Sunday, October 30, 2016

Possible Breakthrough on the Eve-Eve of NaNo

Tonight is the eve of the eve of NaNoWriMo and I continue to have no idea what I might attempt to write. I've had very fleeting ideas come and go, but nothing concrete. The Plan isn't quite working all that well yet. However I've still got a couple of days, and this post to finish.

When I finish this post tonight I will have fulfilled my goal of writing at least one blog post per week. So in that way we can say that I've had some measure of success thus far. The problem is that the plan requires more than just the regular writing, it requires a concerted effort on my part to assist my future self by providing him with ideas to write about. I don't have any for him; sorry John.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself I think I'll work towards resolving that issue by at least considering different genres. Peter Clines wrote a post earlier this week talking about how important it is to consider your sub-genre. That may not have been specifically what it was about, but that's what I took away from it. Reading through that post prompted me to think more about specifically what genre I would like my story to be. In my last post I talked about how I sometimes come up with characters and scenes that don't necessarily fit into the genres I like to read. So I think if I start by talking about the different genres that interest me, and why, it may provoke some creative spark. So let's get to it.

Science Fiction: I've been on a pretty strong sci-fi kick for quite a few years now and would have to say that it's currently my favorite genre. There are a multitude of sub-genres within sci-fi, and I don't believe that I enjoy all of them. In general I prefer the lighter type of sci-fi that you'd normally find in the works of John Scalzi, Drew Hayes, and Ernest Cline. What I think most of these have in common is a very cast of very likeable characters that just happen to be in universes that happen to rely heavily on futuristic technology to exist.

Given the types of science fiction that I enjoy, it seems entirely possible to put any character I can come up with into those universes. Even if they don't exactly fit, there's no reason it couldn't be a "fish out of water" scenario in which my main character is murdered early in the story only to be awoken many years into the future for some unkown reason. This isn't too dissimilar to the plot behind Demolition Man or even Futurama, both of which are worlds I enjoy/ed. Thinking about it right now, this actually feels like a really cool idea that I may want to explore. I just need to come up with a reason for him or her to be brought back, and in what way. Moving on...

Fantasy: This is another genre that contains myriad sub-genres, and even mixes with sci-fi on occasion. For example the Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer. In that series a normal guy who works in IT stumbles upon a text file that allows him to manipulate time and space. He uses this newfound knowledge to transport himself back to the Middle Ages to pose as a wizard. Much of the story takes place in what would generally be considered a fantasy setting, but it's highly dependent upon technology. And it works very well.

I've never really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies or books, and have had a hard time getting back into the Shannarah series after enjoying the first book as a teenager. On the other hand, I have enjoyed much of what I've read from the likes of Brandon Sanderson, and the Caverns and Creatures books by Robert Bevan are an absolute blast. I don't think there's much that links Sanderson with Meyer and Bevan, but the latter appeal to me in that they are somewhat normal people thrust into a crazy world and make the best of it. While also making me laugh.

So when I look at just those two genres and what I seem to enjoy about them, I think I've come up with a potential idea. It will still require a ton of work to get beyond the basic premise, but at least I think I have an initial conflict that works. Now all I have to do is come up with my...

Idea of the week: When Hilt regained consciousness he couldn't feel his arms or legs. He couldn't feel his head either, but this wasn't so strange considering the last the he remembered was it being torn to shreds by the shotgun she had pointed at him earlier that night.

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