Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Iain Aschendale, Dec 6, 2017.
Congrats on the return of your muse!
Bashing my way through a worksheet pack on the 1787 Constitutional Convention. That and one on the imposition of the postwar peace constitution on Japan and I'll be done for the semester! And next semester I only have classes that I've taught before, so while the lesson plans always get tweaked and improved, I won't be killing myself writing a whole damn course in real-time.
Hmmm...Can't tell exactly what that is on my laptop or when I enlarge on my phone (laptop's worse), so I'm guessing it's a screenshot of a Sriv document of your WIP, so I'll hit "like" as support and say, "Glad you're working on it, Ash!" And maybe give you a cookie.
Nope, well, yep. Screenshot of ExamView Test Generator, OpenOffice Write, and learnersdictionary.com all open in service of creating a worksheet packet on the creation of the postwar Japanese Constitution by the occupation authorities under Douglas MacArthur.
At 5 in the morning, since I forgot to do it yesterday afternoon.
Ah. There's a lovely feeling of karma about a teacher scrambling to finish his homework...
I'm sorry it's you, though.
If it's any consolation, when you mention the lessons you're working on it inevitably makes me want to take your class, so there's that... Really interesting subjects, Ash! ETA: Oh, and here's a cookie.
Sorry Iain and thank you Shen.
This could be a lovely short/flash.
Okay, vacation is on! Hope to get some writing done. Thanks to a swift kick from @Lifeline, I've had an epiphany. The kicker event, the MC getting scared out of the "haunted" house that turns out to have something really haunting it, is caused by-- dun un DUN: Demons! Well, imps probably, but anyway...
But of course demons could haunt or possess or whatever a house, they're demons, right? But in my universe, demons aren't evil, the machinery of Hell is just there to provide humans with occasions for sin or redemption. Real Evil, evil Evil, shit like the Holocaust and chemical warfare and all that, that's human work that horrifies the minions of Hell (Thank you Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman!)
So why would demons (or imps) start doing supernaturally Evil things?
Because they (a couple of them, at least), were led into temptation to do it...
It works on all levels. It works on my flipping tropes, it works comically, it works in that it gives the MC an antagonist he can deal with, and with just a little more intercranial massaging, I can come up with a motive for the humans involved, as well as the final sequence when the MC meets Satan Himself* and gets a curt thanks and a brushoff for helping him sort out a minor case of employee malfeasance.
Also, nothing so catastrophic that it would bar the appearance of a sequel.
Thanks for throwing me the lifeline, um, yeah, @Lifeline
Actually a middle-manager in Hell, the equivalent of a major or so in the Army. From where Mike Schmidt is sitting though, that looks pretty damn powerful.
This sounds like one hell of a plot (pun not intended) and I'd be excited to see how it turns out. Definitely should've looked in here earlier.
I got one question though, if Satan Himself is only a middle manager, who's the big boss? God Himself?
Nah, it isn't Satan Himself, just someone who looks like it to the uninitiated. Although the thought of Satan being just the HDIC of HR has its own twisted appeal...
That is ... that is ... fucking brilliant!! I want to read this book when you're done! And I'd pay quite a bit of money to do that!
Combining this stunning sequence with your acerbic voice, I am really looking forward to it. I hope you're as excited as I am!
Always happy to help - your friendly neighbourhood kick-ass human
Might be funny if it the middle manager was Satan’s brother who’s jealous of Satan’s success as the Big Boss. Or a ne’r do well brother-in-law Satan threw a bone out of family obligation or something.
Congrats on the return of your muse, Ash!
Combine the two and you have hell as an appendix of heaven, which is there to provide humans of small scale temptation to show them the way. Which mightn't sit too well with Satan as HDIC... I leave you to consider... a sequel maybe?
