Tag Archives: Wisconsin

New Year, New Novel

As promised, today I’m going to give you an update on how the planning for my new novel is going. I have to warn you though. I have been busy, so this post is going to be a long one.

The working title is The Reluctant Hero, as you can see by my new Word Meter on the right. I’ll probably leave the Dirty Little Freaks meter there for a while just because I am proud of having finished it. I did get that last story done before the end of the year, and it wasn’t too terrible. It was about a woman who was lost and stumbled across a secret laboratory. She was taken prisoner and injected with a serum that turned her into a superhero. That’s about it. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the story, like how did she get lost in the first place, who was running the secret lab, and where they all went while the serum was doing its work. If I ever figure out the answers to those questions I might revisit that story, but meanwhile at least it served its purpose as a writing exercise.

Now, back to what you are all waiting for. The new novel!

All right, so the first thing I had to do was decide what I wanted to write about. As I told you last week, my only real idea was to write a story using the old theme of the reluctant hero. Someone who was pulled into a dangerous situation and forced to step up in order to save not only himself, but the whole world. Or at least more of it than would normally fit in his pajamas. So the first thing I needed to do was figure out who this guy was.

I started with a character sketch. I don’t mean a picture, although that will probably come in at some point. No, I mean a description of the character, including name, age, general appearance, and most importantly, his history and personality.

My main character is named Alexander Lunde. I chose the first name because it actually means “defender of mankind” in some languages. Or, at least, that’s what my Scrivener name generator told me. The last name is pretty much just random, except that I thought he should be of Norwegian descent. Just because.

I won’t get into his height and weight, eye and hair color. The important details are that he is a widower. His wife died in “the disaster” and he blames himself, so he lives alone, cutting himself off as much as possible from everyone else. If you want to get into the psychobabble, I suppose that he has low self-esteem and doesn’t feel like he deserves to live among other people. Another reason for his life as a hermit could be that he can’t stand the thought of losing someone else close to him. So he pushes people away, and generally comes across as a grumpy old man.

So that’s where I started. Now, you might have noticed a couple words in quotes in the description above. That was my next step in figuring out where I was going with this story. What, exactly, is “the disaster”?

Well, I decided that I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic tale. That meant that there should be at least the remains of technology available in the ruins of civilization that were still left standing. However, I also like the ideas of magic and monsters. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are high on my reading lists. So what kind of disaster could I come up with that had both science AND magic?

And, if at all possible, dragons.

My brain struggled over this for a while, and finally, out of the storm came this little gem. A comet passed extremely close to Earth, and billions of people went outside to watch as it neared the closest point. Unfortunately, those were the people who died. The comet gave off a strange form of radiation that killed everyone that saw it. The radiation also triggered a reaction deep in the Earth’s core that rekindled a magical force that had been largely depleted over the centuries of humanity’s history. After all, the legends of gods and fairy tales had to come from somewhere, right?

So now I’ve got a man with a past. What about the world of the present?

My next step was to figure out what was going on right now. I had to determine what the world was like in order to figure out how my story would fit in to it. After all, if my reluctant hero was going to have to save humanity, I had to at least find out what he was saving them from.

I already knew it was going to be post-apocalyptic, so that gave me a start. Few people, primarily gathered into small communities, largely either living off the land or scavenging through the ruins. With the magic influence, I decided that along with the bandits that would undoubtedly threaten any travelers, as well as established communities, there would also be fantastical monsters. Goblins, ogres, creatures of both dreams and nightmares, and, most importantly, dragons.

Another thing I had to decide was where it was going to be set. Of course, like most of my books, I decided to set it close to home. Personally, I think that Madison, Wisconsin, would be a fine place to live if most of the people were gone. Especially the idiots in that fancy domed building downtown. There are also plenty of farms and wooded areas around the city that would be excellent places for the survivors to use to start over and support themselves. There are even a few state parks where my hero could live without being bothered.

