Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween everyone! I learned today that Neil Gaiman declared today All Hallows Read last year. The point of All Hallows Read is to give scary books and promote reading. I have obviously not been keeping up on my literary news! Someone on the NaNo boards suggested they could add writing scary literature to it, and I wish I'd known about it sooner. It would've been a perfect time for my zombie short story, but I don't think I'd have enough time now and I don't want to interfere with. . .

NaNoWriMo Eve! That's right. At midnight I will begin my story and write my first 1,667 words. Since I always need a buffer, I'm even going to write an extra 1,667 words when I wake up and begin a "new day" on Tuesday. I think that will take me through at least my first scene, the prologue. I am actually considering trying to write through the main group's introductions. That'd get me quite a nice buffer zone for Thanksgiving festivities (or, you know, getting behind) which I'll probably need.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Last Minute Prep

I've made a few changes to my story progression, but I still haven't entirely outlined it. I got sidetracked by job interviews and my boyfriend's parents visiting, so I'm way behind where I wanted to be for NaNoWriMo. I am going to be working hard tonight and the next two days in the hopes that I can catch up. At least I have concrete knowledge of what my first scene will be!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Creature Culture

I've done some more world building and I think I have my creature's culture mostly figured out. They originally organized based on their location when they transformed, but now consider the group of creatures they're with to be family. The older members of the groups are considered wise elders, and are fed and help around the camp areas even if they cannot hunt. The young, but adult, creatures can all hunt, though if the ladies know they are pregnant, they generally abstain. The children are watched over by the entire group, though most often by their parents or adopted parents if they've transformed.

The creatures form monogamous pair bonds and recognize that incest is detrimental. Since any creatures who are currently members of their group are considered family, if any of their members are reaching maturity they are placed with another group who has a similarly unattached creature. The groups most often meet with those on the edges of their territory, so in time this will not be enough to prevent all inbreeding, but the timeline of seven years after the initial outbreak presents no problems.

The creatures communicate via musical tones, which presents a serious difficulty when they attempt to communicate with humans. Most humans who have been sent into "enemy territory" are deaf, to prevent them from transforming. My group of humans will include civilians, who have not been required to become deaf by any military, but they will be kept inside soundproofed areas and away from any creatures. The deaf humans all communicate with American Sign Language, and some of them know other varieties as well.

The groups of creatures spend most of their time in nomadic pursuits, catching food on their territory and hiding from the elements. They tend to avoid cities, which make them feel uncomfortable, but will sometimes follow food or seek shelter in them. They do not, however, enter buildings. The enclosed spaces make most creatures feel uncomfortable.

Still no name for the creatures beyond the Latin Homo sapiens felinis. In addition to world building for this, I've added another scene to my Camp NaNo and I'm a little sad I have to stop working on it to focus completely on the new NaNo soon. I suppose I had 3 months to finish it and this is just my procrastination kicking me in the butt. Oh well! Maybe I'll use it as a reward for finishing the day's NaNo words on occasion!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Some Characters

I have the main group of good guys all fleshed out now, as well as one of the most important creature characters. Introducing. . .

Corrine Davis! She will be in the introductory scene, which shows the first outbreak of creatures. She is going on the expedition officially as a meteorologist and expert on all things related to Wichita. She also has a personal motivation. Corrine has waited seven years to rescue her husband, Sal, who has been transformed into a creature.

Lindsay Valentine, a doctor from London who has created the cure that transforms creatures back into humans. However, it has only been tested on creatures who were turned by other creatures, not from the original outbreak. They also know that it doesn't work if the creature was born as a creature. He also has the task of observing the creatures, if possible, in person to learn more about their culture.

Diego Escobal Ruiz, a mercenary hired as part of the escort. He is only in it for the money, but ends up appreciating both the creatures and those who have chosen education over manual labor. His develop will mostly take place on an interpersonal level, particularly with the next character.

Caroline Sullivan, another mercenary who is inseparable from Diego despite their lack of a defined relationship. Also in it for the money, but ends up learning to trust others to be friends and to trust Diego to be a true partner.

Their group will have many characters who are less in depth, and I still need to flesh out the somewhat important leader of the convoy and Lindsay's research assistant.

The last character, the creature, is Sal. In the seven years since the transformations Sal has become a respected warrior and hunter for his family tribe. He's also been mated to a female creature and had two children. He will be forced to choose between the two lives, though he can barely remember the life he had with Corrine.

There are several more creatures that need detailing too. Furthermore, the Big Bad remains rather vague in my mind. I know they will be a group of big game hunters, perhaps 10-15 of them, and I know what I want to accomplish with them. I am unsure of what sort of personality will be best for now. Hopefully continuing with my world building and creating an outline will make things clearer. That's what they're for, after all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Story Background & Synopsis

I have done some planning for my novel. To keep myself organized I'm using a 2 year novel writing book I picked up a while ago and smushing the week long assignments into one (or two for the short ones!) a day. If I stay on schedule, cross my fingers, I'll finish with a day to spare so I can celebrate Halloween and maybe start my novel at midnight depending on where I am. SO! Without further ado, I will introduce my novel's plot.

North America and most of Central America have been lost to a group of mutated humans. The outbreak starts in a town I hold much love for, Wichita, KS. The mutations begin when people who are listening to music in Wichita begin to hypnotically dance. If they or the music source is interfered with, they become violent until the music is returned and they are allowed to dance again. This stage is short lived. They begin the first steps of the conversion with aggressive hair growth throughout the body, the restructuring of their jaws to allow for large fangs, and accelerated growth of finger and toenails. Once the transformation begins, the person becomes aggressive with those around them due to the mistaken belief that the others are causing the pain associated with the transformation. The aggression is particularly centered on anyone not transforming. Once the initial set of people are exposed in Wichita, the transformations are transmitted by listening to music sang or played by one of the transformed creatures.

Though the transformations are too quick to spread to other areas via air or ship travel without being discovered well before reaching the destination, authority powers throughout the world had to immediately implement search procedures for anything which could contain a recording of the creature's music. In most public places any visible speakers, radios, or related music paraphernalia has been vandalized to the point of uselessness or removed by the owner. In a hasty panic, some people have made themselves and their families deaf. As society moves further away from noises, many people begin learning sign language. Many countries sent troops to South America to stop the spread of the creatures, and were successful in creating a solid line of defense at the Panama Canal.

The main story occurs seven years after the initial transformations. A cure has been found for those creatures who have been exposed to the music created by the creatures. Nobody knows if it will work on the creatures who heard the original music, and it cannot make creatures who were born as creatures into humans. They will travel from Panama to Wichita via the Pan-American Highway and establish a base camp in Wichita. Once there, their task (should they choose to accept it...and they do) is to study the phenomena there to see if the original music is reproducible and to capture creatures from the original exposure to test the cure on.

I have a few characters already, but they need a tad bit more fleshing out before I can give you a peek.