Thursday, September 29, 2011

Around the Year Writing

This post is out of date. I'll be leaving it as-is.

Since I'll be writing 1.6 million words from September 1st, 2011, to January 31st, 2013, I wrote down my activities per month, so that I can stay on track and not have to figure something new out each month.

A dictionary entry is for the language I have created, and which requires a word base so I can write the songs and epic poems.


- Pants: Pants a novel.
- Plan for February.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

- FAWM ( Write 14 songs (a song is c. 400 words, so 6k)
- Novel: Planned out.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Plan for March

- NANOEDMO : Log 50 hours of editing
- 100 Theme Novel: Write a novel based on 100 themes.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Plan for April

- Script Frenzy: Write 100 pages of script.
- Epistolary novel.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Plan for May

- NEPMo: Write 5000 lines of epic poetry in a conlang.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Drivel

- Drivel
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Plan for July/August. (optional!)

- Write a long novel, spanning from July to August.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

- Complete novel from July.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

- Drivel
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.
- Plan for October, November, December

- GothNoWriMo: Write a gothic story from 20k +
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

- NaNoWriMo: Write 50k
- Write a long novel.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

- Continue writing NaNovel
- Write a new novel.
- Dictionary: Add one dictionary entry per day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Master Document of Plots and Characters

Because I am telling so many people about The Blood Feud, I've compiled this master list of all the characters and plots.

The book currently has six main story lines, along with various ancestors' sub-plots, which feature as letters/short stories between main bits of narrative.

Main Plot:
Two families war against each other in a sham blood feud that no one knows is fake.

Then there are the characters (some of which have not been included). 

Main Characters:
Frederick Martin: Frederick is the Martin Head of House. He is a careful, conscientous man who weighs everything before responding to it. He has never believed that the blood feud has any sense whatsoever.

Marie Martin: Marie is a free spirit who firmly believes in trying something just to see what it's like. She hates dates and would rather be riding a fast horse or eating an exotic food than sitting in at a meeting. Her younger brother, Frederick, is convinced she's going to die some day from too much excitement. Marie is the Martin Ambassador and thus often goes on business trips to the other estates.

Grigory Martin: Grigory is 19, and will take any dare you give him,  be it jumping off the roof, eating a pound of grapes in ten minutes, or walking on coals. He's the youngest of the main Martin's: Marie is his older sister and Frederick is his older brother. 

Natalie Lundquist: Natalie is the beauty of the Lundquists and is their pride and joy. She works at the hospital as a Morale Booster: a person who sits and talks to patients to boost their morale. She is 19, and has a bad temper.

James Lundquist: Natalie's older brother and Head of Lundquist House, James is brutally killed by Gerald Hughes, thus foisting the estate onto his second cousin, Henry Lundquist.

Gerald Hughes: George's great-grandfather is George, and his grandmother is Arianna Martin, who married Daniel Hughes, who has Sirius Hughes, who had him. Gerald is schizopherinic, and he hears voices in his head that tell him to hurt people. His story is about struggling with his growing insanity.

Henry Lundquist: Henry Lundquist is a quiet, careful young man who does not enjoy adventure. His left eye is brown and his right is blue, giving him a lopsided look. Henry is the Lundquist Ambassador starting November 2nd, 2011, because no one else wanted to be and because he was the only one silly enough to say "Yes."

Jakob Anderson: The black, 5'11" journalist with dreadlocks that is paid to write stories on the Martins and Lundquists. He is working for the Martin Informer— a newspaper almost on the line between the Martin and Lundquist Estates. He is engaged to Eleni Carlson, and is working his tail off so that they can get married.

The Ancestors:

Thomas Lundquist: The founder of Lundquist Estate, Thomas lost half his lands to his best friend, Joshua Martin in a night of gambling. The same night, Lundquist Manor burned down. Thomas Lundquist has a few secrets secreted throughout the walls of Lundquist Estate. He married Athena Rothspar, and had three children.

Joshua Martin: Joshua Martin built Martin Estate with limited funds. The house is therefore added on to whenever there is money left, and it is somewhat mis-matched. Joshua Martin married Katherina, having courted her on a tree on the grounds of Martin Estate. Daniel, Richard, and Isabelle are his children.

George Martin: The great-grandson of Joshua Martin, George Martin died suddenly in a carriage collision— smashing head-on into Arabella Lundquist's carriage. His wife, Victoria, and he had Alexander, Aiden, and Daniel.

Arabella Lundquist: When Arabella married David Lundquist, she inherited an entire estate.She had George, Harriet, and Nicholas. She died in a carriage collision on June 12th, 1960 with George Martin.

