Monday, August 9, 2010

AugNoWriMo: First Week (or so) Progress

Things are continuing to get interesting in Spanner land during AugNoWriMo. So far I've got two days of writing under my belt. (Of course I'm behind, but because of Panic Time I have no worries about losing AugNo.) I've managed to find more places for more of the scenes I've been planning since the mid-'90s, and I've even discovered a creative way to reuse one scene that was made obsolete by the switch from analog (and CRT) to digital (and flat-screen) TV.

Now finished: chapter 5 from JulNoWriMo. It's now twice the size of the JulNo original, has a different name ("Here Come the Brides" rather than "Strange Brides"), and incorporates even more new scenes and some new global context.

Now finished: the plot and dialogue of the Intro (in effect, chapter 0). Everything, that is, except for the really really tricky Sci-Fi Physics involved in accelerating a spaceship to faster-than-light speed with a Reality Distortion Field generator in an attempt to cancel a self-destructing present time.

Replaced: all of chapter 2. I may, though, edit the original chapter 2 into the new one. I can get away with it since I'm jumping back and forth in time now, as if to monkeywrench the idea of story itself. Even though plot is one of the strongest things about Spanner.

Back in the mid-'90s, I planned a Videodrome homage scene early in the story in which a couch potato gets swallowed by the lips on a big-screen CRT TV. Problem is, the television standards completely changed on us. Instead of the old-fashioned, bulky, low-resolution cathode ray tubes, the new standard is high-definition and flat-screen. That means I can no longer use that particular Absurd Sci-Fi Literalization, much less its sequel, the "TV Heads" story arc, in which people emerge with TVs instead of heads. Besides, my years of Ayn Rand influence eventually got me writing more like a Heinleinian realist. The TV Heads are gone, at least for now, though the "zombie" motif (part of the "assimilant" theme that remains all but unchanged from the late '90s) may compensate for its loss. As for the "TV swallows guy" scene? I put it into the very first section of the new chapter 2, which introduces two major threads, "Al-Qaeda in America" (Shira pwns Islamic terrorists) and "Rebel Styles" (self-produced child porn drives men to madness, murder, and/or suicide). They converge in a dream scene, in which I borrow from an "evil portal" dream I read in a dream book (a TV resembling the one Spanner smashes in chapter 1 is, of course, the evil portal) and a paraphrase of the nightmare scene in the nineteenth-century French Decadent novel À Rebours (French, English). I noticed as I was writing it that I was using the "technique of decadence" I developed but only wrote about (it doesn't appear in any of my fragmentary scripts) while I was reading Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae; in that technique, I inflict the return of the repressed in a big way on puritanical characters (villains in Spanner). (On a side note, if you've read both Ayn Rand and Camille Paglia, you'll notice that my writing style is far more Paglia than Rand. And the entire "Rebel Styles" storyline would have been impossible without encountering Sexual Personae and the yaoi manga Desperate Love 1989 in quick succession.)

Also in the new chapter 2, I manage to introduce these characters from my fifteen Project Notebooks, in order of appearance: Karl Radisson (Europol chief; Australian), Deth Pussy (hacker, first introduced in Bad Company), Diana (Becket) Shockley (FBI or Europol agent, Shira's original nemesis from the earliest notes in '92), Desiree Richter-Thomas (Shira's older half-sister), and Dr. Willa Richter-Thomas (Shira's aunt; psychologist and dissident).

Chapter 2 seems to be lacking a bit of plot. But then, its purpose is to launch story threads and introduce major supporting characters. The "jumping back and forth in the timeline" method may get a excessive because of it. However, its purpose is to establish context rather than advance plot per se.

My AugNo so far: 2,488 words on the 6th, 3,377 on the 8th, 5,865 for the month so far. I may seem far behind now, but remember: this is how I start. Panic Time takes care of the rest.

Oh, and by the way, today is 8/9/10.

Back to the writing. My next victims: chapters 1 and 3...

Back to Spanner’s World...

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