1. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Aaron's procrastijournal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Aaron DC, Jul 29, 2015.

    It's time to hit the road, he said, punnily.

    My first attempt at a novel will be the inside view of a professional cyclist's life. I have not yet nailed down the ending, but, as the proverbial plotter, I am going to be doing a bunch of reading of existing cycling story (already read quite a few) and plotting the living heck out of it.

    As it's something I have done at an amateur level, I am hoping my experience will be a good start for portraying the feeling of the pro cycling life.

    The fiction will be crossing into the seclusive (sequestered?) world of the pro.

    I have 3 years of close scrutinising research to draw upon, as well as cycling forums, twitter, race reports and results spanning back decades, the books I have already read and the ones waiting to be read. I have more character examples than I could poke a stick at - far more than I need. They are all frighteningly flawed. There are enough conflict examples (polemic) to start a world war.

    It's tempting to lean on a pre-existing story like Frank Abagnale's, "Catch me if you can", however I will leave that as a backup, with the hope that I can come up with something a little more uniquely creative. Currently nfi what the end of the story is. As a plotter, this is a bad thing (tm).

    One potentially unique aspect for this novel will be its fictional nature. The vast majority of cycling novels are biographical in nature; the cyclist author hoping to cash in on their fame or infamy. This one is going to be completely fictitious.

    My basic plan of attack is as follows, all happening in tandem (oh dear):
    • read lots more cycling books to really get into that head space / vernacular / brainstorm ideas
    • start compiling the characters I want in it + interview them + name them - hopefully this will help determine and ...
    • ... develop the story line, in particular the ending - which will hopefully also refine the character list
    • come up with a novel title for the novel
    • learn a bit more about POV and whether first person + third person will work the way I hope it will - ie up close and personal for cyclist MC scenes and then third person (limited / omniscient) for behind the scenes and others. Trust me to make it complicated from the start.
    As well as this, I would like to develop
    • general public beta readers list
    • pro cycling scene beta readers list
    • (hopefully) an angle or story that appeals to gen pop as well as cycling follower. we'll see
    • cover idea(s) :D
    If you are reading this, wow, well done that was a slab of text.

    I hope this thread provides some oomph to actually get started on this. That said, I am in no hurry, work full-time, have a bit of a life, am getting fit yadda yadda. The journey trumps the destination for me.

    I hereby authorise anyone on this forum to post anything they like here as it relates to this project. Encouragement, suggestions, advice, links to POV options, etc, etc. All good :agreed:

    Thanks for reading :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  2. Aaron DC
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    Title idea: The Descent

    • foreshadowing character portrayal
    • play on words of an existing novel (The Climb)
    • descending is probably the scariest thing you can do on a bicycle, so tension foreshadowing also
     
  3. Aaron DC
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    I have signed up to a fairly exclusive, private forum that discusses an aspect of pro cycling that will be a core element in the novel. This will provide amplified research sources and material, and potentially beta readers.

    I have also reached out to some of the cycling-focused people with whom I regularly interact on Twitter, and that may also provide further sources of information, research capability and potential beta readers.
     
  4. Aaron DC
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    So my first post says:
    - I need to know the ending before I start
    - my first idea is Abagnale's story, but I'm leaving it as a backup and hoping to come up with something of my own

    Then someone posts a thread: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/the-22-rules-of-storytelling-according-to-pixar.140505/ highlighting the following:

    #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
    #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.


    As a complete newbie, I like finding out I am on the right track.
     
  5. AspiringNovelist
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    You're on the right path (oh dear)...

    You're delving into a exclusive group of people, thus your jargon, insights, etc will have to be spot on. So, you're right to research and join into their group. This type of story isn't something you can fake your way through.

    As far as knowing the ending, I think it's good advice that I seldom(ed) follow(ed). And not following that advice has resulted in 2 books that are finished -- save -- that pesky ass conclusion. Since then, I've forced myself to outline my tales before I jump in with two feet only to have a pile of words 3 months later.

    So, I think you have your research plan in place. Now you can start outlining your story.

    Good luck.

    Edited: while in that group that you joined, try to get as much personal data/details/stories as you can. "What was your scariest ride?" "How did you feel when your rim bent during the race?, "Did you want to kill him when he ran you off the road?" "What are the 'politics' / strategies of a successful team or rider?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
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  6. Aaron DC
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    Oh the jargon is no problem. I've raced for 20 years :D I can jargon cycling stuff in my sleep.
     
  7. AspiringNovelist
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    Oh, I misunderstood.. I thought this was new territory for you. Well, with that new info, just focus on your story.
     
  8. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Good luck Aaron. Since I know NOTHING about bike riding, other than downhill mountain biking looks terrifying (hubby does it) then I'm afraid I can't help.

    I read this too and was pleased with my little self. The ending was the second thing I came up with, after the beginning (just gotta figure out the middle), and I think I'm am now on around the 12th version!! I'm hoping I don't end up at 13.
     
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  9. Aaron DC
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    Thank you :D

    Oh yes I had the beginning right away too. Now the ending.... hrm hrm hrm *gear grinding noises*

    12th version!! Is it getting better each time? After a while the improvements start to slow down and you can call it a day. Or start writing or something.
     
  10. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Definitely without a doubt better. I started it years ago, did a bit, left it alone, did a bit more, changed it, started again etc. This year has been a biggie for me, especially since joining this forum. I think I've come along leaps and bounds in the last 6 months. Plus, I'm watching those Brandon whatshisface lectures at the moment (the ones that were linked on here) and that's a big help too.

    Think it might be a while before the improvements slow down, but progress is good :)
     
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  11. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Sounds awesome - do you have a progress blog or can you give me a precis on its content or do you have to kill me afterwards?
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    I'll have to look for those Brandon vids?
     
  13. Aaron DC
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  14. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Yep they're the lectures, watching them through my lunch at work, there's a lot to get through but really helpful stuff.

    Nah no progress blog but I was considering starting one. If you want a 'precis' you'll have to tell me what the flippin eck it means??
     
  15. Aaron DC
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    A brief summary :D
     
  16. Viridian
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    Ha, never heard that word before.

    Still working out the details coz I want it to have a really good twist so you go 'ooooo didn't see that coming', but basically a ghost story. MC raised by father after mother dies, doesn't know much about past, has had a pretty unspectacular unsuccessful life (in every way possible), meets girl, become great friends, girl is from wealthy family down south (southern England) but she left after a family upset. Long story short, friend returns to family home (stately home) and persuades MC to go with her and that's where things start to get interesting/spooky - MC discovers stuff about herself and her past.
     
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  17. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Now I may have to kill you :twisted:
     
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  18. Aaron DC
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    Down south as in Folkestone, perhaps, by the coast? ;)
     
  19. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Nah go left a bit. More like New Forest/Salisbury area.
     
  20. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Ahhhhh I lived in Folkestone as a child, hence my knowledge of its existence.

    I read "Salisbury" and immediately hear Peter Gabriel singing "Climbing up on Salisbury Hill" - similar place or completely different?
     
  21. Aaron DC
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    And now see it's Solsbury Hill and not too far away, but only coincidentally. hah!

    :bigoops:
     
  22. Viridian
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    Had to google that, never heard of the song or the place! Have heard of 'Salisbury' though. Its in the general Stonehenge area - one of the main inspirations for my little story.
     
  23. Viridian
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    Sorry, I seem to have hijacked your progress blog :oops:
     
  24. Aaron DC
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    I am going to retitle it :D
     
  25. Aaron DC
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    All fixed :D (new title)
     

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