Friday, December 3, 2010

Every New Beginning…

…Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

Seneca the Younger
Semisonic, “Closing Time”

GWT_logo_final_clr_hiresNaNoWriMo is over. Let me say a couple more things to add to Monday’s analysis. I really don’t think I’m good at writing Mystery. Furthermore, I don’t think I’ll be writing mystery again. And this is why:
In my last post, I wrote this observation:

  • Falling in love with my characters. I have a tendency to fall in love with certain types of characters (mostly female) and then they start to take over the story because I just want to write about them and give them larger roles than they probably deserve.

Then this thought struck me. Why not just write a story with all female characters? Then I could not worry about it.


Within an hour, I have an entire world, characters, settings, conflicts, everything. It just avalanched out of control. Imagine an isolated planet far in the backwater of the galaxy. The original settlers had a small problem…a faulty Y chromosome cause most infants to be born girls. For countless generations, they’ve formed a highly structured matriarchal society with wars and walled cities. Now zoom in on one city, a high school, a girl, someone immersed in their world’s struggle for survival as males grow scarcer every generation. (Okay, yeah, it would be kewl to be a dude in this scenario, but I’m not trying to write a mantasy here).

One day, our heroine meets a boy her age…practically the only boy her age in her entire city of ~100K…and things explode from there.

I wanted a short story. But my ideas are never small. I don’t know where this idea is going. Right now I’m working on a “journal” concept, that my Heroine is writing assignments for a school writing project, therefore she’s “required” to include backstory in her journal (see I how squeeze that in?).  I’m hoping a few of those could be stand-alone stories. I’m feeling about ten times more energy about this story than I ever felt about the mystery. While it was a nice break to write a contemporary story, I need to stop kidding myself. I’m a science fiction writer, I always have been, and I always will be.

I am going to try to write this with YA in mind. She’s 16 in earth years, and has serious concerns about her life. She’s been slotted to be a warrior, but has never tasted combat. She’s not into the dating scene, but new emotions will surface once she meets the boy. So it’s a coming-of-age in an insane world full of cutthroat bitches and man-hungry hostiles who will stop at nothing to steal your city’s man supply. (It’s really not a mantasy, I swear! The men are treated like prized pigs.).

Oh, and one last thing. My heroine has a cloudy past. The beginning of this mystery (hey, Mystery!) will be revealed one day in science class when she discovers that she’s neither XX nor a feminized XY with a faulty SRY gene. She’s OO. WTF?

I call this concept, “Girl World.”

But I have this small teensy tiny problem. Remember good old Steam Palace? That 120K word tome set in an alternate New England where Sophia Stratton has to defend her country from the mad Reichland Emperor? Well, in a fit of insanity, I signed up for the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC January 20-22. That includes an agent session where I can pitch my book to tons of agents. Do you know what that means?

Steam Palace and my query letter must be completely finished and in manuscript format by January 20. Holy shit. What about Girl World? What about Christmas? I am really in the deep doo-doo now.

So from NaNoWriMo’s end comes a new beginning, but I haven’t even finished my last new beginning. I better get paid for all this. Fortunately airfare is dirt-cheap ($220 round-trip SEA-NYC) and I found a coupon code for the convention so I paid even less than the early-bird rate.

So wish me luck, I’m going to need it.


  1. This idea sounds very fun!

    Yeah, it'll be a little crazy for a while, but you'll make it! And besides, it's better than having NOTHING to work on, right? Creative floodgates FTW.

    have you ever heard Holly Lisle's similar story? She had an MS she had to finish, but another one she wanted to write. So she allowed herself a few hours a week/day to work on the one she wanted to, and both MS came together faster than expected.

  2. Huh...I can't wait to read an excerpt. You HAVE to do some sort of blogfest for this. Have fun in NY!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  3. Sounds like a great idea! But I totally understand the pull between the Shiny New Idea and the Novel That Must Be Pitch Ready. I have one piece of advice which will definitely help you...

    ...oh, no, I forgot, I've got squat all advice on that one. Still looking for the answer myself, actually. Let me know if you find it!

  4. @Jordan: May try something like that. We'll see.

    @Rachel: Will be looking for them

    @Tara: Perfect advice!

  5. So I wrote this novel.
    Read all about it:


Constructive comments are welcome.
OpenID Required.