A Random Pattern

Archive for November, 2009

NaNoWriMo Excerpt: Sanctuary

Friday, November 20th, 2009

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…the other three’s thoughts rushed over her.  They had stopped cloaking completely.  She turned, looking for them.

They were doing lazy loops up near the surface, though not so near as to be easily seen from above.  At least, Alex and Xero were.  She reached out with her gravity sense and found Muuld, over against one of the walls, eating.  Her hunger pangs struck again and she swam over to join him.

“Is it all safe to eat?” she asked, eyeing him.  He was using some type of tool to scrape along the surface, pulling off plants and eating them.  Some he was also shoving into a bag.  “Wait, where’d you get that bag?”

“Ah, you’ve found my secret!  No, actually this is why Alex picked this location.  We’ve used it before, the Invisible Remnant has.  We keep a few supplies here.  Alex figured we could use the bag.  I agree whole-heartedly, the diet has been rather slimmer than normal lately.  We normally start out a little better provisioned.”  He realized what he’d said too late, and hastily tried to correct himself “Uh, not that we don’t ever, err, leave like that. Sometimes you just go with the flow.  I think the exercise and diet’s probably been good for me anyway, I’m one of the runners so I really need to keep fit and fast.  Surprises are good” he finished lamely .

I rather wish you could read the rest of this section.  I’m quite happy with it, needed edits notwithstanding.  This is probably the last break my hapless crew are going to get.  Unfortunately there are dark days ahead of them.

By the time you read this excerpt, my crew will have been forced to leave here early as well.  They may have lost and gained members of their group.  I will hopefully be nearing 40k, and also trying desperately to wrap up the story towards the big finale.

It is strange that 17 days into this daily writing adventure, I am still fluctuating – sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis – with whether I love the story, hate the story, think it’s an good, or want to throw it all away as junk.  This must be the joy of NaNoWriMo.  I wouldn’t give the adventure of writing it up for anything.  It’s been an immensely rewarding practice, even if I am exhausted at times, and consumed at other times.  Now if only I can produce something excellent out of it, I’ll be really satisfied.

NaNoWriMo Excerpt: Too Close to Shore

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

She didn’t get a chance to answer, something pierced the water above them.  They both dove instinctively, even as they felt the cries from Muuld and Xero further up the shelf.

“What is it?  What do we do?” cried Gooshan.  Alex had already whipped around, a quick turn and rapid acceleration.  She bent her waves towards Muuld and Xero – Xero was hit with something, and was thrashing around in pain.  Muuld was working to severe some type of rope.

“It’s some type of spear and rope” called Alex.  “Stay far from the surface, they’re accurate with these things down several meters now.  There must be Grounders attacking us.  “I’m going up to try and get Muuld, you stay down there and try to help guide us.  I know it’s hard, but see if you can get any idea of what is on the shore from there.”  He bolted off, skimming on the bottom and changing direction every few strokes.

She focused her mind, travelled along the rope, trying to follow it all the way to the land.  It was actually rather easy, the rope was under a lot of tension and there were waves from the Grounders, filled with hate that enveloped it.  So she saw rather easily a weak spot in the rope.  “Xero, pull, swim back and forth going toward the rope, get a little slack!  The rope is about to break!”

“You’re crazy” Muuld yelled back.  “They’ll pull him in as fast as he can swim towards them.”

“How far up the rope is the damage?” called Alex.

Gooshan focused again, traversing up and down the rope.  There was a sudden cry from Xero.  “The net is caught on my hand! They’re pulling too hard, I can’t stop it!”  His waves were laced with fear.  She focused, harder.  She felt along the threads, focused her waves.

“It’s about 2 of your lengths” she called to Alex.  “But hurry, I think they might fire more shots at you.”  She kicked up to the surface and leapt out, trying to see what was happening on the shore.  It was dusk, but they had a fire and there were a few bodies silhouetted. One was holding something long.  “They have another spear or something!  Get away from the surface!”

Our band of adventurers, on the run and outside of society’s bounds, are getting into much more populated areas.  Turns out they have a lot of enemies, and very little in the way of friends.

