What I have and haven’t been up to: Outlines, GothNo and bizarro dreams.

Seeing how I have written pretty much nothing for the past few days, I figured a blog post would be a reasonable way to try and give a much needed boost to my enthusiasm to work with words. Well, even though I’ve been nearly inactive, there are a few things I have been paying special attention to, and they’ve all got to do with writing.

Firstly, GothNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I’ve been wanting to give it a go to avert even more atrophying for my writing habits. Heck, when I began and won Camp NaNo, I wrote like a madman. Maybe a new deadline is what I’ve been needing? Of course, this brings me to what I’ve been working on lately: Outlines. A whole bunch of them. The detail is that even though I have a whole lot of outlines at hand, I haven’t written a single draft. What’s more, one of these outlines is supposed to be for a short story, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I’m bringing this up now because, if Camp NaNo has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t do very well on long-term pantsing, so I’m outlining for large-scale writing events such as NaNo, which of course brings me to GothNo. And here’s the interesting bit: I have an outline ready, and it really feels like it should be made into a novel. In fact, I’ve had this basic idea since I was in middle school, but what I brought into fruition then didn’t amount to much, (although I still keep it on my hard drive as a relic), but I’ve always wanted to make something decent with it, and this I saw as my chance: a gothic twist might be just what this outline of mine needs.

Why gothic, I’d like to think you’re wondering? Although your train of thought is probably gandering off into how introducing a gothic element into your own writings could make them more interesting (and I quite frankly hope it is, since you’re reading this blog and all), it’s merely a question of themes. You see, this idea started off as a rather lighthearted tribute to a remote group of people, but it didn’t take it too long to evolve into something else when need for an interesting conflict arose. And me, being the avid Lovecraft fanatic that I am, decided why not, let’s bring a monster into the mix. It wasn’t too important then, but it’s certainly become the focus of what this project of mine has been warped into, and all for the better. With this apparition as the selling point, GothNo’s requirement was to be the lightning bolt which jolted this festering project shambling back to life.

The premise isn’t too complicated, I’d hope: A rather eccentric, self-proclaimed gentleman is forced by fate to collide with an unlucky young woman whom he senses is in great distress, prompting him to recruit the help of a sharp-minded but very unenthusiastic and cynical friend (the narrator) in finding out what the problem is. When they visit the girl’s hometown, they discover a place stagnant with an air of misfortune, a smattering of old legends, and an underlying supernatural presence which threatens anyone who sets foot within. This was initially set in the present day, but the idea of giving it a quasi-Victorian feel has given me some enthusiasm for how it could turn out.

Well, that’s one of my plans, and what I have in store for GothNo if all goes well. And now, for something else I mentioned a while ago. I have a much shorter outline I mean to make a short story out of. Interestingly, this came to me as rather spontaneous; I had a semi-related dream about a similar subject, and the idea sort of stuck. Basically, it’s about a traveller who gets stuck on an island where the (civilised) natives become their own opposites during the night, which is much longer than the day. Not only that, but the very room in which he left his only means of escape has somehow vanished, he has no idea of what’s going on with the natives, and some people seem to be getting a weird, moaning case of the shambles. Not that much, but worth developing, methinks. I’ve another outline with a similar conception (half-remembered dream) about a group of people who wake up adrift in a large chunk of wreckage in the middle of an ocean, slowly remembering how they came to be there. Morlocks, fascism and megalomaniacal AIs are involved.

And that’s what I haven’t been up to for the past few days. Something else that kind of worries me is that I’ll have pretty much nothing left for NaNo, lest I somehow develop that last outline into something viable for a longer piece of work; right now I feel it could amount to a novella at best. But anyway, now that I have some reassurance that this blog, unlike all others I’ve had in the past, is not being completely wasted, I take it upon myself to sign off. Keep on writing.

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About ikerrivercast

Iker Rivercast is a natural born loner with a knack for writing and programming. When he's not sleeping or otherwise putting off being productive, you'll likely find him trying something new with his written work. View all posts by ikerrivercast

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