author’s note: progress
Posted by jeanne
i’m almost to the end of cutting and pasting research. first i went thru my research document, where i’ve been compiling research for over six months. i went thru every bit of research and copied a great deal of it over into the particular chapter it belonged to. in some cases it was easy to tell where something had to go, and to which character it belonged. in some cases, i sat and read the research, and then sat and thought about it, and eventually some character’s voice echoed the point of view of the research, or i saw one of the characters explaining it or acting it out, and so i knew where to put it at that point. the ones i couldn’t figure out i highlighted in yellow, to come back to when i was all done.
then i went thru my blog posts, the research i transcribed from library books i made notes of, and articles that i posted from articles on antarctica, and brain research, and piracy, and quantum physics, things i got off the internet and didn’t immediately mine for my research document. i went thru all of that and highlighted the things to transfer, and then just the same, figured out where they went and put them there.
then i went thru my comment document, which is all my posts about character and plot and story idea, and made sure all that was in the chapter structure documents where everything else was.
finally i went thru my miscellaneous character notes document, where i had all sorts of character progression notes that were still waiting to be distributed among the various chapters, but at least i’d figured out which characters these lists belonged to. i’m in the middle of that now.
in fact, the thing i’ve just finished doing is taking a list of the chapter headings of the 48 laws of power, going thru each one and figuring out which of several characters to assign it to. snake got most of them, obviously, because these ‘laws’ are mostly manipulative tools, and teach you how to cheat and hustle your way to a heartless victory over others. but some of them are useful if you’re fighting abusive behavior, so i ended up giving a lot of them to c3ll3r! (read: celery), who is fighting an abusive dad, and to =p (read: everyplayer), who both manipulates c3ll3r! and fights snake’s abuse. but i was quite surprised to see a whole bunch of them getting assigned to random, because he’s not at all abusive.
turns out that some of the 48 laws of power have to do with staying in the background, not offending anybody, getting your way without anybody noticing, learning how to negotiate. and random can use all these traits in his journey from india call center operator to hero of the evolution.
when i’m finished adding in all these things, because there are loads more after the 48 laws go in, i will be able to take each section of 7 chapters and go thru it, sorting and filing, getting each chapter in shape. when all 42 chapters are similarly trimmed and tidy, i will be able to start writing. it’s the last step; i swear. millions of total pages of research.
it might happen as early as the beginning of next month. we’ll see.
in addition, i am spending a lot of time meditating on the first chapter. this chapter is the fairy tale itself, the vision that sets everything into motion, the compelling story that sums up all the effort to follow. the way i wrote it in my notes, originally, was merely a foreshadowing of the rest of the story, and i don’t want that. i want a completely different fairy tale that says the same thing in a visual way, a simple story you can see, where complex ideas don’t get in the way of the fun things that happen.
because in the fairy tale the boy and girl get to learn how to fly, and how to create their own world, and they play this great world simulation game, like a videogame but real, and they learn the big lessons, and live happily every after.
in my meditations i get as far as the boy and girl, having flown to antarctica, meeting up with the fiery angel on a cloud. then i fall asleep.
i’m working backwards here. going from cinderella to the patriarchal constraints of modern fundamentalism, so to speak. here i want to take the inevitable movement towards quantum oneness and turn it into a folk tale, with a hero and a monster and a twist and a moral. and it’s driving me nuts, because i’m good at stews, not distillations.
which is why i’m meditating on it. i’m giving the rest of the universe all the room i can to make suggestions about how it should go.
i’ve been getting excited about beginning the writing. all this work i’ve done up to now is going to become invisible, remain in the background, as i put all the bits and pieces of each chapter into order, and figure out who does what when. i can see what happens in some chapters, especially in the beginning when it isn’t quite as complicated. for most chapters i have no idea what i will actually write about, how i will introduce the things that have to happen in order to proceed with the story. it’s going to be a real trip sitting down to write. gradually, over days, i will get everything ordered so that i’ve got a rough outline, every character’s piece pasted in where it goes. then i’ll fill it out a bit over the next day, until i can see every part of the chapter. and then i sit and write it. and then i edit it once. and then i post it. and i’ll do that day after day for months. months. and then jim and i will work out the illustrations, and then i’ll edit the whole thing. and then we’ll put it together and print it up. in between this is getting publishing figured out, and marketing, and distribution. and that’s going to take a couple of years. in between, THEY will decide what i’m doing is a threat to the way they want it, and i’ll get watched and investigated, but hopefully they’ll think i’m too obvious to be harmful, and will leave me to continue writing and publishing my novel. and i think 2 years is good enough, even tho i feel the pressure to do it all NOW, because even after 2 years it’ll still be going on, and my contribution will still be out there doing whatever it’s supposed to do to whomever it’s supposed to reach.