So after it took me two and a half days to write an explanatory blog post, here I am returning to work. Although it has been hard to focus lately, hard to read, or to do much of anything but get lost in my own thoughts--I took steps to get story ideas down on paper. I knew that if I didn't force myself to do it, I'd give up. And this is as close to giving up on writing as I've been in the last few years (not counting all the years I just didn't). You can read a brief introduction to my alternate history / thriller / blasphemous story concept for "The Renegade Messiah" here if you haven't been following along.
April is Camp National Novel Writing Month. It's a short gauntlet (my personal goal is 25,000 words), and there are two a year in April and July (before the big gauntlet in November). I've used CampNaNoWriMo to start stories and to edit. I don't consider a 25,000 word story to be a novel (I like novella but it doesn't quite sound right). "Six Hours Remaining" was one I started during CampNaNoWriMo and I'd love to return and finish it some day.
April is an opportunity. An excuse for me to shut out all my other commitments and get back to writing. I'll take it, even if it means I'm a bit of a bastard for about 30 days.
Back to taking steps - I broke out my 3x5 cards and took them to work. I forced myself to write on my breaks and lunches (when I was alone). I pulled scenes from my deepest, darkest corners of my heart and I'm throwing them down on paper. I'm embellishing, and cutting and blending fiction until it's a mushy, bloody pulp. Then I'm going to make a story out of it.
I've been a bit of a failure lately. I don't want to fail any more. And the only way I know how to win at this game is to write: write out the pain, write out the love, write out the fire inside. Write until it stops hurting, or I don't feel it anymore.
I'd like to introduce you to Raize and Ruan (pronounced Ruin! Hell, I'll probably just spell it Ruin); a woman and a man, the modern day Eve and Adam. Sinners with an entwined past that has reintroduced them to a future on fire. Doomsday cults. Technology on the brink of time travel. A sin that won't stop following her. It's a thriller, a chase novel -- a love story, a hate story -- a story that needs to be written. And I won't finish it in 25,000 words but I'll give it a running start.
Some notes so far:
The story begins on Friday the 13th.
I'm using a prologue! About 10 years in the past, when my main character and support are in their early 20's.
I'm still choosing a setting, but my choices are:
Alternative Sci-Fi akin to another story I've written, "The Horrors of the Futuregraph." (2010) High technology, nanotech, skyscrapers, etc.
Urban Sci-Fi: set in a small town (bigger than Maple Falls from "Earth Borne"), secluded with secrets.
Dystopian / Post Apocalyptic just because the story content itself is so gritty (and maybe because I just watched Tank Girl)
E.D.E.N. is a cult and I'll come up with some witty acronym after I consult some Christian friends.
But feel free to comment your suggestions! Just remember this is a work of fiction, I'm not here to offend anyone.
I've started a playlist on Spotify for music that resonates with the story. So far it includes:
If you're a fellow Camper, you can view my progress in April here: http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/blood_gate_key/novels/the-renegade-messiah
And with any luck, I'll continue work on The Burning City. I've written a few paragraphs but nothing substantial.
See you in April!