1. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    Daedalus' Progress Journal- A Dark Journey Into The Void

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by General Daedalus, Jul 19, 2015.

    Hello, everyone!

    Thanks for coming to my progress journal. I'm starting this so I can stay motivated and finish my novel. It's a big project, and I want at least 90000 words before I have it published. So I need some specific goals or I'll just collapse and stop writing.

    But before I get into that, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Daedalus, and I'm 16 years old. I used to write a lot when I was young, but I neglected the craft for many years. I started programming when I was around eleven years old, and now I have my own game development studio (I don't just like saying this to people, I'm actually a registered CEO and I get to pay corporate taxes, yay!). I have just under 20 staff members, and right now we're building a PC game for Steam (game distribution company). The reason I'm telling you this is because it explains why I haven't been writing for so long. I spend the vast majority of my free time building this game, along with a few other projects I have. But I recently decided that I want to get back into writing, and actually become a published author, something which I used to want to be when I was little.

    The book I'm writing is in it's early stages, but I have the plot defined already. I am free for the rest of the Summer, around six weeks in total, and I think that I can possibly have it finished by then. It's a tall order to fill, and people may say that such a short timescale means that my work will be of bad quality, but I can realistically write around 2000 words each day. On a good day (when writing other projects), I can write anywhere up to 15000-20000 words in a single day. This is when I break out the Irish coffee, and literally sit and write non-stop for 24 hours. I actually tend to write better at night, as I'm free from distractions then. I'll just sit in my room and type until I'm too tired to think properly. I plan on doing that a lot over the coming weeks, in the hope that I'll be able to finish this beast.

    But that's enough about me. Down to the novel.

    It's a very controversial piece, and I specifically refuse to skip out any of the gory details. The book follows it's protagonist, a Pan Am airline captain, on his travels through the sixties. It takes him from Vegas to Sydney and everywhere inbetween. The character is very dark, and suffers from a multitude of issues. In the words of Jordan Belfort, he "drinks like a fish, gambles like a degenerate", and, ahem... has many extra-curricular activities with women. Amidst the sea of meaningless relationships, he travels around the world with his first officer Daryl, and four stewardesses. He has interesting relationships with all of them, where the pilots often get up to ridiculous shenanigans, much to the enjoyment of the stewardesses, who hold their drunken escapades over them.

    Without giving too much of the plot away, the Captain's gambling addiction eventually lands him in a huge spot of trouble. He is on a lucky streak in Vegas, in a shifty casino. After winning effortlessly all night, he goes all in in a game of poker, and ends up in a serious heap of debt. He flees the scene, only to be picked up by a blacked-out limo on his way to the airport the very next morning. Long story short, he ends up having to work as a private pilot for the mafia in order to pay off his debt. It sounds a little crazy, but the way I have it planned out it's actually a very believable story.

    His relationship with the organised crime family develops, and he starts to take more and more dangerous assignments, caught up in the thrill of fast cash. Among some close calls, illegal smuggling assignments, and run-ins with a rival family, the Captain continues to laugh his way through life with his trademark devil-may-care attitude. Think Hank Moody in the sky.

    I don't want to say too much at this stage, because nothing is final yet. I still have to plan out the rest of the plot, because while (in my opinion, at least) it's a good story so far, there's no real end goal in sight. It's more of a literal story, where I simply follow him through the sixties and share his adventures with you.

    It sounds like quite an action-packed novel from my description above, but it's not. There are a few fight scenes, the occasional car chase, and even a mid-air fistfight or two, but the majority of the novel revolves around his personal issues and how they affect his everyday life. I deal with many social issues, from chauvinism and racism to the dangers of communism, and much of the work is intended to have allegoric meanings. For example, the Captain carries around a playing card with him at all times, in the left shirt pocket. The playing card is an ace of spades, but the spade in the middle is actually an image of a giant squid, conformed to the shape of the suit. I won't say them outright, but this symbol has a lot of meanings. It shows how the Captain thinks, it represents his problems, and provides an insight into why he does what he does.

    I'll be posting update logs here regarding my progress. I am to post one each day, detailing the advances I've made. If you're interested by my entirely non-comprehensive description provided above, then please feel free to follow my progress journal, and ask any questions you may have, or give me any feedback you can think of. I'm always interested in your thoughts, so I'd love to hear them!

    Thanks for reading,

    -Daedalus.
     
