author’s note: a short while
Posted by jeanne
i’m going to take a week’s break and hang with family. i’m only bringing a notebook, and several books i’m reading.
Galileo’s Dream, by Kim Stanley Robinson, where he tackles quantum physics for a lay audience (good explanation)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, where he goes inside a videogame (high score)
i’m also bringing my paints so i can do a few paintings, which is my other life.
the books are research. every one of them has to do with consciousness, time travel, quantum physics. so i’m learning and changing as i read them.
for instance, after reading about a bunch of ingame assassins in ready player one, i went and discovered a bunch of men in black interacting with all the key players in the wilderness chapter. they all try to influence events, and all their little schemes backfire, and some of the backfires function as turning points for the very characters they were designed to neutralize. so now the story is that much richer, and it’s because i read what other writers have to say about what’s currently going on in the world.
i read in one of the quantum physics books i studied, where the quantum physicist in question felt betrayed, hurt, when another quantum physicist published a book on quantum consciousness while the quantum physicist in question was still in the outline stages of his book on quantum consciousness. and my ex the computer genius, a sagittarius, is constantly coming up with genius ideas that he never follows thru on, and then gets mad when someone somewhere else goes ahead and develops it. me, i take picasso’s attitude, and just steal it.
disclaimer: with artists, stealing is not a bad thing, because it always comes out uniquely you when you state it, and therefore it’s your own original creation.
i’ve spent this last little while messing with my chapter outlines. i went thru and ordered each chapter, a little desultorily, putting like subjects together, eliminating duplicates, moving some things to more appropriate chapters.
i’ve been visualizing the actual book. the front and back covers, the typography, the page design. the cover at this point is mostly white, or a very light antarctic blue, with our players in some sort of quasi-star wars pose with the mountains of antarctica in the background, and QUANTUM ANTARCTICA splashed across the top in an indiana jones font. and a nice map of antarctica without ice slap in the middle of the back cover. as for inside the book, the actual text, taking a page from gallileo’s dream, i’m thinking of using a half-page chapter heading, with a chapter number and title. i don’t think i’m going to do a drop cap. i want quotes in the heading in some cases. then there’ll be major subchapter sections, which will also be half-pages, but with no chapter number or title, and maybe a quote, depending. and within these there’ll be small breaks, which will be the usual *** separators. and then wee tiny breaks which are just an extra line between paragraphs. that should cover it.
i want to make each chapter distinctive, according to whether it’s in the game or not. chapters set inside the game should have a different look, maybe even a different typeface, rather than just using italic text, for instance, which i find harder to read.
and then there are the illustrations. i’m doing all the maps and diagrams, for sure. jim is doing all the figure pieces and the graphic novel portion. i’m not sure who’s going to take care of the landscapes. we’ll see when it comes time for it. months down the road.
all sorts of shit has happened to cut into my work time in these last couple of weeks, so i’ve spent it reading, which is work, and doing other things. and now i’m taking a complete stop for a week.
and when i come back, i’m going to start writing.
the look of the blog has to change, but i don’t want to start another blog for this. not like i have a dedicated core of readers or anything, but i’m lazy enough to just want to keep it all one thing. so even tho i don’t have anything other than a provisional title yet – quantum antarctica! – the blog can stay my pirate novel. but it needs to have a three-part top level (outline, draft, final), and all the rest can go in as second level (research, author’s notes, etc.).
i don’t yet know the exact tone of the first chapter, but i can pretty clearly see the rest of the story, at least the tone of it, the level of franticness. like the assassins i put in last night, i don’t know all of what goes on in the chapters, and i have left it vague deliberately, because what i actually write will determine what i actually write, not my ideas, not my research, not my stolen plot devices.
anyway. because one of the premises of the story is that everything is inside of you, i have been relying on this as a method for figuring out the plot of the story. for instance, when i was reading about the ingame assasins of ready player one, i thought, hey there’s an idea, and rushed downstairs to make sure i wrote it down before forgetting it. but immediately an objection occurred – so what if the layers were threatened inside the game, there’s nothing the men in black will be able to do to them. so i sat there, and rolled the situation around in my mind. how do the men in black interact with each character? and as i looked at the girl, i asked what was her vulnerability, and where could they actually interfere with her path? that’s what they should have done. i did this for each character. and then i went back and decided what the men in black would do if they were incompetent, and made a list of these mistakes. they were simply the actions that were most appropriate (or in-) to my main characters, given a push from THEM inside the game.
it was a very passive thing, finding out how these men in black affected the characters, and how that affected the progress of the game.
this afternoon i started thinking about THEM. there is a bright young thing that tries to sell all the panicked people the classical solution to all their quantum problems. after every new quantum marvel, there’s a voice that remarks, ‘we can deal with that, we already have laws/devices on the shelf, just a small mod and we’ll have it taken care of.” so there’s someone in there talking to the higher-ups. it’s not snake; he’s got enough to do. but it’s someone close to snake, and he and snake figure it out, and then this person goes and represents the plan to the higher-ups, sells it to them. i guess i’ll write it up before shutting down and unplugging the computer JIC.