And there is also the UW campus. Let’s face it, if magic came back into the world, can you think of anywhere better to set up a school of wizardry than the research facilities of a major metropolitan university? It was a perfect place for people to gather together to start researching how to use the new forces of magic that were now available to all.

And that gave me the idea for the plot. These new wizards, just figuring out the “science” of magic, could easily cross one of those lines that are better left uncrossed. In the fantasy books I have read, one of the biggest dangers of using magic is summoning a demon. When dealing with evil creatures from another plane, not only does your spell have to be perfect, but you also have to have an iron will in order to keep body and soul together. Otherwise, what you end up with as a monster terrorizing the neighborhood while bloody chunks drip down the walls of the summoning chamber. Not good.

So I have a hero, a setting, and a climax. Now, how was I going to get Alexander from being a hermit to saving the world from a demonic invasion? And where were the dragons going to come in?

The answer, of course, is to bring in other people. I had to force him to spend time with others in order to be in a position where he had no choice but to be a hero. And who better to transform a grumpy old man into a loving “grandfather” than a little boy (or girl)?

Here’s the rough outline of the plot that I came up with:

Alexander is out hunting and finds a small family en route to the campus that is being attacked by bandits. He saves the family, but the father is injured and the bandits got away with most of their supplies. He reluctantly takes them in while the father recovers, which gives them time to bond with him, despite his efforts to push them away.

After the father recovers, the two of them go into the local town to restock the family’s supplies so they can continue their journey. On the way, they find a dragon’s egg, which they pick up and bring into town. Unfortunately, the dragon tracks them there and attacks the town, killing the young father before it, too is killed.

Alexander goes back to his house and breaks the news to the young wife. She is upset, and Alexander feels really bad. After she calms down, she tells him that she still wants to continue her journey, and she makes him promise to take her. He still has the dragon egg, and decides to take it with them so the people there can study it.

This part needs a bit of work. They get to campus and he sticks around while the girl gets settled with her family. At some point he discovers that the wizards are experimenting with summoning spells. He goes to watch and that’s when all hell breaks loose. Demons start flooding through the portal, and Alexander is hurt badly while trying to fight them off.

The ghost of Alexander’s dead wife then appears to him and tells him that it isn’t his time to die and that he needs to keep fighting or the young mother and her children will die. Her spirit then takes over the unborn dragon egg, which then hatches and helps Alexander fight off the demons and close the portal.

In the end, Alexander, the baby dragon, and the little family go back to his cabin in the woods and live happily ever after.

It’s pretty rough, and as I mentioned, I know there are some problems with the plot, but at least it is a starting point. I welcome any comments, criticism, or suggestions that will help me make it better.

That’s it for today (whew!). I’ll see you next week with another update on my planning. I hope to be able to work out some of the weak spots in this outline and fill in some gaps with a list of the scenes I’ll need to use in order to make this a decent novel. Later!

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Socializing for an Anti-Social Profession

Let’s face it, writers spend a lot of their time alone, lost in the worlds inside their heads. Some of them have even been known to bite when provoked. Getting those words on the page is the only way to get the voices to stop.

But stories are about people, and it’s kind of hard to understand how people work without spending any time with them. So every writer needs to get away from the manuscript once in a while and get out there where the stories are. If they’re lucky they can also find other people who share their interests and might be able to help refine their work into something they can print.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”

– Stephen King

Today I’m going to tell you about two of the things in my life that help me get my writing done. Writer’s groups and conventions.

I have been with a writing group for a few years now. We meet on a weekly basis and discuss our work. In the past, we would read our pieces out loud and get critiques from the others. That worked, but there were times when nobody had anything to read, or when only one person had anything prepared, so there was sometimes a bit of guilt or tension in the group.

We are shaking things up a bit now. We’re still going to meet weekly, but we’re only going to offer critiques once a month. The other weeks we will use as a scheduled writing time, with the opportunity to discuss any story problems we are stuck on with the rest of the group. We will also take some time each month to discuss a book that we have read.

