Alpha Centauri 2

Community => Planet Tales => Topic started by: Valka on July 03, 2016, 09:52:00 AM

Title: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 03, 2016, 09:52:00 AM
The second of three annual NaNoWriMo events started on July 1 (apologies for not starting this thread sooner; July 1 is Canada Day and I was a little sidetracked...).

I'm going to try to repeat my win from April, and beat my April word count if possible. The story I'm doing is connected to the other Hulzein Saga fanfiction/wiki material, but not a direct sequel (well, mostly).

Day 1 got off to a good start, with 822 words.
Day 2 total stands at 1280 words.

At this point I've barely started introducing the characters and establishing some background for them. I've decided to tackle a rather obvious in-universe plot point that F.M. Busby pretty much dropped at the beginning of Rebel's Quest (the second book of the Bran Tregare duology).

The plot point is this: Tregare (captain of Inconnu, the ship he's commanded for several years) has been in a relationship with one of his officers, and she announces that she wants to leave the ship at the planet they're about to land on (it's a good-sized colony world). She then drops a bombshell: she made the choice to go off her birth control and become pregnant. She makes it clear that she's done with Tregare and doesn't want him in her life anymore. Tregare agrees to buy her out fairly, so she will have more than enough money with which to provide for herself and the child, and he reasons that since she didn't consult him about the pregnancy, he owes her nothing more. As his long-range plans do not in any way include starting a family with anyone, this seems the ideal solution. Years later, he returns to that same planet, and finds a message she left for him: she and their son have left to go to another colony where she wants a quiet, peaceful life for the two of them. So Tregare expresses a private hope that everything worked out, and then he apparently just forgets that it ever happened.

From reading the later novels, it's obvious that Tregare never told either his parents or his own wife or children about this long-lost son. Considering that this son, as Tregare's oldest child, is technically one of the heirs to the Hulzein family (rich enough to own a significant chunk of one planet and powerful enough to end up in control of Earth), this is quite an omission. And since I always felt that this was a jerkish thing to happen - shrugging off the existence of a child and never giving any further thought to him - it's something that I plan to explore in my story, as a decades-old situation literally comes home to roost.

Tregare's got a considerable amount of explaining to do...

If anyone else wants to participate in NaNoWriMo, there's still time to register and get started. The site is here: (

Anyone who wants to comment in this thread is welcome to do so, or start a new NaNoWriMo thread for your own project, if you prefer.

Otherwise, I'll just ramble on for the next 29 days...
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 08, 2016, 09:50:22 AM
Time for an update.

Day 3 total: 1713 words.
Day 4 total: 2204 words.
Day 5 total: 2579 words.
Day 6 total: 3039 words.
Day 7 total: 3777 words.

All this adds up to: Tregare and his now-ex-lover, Erdis, are still in the process of breaking up. Busby wrote this event from Tregare's POV; I'm writing it from Erdis' POV. And since she never had much of a POV in the series, I'm trying to flesh her out as a character and decide where she fit into the ship in her own right, not just as an officer who was in a relationship with two other ship's officers (both of whom were its captains).

I'm simultaneously working out another part of the story - which involves a time jump of about 9 years, when Tregare's son is 8 years old and they're about to leave for another colony.

I'm getting a bit bogged down, trying to write Erdis' explanation of relativity to an 8-year-old, but it's something he'll need to understand. The ships in this part of the series are all STL, which means that a typical trip between planets might take anywhere from 8 to 15 months, ship's time... but 10-20 years would pass, planet-time.

At some point, Tregare is going to be confronted by a son who is nearly as old as he is, biologically speaking.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 09, 2016, 07:26:46 AM
Day 8 total: 4283 words. I'm still trying to get Erdis off the damn ship...
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 10, 2016, 06:49:12 AM
Day 9 total: 4835 words. This whole goodbye thing is taking longer than I expected it would. That new character I created yesterday is a real motormouth.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 11, 2016, 07:46:02 AM
Day 10 total: 5433 words.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 12, 2016, 05:23:42 AM
Day 11 total: 6130 words.

Damn, that was a spiteful goodbye scene. But at least I finally got her off the ship. The next 8 years' worth of in-universe story will be all my imaginings, as Busby didn't cover those. Other than a brief mention later in the novel (years later, in-universe), he's done with this character.

I'm not, though.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 13, 2016, 06:46:33 AM
Day 12 total: 6655 words.

Ah, bureaucracy and the red tape of settling down on a new planet.

Actually, it shouldn't be that bad. After all, I'm not planning to put the character I'm dealing with through all the BS that Busby put Rissa Kerguelen through. Erdis Blaine isn't going to end up fighting a death duel because she told off the wrong paper-pusher.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 15, 2016, 07:06:42 AM
Day 13 total: 7192 words.
Day 14 total: 7661 words.

