Sunday, December 22, 2013

Where the Hell Did You Get "Gears," Anyway?

So, I know that my last several posts on here have been really heavy, deep, political, etc.  That's why I've decided to be a little more light-hearted for this entry.  You all know that I've really been talking up my new novel Gears of Golgotha.  I'm really proud of the progress I've made on this urban fantasy epic.  I spend every day (well, almost every day) trying to write at least 150 words (usually it's more) along with my cousin Amy (she has an awesome blog, by the way, called Letters to Daniel).  But where did it come from?

Like most stories, it began with a crazy night at my friend's house.  It was a Friday night.  Exhausted, I accidentally ended up crashing on my buddy's couch.  That night, I had a crazy dream about me flying through the air.  And I was flying towards these large gears.  Inside the gears was a tall, skinny man with dark hair and a pony tail.  He was wearing a lab coat, so I concluded that he must be a scientist.  The inside of these gears was similar to the inside of the TARDIS in Doctor Who.  In the dream, I could feel energy moving through me.  When I saw "my" reflection in the steel of the gears, I could see "my" long hair flaring out behind me, and I was surrounded in a gold light.  It was like magic. These gears, the scientist and I served some great purpose that I wasn't aware of, but one that I was desperate to find out.

When I woke up the next morning, I immediately took out my iPhone, opened up my Notes app, and began to record every detail I could remember from the dream.  By then, several of my other friends, who had stayed there as well, had woken up.  One of them asked why I was typing furiously into my phone.  I told them that I had a "badass dream" and that I wanted to write it down in the hopes that I could turn it into a story.

Before I knew it, we were sharing ideas for the story.  Mostly we discussed basic elements such as names and physical characteristics, but still, at least we were getting somewhere.  It was here where we decided on the names for my main characters and my villain, and the idea to incorporate magic and science into the story.

When I had shaped all of these ideas together, I had some idea of what I wanted for a novel.  It would be a sci-fi/urban fantasy that involved using magic and science in order to defeat a ruthless dictator.  But for some reason, I felt like something was... missing.  Never mind the fact that I had (and still have) an everlasting need to be original; there was no reason, no substance to drive the story along.  What was the relationship between the two?  How did the gears come into play?

Most importantly, why was I writing this in the first place?

At the time, I was still debating on what project to take on for NaNoWriMo 2013. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge throughout the month of November where you have that whole month to write a novel (at least 50,000 words).  I didn't know whether to finish my murder mystery MARIA or to even attempt to give my novel (which at this point still had no name) the dimension and the originality I felt it needed.  All of that changed when I visited Amy close to a week or two before NaNoWriMo began.  I told her about my problem of figuring out what to do.  I told her about the ideas I had put together with my friends, and her face lit up.

"The question, though," I asked, "is why am I writing it?  I feel like it's missing something."

The rest of the hour was filled with intense brainstorming, spitballing, and eating (she had fixed a lunch for both of us earlier).  With each passing moment, I could practically feel my story gain dimension and depth; it was like watching a two-dimensional cartoon slowly but surely transform into a three-dimensional human being.  One thing that I will credit Amy on was how her interpretation of the main villain shaped my new novel.

I want to avoid giving out too many details on the novel, as I want all of you to be surprised with how it turns out (especially with the villain).  I think my previous entries have given you several nuggets for you to chew on about the tone and the type of story it will turn out to be.

I've been working on this story furiously ever since, especially over the past couple of weeks during my school's Winter Break.  I try to write 150 words every day, with Amy available on Facebook if I need any assistance.  Sometimes I land ridiculously high above the mark, and sometimes I miss it by just a few words. Either way, I am so excited as to how this story will turn out, and I think you all will be, too.

Love and Coffee cups,

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