I’m not sure about the book discussion, as I already have a discussion group that I go to at my local library once a month. I have enough trouble getting through the books on my own to-read shelf without adding yet another one from someone else’s list. But I’ll give it a try anyway, because at least the books that my writing group discuss will be more closely aligned with the ones I normally read for pleasure. The library book group mostly discusses popular fiction and non-fiction, which I would probably never read on my own.

As for conventions, it is nice to be able to get out and meet new people every once in a while. Conventions give me a chance to get out there and participate in discussions about interesting topics led by interesting people. I also get the chance to meet famous people, like Larry Niven, who has been a favorite author of mine for decades.

This year my convention plans include Odyssey Con, April 12-14, and WisCon, May 24-27, both held in my home town of Madison, Wisconsin. I almost decided to skip Odyssey Con this year, but when they announced that the Guests of Honor included Alex Bledsoe and Kevin Hearne, I just had to go. Alex is also local to the Madison area, and I have met him several times and consider him to be a friend. He is a great guy and his writing is superb. Kevin is the author of the Iron Druid series, which I started reading a couple of years ago and have loved every bit of it, so I am looking forward to meeting this outstanding author.

While at the conventions, I will have a chance to sit in on discussion panels with these two greats, as well as many other writers and fans, and pick their brains about writing, news of the world, and our future on this planet (and possibly others). And there will be lots of other, like-minded people around as well, each with their own opinions and views to share.

I highly recommend that, whatever your situation, you should try to connect with other writers. Either with a writer’s group or a convention. Preferably both. And if you can afford to travel, come and join me in Madison at one of my conventions and introduce yourself. We’ll chat.

I’ve got to go lock myself in a room now and get some writing done. I’m going to write another Alchemist story this week, and I am hoping that I will be able to finish it ahead of schedule again. As usual, I will post another update on Wednesday.

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Bad Day

Sorry for the late post. I’ve had a rough day.

First off, I just barely started writing my new story today. I got 61 words in before work. I planned on writing more during lunch, but I checked my Facebook page while I was eating and the stories I saw there got me so angry that I couldn’t bring myself to write anything.

What pissed me off is that my Tea Party poster boy governor is “considering” getting rid of the Wisconsin income tax and replacing it by raising the state sales tax from 5% to 13%. There isn’t a single state in America with sales tax that high. Not even the ones that already don’t have income tax. And while his corporate masters love this idea, it is a really bad idea for 80% of Wisconsin residents. It puts all the burden of the state’s civil programs on the lower and middle class, while the top 5% will end up with more money that they can stash in the off-shore bank accounts.

Another problem with this plan is that it will actually discourage people from spending money in Wisconsin. Anyone who wants to buy something of any value will either order it online or leave the state to buy it. We already have people who do this, so Walker is insane to think that by more than doubling the sales tax it will help the economy. Yet another moronic idea brought to you by the people who still haven’t figured out that “trickle-down economics” doesn’t work, despite thirty years of proof.

So anyway, I’ve had a bad day. I’m going to bed now, and I am hoping that I will be able to get some writing done tomorrow. With luck I’ll still be able to finish a story by Saturday. I’ll be back on Sunday to let you know how it went. See you then!

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What Happened?

Today I thought I would share some of the political thoughts and feelings that I have been having lately.

Here we are, a month after the election. Barack Obama was re-elected and I was hoping that we would be able to get past all the bullshit that has been at the forefront of the news and media for the last year. Instead, it seems to just be getting worse.

Michigan just rammed through a “Right to Work” law that is anything but. The lame duck Republicans pushed it through in a single day, with no open discussion and after literally locking out their constituents. That is NOT democracy. That is NOT why these people were elected to office. That is why they weren’t re-elected in November.

So why did they do it? It can’t be because they think it is for the good of the people. The only people it serves are the corporations that will now be able to get rid of the unions and hire people at lower pay with no benefits. And that just makes things worse.

