Can I talk about my humble writing efforts without bringing in the collapse of Western Civilization? Probably not.
So, been doing work, but not getting enough production – research, writing down backstory and character arcs, thinking through plot points, but not actually writing stuff for other people to read. Trying to not get too worked up over it, because a couple stories and the two (three? Is the White Handled Blade the beginning of a novel? Stay tuned…) sure the heck need some serious thoughtsmithing before the wordsmithing can go anywhere.
I’m going to get 1,000 words down on something before I go to bed tonight. That, I can do.
Been writing out some character details arcs, and, due to the nature of the NTSNBN, some family histories as well. I think some of these people need to kill each other. Seriously, I’m setting up some good guys/bad guys/people in the middle dynamics, but only abstractly so far. My evilest character in particular is, I hope, a little sympathetic, at least to the degree that you get why this person acts the way she does. Not going for the ‘misunderstood’ angle at all, this character is very aware of what she’d doing. But, so far, I haven’t though out exactly how she is going to crush people. It’s a little like: if someone pulls a gun in Act 1, somebody better get shot by Act 3. Yet, at the same time, don’t want to telegraph it too bad – it should be a shock when it happens…
That’s the kind of thing I’m thinking through, multiplied by 100. I want to make these stories good, but I also keep reminding myself that getting them done means accepting some imperfection – good and done beats perfect but never done.
I have this theory that, if I can get the ending to the NTSNBN complete, even just in my head, that everything else will come together. Don’t disabuse me. Part of the thoughsmithing is the realization that I wasn’t thinking big enough – there’s got to 20-25 pages of epic disaster before the denouement or it will seem disproportionate.
I think. Like I’ve done this before? But I have read a lot of books…
In the middle of writing this, I started wondering: if I want my longship to get anywhere inside hundreds of years, it’s (duh) going to have to go to a nearby system. But, leaving out brown dwarves and other minor objects, all the nearby systems, say, within a couple hundred lightyears, are known to some degree. So, if I say my people go to a nearby system with some easily-identifiable characteristics, I should probably see if there is, in fact, a system passably like the one I describe in our near galactic neighborhood…
…hours and hours later, I’ve now read up on dozens of nearby systems, hoping to find one that will work. You might be amazed at the variety of systems within a few hundred lightyears: single, double, triple, multiple star systems, some doing the dance of death with stars well under 1 AU from each other; others with stars 100+ AUs apart whose orbits take millennia to complete. Red giants, white dwarfs, everything in between…. Yet more pages bookmarked, notes taken, time – wasted?
Anyway, got to find some balance. But at least I’m making something like progress here.
Now, onto business: I’m guessing the right move for me is to a) write under a pen name; and b) set up some sort of account – PayPal? – that’s not so obviously traceable back here. I don’t flatter myself that I’m somehow important enough to bother with, but I do wonder how thorough an automated search for badthink might be, and how I’ve committed a whole boatload of pretty definite badthink over the years, in print, right here. It is impossible to overestimate the petty vindictiveness of our self appointed betters, nor the moral orgasms they get persecuting helpless people.
Better safe than sorry, I suppose, although there’s no way I’m safe if somebody really wanted to go after me. But, as I said, that seems pretty unlikely.
On that topic, I now have four protonmail addresses from people who want to be on my mailing list if this blog gets taken down – Thanks. Again, seems remarkably petty and unlikely given my insignificance, but, well, take a look around. I’ll do a general announcement soon.