13 Oct 2014

NaNo Prep 2014 - Update

November 1st is approaching.  I need to be ready to go by 12:01am local time.  Yet...

Life got busy the last few weeks.  Work required moving many computers and peripherals, plus phones, cables, and printers, all over a hectic few days.  Following the weekend of the massive decommissioning, removing PCs that I had helped install on a previous contract, my old back injury decided that all the bending I did was not conducive to a pain-free existence.  Made going to Can-Con the following weekend interesting.  I also managed to disrupt my sleep schedule, so exhaustion plagued me, making it hard to put proper words together.  The disruption delayed regular commentary as well.

I lost two weeks, really, but not completely.  While I wasn't writing, I was working out some plot lines, some potential arcs, the cast's appearance, and little details that turn a jotted note into a breathing character.  The main four - Caitlin, Skye, Autumn, and Laura - have last names.  Caitlin even has a family, though I'm not sure if she should have an older brother or an older sister.  I have possible story arcs, some of which will require setting up in earlier arcs; Jenn, in particular, needs to make a few appearances before "The Jennifer of Jennifers" arc.

The school finally got a name and a bit of history.  The Ulrich F. Gephardt Academy for Unruly Girls.  Ulrich never existed; I started by trying to find a possible name that could be morphed into "unruly".  The closest I got was the surname Unrein, a German surname.  Then I hit on the idea of the $Name Academy for Unruly Girls, leading to ditching Unrein but picking up Ulrich and then filling out the rest of his name.  Even worked out a bit of background for the Academy.  Ulrich was from Berlin, Ontario, which later became Kitchener during World War I*.  In 1886, he had the idea of founding a school outside Oshawa to take in young ladies who were troublemakers.  A year later, he changed the Academy's mission into turning the young ladies into his own private army of spies.  Ulrich retired in 1888, leaving Oshawa to go to the Century Manor Asylum in Hamilton.  The Academy continued to take in girls who, with the assistance of the Headmistress, managed to give themselves an education.  Even today, the Academy uses unusual teaching methods but graduates of the school go on to be leaders, innovators, and most wanted.  The latter, sometimes by law enforcement.

Setting, therefore, is mostly worked out.  Mostly, because areas like the school grounds, the dorms, key hangouts in Oshawa, and at least one back need to be worked on, but that can happen over the course of writing.  Characters, at least the students, are ready.  Teachers will be filled in as needed.  The Headmistress is becoming a black box - I know what she'll do in most situations, but I don't know how she processes the events.  Could be useful given the focus is on the students.

Am I ready?  No.  I do need to figure out why Caitlin and Verity have a war of one-upmanship going on.  I need to figure out what Caitlin's scheme is for the first chapter.  I'll probably post a bit more to try to work things out.

For all I know, though, I could wind up writing about a hafling archaeologist.

* Kind of makes "Freedom Fries" look lame now.


  1. That's definitely something I've found with serial writing - even if you're not writing, details and things are coalescing. I'm impressed at how you managed to nail down a venue. As to teachers, I found when I was writing my high school story, they just filtered in as needed - and though the principal definitely needed some extra thinking, given Julie's aspirations, it didn't happen until I reached that point.

    1. I've been letting the idea simmer for a while. I finally sat down and looked for details for the school, hoping to somehow get Unruly from the name. The school was always going to be in Cottage Country, away from larger urban areas where police have the personnel needed to deal with the girls. The rest came about after lucky hits while Googling. The one teacher I do need ready is the Headmistress; she's going to be the determining factor when it comes to what the girls can get away with. I can see Julie forcing more details for the principle; it'd be the only way he could not get overwhelmed. :)