Hospital bureaucracy... what a nasty piece of work that receptionist is. But that's how far too many people are on the Hidden World called Number One.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 15, 2016, 02:38:37 PM
So you're going to have something for posting in Adult Fiction from this?
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 15, 2016, 06:13:49 PM
Eventually. Probably not until after the November NaNoWriMo, though. It will take a fair bit of editing, and keep in mind that I'm working with a background in which STL and relativity are essential parts of the story. This project is making me do math!

This project, as I mentioned, is meant to help me get going on the Hulzein Saga wiki I've been planning for years now, and to also give me a metaphorical kick in the pants to write the stories I've wanted to do for a long time. The thing is, I don't usually start at the beginning and keep on to the end - I jump around as parts of the story occur to me. When a line of dialogue or other material pops into my head, I've got to write it down immediately, and it doesn't necessarily follow what's already written. And I've gone back and made changes as I've found mistakes on my part. The NaNo staff says to ignore mistakes and just get the words down, but that's not how I want to do this. It's not just the quantity of words that matter; for me it's also the quality of the words.

That said, I have been working on another story - a vignette, really - outside of the NaNo timeframe. It would be dishonest to include this in my NaNo wordcount since it's been written a sentence here and a paragraph there over the past couple of months during the commercials while I'm watching my soap. It's close to done, and will need to be typed and edited (it's currently in longhand form on looseleaf).

As I was saying to Takhisis over at CFC the other day, I can't post this vignette at CFC unless I want an infraction for inappropriate language. The first word in the story is one that's in the autocensor there (and here).

I suppose I could post a brief excerpt or two, as long as it's understood that it's only first draft and the final draft could change significantly...
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 15, 2016, 06:22:41 PM

...Be sure to pimp out that wiki w/o shame or pity here when you get to that stage, it being a fanfic-adjacent project as you describe it...
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 15, 2016, 07:45:02 PM
Oh, I will. It's just going to take time. It's amazing how much detail Busby packed into just 8 novels.

I'd been skimming for mentions of major characters, time references, and ship and planet names... but that's not detailed enough. Right now I'm bogged down on the description of a specific hotel on one of the planets, plus descriptions of the planet's geology, gravity, atmosphere, etc.

But now it looks like starting on book 1, page 1 and being more organized.

I suppose this is going to end up more like an encyclopedia than a wiki... But it's a worthwhile project to do right, as both Busby and his wife are dead and I've never been able to find any indication that anyone else ever tackled this to such a detailed extent.

It's a shame that Busby sacrificed his own continuity for the sake of a few plot points, though, not to mention the whole time line. There's no way in hell that this series can fit into the dates Busby uses for the earliest and latest Earth years.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 16, 2016, 07:56:44 AM
Day 15 total: 8118 words.

I went back and redid a word here, a sentence there, from previous days' writing, plus added some new material.

I just realized that Busby apparently forgot he'd given one of the minor character the first name of "Max" on one page, and two pages later changed his first name to "Al."

So I've decided to tweak the character myself and make one name the first and the other his middle. Different people call him by one or the other, and he doesn't really care which.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 17, 2016, 08:33:52 AM
Day 16 total: 8612 words.

How to check in to a hotel in 494 words, and still not quite finished.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 21, 2016, 08:42:41 AM
Time for an update.

Day 17 total: 9049 words.
Day 18 total: 9439 words.
Day 19 total: 9912 words.
Day 20 total: 10,417 words.

And with that, I could stop if I wanted to, because I've reached my target. However, I'll keep on until the last day, for the challenge of seeing if I can beat my last score, for the fact that NaNoWriMo uses a different system to count words than my word processing program does (and therefore won't credit me with all 10,417 aforementioned words and I need more to ensure they count at least 10,000 of them), and of course because I want to get this stuff finished some day.

These last couple of days have been spent on a different fanfic than I started out with. As it happens, I'm temporarily bogged down with one character, am at that usual "week 3 writer's block" stage that happens to some people, so I went with a different character.

It's been interesting, trying to remember what it's like to be 12. Can't say I've ever had the experience of being put into cryogenic freeze aboard a spaceship, though.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 21, 2016, 02:01:23 PM
Live a little, ya hermit. ;)
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 22, 2016, 07:39:37 AM
Day 21 total: 10,784 words.

Well, I made the daily minimum and a few besides. I'm just winging it right now.
Title: Re: Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016
Post by: Valka on July 31, 2016, 07:51:13 AM
Day 30 total: 15,758 words. Validated and done, and in a day or two I will be sent a link to my winners' goodies. The NaNo site only credited me with 15,688 words. It would be really nice to know which program they use for word counting, as it's annoying to have 70 perfectly good words not being accepted.

I'm not up for posting daily totals since last time. This past week was a tough slog, one day being a mere 336 words (two over the daily minimum).

Yesterday was quite productive, though, and I was able to steer the story to the point where I wanted to go.

Between now and November, there will be more note-taking, more editing, and planning out the rest of the major story events I want to cover, as well as working on the Hulzein Saga wiki.