I’ll tell ya, I put myself through some crazy stuff just to get a story going.
Last night I was in a good mood, and burning up my stories. I did two chapters in Her Demonic Majesty, burned through about five thousand words in the process. I’m still amazed the story reads as well as it does; it was one of those things that, when I was writing it, the words tumbled out. Going through those chapters, I found there was mistakes here and there, and some of the things, as written, made no sense because of words missing (which I found about a dozen or so), or the phrasing was just off the freakin’ wall.
It was all fixed, though. Both chapters. I’m likely going to do another today. Or, as Ernie Banks used to say, it’s such a nice day outside, lets play two.
After that was done, I took a little break, then came back at 10 PM–yes, I work like that–and started setting up Diners at the Memory’s End in Scrivener. I figured, hey: now’s as good a time as any to start rewriting the story. Or, better yet, write the damn thing from scratch, since it’s pretty much going to be a whole new story when I’m finished with the damn thing.
So, going through, getting everything set up right–I always have to think about how to set up the damn thing when I’m doing it, you’d think I’d have it figured out by now, right? But in ten minutes, I had it up, I copied over information I needed, and I was ready to start laying out the time line.
If you’ve followed me, you know that I have this strange thing I like to do, which is figure out the days and nights during which the story takes place. With Diners, I know the narrative starts in August, and continues through until October. So I set up a few cards and put in dates, with one in particular in October, because something happens there that affects the plot considerably. I set up a second card that–
That puzzles me.
The story takes place at a college, and it involves one of the main characters taking a course, something he hasn’t done in . . . well, a long time. I had the start of class figured out, but damn it all–how long does each course last?
This was something I didn’t know. And when it comes to my stories, I don’t like knowing.
Sure, I can whip out a calendar and start counting weeks, or figure out how long a course here is, and simply extrapolate. I could, if the course was behind held today, and on Earth.
Neither option apply to this story.
As you may have surmised from the title of this post, the story takes place in the 32nd Century, and the school where the course is held exists on a planet with a 28 hour day. That means today’s calendars are pretty much worthless. So I have to do some figurin’, right?
Wouldn’t you know that I did that some time ago?
This story takes place in the same universe I created for Transporting, and for that monster I created a huge amount of background. I mean, I had a whole universe to do, and there were things I needed to know. And a calendar was one of those things.
Using information I found in a game on time travel, I figured out Earth’s calendar to the late 3400′s, and then did a little adjusting for the orbital period for my new planet, thought about how many days you’d have in their orbit, then adjusted those 24 hour days to 28 hour days, counted up the numbers . . . and made me a calendar for the years 3182 and 3183.
Right this moment I actually have the calendar for 3183 open, and I’m seriously thinking of doing the calendar for 3184 right after I finish this post. Then I find out just how many weeks I need for each course period. When that is known, I can do the last bit of figuring for my story, and time line out the information I need in between the beginning and end of my tale.
Oh, and I gotta look up stars that might go nova in the next thousand years. I might just make that stuff up, though.
After all, it is my universe. And if I wanna blow up stars, I will.