I read recently that the state of Wisconsin is one of the top states in corporate giveaways. Michigan is even worse. Every taxpayer in Wisconsin is forced to pay $268 of tax money every year to big business, and there is little or no benefit from doing so. There are no jobs created, and the companies that take the money have no requirements to even stay in the state. And meanwhile, despite having record profits, the corporations continue to demand more.

So even with the billions of dollars of corporate welfare, why is Wisconsin at the bottom when it comes to unemployment? And why, when the “governor” has promised a “laser focus on jobs”, has he done absolutely nothing about the problem?

Instead, the news from Scott Walker’s office is that he is spending half a million dollars on a new kitchen. He has stated that he is touring the state so he can talk to the people, but the stops on his tour are invitation only and not open to the general public. More and more of his associates are being arrested, tried, and convicted, with their fingers pointing directly at him, and yet he laughingly dismisses a serious call for his arrest as a case of sour grapes.

I got the idea for my NaNoWriMo project from my frustrations about the current political situation in Wisconsin and the country. And despite the Democratic wins in November, the Republicans are still pushing the same old crap that lost them their seat at the table.

It’s depressing.

It makes me think that there will be nothing left for our children. It makes me think that the country I grew up in is dead and gone, and I wonder why I am still here. There is no end to the insanity in sight.

It almost makes me hope that the people who say the world is going to end this month are right, because I’m not sure that we as a people still deserve to live.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, think about who is currently in power. The ones that are in charge of the country now are people who grew up in the eighties and nineties. The Yuppies of the “Me” generation. They grew up rich and privileged, thinking of nothing but themselves, so it is no wonder that now that they are in charge they are pushing for laws that benefit nobody but themselves.

And the whole thing is self-destructive. If they would just stop to think about it, they might realize that if they continue to take money away from the people who are supposed to be buying their goods, soon enough there won’t be anybody left that will be able to buy anything. They will end up closing their doors because their only customers will be people as rich as they are, and we all know that they aren’t spending their money. Instead, they stash it in offshore bank accounts, or give it to crooked politicians like Scott Walker and his gang of thieves, so they can continue to feed off the public teat.

So that’s my soap box speech for the day. Maybe someone can be nice and leave a comment to let me know that all isn’t lost. Or at least tell me that I am not alone in these thoughts.

And when you’re shopping this holiday season (if you can still afford it, I know I can’t), try going to a small, independent store where the owner greets you with a smile from behind the counter. Or better yet, buy direct from a local craftsman. Stay away from the big box stores. You know, the ones that pay their workers minimum wage with no benefits. They already have enough of your money, and odds are that it is going to a bank outside of the country.

See you Wednesday! Hopefully I’ll have something less depressing to write about. Does anybody have any suggestions?

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Still Writing

As you can see by my nifty NaNoWriMo word count meter, I’m still writing. As of Wednesday evening I have over 56,000 words written for this novel. I also think I might have an idea on how I can end the book. Or at the very least a good cliffhanger.

When I was planning this story, I simply could not comprehend how the Republican party had turned so fully against common sense. It seemed that everything they were doing was an attack on the American people. And so, like any good Christian, I assumed that they had been possessed by demons. That was a basic premise of my idea.

However, after I started writing it, I found it more focused on my heroes and less on the demons. Even with all of these words written, the demons are only mentioned a few times and never actually seen. There is no proof of any kind of demonic influence, only a statement by one of the Norns (from the Norse mythology, a little like the classic Greek Fates).

Today I was working on planning a raid by the rebel forces. I decided to attack the Dane County Coliseum, and I had to decide why. What I came up with was that the wealthy people in power have converted into something like the ancient Roman Coliseum, where gladiatorial and sexual events are held on a regular basis to entertain the elite. After the recent laws regarding the Castle Doctrine and the Republican war on women, I figured that kind of perversion would be something that many of them approve of if they had the power to enact it.

