18 Oct 2015

NaNo Prep 2015 - Mind the Gaps

Not long to go.  Is it time to panic?

Of course not.

First, if I panic now, I won't have any panic left for the last week of November.  Peaking early with panic is a rookie mistake.

Second, I have three ideas to be filled out.  Yes, I know last time that I narrowed things down to two, but a fantasy idea returned.  Its characters started having interesting scenes.  So, three.

If now isn't the time for panic, then what is now for?  Right now, filling in details.  Colony Base 183 and The Clockwork Avenger have settings and casts to be worked out, which is what follows.  This is the pre-writing stage.  The more I can work out now, the fewer stalls I'll have while writing.  This isn't to say that I'll have a full outline worked up.  That's just crazy talk.  What does help me, though, is knowing how the characters behave.  By the Numbers brought that home and Unruly proved the point.  That's not to say that characters won't appear out of nowhere as needed.  My 2013 NaNovel, The Devil You Know, wound up with Mara, a succubus, added because Jack's private jet* needed a co-pilot.  After her first appearance, Mara remained and became important to the plot.

Colony Base 183
Cast needed :  The newly minted Ensign.  Her department head.  Possibly the base commander and his executive officer.  The head of the colony.  The alien ambassadors.
Sets:  The security office.  The colony base itself.  The colony and its main settlement.  Landing area for starships.  Possibly an orbital facility.
Details:  Rank structure for the military.  Traveller-style UWP**.  Colonial government, if any.
What I have:  The Ensign herself, though she may be renamed.  The security office will resemble a small police office as seen on TV, possibly an update from sheriff offices in Westerns.  I may have a rank structure on hand to modify, loosely based on the Canadian Forces.

The Clockwork Avenger
Cast needed:  The Clockwork Avenger from the Victorian Era.  His descendant in the modern day.  The villain or villains, though if there are more than one, they are working together.  The descendant's good friend.  Lawyer.
Sets:  The Avenger's lab in London or maybe Bristol.  The descendant's room.  A university lab.  The villain's/villains' lab.
Details:  The looks of the Clockwork Avenger, both steampunk and modern versions.  The load-out of the Avenger, both versions.  The villain's/villains' plans.  How the law office managed to keep the blueprints over one hundred years.
What I have:  The first Clockwork Avenger armour - steampowered power armour with ether canister launcher.  The second Avenger armour, less bulky and using 3D printing techniques, replacing the ether canisters with TASERs.  How the descendant can afford to make the new armour.

The Elf's Prisoner
Cast needed:  High elf priest.  Dark elf magician.  High elf rogue.  Human knight.  Human squire.  Villain.  Dark elf's sister.  Cannon fodder.
Sets:  Elf town.  Forested area.  Human city.  Villain's lair.
Details:  How magic works, both arcane and divine.  The villain's plan.  Where the various locations are relative to each other.
What I have:  How elf society works (matriarchal families coming together for a council of ruling families).  The heroes, except for names.

Maybe I should panic...

* I needed a small enough private jet that could still fly Ottawa-Paris non-stop.  The best fit still required a co-pilot.  Research!
** Universal World Profile.  It's a shorthand way to get general details of a planet in the Traveller role-playing game.  Covers things like world size, population, government type, and law.  The UWP might not even appear in the story, but it'll handy to have a seven-character code when writing.  Earth of today has the UWP E-877A74-7.

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