Change as Change Be

Was there writing?  Yeah, a little.  Before I did that I had a long, relaxing lunch with a few glasses of wine:

Here I'm trying out for the part of the new queen of King's Landing.

Here I’m trying out for the part of the new queen of King’s Landing.

Then came home and watched some TV and took a nap.  Then I got up and started getting my images for tomorrow’s Sense8 recap, and it was only after all that was out of the way that I started writing.

The thing is, I didn’t get much written:  about three hundred and ten words and not much more.  After I started writing I began having this running conversation with myself about whether or not I was saying things right.  So I spent time walking about the apartment trying out lines, trying out feelings, trying to figure out if what I wanted to write was what I wanted to write.

I do this a lot:  I will “act out” what I want to write, taking on the parts of the characters who are going down in that part of the story and figure out if it feels good and sounds like it’s legitimate.  I’ve been doing this for years:  when I used to live in Indiana and I spent the weekends driving to and from Indianapolis, I’d use the time in the car to work out scenes by “being” my characters.  And one of those scenes I worked out?  The meeting of the Brain Trust when they were first going over the footage of Kerry’s gender switching lab work before they figured out there was more at work than just simply transformation magic.

I work on that back in the late summer of 2012, which should give you an idea about how much time I sometimes spend on these things.

But the second scene began, and it started out with five simple words:

 

“Mom, Dad . . . I’m a witch.”

 

If you read the metadata synopsis next to the scene title, probably figured out that this is the scene that picks up right after the uttering of those same words at the end of B For Bewitching.  That, of course, makes this scene a flashback, the first one in the series, and it means we’re back with The Malibeys and their child who’s never done anything special in their life.  Oh, Mom and Dad Malibey, are you about to eat those freakin’ words.

It was during the moments when I was working out things that I realized I’d forgotten a scene for Chapter One–I told you this would happen, didn’t I?  If Scene Two is a flashback, and Scene one is obviously the setup, then where’s the payoff?  Still in my head, right?  Duh.  If so, I needed to get it out, and with that–

I did.

I did.

Now after the little drama plays out in the Second Home By the Sea–hey, that would make a great song title, wouldn’t it?–we get to snap back to Pamporovo to find out if there is follow up to the flashback.  And it’s likely as I go along through the story I’ll need to do this here and there, because I’m only human:  I can’t get all my plotting right the first time around.

What really matters is that I get it right in the end.

Embarking Upon New Adventures in Storytelling

Yesterday was as big day in a many ways.  I put out the trailer, started the novel, and drove down to Maryland to spend time celebrating a friend’s birthday.  We had lunch and ice cream, she went shopping at Tiffany and picked up a bracelet–and the sales woman joke with me that I could always come to their new “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” meeting where couples can pick out engagement rings, which will probably never happen to be because I’ll likely never be engaged again–and finished it off with a visit to Build-a-Bear, where I picked up a new friend–

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Since I was given a “Mother of Dragons” tee shirt to wear, it goes without saying that I needed a dragon–and Toothless is one of the best.

See?  Cuddly little dragon.

See? Cuddly little dragon.

It was a fairly full day that I finished off with watching a few Walking Dead episodes and writing a little more–

Wait?  Did I say writing?

Yes, I did.  Like I said I started the new novel yesterday, and I ended the evening by finishing up the first five hundred words.  And today, down here at the Little Amps coffee shop, I finished the scene of Chapter One with a six hundred and forty word effort.

Proof I'm down writing.

Proof I’m down writing.

 

And proof I did the writing.

And proof I did the writing.

If you’re scanning ahead you’re probably saying to yourself, “But where’s the excerpt, Cassie?  I don’t see anything.  Are you gaslighting us?”  Nope, no gaslighting at all, ’cause that’s a dick move–though if I try to convince you that you’re an android with implanted human memories, that’s considered a Philip K. Dick move and it’s totally okay.

No, the real reason is that this is post number 1,996, and I said earlier that I wouldn’t present the first excerpts until post number 2,000, which comes this Thursday, 21 July, also known as the day we first walked on the moon.  Sorry, then, but you’re going to have to wait–though if you’ve read the trailer script, you’ve seen something that happens in this first scene.

