mentally ill person for my own amusement.  I'm a humanitarian at heart.  I mean, honestly, what did he think he was signing up for when he applied for the job.  You're outside and exposed to every form of weather that happens by.  You're going to get wet, and sweaty, and messy and dirty.  Mail has dirt on it like you wouldn't believe without seeing it for yourself, and the ink on many of the full coverage adds that we deliver also comes off on your hands, making them even more dirty.  If you can't handle your hands getting a little dirty, maybe a job where you are primarily using your hands to handle pieces of paper that have come from all over the world, and gone through several different sorting machines is not exactly the career choice for you.  Just a thought.  And, hello, you know you're going to be working outside, and you don't expect to be exposed to... you know... OUTSIDE THINGS!!!

Yeah, I've been just shaking my head in amusement at this guy all week.  I do not expect him to last long.  There's wanting to be clean, and then there's crazy.  This guy is definitely on the crazy side of it.  I can understand OCD compulsions.  I have a few of them myself, but I know how to ignore them and keep them from ruling my life.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Memories of What Never Was Prologue and Chapter 1

Soooooooo, I've finished polishing up my first drafts of the Prologue and Chapter 1 of my new complete rewrite of Beyond the Lost Horizon, titled Memories of What Never Was.  You can read these shiny new chapters here if you are so inclined.  And they are both shiny and new.  Neither of these chapters appeared in any form in the previous two incarnations of this story.

The prologue is a recounting of what happened to Kriss on that night seven years ago.  This is not the same prologue as was originally included in the previous two incarnations.  That prologue has been moved to be the prologue of book 2 of the trilogy now.  Because of where I broke the story to make the ending of the first book, this book needs to center around Kriss' character.  The climax is all her being awesome, and it would be pretty unsatisfying if she didn't have a back story, a characters, or develop as a person to the point where she can be that awesome.  So, naturally, we get Kriss' backstory in the prologue, and we're introduced to her again as she is in the present day in chapter one.  The Prologue kind of sets the stakes for the series, showing what the eventual goal is, and why the villains are the villains, where chapter one shows what it has done to Kriss as a person, and how she will need to progress and grow if she is to overcome what has been done to her.

Something that really bothers me in fiction, and I see it from both male and female authors alike, is that when a character is raped, severely abused, or both, it never seems to change them as a person.  They're still the same person afterward as they were before.  They move on with their lives and soon forget that anything even happened.  When in actuality, those sorts of things leave severe psychological, emotional, and physical problems in their wake that can utterly destroy a person's life, relationships, and everything for years, if not decades to come before they are finally able to deal with it, accept it, and move on with their lives.  I thought that it would make for an interesting character and for interesting character development to have a character who was the victim of rape and abuse, but instead of focusing on the acts themselves as many authors do, I would focus purely on the emotional and psychological consequences, while barely even referencing what brought them about.  Sort of a turning of the tables completely on what the norm, in fiction, seems to be, and show the character trying to struggle her way through depression, suicidal tendencies, OCD, PTSD, and RTS.  I mean, what would you think was more entertaining, a rape scene, or a character trying desperately to come to terms with it, struggling to find some sort of meaning or justification in even continuing to live, and finally overcoming and finding a way to cope with and accept what has been done to her?  Personally, I think the latter is far more intriguing, entertaining, and most importantly, realistic.  I've done quite a bit of research on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Rape Trauma Syndrome, so that I can get her character just right for this story.  That's pretty much what I've been doing for the last three months since my schedule at work cleared up.  I didn't want to start writing before I knew exactly how Kriss was going to act and react to things.

Welp, like I said, my schedule at work has gone from 80 hours a week every week, to about 30 hours a week every week, and that, finally, gives me some time to get back to work on this book.  I hope to actually start making some progress on it pretty quickly here. But, in the long run, I think that the time I spent working rather than writing ended up being a good thing for this story, because it was during that time where I came up with some of the best ideas to bring into it.  So I guess there was a silver lining to that storm cloud after all. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

Happy Easter all.

I'm taking the day off from writing to watch General Conference and do family stuff, but I figured I'd give a little update on what it is I'm actually doing to Beyond the Lost Horizon/The Eternal Chain/Memories of What never Was/whatever name I think of to call it next.