Ah, yeah, you've been busy. Heaven? Maybe, never seen it, but the souls do go somewhere after they die. Imps do shit like causing slow leaks in your tires to see how you react. Another one I've got in my skullcase is an old woman, of apparently modest means, reaching into her purse to pull something out. Unbeknownst her (because an imp that she can't see is fiddling things) a twenty-dollar bill (maybe a fifty) slips out of her purse. The wind catches it and blows it against your leg. You've seen the whole process (minus the imp, because he's invisible to mortal eyes). Do you return it and gain some grace, or pocket it and push yourself a little closer to the abyss?
Now say you're homeless and decide to give it back to Ethel. She won't harm herself by accepting it, but if she rewards you with something more substantial than thanks, well...
And thus I have created opportunities for redemption or damnation, albeit on a small scale. However, recording the reactions isn't the duty of the imp, and he's got a quota to meet, so he's already off down the street to provoke people by farting in a crowded subway car...
Okay, armed with my newfound antagonist, I set forth to write once again. It's currently 0345, and I got to what seemed like a good time to pause and try and sleep again.
I swear by...well, I don't really hold anything holy or even particularly valuable, but politicians routinely swear on literal stacks of Bibles, and look what good it does them. I was using Scrivener in fullscreen mode, with the background blacked out, no word count visible, got to my pause point, returned to normal mode, and, well:
666 words tonight. Given the subject matter, I'm calling that a good omen.
Lovely when things start to tangle and intertwine.
Your story gets more interesting by the minute! And I approve of the swear word count.
I think a good way forward (other than actually writing LOL) is for me to take one of my scenes and turn it into a short story, then chuck it in the workshop. I'm really not used to the sort of delayed gratification that writing a novel requires, my longest work to date was ~4k words, and this marathon stuff is really dragging me down. Not that being tired of not finishing and thus ceasing to write is a good solution, but perhaps the encouragement/input on my character's voice and, well, character will give me some pointers and energy.
So I've got a plan now.
Sounds like a good Plan. I guess that's also what writing groups are for, where people evaluate one another's progress on a regular basis. It's probably also a good way to make sure each scene contains enough conflict and plot value to be justified in its existence.
I'm interested in seeing what you've got
Okay, I've put up two excerpts for critique. The first one is my secondary MC (yeah, that makes no sense. It's a process, okay?) attempting to summon a demon from Hell, only to get my primary MC popping up in the pentagram. It's got some voice issues that have been pointed out, might be good to hit the comments before the excerpt itself. The second one is my main MC doing what he thinks is a cold reading when the actual ghost shows up.
These are by no means "publication-ready," I just need to see how much work I need to do to get things flowing the way they should be to keep people engaged. Thanks for looking!
I'm sorry I haven't been really self-absorbed and haven't paid any attention to this or nearly any other thread aside from Not Happy Thread and In Which They Say What?
But that desceiption reminds me of The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (not the same, just strong association).
I'm really hoping now your primary MC is a smartass quip-master.
I will now proceed to actually read your excerpts, shamefaced at my lack of involvement.
I'm working on that. His eventual sidekick is, we'll see how it goes for him, and thanks for reading whenever you have time and energy.
Blogged in the aircon at work.
I was telling my friend back home about my WIP, and he said "Yeah, kinda Ghost Whisperer." I said yeah, but no, different angle, then he told me it reminded him of the show Dead Like Me.
It's not spot-on, but the overall feel is...
Man, I'd never heard of this fucking show, never read Eric by Terry Pratchett, but what the actual fuck, can you people stop copying my ideas before I've thought of them all on my own years later?
Now I'm stressed over the fact that what I'm writing seems to be derivative as hell of things that I wasn't even aware of. Nothing new under the sun, no new ideas, etc etc but fuck who's going to read something that just sounds like a mashup of other recent pop culture and who's going to believe that they were my ideas before I heard of them elsewhere?
Starting to have sympathy for Suzanne Collins, who was accused of ripping off Battle Royale.
Make it yours. Execution is everything.
They are just forecasting imposters, should be rolled in tar. How dared they!
Just make sure you are not copy-catting the famous novel by Anothercat released in 2026.
Separate names with a comma.