The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

I’m Catching Up With Where My NaNoWriMo Novel Is Going

Posted by BigWords on November 10, 2009

Everyone is getting on with their NaNo, right? You guys ain’t slacking off? I hit an impasse at the weekend, and initially thought it may have been due to the complexity of my idea, and the length of time I intended to cover, but I really like epics… It couldn’t be merely the expansive setting, so I looked to other reasons. The ideas were coming thick and fast, but didn’t sit well with what I had already done, so I took a step back and examined where things were going.

I stopped writing the novel for a couple of days to explore those ideas I had been having in short story form, and I realized that the things which had been bothering me about the plot I was using for the novel had been answered by my briefer pieces. That’s not all that unusual, in and of itself, but coming back to the novel opened up three questions I had not been able to answer, but now made complete sense.

There have been a few times that I have felt I was being led by my characters, rather than the other way around, but this is the closest I have come to being told the story by my characters.

1. Why does Talos go from being a relatively balanced artificial intelligence to being a psychopathic nutjob who kills people with memes and explosions?

Kenway, the man who cared for Talos before the DCU herded up sentient robots for destruction, seemed awfully chilled out for a person who might have expected his own demise was imminent. I wondered about that scene a couple of times as Talos descended into his madness, and thought of the reasons I might use to bullshit away the psychosis of an artificial lifeform. Turns out I don’t need to. The essence of the man has been downloaded into Talos. It makes perfect sense, and he has a very good reason to hate the DCU.

2. How did Adam survive being infused with nanobots, and patched up with cyborg parts?

He’s a genetically modified human. Wow, that came right out of left-field. The references to Adam’s history with The General appeared as I was writing Adam’s interaction with Adway. Even though I had some idea that they may be connected (I was actually thinking that he was The General’s son) I never imagined that The General might have been involved in Adam’s artificial creation. I like how my characters surprise me, even when I plan out things to the Nth degree.

3.  What the hell is the deal with dinosaurs?

I’ve never been one of those people for whom Jurassic Park was a life-changing experience. It was okay as a novel (but not especially original) and fine as a film (even if it was scientifically implausible), but the threat of being eaten by a dinosaur is a hardy one, and as Transformers proved (the eighties incarnation, not the Michael Bay war crime), talking dinosaurs are fucking brilliant.tumblr_kps1blVDvN1qztneoo1_500There are few things that even come close, yet the appearance of one in my novel surprised me.

I’ve started working out how to fit the T-rex I added to the novel into the plot in a way that isn’t a complete fan-wank, and it is going to play a major part in the plot. Saying anything more at the moment would ruin the surprise, but there is a kinda-unconscious-yet-critical foreshadowing moment that slipped through my subconscious already posted. I’m glad I didn’t excise the goofy lines which will now act as a hint to the future involvement of the character.


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