Posted by BigWords on November 15, 2010
This is my mid-November update, just like it says in the post header, and seeing as how I have managed (in my own special way) to add more projects than is either sane or remotely normal in one month – remembering that this is the height of the NaNoWriMo rush as well, you’re lucky I am writing this much about my activities. I’ve been pondering how I could break the following news to people without getting shouted at, but it seems that no matter how I word this list of projects I’m gonna end up with people wondering about my sanity.
Yeah. That’s not going so well. It’s stalling somewhat because of the nature of the story… It was originally a neat examination of what a world would be like if superheroes defeated all the supervillains, but then I went and did something really stupid. I found Rick Veitch’s Brat Pack and Maximortal while I was moving stuff around, and even though there was a list of things I needed to do I decided to re-read them. Then (through mental machinations which my subconscious can only hint at, and for reasons even I don’t fully comprehend) the story took a wide left turn and had all kinds of things happen which undermines the simple message that you can’t always get what you want. I’ll start drawing the pages as and when I’m certain that they’ll not go through further permutations, though it doesn’t appear that I’ll be making the series available for download until March at the earliest – and that’s if it makes an appearance in finished form at all. There’s so much more than I expected lurking in the idea that I may see if I can pace it out properly at a later date and shop it around – there’s at least a couple of things in there which made even me (the man behind the story) do a double-take. It’s not that it is particularly violent, nor too offensive (especially given the type of things you can see in Max or Vertigo titles) but it has a feel to it that is off-key.
The early draft of the first issue is still here – and I’m wondering how Dan feels about his dubious caricature. Pfft. Whatever. I’m not going to change it now.
The Zombie List
The other main project for November was a list of all the zombie novels I could conceivably think of, and even I’m surprised at how many there are. It’s not as if I expected it to be easy, but it’s already longer than I anticipated, and the listing thus far is only up to the letter N. I thought that I would be done by Saturday, freeing up the rest of the week for the NaNo, though it now appears I’ll be doing this particular list for another couple of days. The list of short stories and other material to be found on the web will eventually be moved to it’s own sub-page as I get around to including all of the wonderful material I have yet to include, but for the moment it is all bunched together on the master page. The few titles missing from the list will eventually get added as I get around to confirming whether or not the undead in those works are indeed zombies, or if they are expy’s for vampires or other strains of the undead – there are a lot of mythological beings which look, at a cursory glance, to be zombies but are much different.
I pointed out the fact that I was attempting to alter the largely negative attitudes to fanfic writing through an elaborate and interconnected saga which I would be writing through the latter part of this year, though it has increased significantly in scope, running (at present) to around 300k, and still incomplete. When it is nearly finished I will start polishing the opening chapters and begin posting them online a safe distance from my other locations on the interwebs. The last thing I need is to get embroiled in anything which it may arouse in people.
That’s all the shit you probably know about, and I’m sorry if I’m boring you to death by stating – yet again – that I’m busy working on things and not plying my usual brand of mind-games and madness online. There are only so many hours in the day, and it seems as if I am making things even harder on myself by adding more projects when I should probably be streamlining my activities to a few core things. The advice to writers is often “write what you are working on, and store away those good ideas for later” but it fails to take into account the sheer number of mind-blowing ideas which present themselves. If I started writing everything I want to write, I still wouldn’t have exhausted all the good stuff by the time I die. And you don’t need to start pipping in with a dead pool for me, ’cause I intend to live forever just out of spite.
Yeah, you heard that right… I AM NOW IMMORTAL.
The New Idea – Realism In YA
There was a couple of blog posts which I quickly browsed through – noting complaints and suggestions for the future of YA – which piqued my interest in the ways that a progression of sorts, or rather an expansion, could be done. The limited nature of YA – and I mean no offense to the many YA writers whose work I enjoy immensely – means I often get frustrated. The fact that so many of the YA books have resolutions which affirm and secure the reader is irritating and (whilst understandable) too neatly tied up. One of the biggest prompts for my concept – which I will come to in due course – was a post which suggested that there ought to be more diversity in the largely whitebread YA books. I love this. The only niggle at the back of my mind, questioning the suitability of myself as a YA writer, is the story I managed to subconsciously patch together whilst these thoughts I was consuming boiled over in a stew of possibilities. It isn’t exactly the type of thing I would imagine being an easy sell.
When people start begging – or at least pleading… maybe merely asking, now that I come to think about the wording of that post – for a more realistic set of texts for young readers, I always have the same reaction. It’s not that I don’t trust people’s judgment to separate the reality from the fiction, but it feels as if I need to repeat the same bloody thing over and over again – kids can be little shits when left to their own devices. The current way that they are represented in fiction could lead people to believe that children are somehow different from adults in their capability for acts of violence, malice and calculated evil. You don’t need to search too long to uncover some of the stories which have come out of the news channels regarding these kids, and it seems – to me, at the very least – that there may be worth in showing YA readers that not only do the good guys don’t always win, but that the flip-side of the coin can have widespread ramifications.
This, combined with a longstanding love of classic hardboiled writers, The Wire fresh in my mind, and a fortuitous e-mail from a friend whose career in Social Work gives me access to details I could only dream of, managed to combine to create a tale about a twelve-year old who graduates from running drugs and stealing, to the “heights” of running his own criminal empire in a housing estate. I already have the opening scene, with a clock of cement being thrown off the roof of the estate onto a policeman’s head, and I know how the story ends – the kid, now fourteen, is shot dead by police. That’s as much as I want to share at the moment. And for those of you who asked for more realism, I hope you’re happy…
Somehow I have the feeling I should have merely copied Jack’s response to being asked for truth.