Originally posted on Jodie Llewellyn:
I wrote Isla & Morax by the seam of my pants.
I actually planned/plotted out Wrapped in Darkness which I thought was going to work amazingly well… 47,000 words later, my book is looking NOTHING like its original plan.
My problem, was that I got the first four chapters down and then realised the book actually started in chapter five. So chapter five became chapter one and then I decided I didn’t like a character, so I got rid of him, then my main character didn’t have enough personality, so she underwent a makeover. 47,000 words later… my novel has taken on a life of its own, plot outline chucked out the window.
I think the story is definitely better because of it… but geez, talk about a novel writing itself. Does this happen to anyone else? You think you know…
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Exiled from a far off, in-between world. Angelic transdimensional beings, called Vril came to hide in and inhabit NPC boss avatars, intended to regulate the virtual-heaven Char. From there, these Vril asserted influence over Falcanian culture, and shaped it to their whims. Upon his death, the Vril renegades reconstituted Dr. Turhan Korelia in an avatar body of his very own.
Thus Vecron Prime, or Blue Ghost had been created.
Vecron Prime, thankful for Char because both Falcanians and it seemed also, his Morningstar children were inherently keyed into the virtual-heaven, which provided the Blue Ghost an uncomplicated highway to guide those Neo-humans he’d manufactured. Not only could he enter positronic brains and shape Morningstar morals, Vecron could occupy chassis.
It’d been aeons, since he last forged a Morningstar.
The Forge and Anvil spun up.
Clang, rang the hammer onto the IRAD circuit. Each strike, or ping stamped Vecron Prime’s will into the program as intricate etchings, a wizardly glyph. Only few could ever understand or manipulate this god-like engineering. The Morningstar he now built would be Vecron Prime’s most powerful. Vecron configured not just a body, he reforged souls. Vril and Falcanian fragments, aligned to be one being. Embedded in this robust body, Vril technology, that could render his creation enormous power. Though he built more than a chassis. Vecron constructed armor, weaponry, and equipment blueprints into the IRAD circuit.
Should one have happened upon this panorama, they’d be confronted by Nadia — Eyes ablaze, in blue-incandescence. Swept up in her trance, Nadia masterfully worked the Forge and Anvil like her Father-Creator had once used it to fabricate she and her many siblings. Were one endowed with a particular sort of eyesight, they’d behold a phantom manipulate Nadia’s limbs as his own instrument, guide her in resolute blows of the elaborate hammer.
Probably for the best, that Nadia, would not remember…
IRAD completed, Vecron Prime began the next step. He’d now construct the embryo with a clump of raidun90. Data manipulated raw materiel, and induced inception. Soon after, a Cluster of spheres, just a bit bigger than that of a large marble rose from the Anvil. Normally Dr. Turhan Korelia would’ve next placed it into an artificial womb to maximize its gestation. Not even however, his accelerated growth protocol could do what needed to be done. Besides, this was no ordinary Morningstar. Vecron Prime required lots of power and mass to accomplish his goal.
Just to make it clear, Morningstars are constructed. Yes, Dr. Korelia began as a genetic engineer, and doubtless his grasp of human DNA plays a role in the outcome of what he created, but Morningstars are machines, made flesh. Flesh that is not animal based. A whole different order of life.
The furthest thing from recombined clones… Be they Replicants, or humanoid Cylons.
Allow me to share, my friend, Paul Rogov’s foray into science fiction. There’s a Terminator quality to this excerpt. With a bit of PK Dick to boot.
Warping-out to normal space, the Gunstar orgasmed.
Forward-swept wings, tipped by lethal pulse cannons, extended from a flat angular fuselage. Four tail-wings were orientated at right angles in order to achieve atmospheric stability. Silver-blue hull plates deflected sensors, also displaced various sorts of weaponry. Reflective golden canopy glinted, awash in Aldebaran‘s bright rays. The Gunstar’s red nosecone veered toward the second planet. Yet, no pilot could be seen helming her advanced instrumentation.
Light from the legendary orange giant, Aldebaran washed over the Gunstar. The sensation tickled her, and she gently sighed. Telecommunications from the inhabited planet, officially labeled Aldebaran II — Known locally as Kurgardstan, registered on her scanners. But the Gunstar wasn’t in any hurry to land. Humans had no idea, most Morningstars or Falcanians were only just on the cusp of perceiving the resplendence that existed beyond their limited awareness. The Gunstar had in her numerous journeys seen Gamma Rays, tasted dark matter, and heard X-rays.
The Gunstar glorified in being a machine.
