Fiction Friday: Old Projects and New

So I never did end up sharing with all of you any/much of my NaNo project, but I can at least fill you in on what I did this November!

I took on a bit of a challenge–I think I’ve mentioned this before–and wrote a project in which there were only two characters, and one of them never shows up physically in the book. In the vein of Zombies, Run! and the video game Firewatch, my main character (Dana Cantrell, who I know I introduced you to) only has his ham radio to talk to anyone on…and he only ever finds one person, a young woman named Veronica. Since the vast majority of my talent lies in writing dialogue, this was a major challenge for me for the better half of the first part of the book. Dana didn’t have anyone to talk to aside from himself. This makes my job…interesting. I still don’t know if I’ve actually written anything interesting, but in a month or so after I look it over, I’ll see if I want to work on anything before I find some beta readers.

For the time being, however, I’m working on something else I also think I mentioned to you all a while ago: my attempt at an otome-style game. I’ve got essentially the prologue/first chapter done, and am now starting to get into the meat of the story. (Read as: actual interactions and path breaks. It’s getting interesting to write.) But that’s my goal for at least December, and I’m hoping to carry it on through. I need an on-going project now that November is over, and if I’m ever going to get anything done, I need to build my habit more–and hold it past November. Maybe I don’t need to write close to 2000 words every day, but I need to write more than the sentence I’ve been managing. So this is going to serve as my on-going project that still has lots of writing to get done, that I know I’ll be able to work on for a while.

In addition to this, I am bound and determined to get SON OF THE REVOLUTION finished. Maybe it won’t be done by the end of the year, but I want it done at least within the first quarter of 2017. There’s no reason for it not to be close to done. I know what needs changed, and half of that’s already done. Now it’s just going in and changing the few things that need to be twisted, adding in the bits and pieces that need to be added, and sending it off into the world. I can have this done. I can make this book a reality. I just need to stop sitting on my butt and not doing the work for fear of actually finishing the project. Alistair’s been waiting since 2009 to have his story told. It’s about time I shared him with the world.

So those are my goals for 2017, and the little bit left here in 2016. And in thanks for getting this far into the post, here’s a snippet from my NaNo project! 🙂

It had been something close to six months, if the notches on my wall were to be believed. Then again, when you can’t see the sky, you can’t keep track of the days very well. So who knows how long it’s really been since the world ended?

My entire world has been a room no bigger than the kitchen of my old house. Maybe the living room. After this long, I’m not sure I remember sizes very well. Metal shelves and empty cans have been my friends for way too long. I got lucky. When I went running…okay, wait. Let me back up. This isn’t where the story starts.

The world ended, right? Cataclysmic event, don’t know what it was, but it caused a hell of a mess flying around. I got locked out of my family’s shelter just before it all went to shit. I went running, trying to find anywhere to hide…and I found a weird door in the middle of a hill. No one else is in here, and no one’s knocked on the door since I woke up. (Because like a useful person, I passed out the second the door shut. So I really don’t have a good idea of how long I’ve been here.)

There were some food stores, and a knife, and a few other useful things–I had a flashlight, but the batteries died forever ago, and while whoever stocked this shelter of sorts did a good job of stocking things, that wasn’t something they thought of. I have my own pack, of course. I came in with one, filled with the last few things I was gathering before I was going to go be with my family.

God. My family. I don’t even know if they’re alive.

I’ve been trying not to use a lot of what I brought with me, because at least I know what’s there and how long it’ll last me. I’m still hopeful that if I open the door, there’ll still be something left of the world. Maybe not much, but something.

At least I know that my shelter survived. My family’s shelter has to be better protected than this random thing, right? I remember we built it pretty deep. We all thought we’d have so much time before the world ended. People just taking their time, building whenever the felt like it, stopping with the weather didn’t suit their delicate sensibilities… It didn’t matter that the government of literally every country in the world was telling everyone to act like they only had a matter of weeks. People are invincible, right up until the moment they find out the hard way that they’re not. And these people just kept building at their snail’s pace. Don’t know what the thing actually is? No big deal! We’ll find out later. Don’t know how to plan for it because who knows what’s happening? Space rock, aliens, virus, zombies? No one knew. We had to plan for everything and anything. Which makes this shelter even more strange.

Most people I knew had taken their time and actually stocked their shelter. This one, whoever it was supposed to belong to, was no exception. Cans of food, a few tools…like I said, it was stocked, just not in any useful fashion. So was this supposed to be a temporary thing for someone? They expected to be able to leave after a week or two? I’d managed to make my few stores last for way longer than it should have, and I was hungry enough to prove it. I’d spent the past…probably week or two trying to find a hidden door, wondering where they were planning to escape to.

They hadn’t planned for the rest of their lives here, or at least the foreseeable future. Something had to be here. They had to be ready for something else.

They had to. Right?


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