Old pitch update

©2023 michael raven

In reworking the story I am resurrecting from the grave of 2017 yesterday, I decided to modify the motivations of both a secondary and tertiary character, as I felt the overall motivation for one of the plotlines was weak and needed an overhaul.

I loath the tertiary character now. Before, I felt an element of pity for the man, even though he was by no means a very likable character. But now, he has revealed his darker side and he’s just “icky”. He deserves anything bad that happens to him, however pitiful he ultimately has ended up being. He chose the darker path, knowing it was a darker path and selfishly kept pursuing it. I actually find him disgusting now instead of merely “pathetic”.

The secondary character is no-one to admire, but she’s a victim instead of a heartless, cruel creature. Her motives are a bit more understandable now, even going down to the fact that some of her actions are “just part of her nature”. As I said, though, no one would admire this character. They’re no paragon of virtue. Just someone a reader might find more sympathy for.

It’s been interesting to revisit some of this tale with a new eye. By changing the venue, I have uncovered some elements that should really be rethought, not because the location change made those elements weaker, but that those elements were lacking a bit.

I also recently found some old pulpy cyberpunk that I used as eyecandy when I was in my 20s, republished for Kindle and relatively cheap per book. While I admit that the overall quality is more pulp than anything, rereading some of these stories has really given me an idea about pacing, plot and content for my own project, which is not cyberpunk. I am reminded of some qualities that made these books enjoyable to read and that my own project isn’t ever going to be high literature, so why try to paint it as anything but pulp.

Yes, I’ve rebuilding the whole shebang from the bottom up. I’m keeping most of the thematic elements, but I have better vision than I previously had. Let’s see if I can wrangle it into something good to read.

Why my “novel” is still on page 20

©2022 Michael Raven

I’ve been writing the same scene over and over again, and deciding it probably will never be quite right. Prelude, except we don’t like the word “Prelude” anymore, so it is not a prelude, but the opening scene in a story that is most imagined in my head, and will probably never see the light of day, mostly because of perfectionist thinking and subpar output.

It twists and turns with each attempt to capture what I am trying to capture, like a snake that refuses to be grasped, wending and winding around my brain to choke until it can slip away. It lingers and, just as I think I have something workable, I wonder if it is appropriate for me, of all people to write about things in the past that have had zero impact on me as the basis for part of the story — although the rot goes deeper than the event as written. As I imagine the tale, the incident at the beginning of the story is but a symptom, not a cause. And that the events preceding the event I am writing about in my not-prelude is another symptom. No one knows what the real problem is, no one alive does anyway. Everything is outfall of a deeper tale that may or may not ever be written — or need to be.

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Knives: digging in the dirt a bit

©2022 Michael Raven

Even though I didn’t directly work on the book I have in my head, I did a ton of writing about it this evening. In fact, I feel pretty darned good about the shape it is taking.

You see, I consider brainstorming, research, and story development to be “working” on the novel, even if I didn’t put down a single word of story into Scrivener. For this part, I prefer to pencil scratch so I can get more visceral about the design, make all kinds of doodles, boxes, arrows, and whatnot. I like a jumbled mess, because if it is too clean-looking, the outline becomes intimidating for me. I feel obligated to use all of the neat notes whereas a scribbled mess is more like an old map I found in a bottle that is less reliable and hard to read, so I’m okay if I go off on a tangent and ignore my previous hard labors.

So I get my hands dirty.

Continue reading “Knives: digging in the dirt a bit”