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Start Your New Life the Bad Way

The Butthurt Days are over, and it’s back to some serious work.  I shouldn’t put it that way, but by nine AM yesterday I was ready, just like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, to take a flamethrower to more than a few places.  Things happen, you know, but dealing with the butthurt isn’t one of those things I enjoy.

Needless to say, I was able to power through the events, and after an afternoon of fooling around and generally not doing a damn thing, I got to my Foundation story.

Last night was death time.  I’d performed my set up, got my players where they needed to be, and decided it was time to turn shit loose.  I’ve been teasing the bad times for almost twenty thousand words now, and it was time to write up or shut up.

So I made someone’s head explode.

It was simple.  First, I had someone’s heart jump out of their chest.  It’s not that obvious, but if you read between the lines you see it happened.  Then it was time to take out a student.  So one moment their head was there, attached to their body, and the next moment–oops, lost your head!  Sort of made it vanish so there was a nice, even misty spray of blood to cover the fact of the student standing next to her.

This, of course, sets up a quick little conflict with the bad guy and the remaining student, and if you think the student ran upstairs to get away and get trapped in the bathroom, you haven’t been paying attention . . .

It was a long, fairly detailed scene, and by the time nine-thirty rolled around, I’d written exactly sixteen hundred and fifty words.  Not wanting to head to bed with less than two thousand words in the bank, I added another three hundred and fifty words leading up to some more death, and called it good.

Then I went to bed and had dreams I can’t remember, but I was dreaming, I know that much.

The topic the other night was, “Do you have problems killing your characters?”  After last night the answer has progressed to a definite “No!”, but this opens the door to another question:  “Do you have a problem putting your characters through hell and letting them live, and not feel bad in the end?”  Hell, no, I don’t have a problem.  A couple of character in particular are seeing some nasty stuff up close before it’s all over, and they’d come out of it a bit changed when they walk out of whatever nasty fire that surrounds them.

Killing off a character is pretty easy:  just ask George R. R. Martin.  Oh, sure, the writer might profess they were a bit upset because they blew away Fred with a wall that just happened to explode while he was standing there minding his own business, but in the end Fred’s still dead, baby, Fred’s dead.  Was it this, and the near-death of another child, that made his mom go all La Femme Nikita on a certain Crazy Lady?  Maybe.  Probably.

I know I would have done it that way.

Though if given the choice, I’d have gone with an exploding head.  Always go with an exploding head.

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