  2. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    My first update. I'm upto 4000 words now. I've covered the first scene in a great amount of detail, which follows Isaac (the Captain) to the airport, from his hotel in Rome. It gives you an introduction to the relationships he has with each of the crew members, and briefly outlines his drinking problem. It doesn't say so outright, it just talks about the fact that he has no recollection of the previous night. He and his first officer wake up to find poker chips and playing cards scattered around their room, with a sea of empty bottles strewn across the floor. I'll be writing about their first flight tomorrow (or at least the first flight we hear about), which takes them to London for a brief overnight layover, then to Vegas the day after. That gives me the opportunity to have Isaac on one of his drunken escapades in London, and then I can move straight into his gambling problem in Vegas, with a full psychological explanation as to why he does it.
     
  3. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    Time for an update, methinks. I hit 12000 words today, which I'm very pleased with. I took a major look at my earlier content, and rewrote a lot of it. I didn't change the story, I just made it more fluent and sophisticated. In my latest scenes I've switched over to humour quite a lot, and the Captain is shaping up to be a pretty amusing guy. You see, the whole plot is focused so heavily on his problems, and the social issues of his time, that it would end up shaping up to be a pretty depressing read. So I'm balancing it out a little by having the Captain do the stupidest stuff I can think of when he goes off on his little drunken escapades, and having this sort of approach to women where he treats them carelessly, with no emotion, but it's pretty funny at the same time. He essentially uses them for his own gratification, but acts so adorably towards them that the whole thing just becomes laughable. And I'm actually doing this for a very specific reason- mainly, at face value, it makes it much more interesting to read. But secondly, it shows that patriarchal society and chauvinism are an underlying tone in the novel, and I present them as being funny to remind everyone how easy it is to miss. Because he's such a lovable character, you tend to overlook all of the offence he causes, which makes the reader question themselves. Well, or they might just completely miss the point of it, but y'know...
     
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    Well, I haven't bumped this in a while, have I? I've made a lot of progress since my last update. I've just hit 25533 words in the last few minutes, and I'm taking a short break before getting back into the thick of it. My aim is to hit 30000 words by the end of the night. Ok, well not by the end of the night, more like by some ridiculously early time in the morning (it seems as though I write better in the early hours of the AM, actually). My system to get this thing written is to break it down into manageable chunks. I do this by rewarding myself every 10000 words. That way I am much more motivated to write, because it seems as though the end is always in sight. So far, so good- I think it's working pretty well.

    Anyway, that's enough about narcissistic ole' me. Now down to the story. So, since you haven't joined us for a while, you've missed out on a lot of Isaac's mishaps (not that it's your fault, I've been inactive :p ). Lately, he's broke into Buckingham Palace, got drunk, broke one of the windows, legged it to a circus, stole a dwarf (under the impression that it was a leprechaun) and interrogated said little fella to determine the location of his pot of gold. All of this, of course, occurred on his drug-fuelled layover in London, which I'm just getting him out of. He needs a good line of coke to wake him up (which is where I left off). Next up, I've got to fly him off to Vegas, which is where to real fun begins. Wish me luck, guys- I've got a lot to write.

    Also, if there is anyone out there who is actually reading this progress journal, then thank you! I'm glad that you're interested in my work! From my posts on this site, I sound like a jocular and somewhat poor writer, but in all actuality, I'm a very good writer. I don't apologise for saying so, either. I don't put a lot of effort into internet posts but when I'm writing, I take it very seriously and consider it from every angle. I'm confident that I'll be able to have my first novel published, and I hope that I can prove to you that I am a very good writer once my work is out there for the world to see- and judge.
     
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Time will tell :p
     
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  6. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    Well, it's been almost a month since I updated my progress journal, so here goes!

    Today I hit 40000 words, which I'm pretty pleased with. I've got a long way to go yet, but it's going really well so far. I've done a lot of editing and redrafting and it's looking like a professional novel. I think it flows very well and remains a sophisticated read despite the content.

    So, since my last post, the plot has developed significantly. Isaac has encountered the Las Vegas mafia, on account of a gambling debt he landed himself in, and is now working for them to pay it off. This is somewhat of a simplification, for this took up about 10000 words from start to finish. We rejoin him at his Miami residence, the crew's home base, where an impeding dinner party is about to occur. As it turns out, he organised the impromptu event while drunk, forgot all about it (which isn't yet revealed to the reader) and his already annoyed flight crew show up expecting a banquet fit for a king. Only Isaac is sitting around smoking joints rolled from pages of the Bible and listening to smooth jazz, oblivious as always. Now I'm ready to write a hilarious dinner party scene which will present some interesting debate, a Mexican chef and plenty of offence.

    Something tells me I'm really not doing the literary criticism my novel presents justice.
     

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