The rebels want to attack for two reasons. First, to take out some of the sick idiots running the place. They expect the Governor (who I hope will be indicted soon in real life) to be there along with several other political figures. Secondly, they want to film the depravities being conducted there and broadcast them to the public, hoping to incite outrage in the people and get more of them on their side.

My idea is that when they attack they will find more than they bargained for. They will find that after the fights and orgies are over, the demons come in to “clean up” by eating any surviving prisoners. No witnesses, right?

I think that might be a good way to end this book. I would have the big reveal of the truth behind the devastation of America, and the promise of more battles to come in the next book.

The other option, of course, is to do the reveal and then just keep writing. I could just keep going until the whole story is done, then break it up into sections for publishing, like Tolkien did with the Lord of the Rings.

I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about that. In the meantime, I’m going to try to keep up my pace until Friday, the end of November. Then I’ll verify my word count on the NaNoWriMo website to become an official winner. What comes after that, I’m not sure. I’ll probably need a break, because I’m running out of my pre-planned outline, and the story has changed so much from that anyway that I should probably take at least a few days to plan out the next phase of the story.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo I hope you have either finished or are almost done. And if you didn’t join me in this month-long adventure in writing, there’s always next year!

See you again on Sunday. Good night!

PS: Now go write!

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Good New and Bad News

The first thing that I did this morning was check the election results. I felt that this election was one of the most important decisions of my life, and I was anxious to find out what happened. Not enough that I had to stay awake last night for it, but enough that it was the first thing on my mind when I got up.

The good news is that the Tea Party Jihad has failed. The arrogant, lying waffler, Mitt Romney, will NOT be our next President. Thank God! Also, Wisconsin finally managed to realize the Tommy Thompson was only interested in himself and how he can profit from betraying us to his corporate friends in Washington, and he also lost his election to the Senate.

The bad news is that the waffler’s head weasel, Paul Ryan, won his bid for re-election to Congress, despite the fact that at the same time that he told voters a Congressman should be limited to six terms, this will be his seventh. So I guess the people of Janesville and the surrounding areas still have their heads up their asses, and failed to see how Ryan is simply another lying corporate stooge.

And it also appears that the Democrats have lost control of the state legislature as well, which means that Walker, Inc., will be sticking it to the Wisconsin people once again. We can probably expect more protests. We can definitely expect more lies. Personally, I’m still wondering why the John Doe investigation still hasn’t dragged him away in chains. There’s no doubt in my mind that he is an even bigger crook than Tommy Thompson. And the worst part about it is that he’s also too stupid to bother covering his tracks.

Whew. That feels better. Politics is a nasty business, isn’t it. I feel like I should go get the mouthwash to clean the filth out of my mouth for having to say those names.

In other news, my NaNoWriMo story is progressing well. I have over 12,000 words, so I’m ahead of schedule. If there’s one thing that this election season has done for me, it has been to provide a huge amount of inspiration for a dystopian novel. And despite the fact that I now have hope for the future, I also know that those Republican idiots are still out there, and will probably be back. It’s up to us to protect our democracy, and guard our right to vote, or it will be taken away from us. It doesn’t look good to the rest of the world when we send our troops out “to fight for democracy,” when we don’t have it at home.

That’s the end of my rant for the day. Time to get back to writing, so I can stay ahead of the game. I’ll check in again on Sunday. See you then.

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Moving Things Along

I don’t have a lot of progress to report today. I am still working on my summary. So far I have introduced five characters from my previous books, but it is still in the beginning stages of the plot.

George is the main character. If I follow my Star Wars analogy, he would be Luke Skywalker. He is an older man with the heart of a hero, and he is introduced when he tries to stop a rape. Eventually, he will be the one that visits the dragon in order to release his untapped magical potential. That magic will be what will save the world.

Miranda is the main Valkyrie. She is the one that discovers George and introduces him to the dragon. She is just trying to do her job and keep the supernatural world hidden from mortal view, but the growing demonic influence is making that more and more difficult.

