Oh, where is my Facebook? Oh, where is my Facebook? — No, seriously, where is my Facebook!?

Sing my pain, Larry the Cucumber!

So, if you’ve been on the internet today, you probably know that Facebook is experiencing an outage. I went and made a meme about it because that’s the level of creativity that my brain’s at right now. Which is annoying as hell since…

Because shut up that’s why, Junior Asparagus, you goody-goody little….

*cough* I mean, I *have* been writing. I’ve been working pretty diligently on Storm Warnings and it’s been a bit of a slog. I’m still pretty much at the beginning of the story, much to my annoyance. When I originally came up with this idea, it seemed so damned simple. Like, I knew exactly what I wanted to write and where I wanted to go with it — well, except for the ending. I had no idea how the story was going to end. I’m good at ideas, I’m good at beginnings and I’m decent at middles but endings are my Waterloo.

I might be willing to trade my bellybutton for an ending. Actually, several endings.

Though, in all honesty, my original plan for the story was good but it wasn’t complete. For one thing, I didn’t have any idea why my heroes were getting involved in the story’s main conflict. Or, more accurately, no idea beyond “I, the author, have assembled you in this scene because this is where I want you to be so you can do the things that will get the story running so ok, you’re here, start doing the things!”

And, the characters did do the things. Except that the things they did were just not good. I went through probably half a dozen rewrites of the opening scenes to try and get Storm Warnings to a point where it was something I liked and that felt right. And every time I thought I had it, it would slip away and I’d be back at square one.

I didn’t alter this one because this is pretty much how the plot of Storm Warnings has been treating me. Minus the cute little French accents.

This past week, the whole “Hey, why are the characters actually doing any of this?” thing occurred to me in a big way. So, I set down to try and figure it out.

And I’m kinda happy with what I’ve come up with. It’s a good idea, I think. Or at least a good first-draft fourth-draft idea. It doesn’t just give the characters a reason to be in the scene, it also gives them some actual stakes in the story — which is a good thing, since I want these characters to come across as real people, fighting against the evils of their day, not plaster saints who are above everything and judging others from on high.

So, this is a long, rambling, roundabout way of saying this: writing is hard. Having a plan before you start can serve as a map through unfamiliar territory, but sometimes the map doesn’t mention that the bridge you were expecting to be there was wiped out by a flood.

I knew Storm Warnings was going to be tricky to write for a few reasons:

  1. It’s set in an alternate universe with superpowers and magic and aliens and all the other comic book superhero tropes that show up in Omegas: Cake Walk and the other stories that I’m setting in Universe-46534. — so there’s the need to balance those elements and keep them plausible and believable
  2. I’m introducing not one, not two, but four main heroes as well as an equal number of secondary heroes/characters who will Be Significant In the Future. — Yeahhh, really not sure how I thought I could fit all that in 6,000 words. That was like, wow…yeah.
  3. While this is actually the third story I’ve started in this universe, it’s chronologically the first story to take place in Universe-46534. The characters being introduced will be historical figures in other stories. They’re the original heroes of this world — well, among the original heroes. So…yeah, that’s tricky!
  4. It’s set in the past — specifically, in 1937, so I’m having to check things to make sure that I’m getting details right. On the other hand, the fact that this is an alternate universe, I’ve got some wiggle room for certain things.
  5. The bad guys are literally Nazis. — They’re based on a couple different pro-fascist/pro-Nazi groups that were active in America in the 1930s and 1940s. The trickiest part about them is not turning them into cartoonish mustache-twirling bad guys.
  6. The good guys are from backgrounds that are different from my own — two characters are gay, there’s a few Jewish characters (including some Jewish mobsters who are very happy to get the chance to kick Nazi ass — which is also historically accurate). This, along with the historical setting, adds a couple levels of difficulty.

But, see, I’ve accepted this challenge and I’m going to keep working on it. Because I think this’ll be a good story once it’s finally done. I like the characters, I like the plot I have set up and I like this universe. It’s just sometimes, it’s hard to see the path because it hasn’t been cleared yet. And you’re the one who has to clear it. With an ax. Not a big ax either. A little rinky-dinky ax up against a redwood tree the size of an aircraft carrier or something.


Note: Instagram is also down but I don’t use Instagram so I’m not making VeggieTales themed memes about it.

Other Writing Blather — I am meeting and/or exceeding my goals for the 365 Day Challenge. For the year to date, I’m at 50,000 words! Yay me!


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Omegas: Cake Walk in one sentence

My attempt at a one sentence description of Omegas: Cake Walk —

When a desperate phone call from a top scientist’s estranged daughter threatens to derail the highest-level superscience conference, the call goes out to the one team that can rescue the girl and keep her safe from the clutches of the cult she’s trying to flee — after all, when the job’s a cake walk, who can handle it better than the Omegas?

 

AROW80 Check-In for April 18, 2018 and WIPpet Wednesday

Working on Chapter Nineteen of Omegas: Cake Walk and so far, it’s a slog. I’m having to create something out of whole cloth and it’s tough going thus far.

Ok, so ‘thus far’ is roughly 40 minutes at this point but still! Words are Hard! Especially when I’m not sure what would be the best way to go forward with this. I’m at a scene where the main action is happening off-screen so figuring out what should be going on on-screen is tricky.

But, the library is nicely quiet. I’ve got time to kill and Supergirl on Netflix so, here goes nothing!

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WIPpet Math:  April 18, 2018 = 4 + 1 + 8 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 24.  2 + 4 = 6. Here’s the first six paragraphs of Chapter Two:

“Next time you feel the impulse to make a grand pronouncement, Felix, would you do me a favor and punch yourself in your pretty face until it goes away?” Than Nguyen, aka Marigold said.  Her Southeastern Tejas drawl dripping with venomous honey. “Or, better yet, have Torque do it.”

Torque cringed inwardly, not so much from the snark in Marigold’s voice but from the flash of annoyance that had passed, lightning-quick, across Valentine’s face. The three of them were seated in Valentine’s suite at the Isthmus hotel, gathered around the room’s dining table which had been repurposed for the evening’s teleconference with BCK’s headquarters.

“I made an executive decision to help calm the situation down and to ensure that the conference wouldn’t go completely off the rails two days before it’s supposed to kick off.” Valentine’s tone was level but Torque could hear the iciness that always developed when Valentine was feeling put upon.

“After the way your last ‘executive decision’ played out, I woulda thought you mighta learned your lesson about acting first and thinking never,” Marigold said. “Or did it just not occur to you while your mouth was writing checks our asses would have to cash that adding to our workload isn’t exactly wise at this juncture?”

“There simply wasn’t time for me to consult with anyone else. I had to act, so I acted.” Valentine’s tone was as cold and cutting as an arctic wind.

“There’d have been plenty of time for you to consult with me, if you’d bothered taking me along with you.” Marigold glanced pointedly at Torque, who forced himself to keep his eyes facing forward and his expression blank. “But no, instead you decided to take Torque because apparently you thought you might need a couch moved.”

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