Novel_in_90: Day 8 (catch-up)

PROJECT: Novel_in_90
WORDCOUNT: 839 words
TOTAL: 3865 + 839 = 4704

“So now we’re pretending it’s yesterday?” Nahyl looked around in confusion. “It’s that a bit timey-wimey for this setting?”

“Suppose so, but I’m world-building in the catch-ups, so this should affect the actual story that’s taking place in real-time.” The writer finished the last of her paperwork and leaned back in an out-of-place office chair. “So what’s the topic for today– I mean yesterday?”

“Considering I have no idea what you are planning on talking about for Days 4-7 –whenever you get around to catching them up too– I have no clue. I suppose we’d be on to the actual plot at this point?”

“Ah plots.” The writer stared off into the distance with the sort of thoughtful look best reserved for condolence cards and motivational posters. “Plots.”

“Yes, you know, those things of where there are either seven or twenty depending on who you ask?”

“That almost looks like it belongs on Snoopes.” The writer eyed the collective links warily. “So let’s start with the easy bit: I like happy endings, that’s one of the three-err, two choices.”

“I’m rather partial to them myself,” the fictive admitted, “but self-preservation requires me to ask if you mean happy happy, or just ‘not everyone dies’, because you have some really odd ideas of happy endings. No offense.”


“I’m not taking that as a good sign.”

“Probably for the best.” The writer paused for a moment to add in a bit of cloud cover and the faintest touches of snow on the higher mountain elevations. “How about the Man vs Nature plot?”

“Considering that this is technically a colony planet, that sounds apropos.” The fictive eyes the khail. “But what kind of animals are we talking about? I’m not really keen on the idea of a SciFi Channel-esque Monster-of-the-Week movie plot.”

“Considering there aren’t any prehistoric critters for me to resurrect, you’re pretty safe.”

“Hmmm, well actually there might be. How long have we been on planet?”

“Never though about it; all I was really worried about is that you’d been there long enough to establish and to have completely forgotten about living elsewhere.” The writer squinted thoughtfully at the newly painted mountain-tops. “Actually, you might not have any oceans on this planet, maybe a few large inland seas though. Which could mean most of the water is atmospheric and that would give you pretty dense cloud cover, which might work, but that might preclude the relatively deep snowfalls in Mists of Haiyts. Hmm…”

“And that’s really more of a world-building than a plot-building exercise, no?”

“Not really,” the writer pointed at the mountains, “Look, if those mountains are normally covered in snow, but the snow all melts, what happens?”

“Flash floods?”

“No, no, I mean think of it in terms of ‘Monster-of-the-week’. What happens if the planet has infrequent warm periods, but the animals around here act more like plants than actual animals.”

The cats gave her an insulted look.

“Seriously though, there are some seeds that only sprout under very specific sets of circumstances. Those that need to be through fires, floods–” the writer made whooshing motions with her hands, which did nothing to mollify the cats. “So what if there’s something up there, some animal that needs heat in its lifecycle?”

“Wait, why would something that needs heat live on top of a mountain?” Now both the fictive and the cats were giving the writer unimpressed looks. “The eggs would never hatch, assuming we’re working with eggs, because animals that lay seeds would be taking it a bit too far.”

“Eggs are fine by me, but think about it. The seeds that sprout after heat were made that way so that once the forest fire had passed, the plants could repopulate. If the eggs are waiting for heat–”

“That means all the adult animals have probably died off.”


“So, assuming that the little critters need the heat to survive, and only eventually grow into their ‘winter coats’, what kind of growth rate are we looking at?” The whole group was now eyeing the mountains warily.

“Mmm, assuming the cold protection is a heat gathering/retention method that increases as they grow, it could really depend.” The writer summoned her inter-dimensional laptop and started playing with Excel.

“I’m guessing you don’t intend to kill off the whole planet with these things… right?”

“I couldn’t. Even assuming the warmth cycle is long, there’s no way I could get away with wiping the planet clean. The new critters would have nothing to eat, would all die off– no, wait a minute, maybe that could work. Assuming they grow until they reach saturation, then all die off at once (more or less) than that means some of the plant and animal life would survive because they’d move up from the smaller prey and–”

“You are seriously considering creating something that is going to trigger a mass die-off planet-wide?”

“Well, it could be fun.”

“We seriously need to work on your definition of ‘fun’ and ‘happy ending’.”

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. meggins

    My plotting sessions are never this much fun. (Not to mention that I hardly ever do plotting sessions.

    1. Martha Bechtel

      I’ve found that a lot of the work on stories that I do has nothing to do with the actual end product. ^_~;; Almost everything I’ve done for Novel_in_90 so far has been filler work… none of it will stay in the book as is. Which is odd, but I seem to have the same problem with Rabbit. I think I may just have give up and accept it as my ‘style’ of writing. ^_~ *grin*

      1. meggins

        I have, a time or two, found myself writing a scene that I knew was not going to make it beyond first draft, but I just had to write it anyway.

        Durned Muses.

        1. Martha Bechtel

          I just wish they’d give me actual story… I have so much world-building and backstory and this and that, but nothing I can actually use. 😛

Leave a Reply