With this writing I’m past my first thousand words, which means I probably have 349,000 to go.  No problem, right?  This is why I’m considering doing NaNoWriMo again this year, for if it could help be add another fifty thousand words in the span of a month, that goes a long ways toward cutting a month and a half of writing off my time.  Doing this twice during the first novel helped a great deal, and if I’d done it last year, it’s likely I would have finished the second novel in early May.

It really comes down to exactly how much stress I’m willing to put upon myself to make that fifty thousand word goal.  Sure, I’ve heard of people claiming they’ve finished NaNoWriMo in as little as two days, but that’s not me–not to mention whatever those people got down on paper probably looks like the rantings of someone deep in an ether binge, and that’s not me either.  Usually.

We’ll see what I decide come October.  Meanwhile, it’s simply a matter of getting in five hundred words here, a thousand here–

And before you know it, I’m talking a real novel.

Pulling Together the Imaginary Ends

As promised I started getting into the trailer last night, and it was fun.  If you consider fun hitting yourself on the foot with a hammer–

“No this is really easy, it is. Just keep telling yourself this over and over and over . . .”

I really shouldn’t say that, because it’s not entirely true.  The creative process is always a pain in the ass, because you have to be, um, creative.  You gotta make things up and have them make sense, and you have to do it in new and entertaining ways.  Sometimes that’s an easy thing to do, and writers love it when the prose flows and the words say what you want them to say.

And then there was last night, when I found moments where I was wandering about the apartment working out lines in my head or even speaking them outright.  Because even though I have it all down on the time line, that doesn’t mean I don’t have them down and presentable for the reader.  And that’s where the fun starts:  getting is all ready so that people can see, read, and be entertained.

I’m not certain how much I wrote last night–oh, wait, I can find that information quick.  Here:  1,188 words.  As I’m shooting for a three thousand word piece, I’m almost half way there, whoa-o, livin’ on a prayer.  And I will likely make it with a big push tonight.  And maybe even a smaller push on Friday.  No matter what, I will get this out Saturday morning, because I promised.

In the meantime I’ll give you just a peek, because I can.  It doesn’t give away anything, but it does show you the layout I used for the first trailer:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

INT. SALEM JAUNT STATION — NIGHT

ANGLE ON — PLATFORM

A group of students pop into existence, all of them with luggage. Annie and Kerry are in the front.

QUICK CUT:

ISIS MOSSMAN and Wednesday Douglas stand by the control station.

ISIS (SMILING)
Welcome back. Did you miss us?

SMASH CUT:

INT. CERNUNNOS COVER TOWER — NIGHT

Annie and Kerry stand in the open area of the second floor. The opening chords of the Moody Blues’ Lovely to See You Again My Friends begins as five students step out of the stairwell and face them. (Link here)

ANNIE
Welcome to the second floor.

 

Not a lot, eh?  Well, I can’t give everything away, but at least you know they get back to the school and are ready to take care of the new kids on the floor.  As for the rest–it’s coming, folks, you just gotta wait a few more days.

I will admit to feeling a bit of pressure, however.  There’s a part of me that doesn’t feel as if I’m ready, and that I’m going to get into this and blow it all to hell.

And then I remember:  I’m a writer.

We feel this way all the time.

Getting Ready to Make the Magic

Editing, right:  you’re looking for it, yeah?  Sorry, but editing I haz not.  Not today, kids.  Last night was recap night, and since I was writing about smart money being on a skinny bitch, that skinny bitch took up the better part of three hours and thirty-six hundred words.  Yep, it happens.  And when it does I don’t have time for anything else.

“It won’t be a problem; I’m sure my fans will understand.”

Yeah, just like those who follow George R. R. Martin do . . .

Anyway, the countdown clock on my blog says I have four day before I’m supposed to get started on this novel, but it’s really more like three days and six hours, as it is, right this moment, 5:37 in the morning in The Burg.  As I see it now, if I’m good I’ll have all off Act One plotted out by the time Saturday rolls into town, and I’ll plot out the rest by getting in a chapter every other day or so as I write along.

