I should be busy secretly applying for postgrad (I can’t keep up studying at Coursera without being hounded that its not a ‘proper’ studying) but instead I’m still busy storycrafting my November draft. Yes, in less than 24 hours to November, I probably will be neglecting this blog again. Yes, I did actually spend my actual non-November days writing and editing and rewriting and re-editing but I do spend a great deal of time reading (reviewing books is actually the easiest thing from the bunch) and doing non-writing related stuff. Problem with NaNoWriMo, for some unknown reason, its extremely taxing and depressing when you have an actual deadline and its always good to write along with loads of people.
If you are around PJ area, we usually hound Paradigm Mall’s Starbucks every Saturday morning during the November (Paradigm Mall is easily accessible from LRT Kelana Jaya Line and they have free shuttle too). Since its very near my house, I usually stay until late (I’m usually the last person there) since I write more when I’m away from home and the kids or after midnight.
I probably will stay on my reading challenge since it made me go all cold turkey and depressed together until the end of December.
Sigh… am I really prepared for NaNoWriMo this time round? I’m still not sure. But I’m targeting to finish the book with more than 80k instead of the usual 50k. Did I do enough research for it? I hope so. But I’m still reading up current advances in all sort of field and future possibilities to make the world building believable. But I need to work on my dialogues. I try not to write too much expositions and try to keep simple. Writing good is still an on-going and learning process for me. I’m quite covered with the ideas and structure of a story but I’m not sure I am a good enough in technical writing. I still couldn’t differentiate my mostly British grammars with American grammars. I wreck too many grammar rules and use Malay grammars instead. Oh its a mess…
But as for my current November science fiction project, it will be one of my ambitious attempt I’ve ever yet done. I never written SciFi before despite I am a biologist-cum-medical scientist. I do write a lot of scientific articles during my undergrad years. I know how to dissect academic journals, skim for facts and write lengthy essays but science fiction is fully a new territory for me. I do love SciFi but I never seem to find myself clever enough to come up names of cyberpunk guns or spaceship. Despite I devour ScFi tv series and movies, I rarely read hard SciFi – i.e. Asimov. I guess its too late to familiarize myself with the territory.
I had a last minute problem with naming the book so my current working title is “Deathless” which is based Homer’s odes to his “deathless gods”. My main character is a war clone named Pallas who became self-aware after killing another copy of herself. “Pallas” is an epithet for Athena and have its own legend which suited my MC. In fact all my Omega war clones names is a derivative from the names of war gods and goddesses. My main theme would be the old ethical argument about how mankind move forward enough that we play God and essentially made the working title sensible to a degree. Again, I’m not going to venture too much about religion as I will focus the story on the humanizing aspect of a class of human that was created by humans. I’ll try to insert technological and cellular engineering aspect into the story.
“Deathless” was set in futuristic era where space travel is still limited to within our solar system. Earth nations divided between superpowers and those conquering the space. Mankind were forced to go off planet war as divided the lands and climate change rendered most of the place no longer suitable to live except for the overcrowded tropical region. Science and technology had the beginning of its era of golden age, the no-habitable zones were used for war simulations and other experimentation and advancement where human ethics are neutralized. Mars had its a habitable mega-cities and most of it was underground enclosed within its own biome. Its the place where plants and animals and sea creatures were held more sacred than human themselves. Where human agreed on mass gene therapies to suit for space travel which create a whole new gene pool of artificially modified human with its heritable traits. Where human were able to create another enhanced human species and the ethics were relaxed enough to enable the creation of a perfect human society.
None of that was spoilers since its more a background story of what I already did for July Camp Nano. Deathless is a prequel story of my July Camp story but I don’t explain a lot of the world-building I had for it. I don’t even want to make it a series but I prefer stand alones while working on a project.
The story will be told in a first POV which is again a style I rarely do in all my previous third POVs writings. I guess thats why I look forward to Novembers since I get to experiment a lot of new things with writings. I was inspired by a lot of things like Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Brave New World, The Hunger Games, Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep, Terminator, Cloud Atlas, Aeon Flux, Marie Lu’s Legend etc. But I try not to unintentionally plagiarise everything although my Omega humans does sound like Cylons except BSG’s Cylons weren’t much expanded like I wanted them too. Which gave birth to my Nano novel.
If you like what I came up with and want to help supporting me, feel free to be my buddy or bug me on twitter when I start pushing words there than finishing the book. If you want to read them, I can’t guarantee they will be published or anything (I have LOADS of drafts and frankly I did give up publishing several projects because suddenly I came up with another story idea) but I’d love to have actual beta readers but that was the least of my priorities.