A whisper of gravity pulled her closer.
Aldebaran II’s atmosphere became flame on her ceramic alloy skin. But it did not burn. The Gunstar felt a thrill as she navigated a guided drop. The violet hued planet raced upward. Breaking-thrusters fired. Almost hitting hard deck, she banked and swooped to face a walled city — Tantalon. There she lingered, above tarmac lined with lights.
The Gunstar’s configuration changed. Ornithological correctly described her Mecha body. Sort of, humanoid-bird. Nosecone became powerful legs and talons. Recurved wings rested on her back. Even a pointed tail stub could be seen at the join of her plated shapely bottom. Given the rather generous proportion of her curved chest plates, there’d be no doubt, this Gunstar was intended to be all female. Bright-blue almond eyes dominated the Gunstar’s elliptical head, crested by crimson plumage. Coppery wires dipped mid back. A bump for a button nose and a pleasant slit served for mouth, on an uncomplicated, yet graceful face.
The Mecha strode toward the city. Each step, she assumed characteristics and dimensions of a gorgeous, voluptuous, mammalian-winged woman. Plated pincer-tail flexed proud, like a cat’s. The Gunstar acquired skin, hair, and other humanoid features. Auburn curls flowed ethereally in Aldebaran II’s evening breeze. Enhanced blue-eyes pierced darkness of night. Elvish ears tuned into city ruckus. Anyone who might have been watching for a moment probably have believed her to be nude. Yet only for a second. A sleek cerulean one-piece, that looked as though it was painted on soon, clothed her form, completed by stylish, yet functional claw-boots. The Falcanian woman, both a Mecha and Gunstar, entered Tantalon City.
What is this? Sort of a proof of concept. Really. Consider it a Christmas gift and a look into my insane plotting.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
I really do think of myself as a minimalist. Some might disagree, as I’ve been accused of being too specific, or too detailed. Even ‘over writing’ – Which is a total catch-22. Trust me. Its a Kobayashi Maru, resolving the tension between detail and specificity, or lack thereof. The measure is so subjective, its almost worth not talking about… Almost…
And to debate it, is unwinnable.
Mainly I am a minimalist when it comes to plot. There’s nothing that grates on my nerves more than when an author leads me by the nose as if I’m in kindergarten.
For example, in Starblade, one of the chief subplots is Nadia has a connection to Frederika, even before she arrives on Vanguard Island. When Frederika does finally, there are little cues (which usually involve her glancing at, or even making sure Frederika ends up on Sharr’s radar. Which of course was not very hard for him… Being the sex crazed guy he is) that Nadia is interested in her and has some notion that the girl is not what she seems.
To me scattering these subtle cues seemed (and still does) the more sophisticated way of telling the story. I keep showing Nadia being interested in Frederika. However, I am not going to lead you by the nose, Dan Brown style.
One of the first things I do when I edit, is take a scalpel and cut scenes which seem to be ‘leading’. That is, placing neat bow ties (ribbons?) on the plot or end goal. In fact, there is a whole bunch of “explanation” that, were I to do it over, would probably be cut from Starblade, because it’s just too on the nose. The only reason any of that is there at all, is because my friend April (English, social studies teacher, and fellow writer) thought I should be more explanatory in scenes, as to why Nadia has such an interest in Frederika, which I think (at least to me) is self-evident to those paying attention.
However, inserting stuff like that is completely counter-instinctual to me. And is very nearly painful. Though of course, I get where April was coming from. And her notes were indeed helpful. :) Its more a matter of overcoming my Aspi, patern-seeking brain. Often I see threads which umm – Normals just do not pick up on…
Conversely, there’s a whole subplot in Among Bright Stars… – Which I might have cut, but for the fact it was explanatory and setup for the overall mythology of the Neo-human series, as well as tied directly into events of book #4, Star Chaser (that’s both a ship and an army). Chronologically I was forced to include the Annunaki stuff in the very roots of my series. Though it also is linked to events surrounding Eden Rhys, or maybe Aria DeFalco in book three…
If I told you here, I’d ruin the finale of Forward, unto the Stars!
I have the sense (but cannot be sure) the Song of Ice and Fire books are a bit like that (no, I am not calling myself George R. R. Martin… ) in as much, he will put a scene out there that seems completely not relevant to the current book, but will later have impact, way down the road. Come to think of it, Babylon 5 operated like that as well…
Wheels, within wheel. Webs within spokes of those wheels.
The cogs of my crazy brain!
[Note: John. I wrote this months ago, reconsidered posting it. But now I just had to! :)]