Friday, 29 November 2013

Liberator FP2 - brought to you by - Ruichi Sakamoto's THREE

quick post: the first 31,000 words of the Liberator Free Planet novel #2 has been brought to you in assocation with the Ruichi Sakamoto CD "Three". I've been replaying this inspirational CD every single time I've been typing in from the notebook(s). Crackin' stuff.

Ruichi Sakamoto is the ex-keyboardist of 80's goth band Japan, and Three is his solo album dealing with his instrumental and audio film score work such as Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (the Bowie film), Seven Samurai and The Last Emperor. Here's a track list:

1. Happy End
2. The Last Emperor
3. Bibo No Aozora
4. High Heels
5. Seven Samurai
6. A Flower is not a Flower
7. Still life in A
8. Nostalgia
9. Tango
10. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
11. Ichimei (Harakiri - Death of a Samurai)
12. Tamago 2004
13. Parolibre

Basically, PROPER RECOMMENDED writing accompaniment. I hope my words in this novel do his pianoing justice.

TWO DAYS LATER UPDATE: I haven't read a novel for weeks while I've been obsessed with Liberator FP2 but it arrived, David Baldacci's The Hit (book two of the Will Robie government assassin series), so I'll not be writing for a while. I'm in reading mode, hundred pages into the book, and lovingn it. I realised I don't like David Baldacci's presidential/detective books, but I 'love' his Robie series. It's probably because Robie works 'outside the law' or 'outside common understanding' of the way the world really works. It's a sick (amoral (corporate (war))) place, and one that's perfect for novelisation.

WEEK LATER UPDATE: The Hit was great, can't wait for book three. Currently, I'm reading "The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter" by Malcolm Mackay while still writing the Liberator FP2 novel. I'll obviously do another update on FP2 soon, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 28,000 words - Military vs Civilian

so... I've re-assessed how many words Liberator currently is, by discounting the couple of pages of rough notes at the back of the book, and it comes to 26,000 words. They'll all get written up in full anyway, so I'll add the totals up without them.

More important than that, I've finally resolved a big quandary I was having with the first part of the book. Basically, I fell in love with one of the side characters and started to fully flesh out their story. I was going to do this anyway, but in a less linear way. The book was in danger of just becoming 'that character's story' from A to B. And I didn't want this book to be just that.

So, I drew some spidery diagrams of the narrative elements I'd come up with so far, then went in and listed the most important threads of narrative direction, then decided that the alternating-chapter structure used in Custodian FP1 (namely, CUSTODIAN vs YOU THE PEOPLE) had to be replicated/emulated in this second novel as cleanly as possible. And analysing all the possibilities of who has allegiance to whom or what the decision has been made.

Liberator FP2 will be split between MILITARY and CIVILIAN, alternating chapters, this way I can follow my main-thread obsessed-with character-progression and also address the issue of the 'four years previously' (shit you were never told, about 'this iteration' of a free planet) that I'd intended to examine this time out. I've already re-organised the entire book thus far written into this split structure up to and including Chapter 17. Hopefully, this has been the right decision. I think I have enough psy-ops revelation in here to support such a strong structural adjustment.

TWO DAYS LATER UPDATE: I had the fear... it only lasted for a few minutes, but it was intense. I had the fear that reaching the end of the first notebook would exhaust my creative urge to finish this second Free Planet novel. But "No!" not at all, the second notebook inspired a classic outpouring of character-driven wordage from one of the stars of Custodian FP1 who never really got to say her piece. You'll like this, and it ties into the four years ago military sample that's at the back of Custodian. You know, if you bought it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 25,000 words - plus I know where the narrative is going, yay!

thanks to my (misplaced at the time?) faith in the simple act of 'writing to character', I now have an absolutely solid and foundationed reason WHY for the Liberator FP2 book. I'm writing it in long-hand again, just like Tandem and I'm at the end of notebook one, which means I technically have another two notebooks of that length, shape and style to go.