Minor Characters:

Roxanne and Rebecca Lundquist: Clairvoyant twins, Roxanne and Rebecca are Henry's aunts on his father's side. They speak in riddles, finish each other's sentences, and generally confuse the other members of the family. They receive communication from the dead by telegram, and flesh out the ancestor stories.

Judith Martin: Marie, Frederick, and Grigory's mother, who offers hot beverages and large shoulders to cry on.

Eleni Carlson: Jakob's fiancée, Eleni has a disease that will prove fatal if she doesn't get medical attention. She is in almost constant pain.

Jolene Artemis: Frederick's girlfriend.

Chad Artemis: Artemis Head of House.
Sandra Artemis: Central Hospital Director

The Plots:
Natalie/Grigory Story Arc:
Natalie and Grigory have known each other for nearly six months in close quarters, and they absolutely hate each other. When Grigory gets sent to the hospital for an emergency stay, Natalie is the one chosen to keep him company.
The two cannot stand each other… so how is it that Henry is finding heart-shaped notes around Lundquist Manor, and why does Frederick feel as if he hears his brother calling "Nat" in his sleep?

Marie Martin Story Arc:
Marie's brother, Frederick, sets her up with an epistolary dating service. As Marie juggles various deaths, she writes to three men, all of which seem wonderful.

Gerald Hughes
Gerald Hughes is hearing three voices: Hera, who criticizes everything he does and everyone he sees; Thor, who finds something to be angry about in the smallest things; and Pluto, who is convinced that Gerald needs to kill people. 
As Gerald is put under house arrest for crimes he didn't mean to commit, he struggles with Hera, Thor, and Pluto— and ultimately himself.

Henry Lundquist
When Celia Lundquist, Ambassador, was murdered, Henry reluctantly became ambassador, hoping fervently that he'd be able to resign just a few months later.
But when the Lundquist Head of House is killed, Henry finds out that he is next in line for the estate. Going from simple man to ambassador to head of house has never been easy, but it's worse for Henry, who has never wanted to be in the spotlight.
He can't possibly abdicate: there's no such thing, and besides, the only other inheritor is a distant cousin so far removed that he's practically on the Martin's side.
To add to his problems, Henry's letter-writing is deteriorating and he's been rejected by one of the women he really thought was the one; his second cousin, Natalie, is fraternizing with the Martin boy, and people are dying, left and right.

James Lundquist
James Lundquist has always been a good leader, even if he is very young. But when his ambassador, and then two other prominent family members are killed, James becomes incensed and storms to Martin Manor to demand one of the largest blood payments in history.
What he doesn't know is that Pluto has been waiting for him… and Gerald is ready to kill.

Jakob Anderson
Jakob Anderson has troubles: his rent is due, his feet hurt, and it's hot enough on the streets to melt a candle. On top of everything, his fiancée, Eleni, is dying.
When he got the Martin-Lundquist column, he thought it was the best day of his life, and one of the best opportunities he could have ever had.
When he trips over a toy on the staircase and falls and breaks his leg, he thinks it's just bad luck: after all, Frederick's been nothing but kindness. But then he gets to his apartment, and he gets kicked out because it's booby-trapped.
And a knife was perilously close to his ear one morning when he woke up.
Suffice it to say, Jakob Anderson can't wait for this story to be over.

Frederick Martin
Frederick has never believed that the blood feud is real: it's just too nonsensical. The beginnings of it have almost been lost in time, but when Frederick finds a little note in his desk that hints at answers to the questions that have been plaguing him, he begins searching for more.
And what he is slowly finding out is that everything he's known is untrue…

The Blood Feud
Many people think that the blood feud started because Thomas Lundquist lost half of his estate to Joshua Martin and then his estate burned down.
But what Frederick is now finding out is that that isn't the whole story…

Interpersed between various points of view from the other characters are the stories of the ancestors: those that were affected by the blood feud, but are now dead.

Please note that this is a sort of master document, and that it may not be clear: in which case, please tell me, so I can fix it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jakob Anderson and Secrets of the Houses

With 22 days until take-off, and 37 days until the start of NaNoWriMo, I've realized a couple of things:

(1) Information Overload is Bad.  Why? Because if you overload, you can't concentrate, and your outlines begin to suck, and then you don't learn any psychology. Also, you get stressed. 
(2) My novel is going to be work-intensive. I probably should have realized this when I came up with the story of a blood feud and a minimum word goal of 200,000 words, but I have a talent for not realizing things lately.

And… what have these two realizations come down to?

Well, addressing number one quite quickly, I'll be reviewing my Psychology up until we leave, and then working at that as we're gone. So instead of an enormous amount of pages every day, I'll be reviewing a small amount, and working at it better and more thoroughly. "Overlearning," as it were. And I have grammar down pat; I'll probably finish it before I go to bed tonight.

