Lexiconie Morning

Well, then, after a couple of days of dipping and weaving away from that thing that’s shaping up to become another NaNo Novel, I finally pulled up The Foundation Chronicles and started in on a bit more research.  But this wasn’t research sort of research, it was more like world building kind of research.  The kind where you get the lingo down and you start your characters speaking the way they’re suppose to speak.

Each group and organization has their own way of speaking.  If you work in a hospital, or you’re a police officer, you know this for a fact.  If you work for NASA, they have their own words, their own terms, and their own form of understatement (“Obviously a major malfunction.”).  If you’re in IT, this is also true.

The instructors at my Salem School have their own terms, their own sayings.  Some of them are related to the school, some are taken from the hidden world of the Foundation.  They speak of things that are normal to them, but may not make sense to those from outside their circle.

Last night I began putting that list together.

Nearly all of these terms were familiar to me because I’ve been thinking of them, and using them off and on in my prior story on the Foundation.  But there were a few that I needed to lock down, like, “What do they call a kid who has powers?”  And by powers I mean the kids are able to do things that don’t require science and/or magic.  Like with my current Director of Facility Security, who can levitate without the need of spells or technology.  She’s a Hugo, and you can look up that term if you like, because it’s out there.  (Actually, I knew the novel from whence the term comes, but I didn’t know the name of the characters.  But . . . Research!)

The thing that surprised me the most was how quickly the list finished.  I was able to come up with a dozen and a half terms and write them out in under a half hour:  this is due in large part to having made many of these terms a part of my life over the summer.  When you get that stuff in your head, you’re able to get them down quickly.  The trick tonight is to come up with school courses and “things” that the Gifted can do.  I mean, I’ve already made someone’s heart jump out of their chest, made another person’s head explode, had a student flay a teacher to death with dust and bits of rock–don’t worry, he was bad–and then Shadowcated her and another student through a couple of walls.  What do you call that stuff?  I mean, I know what I can call the last, because the student in question may have had Chell as an instructor, so that’s an easy one . . .

Terminology is just as important when building your story as location and characters, particularly if they work in a field that isn’t all that usual.  And if that field involves magic and powers and scientist building ray guns, then you better know what your character is saying when they say it.

After all, you don’t want them to look as if they don’t know what they’re talking about, do you?

The World Defined Small

Well, first night in the New Place, and I can’t complain.  There are some noises here that I didn’t have in the hotel, but nothing that kept pulling me awake.  I woke up once in the middle of the night, stubbed my big toe hard enough against the lamp that I almost knocked it over–and chipped off a good amount of nail polish–went back to sleep, and didn’t wake up until it was six AM on the nose.  Then up, clean quickly, then off the six miles to Saturday Panera Blogging!

The move is in the bag, though I need to roll by the hotel this morning and see if they found the robe I left behind.  I know, flighty.  But I like that robe, and it’ll come in handy with the weather turning cooler.  Plus, I hate my own stupidity.  Duh.

With that finished, it’s back to working on stories and getting my editing finished.  Editing is near the end, and I may wrap that up today.  As for working on stories . . . it’s all about the world building.

For my next novel I have a lot of technical terms I need to define.  And by “technical terms”, I mean I need to define my own rules for magic and powers and mad science–yeah, I called it that–and note what it’s all called in my world.  I did this with Her Demonic Majesty, and there’s a lot of that stuff going on in this book–even more when I start getting into the location of the independent facilities run by the mysterious Foundation, and the public places that we know about, but are unaware they are also part of the network.

Not to mention I have primary, continental, and regional headquarters to define . . . yeah, it’s a lot of work.  But it’s fun work, ’cause world building is something I truly enjoy.

Normally I wait until October to get this mojo rising, but I want to have as much of this in place before getting into the October Stretch, and spend the time before NaNo working on other things.  Also, I want to finish my world building, let it sit a bit, then look at it again before saying, “Yeah, it’s cool,” and ramping up the novel.  Plus there’s the little thing of getting things plotted out, but I’m close to that now, so I believe I have the story figured out.  More or less.  But it’s there in a raw form, which is better than nothing.

There is it:  my work for the next two and a half months is laid out and waiting.  All that remains is research, note scribbling, and getting this sucker written.  As Neil Gaiman says, “How do you do it?  You do it.  You write.  You finish what you write.”  Pretty simple advice, and more true than you’d imagine.   Many start, few finish.  And if you don’t finish, you have no story to tell.  It’s that simple.

All I need now is to get through the weekend, and get on the Downhill Slide.

It’s gonna be fun.