Twenty-five thousand words per notebook would give me an estimated novel of 66-75,000 words, more or less, depending on how the novel goes. And I'd be more than happy within that range. How did I do it? How did I find my story?

I simply kept asking the twelve or thirteen characters I've allowed to vent their spleen, "What's the story?" kept demanding an answer to this question of my invented characters as I gave them a platform for their thoughts.

But what's the story, Mike?

Well, you'll have to wait, won't you. Wait until the book's finished and available to read. But be assured it's NOTHING LIKE YOU'D HAVE IMAGINED where the second part a Free Planet trilogy (that began with Custodian) might have gone. I've allowed the characters to take this story into an insane place - as it had to for such a 'free reign' writing engagement. I'm actually getting excited that this story will actually seem like I meant it that way.

But it wasn't me. It was the characters. Writing the reason for the narrative that slices them open and lays their 'raison d'etre' all over the floor.

DAY LATER UPDATE: of course, things are moving on a pace and, as you'll see from the URL for this post, it was only very recently a 23,000 words update. It's now at the 25, 000 words and interest is still rising. Unfortunately it's rising in ONE SPECIFIC BRANCH of the three-branch narrative I'd hoped this book be. So I'm fully exploring the one aspect of the story that's really taken my affection (can't help it) while the other two planned aspects are being hinted at in sporadic chapters here and there but not expanded on to the degree of detail.

Of course, I'm now not sure what I'll do. Where the break-off point, where the fold-in point (or points) will occur. I keep wanting to move the already done 2nd 3rd branch chapters to later in the book but that would leave it too linear as an opening. I could 'easily' ABANDON this initial-interest aspect where it's at NOW until later in the novel, then come back (after 2nd 3rd branch expansion) and show where the other two aspects affected it. Only more writing-to-character will testify to either solution. There may, of course, be more than one solution. Something 'character' hasn't hinted at yet. Kinda scary but kinda interesting is the writing process, for me.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Liberator FP2 - 17,000 words and counting...

well, it's still racing on aplenty.

Since my last update (four days ago @ 11,000 words) the book has now risen to 17,500 words, as of this afternoon. If you're in (Oxford) town centre and you wanna say "Hi!" in a faux-American accent, just drop by the Calendar Club stall in the Clarendon Centre and do so. I'm very approachable and don't bite, unless otherwise directed.

As of this week's narrative/character investigation, I realise that the cover (while relating to 'organic metamorphosis of the narrative' via its characters) actually relates to another uber-important inter-stellar twin-like union expressed elsewhere in the story.

Anyway, intrigued yet? Time for an exclusive (first draft) excerpt yet?

Hmm, here goes:

It'll be my fourth birthday, soon. Me and Sally and this Free Planet. We're all three of us intimately linked by the moment of our births. We're a trio of rowdy teenagers not knowing what to be yet. How to act. Who to look up to. To respect. To protect. It's all up in the air.

And four years isn't very long to cram in all the social accidents that amount to one's upbringing. Here on Free Planet we've always had to 'learn on the fly'.

I can't believe it's all gone so fast. One minute me and Sal, that's my non-identical twin sister, were hatching out of a massive owl egg. The next moment Puberty is upon us both and the whole world looks, smells, tastes, feels different. The wants of youth got biologically re-prioritised in the blink of an eye and our dad's considering, actually Considering, enrolling me and Sal in the Arranged Marriage Market so we can have wives/husbands chosen for us by the Free Planet housing system. That's the way it's done now, it's all left to the sniffing abilities of the communal Floating Home Diversities that flutter and flap and sing like bees across the liberated sky like protein floating in the human eye.

Most of my peers, and there aren't that many of us, aren't sure if they want to be part of some continued biological experiment 'for the good of free planet'.

“Isn't that right, Sal?”

“Not many of us, Tim.”