This won’t be a problem.  In actuality, I didn’t have a firm lock on Act Three of A For Advanced when I started writing, and I seemed to recall plotting out most of the Kansas City chapters a few weeks before I got around to writing them.  B For Bewitching was really to go when I started writing, though there were a few areas in the story that were little more than sketches.

C For Continuing is a little different.  I know this one a lot better than any of the other stories in the series, and there’s only a few spots in the third act that are a little spotty in my head right now.  But I’m not worried because it’s probably going to be ten months before I get around to writing that part, and I will have all that in place and solid by the time I get there.

Today and tomorrow is movie time:  I have to write the “teaser trailer” for C For Continuing, and based upon the last two I wrote, it’s something of an undertaking.  This is going to be the first part I release on Saturday, a few days ahead of the first novel excerpt.  Since I’ll have it finished by tonight or tomorrow–smart money is on the heavy-set bitch finishing it tomorrow night–I can throw it into a blog post and have it auto post at like six AM my time.  Here that, Renxk?  Set your alarm, ‘kay?

This will be the first time I’ve done a trailer without having a novel to fall back upon for dialog, so what I write in there I’ll have to reference at different points in the novel because it has to be right–right?  I’ll just have to set up keywords in the trailer to do that, but I’m certain that at this point I won’t forget.

And speaking of the novel, I just had one of those moments on inspiration about the scene where Annie and Kerry display their Kali skills, and let me say . . . it’s gonna be cool at hell.

I should get around to writing that in like November–

The Run Up to the Start

Last night was Get My Images For Recap Night so that I can write said recap tonight, and I was breaking my brain for most of the evening thinking about the last chapter of Part Three of C For Continuing.  Because that’s the way I am:  I get fixated on these things and continue working them in my head until it sort of drives me nuts.  Which is also called “Being a Writer”, so I suppose it’s normal.

I’ve been kicking around a few scenes for the last couple of days, mostly when I have a free moment at work when I can sit and daydream for about five minutes.  But a few scenes don’t equate something coherent, and that’s what I needed.

It was about the time I was getting my last few images together that it hit me:  how about a week of classes?  I did that in the first novel, but not really so much in the last.  I mean, I did, but there wasn’t a lot of showing going on, just meeting and telling.  This time I wanted to not only get into a week of classes, but a week of their special classes, which means I’m going to do something almost never done before–

A lot of things, actually.

What does the chapter look like, then?  Like–

C For Continueing Chapter Nine

This.

All of the classes here are advanced, with the exception of one, and we’ll get to that in a moment.  There’s also two things here that haven’t been seen, one for obvious reasons, and another because I didn’t show it in the last novel.  So it’s time to show them here.

First up is Welcome to the Superlab.  I’ve mentioned that there is a chemical superlab over in the Tesla Center, and Advanced Formulistic Magic is gonna start cookin’ over there once in a while.  The chances are they’re not gonna go full Heisenberg and start cranking out magical meth, but they are gonna mix up something.  And this means I gotta start doing my research on how the lab is set up and what can they make.  Besides drugs.

The next day is a twofor.  First To Walk in Darkness, which is Annie and Helena together for their Tuesday night training.  Annie’s gonna learn a new spell, and it’s one that’s a little tricky to do, even for good sorceresses.  The second is Size Matters, and this Kerry in Advanced Transformation Crafting at the same time that Annie is getting her instruction.  Maybe we’ll get to see Jessica turn someone into a potted plant.

The next scene is Time Wise, and this is in Wednesday’s class, and you can probably guess what they’re working on.  I’ve got to work up some protocols for Wends to follow, because she’s a safe little witch except for those times she’s trying to kill people who make her mad.

Curtain Pulling hasn’t been shown before–oh, wait:  it has.  Sorta.  This is Deanna with the kids doing some special astral stuff, and we’ll get to see a little more of Deanna’s style of instruction, which is probably sweet and gentle–or maybe not.  Maybe she’ll just whack the kids with an astral stick until they get good.

