Welcome to the haphazard posting of the world/plot/story-building for my 2016 NaNoWriMo Novel! In which my Fictives and their Writer attempt to shape the rough outline of a story from the void. All of which will probably be tossed out the window when November 1st hits, but… that’s half the fun, right? 😉
This is shameless MuseFic, so there will be snark and world-building and lots of spoilers. Of course there is also a very good chance that the November story will ignore most of the spoilers, so it’s probably a 40-60 chance at best.
You have been warned…
Post Wordcount 1,010
Total Wordcount: 2,614
“You seriously named your novel [Placeholder]?” The Muse sat down on the sofa with an annoyed grunt. “I leave you alone for two minutes, two minutes!” She waved the styrofoam container of bulgogi at her Writer accusingly.
“It’s been a lot more than two minutes and I’ll rename it… at some point.” The Writer poked at her outline with a frustrated sigh. “I still don’t know enough about this story to give it a real title. Plus I’m not sure I want to write this story anymore.” She sat back and summoned her own container of lunch from thin air. “I have a giant alien spaceship and a psychopath who writes self-help books. Maybe.”
“I like the idea of self-improvement books,” the nameless fictive said as he wandered in a took a seat on the couch. “I like telling people what to do and people seem to have this intrinsic need to have someone else dictate the best way to do things. I’m just being helpful.” He dug a glass of bourbon out of the couch. “But I’m not doing seminars or classes, even on pain of death.”
“Well before you do anything, you need a name,” the Writer pointed out as she broke her chopsticks apart and started flipping through the baby name websites as she ate. “Elim is knowledge in Swahili. Cetan is hawk in Tibetan. Nesher is eagle in Hebrew. Gawain is battle hawk in English. Huh, Merlin means hawk too.”
“You seem to be falling into a theme,” the fictive pointed out, amused.
“You do have that sort of predatory avian air to you,” pointed out the Muse who was guarding her lunch and glaring at him around mouthfuls. “Have I mentioned I don’t think you’re a good idea yet?”
The Writer faded out slightly and then popped back. “Hah, okay, Google says people who look vaguely like I want you to tend to be named Adam or Simon. I refuse to name you Adam on the grounds that the alien spaceship is already allegorical enough.”
“There are worse names,” Simon said as he tried it on. “It means listen, if the internet is to be believed.” His eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “I think I might like this, actually. It has that sort of snake-like hiss to it and it works wonderfully with a line of self-help books called Simon Says.” He grinned.
It was not a pleasant grin.
“Oh good grief, no. I am not spending fifty thousand words with this… person.” The Muse waved her chopsticks in an attempt to be menacing. “Either make him less of a caricature of a villain or I’m leaving.” She was regretting not going with a fork this time.
“I was just kidding,” Simon sighed and leaned back in the couch and sipped his bourbon in annoyance. “Take a joke for God’s sake.” He was slowly solidifying into an amalgam of Benedict Cumberbatch, Adam Levine, Tom Ellis, and Zachary Quinto. “Otherwise this is going to be a long November.”
“But an interesting one, I hope.” The Writer was realizing it was going to take some finagling to get everyone to play nice. “So I have you, a setting, and a general end point, but we need some sort of rough idea of how we’re getting from point A to point B. Or at least decide if we’re just going to chuck all of this and start over.”
“You just invented me,” Simon huffed.
“You invented yourself, and I never said I was chucking you.” The Writer looked at the doodles. “I’m just not really feeling the ‘wander about a ship and pretend it’s not an allegory for the afterlife’.”
The Muse dug out a handful of workbook papers out of the couch with the chopsticks and passed them over. “Do I get to point out that you printed these last November and never used them?”
“No,” the Writer finished up her lunch and settled down. “Alright, time to get focused on filling out all the blanks and checking all the boxes!” She picked up a pen…
There was a longer than normal pause and the Writer gave her fictive a pleading look.
“Are you waiting on me?” Simon asked, curiously. “I had assumed I was just here for fake moral support.”
“Oh this is going to be good.” The Muse settled back to watch the fireworks, nibbling on the last of her lunch.
“Look, I need help, you’re the fictive, you lot normally drive the story for me. I just sort of…” the Writer made vague hand guesstures, “improvise around you.”
Simon sighed and got a drink refill from the couch who helpfully provided an entire bottle. “Alright, so the current starting point is that I go to sleep on Earth and wake up in an alien spaceship. I somehow get to a point where I have a choice if I want to return to Earth or not and I made a choice. End of story.”
The Writer nodded.
“Somewhere along the way I run into other humans, aliens, artificial intelligences, and dangers from the fact the spaceship is slowly falling apart.” He poured a double. “For the moment I am litteral psychopath, which makes my interactions with other sentients, hmm, ‘interesting’ to say the least. That would mean the story arc might include a redemption from that assumed malady– we’re assuming a more advanced species might be able to ‘heal’ me, assuming I wanted such a thing.”
“I can’t see why you’d bother,” muttered the Muse.
“Neither can I, but I’ll allow for that possibility.” Simon looked into the amber liquid, searching for the hints of a story. “The obvious plot point would be to play against the normal hero impulses that I’m lacking. Although once that point is made there’s no need to reiterate it, not unless you want to lose the reader’s sympathy entirely.”
“A psychopath is kidnapped by an alien spaceship. Hijinks ensue.”
Simon and the Muse exchanged looks.
“What?” Objected the Writer, “That’s a perfect one-sentence summary!”
And it was all downhill from there.