When I realized that the story was, indeed, a bit too long to make the standalone novel that I wanted it to be, I also realized that the first book was going to need to be extraordinary in order to be able to sell not only it, but the other two books that finish the story.  I started looked for good places to cut the story, and found two very good ones that do divide the story into pretty neat thirds.  Each third would have a pretty decent climax IF I did a bit of reshuffling the characters, viewpoints, motivations, and other such things.  I came up with the idea that the three books of the trilogy would each center around one of the three characters dealing with their respective baggage.  So, the breaking point where I'm planning to end the first book centers around Kriss doing something awesome.  Which means that the first book really needs to be her story, who she is, why she is the way she is, and what will drive her to do this awesome thing at the end.  Which meant that she needed to have an actual character arc, rather than just sort of being there, and she needed a reason to be who she is, which meant that my awesome prologue was, unfortunately, about the wrong character.  I've decided that each of the three books would begin with a flashback to what the character that the book centers around was doing on that night seven years ago when the world basically went to hell.  And so, I moved my original prologue to be the prologue of book 2, which will be Brand's story, and wrote a completely new one detailing what happened to Kriss seven years ago.  Which meant I needed to develop a more in-depth back story for her.  The bask story I came up with didn't really fit her personality... so I did something sneaky.  I switch her personality with Brand's angry, sarcastic personality and made him a bit more upbeat and altruistic.  Now I have a great beginning for her as a character, I have a pretty good journey for her to go on in terms of character development, and I have a excellent climax where she overcomes some pretty nasty things in her past and does something completely freaking awesome that basically single-handedly saves the world from utter destruction.  Oh, and I also gave her the magical power to manipulate the emotions of others too, which was kind of the missing piece to her as a person.  I needed a reason for WHY all of this happened to her, and this ability, completely unique to her, became it.  It also ties in deeply with her character arc, her struggle and torment as a character, and her eventual ability to overcome it and become what she needs to be in order to be incredibly awesome at the end. 

Anyway, I'm still doing some work on my new prologue and rewritten beginning, but as soon as I deem the first draft ready for human consumption I'll be sure to post it on my site.  Until then, enjoy your Easter weekend all =)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's been a while...

Welp, it's been a while since I actually had time to do anything but eat, sleep and work, but now my hours at work have finally gone back to normal, and will now stay that way.  Which means I actually have time for some writing.  So, while waiting on test reader feedback for I Am Nobody, I've gone back to my complete rewrite of Beyond the Lost Horizon.  I've come to realize in the three years since I set it aside because it was still missing something, that the story is going to need to be split.  So I've outlined a trilogy, rather than a single book.  I've also come up with a completely new magic system to use in it, which has actual rules and limitations beyond "it does whatever the characters need at any given time" and I've better solidified how this story fits into the greater story that's going on in the background of all of my other stories.  After a few years of thinking about it, and working things out, and putting real rules and applications to the magic, I think I can now write a much better story than I would have had I gone on to finish it way back when.  So now I'm basically completely rewriting the complete rewrite of Beyond the Lost Horizon.  The trilogy title will be The Eternal Chain, with the first book being titled Memories of What Never Was.  It's slow going, because The story is kind of a bit of a mindf#%k and there's a lot of little details that have to go into it perfectly or it won't work in the end.  I'm 2 chapters in, and have a long way to go before I have yet another first draft finished.  I'll start posting them on my site soon.

And now for some sad news.  The world's Science Fiction community has lost one of it's oldest, and most well recognizable members.  Leonard Nimoy died yesterday of heart failure at the age of 83.  For the last 50 years he has been a big part of shaping the entire Sci-fi genre as we know it today.  Most recognizable in his role as Spock in Star Trek, he has also been seen in numerous other Sci-fi movies, TV series, and in director/writer/producer roles in many, many others.  He spent the better part of his life doing what he could to build up the genre as something respectable, and I think that he has certainly helped to bring Science Fiction into a more serious light than it was previously seen before his contributions.  His passing has left a rather large and gaping hole in the Sci-fi community that can never be filled by anyone else.  I want to thank him for a lifetime of great entertainment, and wish him peace now that it is over.  He lived long, and prospered.  May his memory, and his legacy, do the same.