Infinite Space

The weekend is a good time to get creative, and it’s also a good time to think about what you’re going to do for future projects.  As I wrote yesterday, I’ve begun the process of getting my story for Camp NaNo going.  I’ve a title, a Scrivener project in place, and I’ve got some characters set up.  Yes, I have other things to do, but I also have two weeks to get my kernel of a story planted, watered, and sprouting.

I’ve done more with less, trust me.

As I pointed out to a few people I’m into the world building phase.  The good news is that I have a lot of the world already built.  The bad news is I have a lot of the world to build.  Reason?  I originally built much of the story within the framework of another world, and now I have to reverse engineer everything so it fits inside another world.  Does that make sense?  It does to me.

One of the things I use within my story are maps and floor plans.  I’ve always used maps to figure out where things should be within the framework of a story.  When I wrote Couples Dance I knew where the main house was located, and I used Google Maps to see how I’d get from one place in my world to another.  With Her Demonic Majesty I had drawings of what Chicago might have looked like had city plans been allowed to progress, and in my world that’s exactly what happened.

And in The Foundation Chronicles, I’ve a pretty big school to design.  Actually, it’s designed for the most part.  There are things to put into place, but I have buildings up, and names assigned to buildings and places.  Now all I have to do is write the story.

Though there’s something else here as well . . .

I may have mentioned that I have designed buildings that I use in my stories because I like to have a visual reference for what my characters are seeing.  This was actually forced upon me, more or less, by someone I know, because when I’d start talking about these buildings that these characters were visiting, she was like, “I can’t really see it.  Can you draw it out?”  Most of the time I’d say, “No,” but I have a hard time saying no to this person . . .

What we have here is the hospital of the Main Hall for my school inHospital First Floor The Foundation Chronicles.  It’s a big part of an even bigger building, and as there are three main floors to this place, it’s taken some time getting things in place.  My two main characters end up going here after they arrive at the school, and it’s here that they not only meet someone who’ll be a part of their lives for many years to come, but it’s where one character learns some rather unusual news–

Actually, they learn a few things in this area.  There’s even a joke that comes out of the story where one of the beds is named for one of the main characters.

I have stairs and a lift to the floor above.  I have bathrooms.  I have a place for patients to sit and eat if they can.  I have beds for quick examinations, and beds for overnight–and longer–stays.  I have the doctor’s officer, storage, and . . . the waiting room where one of my characters gets the news, and they have a bit of a freak-out moment.  Oh, get me a fainting couch!

Then again, if you look hard, you’ll see I already have one . . .



Inspiration can come from the strangest places, and ideas generally follow.  This weekend I had time for a lot of both, since I’m not doing a lot of writing, and this free time has my brain in “creativity mode” for the most part, so strange things come of these things.

I spent a lot of time designing a house.  Not just any house . . . this was something I did for my Annie, my friend and–well, it’s complicated, as they way on The Book of Faces.  (That could be a title for an episode of Game of Thrones, where The Imp looks about for the leather-bound document that is a list of all the whores he’s bedded . . .)  We talked about things past, and I mentioned that I could using one of my new programs to create an image of a place that is one of her favorites.  Since I was going to do this anyway, I didn’t wait for her to say “Yes”, and just started in on my work.

As with anything creative, it took time.  But by yesterday afternoon I was finished, and she was happy with the outcome.  It was then we started discussing our own characters, and how they would fit into a story, and how . . . well, we’ve had this conversation before, and the problem always comes down to taking characters that were created for one world, and putting them in another.  How is this done, and more importantly:  how do you keep them interesting.

Answer:  nothing is easy.  Trust me, I’ve done this.  It’s not easy.

Of course, Annie is tenacious.  She pushes, she rocks, she roles.  She knows if she can get me to thinkin’ enough, I’ll come up with something.  And it was while this “Something” was going on that I hit a Eureka! moment.  So I told her, “I gotta go grill, but I’ll be thinking,” and with that I was off to the back yard to start cookin’ and get thinking.

See, something crept into my head when we were talking–something that I’d thought of a few weeks back when I was working on an old story idea.  I’d imagined some organization that is sort of one part Illuminati and three parts Crazy Secrets of the World investigators.  And what if . . . what if they know about things that only one in half a billion people can do, and when they find one of these people they do what they can to get them trained before . . .

Never mind the before.  I had a kernel of world building growing, and I didn’t want it to go stale.

Needless to say, when I told Annie what I had, she was happy, but she also had questions; apparently she didn’t realize that building a new world doesn’t happen while you’re trying to keep your Italian sausage from burning.  But I have something here.  I have an outline in my head.  And I even . . .

I have a map starting.

Oh, yeah.  It’s that sort of days.

It would be a lot better day if work wasn’t making me do things–