Just so you don’t think the whole novel is filled to the brim with violence – they make better excerpts is all.  I’ll look for a more conversational or descriptive excerpt to bring you later in the month.

My novel is currently titled “Oceans Die”.  I expect this to change again, but it will do for now.  It is 32,000 words long, or 88 paperback pages.  See the sidebar for my daily wordcount progress, which has gone swimmingly.  Still, this story’s not going to fit comfortably in 50k, and I want to be done by end of November with the first draft.  We’ll see how it goes…

NaNoWriMo Excerpt: Invisible Remnant

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

They’d had a very uneven eating schedule since going on the run. He didn’t see that changing anytime soon, sadly.  Still, maybe he could have a meal ready when she woke up.  Looth nosed around near the bottom, looking for some clam shells or something they could eat.  There weren’t really any edible plants in the nearby area – at least not anything he recognized.  Then again it’d been awhile since their last ‘northern island’ plant instruction session, he thought wryly.  Like never, heh.

Tood and Muuld stayed still, watching carefully.  These two were definitely alone.  Could they be trusted?  They seemed helpless enough – almost too helpless, to be honest.  Muuld quietly mused “you know what confuses me?  They must’ve swam from that Shallower community that is just moving in, right, yet they don’t seem to be thinking twice about trying to go back and sneak in?!”

“They can’t be from that school” Tood said decisively after thinking on this for a few moments.  “Look at them, they’re exhausted and everything they’ve got with them is torn to shreds.  They’ve been on the swim for a lot longer than just a day.  They seem to have no idea what they’re doing out here though.  That bothers me.”

“Shall we introduce ourselves, or do you think we should get some racers ready in case they flip out ’n’ flee?”  Muuld wouldn’t mind a little excitement really…

My novel now weighs in at 19,161 words, or somewhere around 46 pages.  With this excerpt, I finally launched into the main arc of the story (which I only figured out on Sunday, two days ago).  This should carry me all the way to my final confrontation or climax, near the end of the book.

Thanks to my brother Bryan, who is providing these excerpts and giving me a lot of valuable feedback.  Thank you also to my other friends and family who are following along with interest – I hope it is rewarding for you.  So far this experiment, this mission, has been well worth the price of admission to me.  I’m not sure my wife quite agrees yet, so I still have my work cut out for me.

Oh, if any of you feel like designing a book cover or some related artwork, let me know.  I’d like to have some visuals to both encourage me and give all of you something for following this faithfully, and some great art would be just the thing.

NaNoWriMo Excerpt: The Rising

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Another presence was below them. They had felt the blast of bubbles, the brief shift in temperature. Someone had come up. More unsettling, He (Gooshan was sure it was a He) wasn’t even cloaking his thoughts much, which they were more than capable of doing. It was a Deeper, a large one, if young. He was practically pacing, swimming in large laps somewhere down near the elevator.
“How close are we?” Thorn called to the loaders.
“Two fins short of the close line” came the answer from one of those tasked with calling a finish on the load. Thorn and Gooshan were thinking the same thing – can we close it early and take it down? Will that upset him more? Thorn had eased off his line some. Gooshan didn’t sense it quite as near breaking now, but the side of the case was listing and swinging dangerously without Thorn there to fully damp the motions.
The next moment brought their worse fears upon them. Thorn tried to slow the pendulous motion, and his thread snapped completely. As he shot 40 meters away with his net, the load began pulling them all down. Loaders scrambled free for their lives, and everyone had given up damping their waves of panic as they all fled . They would have felt the sinister wave of the Deeper below them, were it not for his sudden physical presence. A blast of cold water rose with him as he caught both the crate and everyone near it with his forehead and upper back. Those loaders who hadn’t scrambled clear, easily 10 or more, were knocked unconscious. Some, probably worse, Gooshan thought detachedly. She was frantically moving, already 1000m clear of the area.

The Deeper was enjoying this…

Raw and unedited for your reading pleasure – gotta love first drafts.

Check out National Novel Writing Month (and my profile there) to see what I’m on about this month.