Monday, July 28, 2008

Bad Company Preview #2: Chapter 1

Last entry, I posted the opening scene of Bad Company as a preview. I hope I opened it with a bang. Now here's the first part of Chapter 1, introducing one of the two main characters: Charlie Thomas (a woman), a troubled pop singer who can no longer sing. The other main character is her sister Desiree, who runs away from their tyrannical mother, cult guru and fascist stage mother Drusilla Becket. Now what does all this have to do with Dictel Corporation? Drusilla herself is the direct connection at first, as she's the youngest of the nine Becket siblings who own the company. She has no role in the actual running of the company — it's the three oldest brothers who actually run the company, and especially the eldest, Colonel Tom Becket — but as a channeller and cult guru, she is the spiritual leader of the clan.

So here's the opening to Chapter 1 of Bad Company, still unfinished in the second draft. (Bad Company excerpt © Dennis Jernberg)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bad Company Preview #1: Prologue

I haven't posted lately because I've suffered a bad case of writer's block for the past 11 days. It's finally broken now, so I'm able to write again, and post on forums and my blogs.

Now down to business. To give something of the flavor of Bad Company, I've decided to post excerpts of the prologue and first chapter. First, here's the novel's opening, in the version from the currently unfinished second draft. If there's a vague resemblance to, say, the 1999 Seattle anti-WTO riots, there's a reason for that which I'll explain later. (Bad Company excerpt © 2008 Dennis Jernberg)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

JulNoWriMo: The Midterm Report

Here's my progress, or lack thereof, this month so far:
  • Bad Company (for JulNoWriMo): 14,014 words written
  • Spanner (second draft): 2 pages rewritten; difficult plotting of first part of opening begun; however, no drawing done yet
  • Songs (for 50 Songs in 90 Days): The first batch of song titles chosen, including the title tracks to my planned albums: Enter the Fist (the Sonic Disruptors) and Mind Virus (the Memetic Terrorists); however, I haven't resumed my guitar lessons yet
Needless to say, I need to pick up the pace again if I want to meet my goals this month:
  1. at least 50,000 words of the BadCo second draft (I now know I'll have to carry it over into AugNoWriMo, delaying Black Science for yet another month)
  2. the second draft of at least the first issue of Spanner
  3. write at least 10 songs

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Problem with Political Thrillers

There's a kind of suspense thriller that focuses on political problems and even protest. It is, of course, the political thriller. But from what I've read about political thrillers, most of them, especially the left-wing ones, share a commmon problem. It's inherent in the structure of the standard thriller:

There's only one hero.

Why is having just one hero (or a few at most) a problem? Well, political problems are collective problems. Thus, the ideal protagonist of a (left-wing) political thriller is the catalyst hero, a hero whose purpose is to call for other people to fight the Evil as to fight the Evil themself. This is Shira in Spanner. She may be effective enough at subverting the power system (e.g., the United State and its state-capitalist corporate raider controllers), but to destroy it she needs to get a critical mass of the people onto her side. So she must act as herald, bringing the "call to adventure" (in this case, revolution) to as many people as possible. She must be a catalyst.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Goals for July 2008

This is my first post in over 3 whole weeks. Last month I put so much effort into the Bad Company synopsis, wrestling that elusive plot into workable shape for the first time, that I neglected everything else. Well, here's my goals for this month:
  1. For JulNoWriMo, at least write 50,000 words of Bad Company. Better yet, finish the second draft!
  2. Edit Spanner and complete the second draft of at least #1.
  3. For 50 Songs in 90 Days (hosted by FAWM), write at least 10 songs this month, including songs for Charlie to sing in BadCo.
  4. Start learning the guitar again.
  5. Learn enough HTML to design a website of my own that's not "plain-Jane".
Unlike last month, I don't have to battle the BadCo plot; I finally fixed it last month. (I have been doing some worldbuilding notes, though.) The only enemy I still have to beat is procrastination.