I’m doing this purely for alliteration, can’t you tell?
What Are Free Fall Fridays?
Simply put, they’re Fridays upon which I’ll be posting NaNoWriMo plotting and writing updates. Sometime in the past few weeks, I decided my novel this year will be ‘Free Fall’, due to the subject matter, and it kind of makes sense to have a set date upon which I post the week’s updates (unless I really can’t wait until the end of the week). I could just as easily do ‘WriMo Wednesdays,’ if I decide that word count relates issues might benefit from being kept separately, but for now, it’s ‘Free Fall Fridays.’ If I don’t feel an update is in order, I may post an excerpt, depending on how I feel at the time … and how quickly I write it, which is directly proportional to how readable it is.
The plotting business, it’s getting a little grisly. Luckily, it’s not too grisly for my tastes, but I’m a little bit taken aback by how this particular story seems to have taken hold of me and hijacked my thoughts, permanently, so that all I’m really thinking about is … well, I’ll let the title suggest what it might be.
It’s coming together reasonably well, though; better than I ever thought it would. When it comes down to it, I’ve never, ever, put my mind to a project quite like this. I had the idea to write a series of short stories over the summer, but the idea never really materialized because there was no concrete plot. I couldn’t put my mind to coming up with one, because I was set in my ways; what I had intended was to create something of a portfolio, as opposed to something in novel format. I had thought to string them together, link them all in some way, but the link was never quite there … it just seemed rather contrived.
What I have now, it needs a lot of work, yes, but there’s something there. Something I feel good about (though maybe I should feel bad about it – it’s morbid as hell), confident enough to put into motion. This has happened once before, concerning a NaNo novel, and the end result can be seen on the right-hand side of this page. This seems like advertising, yes. I assure you it isn’t. If there was still a free download available, I’d restrict it only to that, but I won’t go into my reasons for that work still having a price tag here. The result was Contempt for The Blind; it seems juvenile now, but I was proud of it at the time. I was pleased by the fact that I’d managed to write something with an actual plot. An actual storyline. Dear lord, this had never happened to me before.
Last year’s novel, Where Jackals Lie, never had a plot. Not in the six years, from conception to writing it at fever-pitch in less than a month, did it ever have a plot. A friend asked me what its plot was. ‘Um, well …’ with the conclusion being that it never had one, and probably never would. It was fun to write, though.
Anyway, digression over, I’m significantly used to writing traditional ‘novels’, chapter by chapter novels that unfold in this way. In part due to the influence of reading Haunted, and in part stemming from my initial desire to write a set of short stories over the summer, this is what I set out to do. In terms of format, something I did learn from Haunted was that you can have a set of extremely different stories told from varying perspectives, by extremely different characters, and still work them into something with a more linear narrative. Stories within a story, I suppose you’d call it.
No, I’m not rehashing Haunted, and I do understand just how risky me citing it as an influence is, believe me.
So step one of plotting this novel was; a set of short stories.
Step two; a very strange, disturbing and slightly depressing, fascination of mine that I won’t detail just yet.
Step three; conditions to trigger each scenario.
Step four; plotting being entirely derailed by a rather bizarre but hugely useful dream I had about my parents’ marital status. Little did I know that this would provide what is, essentially, my novel’s conclusion, as well as something of a background for my central character outside the individually narrated short stories.
Step five; considering a way in which to piece this all together.
Step six, the step that I’m on now; developing a series of characters and their own individual stories.
The intention with this? Nothing more than to try something new. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be published … some day. I understand that there are a lot of things I need to do first, a lot of ideas I need to develop, and I most definitely need to get a grip on the real world. Which is to say, I need to make sure that I know what shocks others, not me. Pushing the boundaries is an incredible idea, and one I admire … for someone who is already a well established author.
So I’ll settle for growing as a writer, this time around. Taking a leap (a completely lame and ironic pun given what I’m working on) and not playing it safe any more.
Besides, I hunger for a challenge.