author’s note: snafu
Posted by jeanne
this seems like a good time to write an author’s note. my word processor blew up on me. and it will take several hour to download a new one. which i already know won’t solve the problem.
see, my word processing program has been blowing up a lot lately. it’ll quit in the middle of a keystroke. so i’ve been saving early and saving often, just like in old fashioned video games, the ones back in the mid-80s. monster bash.
anyway, i got tired of saving after every operation, which slows me down a little bit…so i downloaded the newest version of my word processor program, and installed it. which worked fine. i always feel a little proud of myself when i can actually download and install something on my computer without begging my ex to come and do it for me. which always takes him 24 hours, and i have to hang out with him while he does it.
so i had the next version, with cuter icons in the toolbar tray. but it still blew up in the middle of a keystroke. so i sighed and went back to saving early and often, wondering if maybe it wasn’t a short in the keyboard or something. maybe a virus?
and then around 6 this evening the word processor blew up and wouldn’t come back up, not even after rebooting. not even after a cold start. so i uninstalled the upgrade, and downloaded a whole nother word processing package, only to be totally unable to install it. so now i’m back to trying to reinstall the word processor that i upgraded to, but i’m having ttrouble getting to the proper directory so i said fuck it, and now i’m redownloading the upgrade, and will do it all over again.
but it’s still better than having my ex do it.
i needed a break from the work, but not by having a broken computer. be careful what you wish for…
the work is agonizingly slow and painful. i’m still doing the character arcs, and am in my least favorite part of the story, which is what happens in the outside world. them. i am far more interested in what happens in the video game, which is pure transgressive fantasy, than in what happens in the realworld, which is dystopian and evil.
as it turns out, there are a lot of them. THEM. there’s the agents of the dominant culture bent on keeping the status quo and eliminating dissent. there’s also the media, not only their tools but also their voice and in a certain sense their consciousness. there’s the authoritarian culture as a whole that prefers the status quo even if it’s a bad one, and there’s the armchair authoritarian who heads up a dysfunctional family. i haven’t included them yet, but there’s the anti-plucky band who is the face of THEM on the street and in the game.
in every chapter, i have listed the shit that happens, the quantum newness in the world. and then i go thru and say what THEY think about what has just happened (like when the universal constant changes), and give the media response, which is always more shrill and febrile, and shows a particular tactic of abusive or sociopathic types, and then i fill in what this illustrates about the authoritarian culture we’re living in, and then i’ll list what level of abusive traits i want to show in the armchair authoritarian’s makeup.
altogether it’s a love fest of abusive tendencies. and i’m repeating myself a whole lot, sort of.
what i did was to go around and collect a bunch of different research on psychopaths, abusive people, authoritarians, disinformation artists and infiltrators, and i ranked them all from bad to worse traits within their category, and then split them up and assigned them to the chapter structure according to the plot that’s already in place. and now i have to make the progression of each of these parts make sense, both together and separately.
well, it’s such a hodge-podge that my eyes glaze over just scrolling from chapter to chapter, and by the time i get to the en d of the story it’s a bunch of blank placeholders.
so the last thing i did before my word processor crapped out on me was to split up the different agents of THEM into their own chapter progressions, so i have 42 chapters of THEY followed by 42 chapters of Media and 42 of authoritarian culture and 42 of armchair authoritarian, along with 30 tactics and 25 techniques and 17 abuses.
once i get my word processor working again, i’ll be going thru these lists over and over again, cutting and rearranging and filling out, until i can sum up all the information i’ve gathered and spread out into a single paragraph per chapter.
and once that’s done, i have to do the same thing to the plucky band.
and when i’m done with this, i have to put all the character arcs back together again into a chapter structure. and then i have to make them all smooth and working together.
and only then can i think about writing, and all i’ll be writing is a better version of the synopsis i’ve already written.
then i’ll be taking a break to attend a workshop (i hope) that will help me with the business side of actually publishing and marketing a book. and after that, maybe i’ll be able to start writing the actual fiction that this is going to become.
because no matter how much preparation i’ve done, no matter how much research, how much character arcing, how much plotting, i still don’t know what’s going to happen in each chapter. i still don’t know what the characters will sound like, what they’ll say, what they’ll even really do. or what’ll really happen. or how i’ll even write it. i have no idea. i won’t know until i’m a few chapters into it. if you’re reading along, you’ll be able to tell when i hit my stride. and even then it’ll only be the first draft, and it could come out completely different in the second draft.
but first i need a working word processor.