Kari is Loki’s daughter. She is the one being raped at the start of the book. Despite her penchant for chaos, the rape affects her more than she likes to admit. This pain will cause her to make increasingly dangerous choices which result in more than a few men being harmed and possibly killed. I’m thinking that George and Miranda will have to step in at some point in order to turn her away from this course, otherwise she could easily end up filled with hate like her father.

Nicole is a rogue Valkyrie. She has broken away from the council of “retired” Valkyries that normally lead the supernatural women, and is on her own, enforcing law and order for all creatures, mortal and magical. She has hooked up with some rebel forces and regularly uses her powers to transport fugitives across the border to Canada. George will probably meet her when he goes to see the dragon. Other than the rebel connection, I’m not sure yet what role Nicole has to play in the story, but I’ll try to make it interesting.

The last character I have introduced so far is another George. This guy is Miranda’s dead boyfriend, and he is one of the Einherjar currently waiting for Ragnarök in the halls of Valhalla. I know there’s going to be some confusion with more than one character having the same name, so I’ll probably have to change one of them. My plan for the Einherjar is to have at least some of them be released into the world to help the rebels fight the demons. I might have this grow as the story progresses so that ALL of them are sent out, as this war reveals itself to actually be the start of Ragnarök.

So those are my characters, as well as some of my plans. What do you think? Am I on the right track? Would you read this story?

I’ll be back on Sunday with another update on my progress. Hopefully I’ll have the summary done by then and I’ll be working on breaking it down into an outline. We’ve only got two weeks left before the start of NaNoWriMo, so I had better get cracking!

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Filling in Some Holes

Things are still moving, although they are still mostly in my head. This week I have been considering the problem of the holes in my story idea. This is a common problem, so don’t be discouraged if it happens to you. If you’ve got a few minutes, I’ll tell you some more.

My idea is that the country has gone to hell, literally. The nefarious forces behind the recent Republican atrocities were actually demons. The politicians had made pacts with the darkness to get elected, and the weak-minded citizens allowed them to do it. Now the country is nothing like the powerful nation of freedom that it used to be, and things are heating up toward a new civil war.

The gaping hole that I found in this idea is that I need to figure out just how far things have progressed, and why nothing was done about the problem before. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and if you have been paying attention to the news, when the villainous Scott Walker was elected and started his term of office by breaking the state laws and ignoring the Constitution the people of Wisconsin got mad. We didn’t just stand for it. Instead, we marched, we protested, we sang, we shouted, we made our voices heard. Unfortunately, the dark forces (and money) behind Walker managed to buy their way through the recall campaign, so we are stuck with two more years of this crook.

On the national stage, we are dealing with the same kinds of issues. There have been massive public outcries about the disastrous policies put forward by the Republican right-wing extremists. So if there is already that much noise about the terrorist acts of these politicians, how can I think that my fellow countrymen would stand for this kind of thing in the first place?

It’s a dilemma, and one that is vital for me to figure out before I start writing. I have to know how we got there before I can tell my story about how we are going to get out of it.

Magic is going to be a big part of this story, so that may be the simplest answer. After all, they are demons. Maybe they simply cast a spell on the voting machines to get their way. I may be able to work with that.

That’s all the time I have for this post. Look for me again on Sunday. See you then!

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Slow Going

I haven’t been able to do much in the last few days. Part of it is because I am still trying to figure out what I am doing. But to be honest, most of it is because I got sucked into another Facebook game, and that is what is taking up most of my time right now.

I glanced over at the side of my Facebook stream the other day and I noticed an ad for Farmville 2. I played Farmville for a while last year, and the year before that, but I stopped because it was interfering with my writing time. I quit playing all the Facebook games so I could make better use of my time. But when I saw the ad for the new version I got curious. I wanted to know what they had changed, so I decided to take a look.

So, of course, now I am spending a lot of my time planting, watering, harvesting, feeding, and crafting. It’s a big time suck, but I promise that I will stop cold turkey on November 1 for NaNoWriMo. Nothing will keep me from attempting to win for my third year in a row!