And finally, Testing Kali.  If you figure out that the first date in this chapter falls on a Monday, then you can see this is Sunday, and this is time for Advanced Self Defense.  Kali, aka Arnis, aka Eskrima.  Ever see any of the Jason Bourne movies?  If you have, Kali is the martial arts form Bourne uses, and it’s considered one of the best in the world, employing the idea that minimal effort is required to take down your opponent with either empty handed or with weapons–or even both.  I actually want to show off the kids abilities this novel, and . . . they’ll get that chance.

Tonight if I have time I’ll start working on the trailer, but that’s my goal for Wednesday and Thursday, because I for sure want to have it up and ready to go on Saturday morning.  I have a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do this.

But, hey:  I like a challenge.

New Class Structure

No, today isn’t about how I’m going to help smash the capitalistic patriarchy and work towards making a better life for everyone, even though you might think that based upon the title of today’s post.  No, it’s far difference.  So bear with me.

I managed to map out two more chapters last night.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, right?  Patience, grasshopper.  So let me get into this like I did yesterday.

Here we are in one big bundle.

Here we are in one big bundle.

Up to C should be pretty self-explanatory:  Annie and Kerry are now in charge of the second floor and The New New Kids are showing up for the first time.  One of these kids Annie and Kerry will already know, as they will meet them in Paris before they fly over together on the plane.  Growing Pains does not mean I’m bringing back an ABC sitcom, but rather you’re going to discover a rather–well, I guess you could say a pretty normal situation that doesn’t get mentioned much in stories like this.  You’ll see.

Memory’s Once More shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone:  it’s time to have a vision with our favorite seer, and this is one of the normal, usual things that come about.  Monitoring the Monitors is something a little different, but if you think about it you know what’s coming.

Now, I had to pause at this point because in order to do the next chapter I needed something:  the C Level Class Schedule.  First, let go over Chapter Eight, The Separate Realities, because I have it right here.  A Different Schedule is going to be a little different of a scene.  No details here, but you’ll see.  The first two scenes, Artistic You and Learning to See involve new classes the kids are taking.  Dark Minions–simple enough there, as is The Flight Ahead.  And The Welcome Madness is needed after a rough first week.

With those chapters out of the way, let’s look at the schedule

And what a schedule!

And what a schedule!

Monday Advanced Formulistic Magic is there where it was last year, but this year we have Introduction to Art first thing in the morning.  This is Professor Ellison starting to get the kids ready to be immersed in art.  And it’s not just drawing and painting, but music as well.  Since Annie and Kerry seem to have this part down good, they shouldn’t have a problem.

Tuesday afternoon sees Introduction of Divination, and we finally get a peak into Deanna’s class.  Wednesday has C Level Sorcery, which isn’t for everyone so some of the kids who didn’t make the cut will end up in an elective class, or just take the morning off.  Practical Super Science is the first class the kids will take over at the Tesla Center, and this will involve a lot of theory about how to make super sciency thing, but also some practical applications.  This is the only year the kids take this.

Let me skip Thursday and get to Friday.  After Advanced Flight Two, which is, of course, only Kerry, there’s an afternoon class called Special Astral Training.  Who’s in that class?  Two kids, and see if you can guess who they are.  This is gonna be headed up by Deanna, but we may see Professor Adric Lewiston help out, too.  And why is this?  You’ll find out.

Also, there’s something interesting for Thursday.  Both classes are not highlighted, which means Annie and Kerry aren’t taking them because of advanced classes, but there’s something called B and A Level Sorcery Minion Work, and that is highlighted.  That’s because Thursday is Mandatory Sorcery Day, and Helena wants minions–good ones, too.  So their time is penciled in there, and if Helena doesn’t need them, there’s always a possibility that Erywin or Wednesday could call them in to help out.  And while they have Monday night and Tuesday morning off, there’s always the chance that Jessica could called them in to help with class, and I’m sure that someone can find something for them to do Monday evenings.

