Friday, November 20, 2009

Ongoing Projects & Concepts

This weekend I will attempt to put into perspective some of the projects I am working on and do some hard core thinking about some of the recent concepts I've had for stories.

The Bloom is Off the Rose:

Writing this story past the two sex scenes has proven difficult, as I am not accustomed to using sex to accentuate the stories I write. However, after careful consideration, I felt that the brief, erotic scenes of lovemaking between the characters Saepheus Rado and Ambassador Pietri were essential to the plot of the story and add to the intimacy of the deep relationship between these two characters. If I feel they aren't necessary after it is completed, the two scenes will be edited to tone down the content or one may be taken out (Saepheus' birthday gift, perhaps).

Questions that may occur to the reader as they are digesting the story: Why the terrorist attack on the Courian Consulate? Who did it? Will there be retribution? How do the strange blue Courian "longevity" stones fit in? I know the answers already to these questions. The trick, however, is when to reveal them in the story. I need to think about that.

A Better Plan Will Be Set In Motion:

I have begun this story with a nod to one of my favorite animals in the short sentence: "The frog was dead." I am still working on hammering out the linguistics of the Pyncos, an alien race of oxygen-breathing jellyfish-types who communicate with emotive telepathy. They have extreme difficulties in speaking with us and we have a hard time translating what they are saying, let alone carrying on a conversation with them. There is one man aboard the ship Sargasso who has seemed singularly gifted in conversing with them, however: the lowly Jesus freak cryo-tech Bryan Keller, who is the secret object of the captains affections.

Working out speech mode for the Pyncos is a challenge, since they begin every communicated thought by expressing an accentuated emotion. We humans can only ineffectively render an adequate translation of Pynco-speech. The reality of it is much more complicated. Here is a sample conversation:

[~neutral~//like us/much/you are]
"We are nothing like you."
[~stress~//physical not//emotional not//mental not//social construct yes]
"Only vaguely. And there the similarity ends."
[~insistence~//no//much like//~argumentative~//very]
[~neutral~//one eiten//one poden//post indefinite]

The problem for me is not to let the story get too caught up in the mere linguistics of Pynco-speech. Using the translated speech when dealing with the captain and rest of the crew is a solution. Then, the Pynco mind speech can be used only when Bryan is speaking privately with them. This, hopefully, could add tension and drama, as the rest of the crew will not know what is going on at those moments.

Questions the reader might have: Why can Bryan communicate with the Pyncos and no one else can? Good question. My hope is that they keep reading to find out.

Armageddon Leaves a Weary Witness:

Have begun it, but need to hammer out some notes on it. And do some little research. Another psychological space drama, set in a concentration camp/prison of sorts. This story contains a race of aliens that I am conceptualizing in another story (see: "Medicine Makes You Sicker" in this post) and whose planet I've alluded to in a drabble (see "Cosmic Chicken Inn" in another post below).  I'm referring to the Waznians. Wazn is a real star in the Columba constellation.

The protagonist in this story is not Waznian, however. He is an imprisoned alien from the planet Kidrun, who sports "twenty appendages" and wears a portion of his brain outside his body. A bad place for it as it turns out, because it makes it easier for his Waznian (he calls them Wasnins) and human captors to torture him using electro-stimulation to simultaneously generate sensations both pleasurable and painful to him. Poor guy. This story is uncomfortable to write as I am exploring how twisted the human psyche can get when we want something. It's meant to be uncomfortable for the reader as well. We are not the good guys in this story. Well, one of us might be.

Queendom of the Harpies (concept stage):

Still doing the research on this one and gathering notes, reading lots of mythology.

Idea behind it: Mythological beasts in the form of vulture-like women inhabit a city office building, making life hell for one administrative assistant at a law firm.  Inspiration for my Twitfic: "How Do You Kill a Harpy?" (see older post).

Medicine Makes You Sicker (concept stage): 

So, we turn out to be pretty good intergalactic allies with these Waznians. That might not be such a great idea for several reasons. Waznian infectious disease is mental illness. They pass insanity like we pass the common cold. And now they are sending us to the asylums in droves. Not only turns out Waznians have a strange religion that seems to bear a striking resemblance to a cult mentioned in the "ficticious" works of an early twentieth-century horror writer. Aliens, contagious madness and Cthulhu, set in a mental institution by the sea. What the hell could be better than that? Plus, I get to attempt to become part of the whole Cthulhu Mythos thing and that's just too freaking sweet to pass up. The ultimate fan fic club.

Also still working on trying to finish "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dragon" and fleshing out the story lines behind the novel "The Coffee Wars." Will work on Dragon tomorrow, perhaps.

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