“You said it, girl,” there's not that many of us hybrid originals, born of this free planet. Like someone thought it would be a bad idea to have a go at making more of us once we hatched. I mean, it's not even that. Don't they know? Haven't they even at least got suspicious that their kind can interbreed? The re-wilded? Can't they scent it? Don't they have some sort of animalistic detectors up their snouts and beaks that'll make this truth transparent to them?

Or are they afraid of committing a bestial act under the gaze of the Flockers? Is that how 'mating among their kind' might be judged? Like bestiality? Like some sort of original sin?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Liberator - I think I'm just going to have to 'write the fucking thing'

I have all these wild and wacky ideas for where Free Planet #2: LIBERATOR 'could go' and I'm just getting nowhere with it. It's a stalled project that's looking too far up its own righteous anus to be anything worth reading or writing.

I think I either a) have to forget it and just write something else entirely different or b) just forget all this 'scripting shit' and take the fucking bull by the horns and JUST DO IT, and screw your gay trademark claim against my use of three words. Just screw it.

There's no other way to face what will be an insanely obscure lifestyle, four years after the Free Planet simulation has been set in motion by the Morans That Be. Only the stream-of-unconsciousness totally-liberated-writing-mind approach will work with this book.

Literally, there'll be nothing like it ... until it happens ... so why worry about 'getting it right' or making it 'enjoyable for the reader'. It's gonna have kinks. It's gonna have issues. Hell, the whole planet's gonna be a real-life 'learning experience' so why shouldn't the book about it also be?

So, just write the fucking thing and publish it became the simple answer. It's not that hard. It's just words making sentences making scenes making chapters wrapped round characters on missions. I'll leave all the ruptured artery suturing for Free Planet #3: Reaper.

DAY LATER UPDATE: well, it worked. I have the first real chapter in the first real writing of the first real draft of the first real....  where was I? Oh, yes, the JUST WRITE IT ethos panned out. Exculpatory gold. And by that I mean, once I'd decided to TOTALLY GIVE MYSELF TO THE WRITING OF LIBERATOR the words came flooding out. Fourteen hundred words of it, today.

I don't need no stinking script. I just need to allow the old Hertzan Chimera writing machine to take the bull by the fucking horns and get on with it. I already had a list of characters to write about, and that's been listed out now, twelve characters. Job's basically writing itself.

ANOTHER DAY LATER UPDATE: man, this is easy as fuck. I knew it would be. Once I'd made the decision to just write the effin' thing. Ah, what a delight, what a joy, what a release. I'm back, I tells ya, Hertzie's back. And with a vengeance.

So, opening chapter's the military Free Planet sim goes live chapter that's at the end of the Custodian novel FP1. Second chapter's an insight into the Floating Homes that are made from twelve rutting party goers halfway through book one. Third chapters a reet good rough-up in the form of the Borstal Boys or Flockers..


..the literally fascist free planet police statesmen who can do whatever the fcuk they want to ANYONE WHO GETS THE WRONG IDEA or thinks about taking the piss out of the Free Planet non-profit ideal of Creativity, Passion and Kinship. Anyone dares do owt, they gets their arse raped right proper. I've been stuck on narrative/plotholeriddling island for the last few months thinking too hard about where this middle book might go. Stuck on 6,000 words or so. I know where book three's going, so no worries. Now I'm on 9,500 words and I'm back in the writing seat, where I always have the most fun. Hacking away at the sweating coal face.

Chapter four's for tomorrow, in the notebook, long hand ... I'm not which, of the twelve chapter/characters I've decided to concentrate on for FP2: Liberator, it'll be yet. But I'll know when I start writing it. I'll probably get a message on the way in to work. A transitionary book of insights. Insights. Nowt wrong wi that for the second book of a planned trilogy, eh?

13TH NOV UPDATE: currently at 11,500 words and still going... I rewrote an entire chapter yesterday (about one of the young survivors of the Custodian novel) that's less concerned with 'narrative' and more concerned with 'character'. And it's working. There'll be another chapter today, possibly the dad, the role taken by you-second-person in Custodian. Either him or Timi, we all remember Timi the re-wilded dinosaur-dog, don't we?