Remember I said that classes are gonna be hell this year?  Now you see that they’re back to some A Level stuff with having almost no time to themselves, and that’s gonna wear them down just a little.  Or a lot.  Now, the Friday afternoon class won’t be all the time, but that’s only because they’re doing something else.  It’s time to push the kiddies, and there is a method to the madness.

But you know there’s always a bit of a problem where madness is involved.

The New Plot

So, the plotting has begun.  Not a lot so far, unless you consider six chapters not a lot.

Yeah, let me start beating myself up here.

Yeah, let me start beating myself up here.

Then again, I feel like I should have more but I got involved in taking a nap and finishing up my binging of Breaking Bad, and, oh, yeah, I needed about an hour to chill my shit after my latest Sense8 recap received a comment from one of the creators/writers/producers of that show.  You know, pretty much a normal Saturday night–

So let’s see what I have laid out so far for C For Continuation, shall we?

Chapter One is pretty much straight forward, and it contains something I’ve yet to do:  there’s a flashback.  Looking at the dates and times of the first two scenes it’s pretty easy to tell where the flashback occurs, and you may be able to figure out how it’s coming into play.  Also, looking at the times, this is almost all an Annie chapter, because it seems like most of this is happening somewhere in the mountains of Bulgaria.

C For Continuing Chapter One

Chapter Two consists of summer get together, and one big surprise that you’ll have to see.  To save you the looking up, Rendlesham Forest is Kerry’s meeting with Penny, and The Great Gates of Kiev is Annie’s meeting with Alex.  I can tell you right now, these will be fun scenes to write when I get to them.

C For Continuing Chapter Two

Chapter Three is the winding down of the Summer of 2013, and there are going to be a couple of surprises here.  The dates of the last two scenes should be to let you know they happen about a week and a half before the kids leave for staging in Paris before heading off to school.

C For Continuing Chapter Three

That’s Part One out of the way; onward to Part Two.  Chapter Four will likely be a short chapters, perhaps the shortest of the novel.  It’s probably the tightest packed for time as well, because about a half hour passed from the beginning of the first scene to the end of the third.  Short, sweet, and about as to the point as I can get in this story.

By the way, Pour Rencontrer à Paris means “To Meet in Paris,” which is what my kids are doing.

C For Continuing Chapter Four

Chapter Five has the kids doing a little roaming around in The City of Light.  The first scene is going to see a new Party of Five in Paris, and they’ll have lunch in a cafe where I had lunch in 2006–no, really.  The third scene does not have anything to do with a Woody Allen movie of the same name, so don’t expect any time traveling.  But scene two:  oh, you can expect some tears there, all for reasons that will become apparent when I finally write that scene.

C For Continuing Chapter Five

Chapter Six has the kids leaving Paris and returning to Salem.  À Plus Tard Paris means, “See you later, Paris,” because–spoilers!–this won’t be the last time Annie and Kerry visit Paris together.  Not when this is Annie’s favorite city in the whole world, at least according to her.  The second scene will answer a question brought up in A For Advanced, and I’ll likely show a little of the background stuff that goes on when Foundation people are scamming their way through Normal society.  And the last scene of this chapter is pretty self-explanatory:  the kids finally make it back to the school–they are, so to speak, home.

As I have indicated I’m playing off events already laid out in Aeon Timeline, and this newest version is coming in handy due to the programs flexibility.  I particularly like that I can now expand events without having to enter the Inspector, which is now used for editing the events.

See what I can see?  And I'm not even a Seer.

See what I can see? And I’m not even a Seer.

And one interesting thing here is that Penny is almost exactly a year older than Annie, with her birthday coming not much after Annie’s.  Well, maybe not that interesting, but it’s something I pick up on right away when looking at these new timeline events.  We also know the school has been around away, but I didn’t bother with a creation date for Paris, because if you don’t already know it’s older than hell, you need to get into your history.

What’s up for today?  Well, I meet someone for lunch, then I begin adding more chapters and scenes.  I likely won’t finish plotting this out by tomorrow, but come this Saturday I’ll have the majority of it in place.  And since I already know how this novel ends I can begin writing before putting in the last scene.

Like with most of my trips, I know my destination.  And I will arrive there safely.