T-Minus 29 Minutes

31 Oct

Ima try this National Novel Writing Month thing again.

I’ve got a better plan this year:  This summer, a dude I went to college with self-published a vampires-in-the-Old-West novel, and because I thought he was super lame in college and that his writing is boring, I started writing an Old-West-inspired sci-fi novel out of pure spite.  Well, I started reading his novel, and I decided it wasn’t that bad, and then as I was writing my own spite-novel, I realized I really liked it.

Well, I haven’t finished reading that vampire book, and I haven’t finished writing that sci-fi book.  But now November is nigh upon us, and I wanted to join NaNoWriMo, and you can’t use previously written material.

So I decided to write a sequel to my unfinished novel because I’m lame.  And maybe kind of a d-bag.

Here’s the gist of the unfinished one:  The Consolidated Terran Space Service sends the USS Persuasion to Mars to make a deal with a group of Martians to use their xylenium (a made-up fuel) mine.  But on the way, the Persuasion encounters a million and a half problems and must send a small team to secure the deal.  A million and a half more problems assail the six-person crew, and a million and a half Old West style things happen to them, including gunfights at high noon.  Along the way:  Murder and conspiracy.

The sequel goes as follows:  When the Persuasion crew returns, they give conflicting accounts during their debriefing, which leads the head honchos to suspect shady stuff occurred, especially since they already only half trust the kind of roguish Captain Vera Martel.  A vice admiral who may or may not have an agenda of his own orders a Mission Review Board to investigate.  We learn of the details of the investigation through four narrators:  Lieutenant Lorraine Aldridge, First Officer; Chief Warrant Officer Clayton Henley, Chief Engineer; Unnamed Alcoholic Retired Commander, Lead Investigator; and Unnamed Prim Rear Admiral, chief Review Board member.

So, even though I sometimes rail against multiple narrators, I’m going to rely heavily on this device to create suspense, extend my word count, and keep myself from getting bored because each character will narrate in a different style.

The first officer will be very similar to my own voice.  She’s the narrator of the unfinished prequel novel.

The chief engineer will be intellectual but clipped and technical.  For now, he’s my secondary antagonist–behind the admiral who is pulling the strings.

The lead investigator will be a hard-boiled ’40s-ish detective.  Very Sam Spade. His sections will be so fun to write.

The prim rear admiral (who is not pulling the strings.  She is also a pawn.) will narrate in kind of a circumlocutory, purple way, à la Charlotte Brontë.

I’ve got the first couple chapters pretty well lined out, and if I play my cards right, I’ll be able to get on kind of a roll and do it.

So, I say all of this for a few reasons:

  1. I may or may not continue Monday Night Specials this month.  I mean, I’m 50% of the time late with them anyway, without any novel stuff happening.
  2. I may replace Monday Night Specials with a Best of/Worst of the week post, in which I share the best thing I’ve written in my novel and the stupidest thing I’ve written in my novel.
  3. Any help with naming is appreciated.

2 Responses to “T-Minus 29 Minutes”

  1. Aly 1 November 2012 at 8:23 AM #

    Definitely interested to see how this pans out! But, just so you know, you can “technically” work on your existing novel. The rules say you just have to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I’m not sure how much you’ve snooped around on the nanowrimo forums site, but there’s a section called “Nano Rebels” that’s for people who are kind of breaking the traditional norm, but still completely taking part in nanowrimo. So, my story is technically a “Rebel” story, since I’m working on an existing piece. So, I plan on just writing at least 50,000 words to what I already have. But, it sounds like you’ve got this one pretty well laid out to, so either way- GOOD LUCK!

  2. silverscreenings 1 November 2012 at 7:49 PM #

    I respect the fact that you wrote an unfinished spite novel and that you’re considering a sequel. Good luck with this venture! Hope it goes well.

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