And, number two: Thanks to ikerrivercast, I have one of my plots nailed down rather well, I must say. And I have one of my characters figured out nicely.
Meet Jakob Anderson, who is a struggling journalist with foot and rent problems. He's been given one of the bigger columns in the Redland Informer, namely to report on the activities and whereabouts of the various members of Lundquist Estate and Martin Estate.
As Jakob starts reporting on the blood feud, he's suddenly drawn in: Frederick Martin uses him to uncover a plot of secrets, Natalie and Grigory use him to carry love notes to each other, and the clairvoyant twins, Roxanne and Rebecca, tell him ghastly stories of the future.
Jakob isn't absolutely sure that he's in trouble, though, until he breaks his leg tripping over a skateboard at Martin Estate, and even then he's not convinced until his landlord kicks him out because Jakob's apartment was booby trapped.
As Jakob tries to keep himself alive, he's dragged around by Frederick Martin, who is convinced that he's found a secret that is fundamental to the blood feud.

And I'll stop there, because 1) I'm not sure exactly what happens next to him, and 2) I might change it, even if I did know.

And now, the estates. Both Martin and Lundquist Estate hold many secrets about the blood feud and about the many family members that have lived in the house at one point or another. Thomas Lundquist, the founder of Lundquist House, has the key to the secret of the blood feud hidden in tubes in the walls. Joshua Martin, the winner of Martin Manor, has his own gambling debts that he'd rather not anyone know about.

One day, Frederick Martin, the current owner of Martin Manor, breaks a wall, and finds a piece of paper that hints at a bigger secret. A secret that Frederick has been wondering about for a while. It doesn't make sense to him, you see, that so many people would be fighting over something that happened nearly two hundred years ago. So he's been wondering… why the blood feud?
And this little piece of paper gives him a hint. When Jakob shows up, Frederick has just found out that a majority of the clues to solving the mystery are in Lundquist House, and he sends Jakob out after them. 
What neither of them feel very comfortable with is that it seems that the houses are watching them, waiting for them to make a mistake, so that they can swallow them up.

Because the secrets the houses are keeping are not the sort the ghosts haunting them seem to want to come out.

I'm looking forward to finding out exactly what the secrets are, and the entire histories of both Martin and Lundquist Estate. In some respects of the story, I know (almost) exactly what's going on, but in others I am clueless.
Like Natalie and Grigory's story. WHAT, exactly, is preventing them from falling desperately in love?
I'll be exploring that later.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Around the World... and MilHalfy... and a Blood Feud

I'm going around the world with my family... as people may or may not know. We leave October 16th, 2011, and should be back January, 2013. We'll be going everywhere, practically, but that's besides the point.

The point is, I'm making up my own little challenge (if 'little' can be used as an adjective for this kind of project), and writing 1,600,000 words in 16 months. I dubbed it MilHalfy, short for Million and a Half. The challenge started on the first of September, and I am happy to say that I am kind of on track. Though perhaps I should be a bit aheader.

Anyway, I have a new story at the moment (Kathy and Co. has been relegated to a "When I can Sort Through This" Pile at the moment-- it should be finished by the end of 2012 though), whose working title is The Blood Feud.

It's about two families, the Martins and the Lundquists, who are engaged in a blood feud, believe it or not. It's going to have a really intricate plot, with a Romeo-Juliet complex, a duel (ending in DEATH), revenge, the paparazzi (for it all takes place in Modern Times-- which is code for I Don't Have Time to Research), online blogs, cellphones, an island in Malta, future-seeing twins, a psychopath murderer kept under wraps, and two ghosts... whose great grandparents invented the blood feud as a sham to propel the families to fame and fortune.

These two ghosts are some of my main characters: George Martin and Arabella Lundquist think they are still alive, and don't think it strange at all that they don't look a day over fifty, even if they're about ninety five each. They are the masterminds of all that has been happening lately with Grigory Martin and Natalie Lundquist (the Romeo-Juliet complex), James Lundquist and Gerald Hughes (the duel), and the twins, Rebecca and Roxanne.

Things would be normal, relatively, if the alive members of the clans knew that the blood feud was a sham, because then things would all be 'made up' and people would live quite comfortably. But it seems that whatever George and Arabella think up actually happens, with catastrophic results.

There's a lot of stuff to look through in this world at the moment, because I quite possibly might suddenly decide to SHIFT it all from modern times into some other world I've been working on, and the psychopath murder could quite possibly simply disappear. I'll probably have a plethora of background info by the time I actually start writing the book, but I'm looking forward to entertainment for quite some time: My word goal for this novel is twice as much as I've ever written: 200,000 words. And that doesn't include the 50,000 words I'm estimating the planning and word-building will take.

After I finish this, I'll probably start work on some of the other novel ideas that have been waiting around, but that got pushed off unceremoniously in favor of The Blood Feud.