17 Aug 2014

NaNo 2014 Prep - The Unrulies Are Go!

Just like winter, November is coming.  I haven't done much prep work since the last time, but I've been playing around with the idea in my head.  I may not be rebelling, either.  After working on converting chapter 1 of By the Numbers, I've realized that scripting won't be as quick as I thought, depending on the amount of action on a page.  That leaves The Unrulies, still a working title, as a potential serial.  The core concept of the Unrulies, girls at a school for troubled/trouble girls, allows for cast turnover and focusing on different groups, perfect for a serial with the occasional full-fledged novel dealing with major events like graduation.

The supporting cast is building.  Coca-Cola has a promotion that's turning useful for my purposes - "Share a Coke with...", where bottles of the soft drink have names.  The first bottle I bought with a name had Caroline on the label; Caroline is also Verity's second-in-command.  Why not populate the supporting cast with other names?  Caitlin's team now has counterparts; Sarah, Verity's muscle, and Mackenzie, the rival geek.  I also have Jay, the poor guy stuck in a tug-of-war between Autumn and Caroline.  I now also have a reason why Caitlin takes in Laura; there was a missing role on her team that the new girl fills nicely.

My next step is to work out the arcs.  First arc is obvious; Laura's arrival and orientation, allowing Caitlin to run a new scheme against Verity.  Perfect for the intro to a series, allowing readers to meet the major characters and get used to the setting.  That still leaves other arcs, since I don't expect the arrival to take up 50 000 words.  Right now, I have a rough idea that involves Autumn and Caroline working against each other without Caitlin and Verity knowing.  However, I still need to get a few more arc ideas, ideally highlighting each character at some point.  I also want to promote a Jennifer from spear carrier to regular cast, possibly joining Vamsi's crew.  Plenty of time except not really.

The other thing I want to do is write a short piece featuring the Unrulies.  It worked with By the Numbers, letting me discover a few personality bits that I could work into the narrative.  I'm hoping the same happens with the Unrulies.  The piece doesn't have to fit into continuity; the one for By the Numbers doesn't fit into the timeline of the story anymore.

In the next few months, expect to see some more Unrulies posts as I work out details and post them so I can find them again in November.


  1. Using the cola promotion for names is clever... I wonder if some variations can be used for last names as well. (Though I've seen 'Gorgeous' on a bottle, which might not work quite so well.) I'm also curious about your remark, "perfect for a serial with the occasional full-fledged novel". I've always thought a serial IS a novel, merely presented in independent pieces. You don't need to have read one Holmes story/chapter in order to understand the next one. But then again, if you liked one Holmes story, would you be okay with picking up a book that dealt only with his brother Mycroft? The comparison to a novel makes me think of comparing a TV Series to a TV Movie. Do you think you'd be aiming more for small stories then, or something with an arcing plot? Or would the plot somehow flow naturally from the pieces?

    1. I suppose I could use some of the last names turned to given names as last names again as I run into them. Or just add -son at the end of a few, too. (I haven't run into names that out there yet.) I was thinking more along the difference between the old serials run before movies and the actual movies. The serials would end on cliffhangers to get people back, but would also have a Previously at the start of a chapter to get people up to speed. See also the Commando Cody serials from the 40s. That's the question, if people are interested in seeing what Caitlin is up to, will they care about an arc featuring Vamsi? The title, working one it may be, puts the focus on all the girls, even the ones who are still amoebic blobs right now. TV series vs TV movie works as a comparison. I think a mix would work; some extended plot arcs, some short arcs or even one-shots. Maybe comics are the best comparison, between ongoing arcs, short arcs, and graphic novels. I hope the plot will flow naturally if not from the pieces then from the characters. Caitlin should be creating her schemes most of the time, and Autumn has one of her own already being worked out.