However, I still need to do a lot of planning for November. I have ideas, and I think they are coming together in my head, but what I really need to do is put them down on paper. Or at least, in my Scrivener file. I’m also using yWriter, because it lets me plan individual scenes.

On a political note, I am going to go to the Obama rally here in Madison on Thursday. This is the most important election of my life so far, and I am really looking forward to seeing the President. I managed to get the day off and I will be leaving the house early to make sure I get a good seat. I’ll try to do some planning while I wait, but I won’t be able to bring my netbook because of security, but I might be able to manage bringing my Kindle Fire instead. I can do some work on that while I wait. The problem is that it may also be raining and umbrellas aren’t allowed, so I’ll have to be careful about that. If it is raining, the pen and paper option wouldn’t be much better. But I’ll give it a shot, and we’ll see what happens.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll be back on Sunday with another post. Hopefully I’ll be able to report that I have figured out how to manage my time so that I can play a little bit and then work on my book. Or maybe what I should do is make a commitment to do my planning before I let myself play. That would probably be a better idea….

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Stealing from the Best

I’m still plugging away at my plan for NaNoWriMo in November. I was playing around with some ideas for the plot this morning and had a bit of an epiphany.

My idea has some small parallels with the original Star Wars trilogy. Maybe I should pattern it after the movies. Then I would have not just one, but three books that I could write.

Now before you get all hot and bothered about stealing ideas from other creators, let me remind you of one thing: THAT’S WHAT WRITERS DO!

Seriously, there are only so many plots available to write. Every author takes one (or more) of them and creates his own story from that basic idea. I’m certainly not going to plagiarise George Lucas. There is no way that I can write about my Valkyries fighting a demon incursion and have to worry about George setting his lawyers after me.

What I mean, is that I can write my story in such a way that my characters will be hooking up with a rebel force and at the end they will take down a major demon stronghold. It won’t be the Death Star, but it will be big, nasty, and destroying it will be a huge setback for the demons. After that I can write a second book in which the demons “strike back”, and lastly one in which the rebels, led by my main characters, take down the evil empire.

Although I won’t be copying the movies, I do want to watch them again before I start writing. I’ve got a whole stack of other dystopian films to go through as well, so I will certainly be busy for the next month.

I may end up changing my mind about this idea, but for now that is what I am going with. Let me know what you think. I could use a second (or third, fourth, ninety-eighth) opinion before I make a big mistake. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out who will be the evil emperor behind all the chaos.

Speaking of evil empires, I learned today that the governor of my state (but definitely not MY governor), the weasel Scott Walker, is going to start a national narc campaign. “If you see something, tell somebody.” This whole idea gets under my skin in so many ways.

First off, remember that this is from a man who has to have a legal defense fund, has had several of his political “achievements” turned over because they are illegal and/or unconstitutional, and who has spent most of his term touring the country because he is afraid to show his face in Wisconsin. If this goes into effect, you would think he would realize how many calls they are going to get about him and his cronies. Not a good idea.

Secondly, if I remember my history correctly, the Nazis had a similar program to flush out Jews. I know Joseph McCarthy did at the height of the Red Scare. This is how it started. A seemingly innocent program that sounds like it is only intended to flush out the criminal element, but it quickly turns neighbors and co-workers against each other.

For the last ten years we have been trying to regain our privacy and freedom from the “Homeland Security Agency”. The paranoid extremists took the opportunity given them by the tragedy of 9/11 to get a toe hold into our democracy, and that crack has only widened over the last decade. I really don’t think this country needs another witch hunt. It will bring nothing but pain and injustice to a country that needs, more than ever, to come together.

Whatever happens in the next couple months, I hope and pray that we as a nation will be able to come to our senses and go back to the good and decent country that I grew up in. Please remember to VOTE in November. Do your part to make my dream come true.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with another update. Don’t forget to leave a comment for me!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, The Writing Experience