Snowballing Time

October 14th, 2016

I thought I would try dividing the book up into sections and then building it up from those sections and hopefully watch the story snowball to completion!

So I started by deciding that it is divided into three section then I split those sections into number of chapters and rough length/size of those chapters. I then did one an outline for each section followed by a sentence describing each chapter.

For the first part of called The Lotus Dreamers I have since expanded each chapter into ten bullet points which I can just type up and fill in the gaps as it were. Lets hope this works!

I used a similar system to write my final year assignment during my undergraduate but obviously that was an academic subject but I think it should work. It is kind of similar to the snowflake method so I am hopeful!

A Stolen Beginning

October 7th, 2016

So the Blue Lotus series is set after the Godex storyline but contains project Firestrom within it, due to Emma being the main character and her being a police officer it makes sense for the story to begin with The Actimen Cull.

Here is the Actimen Cull – though it will be an expanded version in the finished novel – this is just a short I wrote a few years ago – initially it wasn’t even part of the Punk Universe.

The Actimen Cull

Metcalf stood back from the oily smoke. If he thought about the smell and what it was, he gagged; but he was the senior investigator in this mess and had to be made of sterner stuff. The plumes were from the incinerator designed to deal with foot and mouth outbreaks in farm animals, but the carcasses being loaded in where most definatly not animals. He chewed his cheek until it drew blood. Someone, he thought, someone high up had thought of these people as diseased animals. The feeling just would not leave him. It was supposed to have been an accident and he was to check and write a report to prevent it in future.

But of course it wouldn’t happen in the future becuase they were all gone, including the women from the shelter hiding from their men, their little ones following them to the same mass grave. Metcalf’s hands balled into fists. Such a waste – the teenagers from the mental health half-way house had mostly been affected too.

With a bad taste in his mouth he turned away from the piles of bodies awaiting incineration. The food in the soup kitchens was the only answer; his men were rounding up what was left of it. The lab would have results for him that afternoon. ‘Sir?’ came a tentative voice.

‘Rose?’ he said turning around. The young sargeant had been crying. Most unprofessional, but then so had he, hadn’t he?

‘Some of the food… some of the food, got into the childrens home.’ she was pale with bright spots on her cheeks. He didn’t correct the term childrens home, there was no point. He sighed heavily.

‘Has anyone survived yet?’ she shook her head. Metcalf closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his course silvered hair.

‘Sir… ?’ her voice broke. ‘It looks to me like… like radiation poisoning.’ She pushed the toe of her shoe into the ash covered ground. He nodded, that had been his conclussion too; but the only thing they all had in common was the donated food. Soup kitchens fed the homeless, shelters and children’s homes often ran on donations too, as did old folks homes!

‘Rose, check out all the old folks homes,’ she nodded, ‘and Rose send warnings to other districts would you?’ The puzzelment was there only for a moment replaced by fear – This could well be bigger than one city, why had it taken them so long to spot it?

Because, he thought bitterly, homeless people die in puddles of puke and blood all the time.

It had only become apparent when the rats had entered the city to clean up the corpses. He’d had to call in the Army to help clear the corpses, there were just so many of them. Rose’s slight shadow fell across his path once more, ‘Dad?’ she whispered, he didn’t reprimand her, ‘Dad the hospitals! It’s in the hospital food too,’ and then she was sobbing and he was hugging, her numb but pleased she at least could still feel.

He squeezed her shoulders, ‘we’ll get them, Rosey’. She nodded mutely.

She dried her eyes and drew back her shoulders in defiance. ‘If it’s radiation it will be easy to trace to source.’

He smiled with no humour. ‘They’ll have accounted for that honey, it will be dirty and mixed source; probably traceable to half a dozen enemies of state.’ he snorted. Yes, he was that suspicous.

He went back to his office to read the incoming reports. There were scared people, clustered around the front of the building, screaming plague, screaming doomsday, crying and wailing. Some of them, he noticed, had the sheen and the odd one here and there had a nose bleed. Some of these people were dying and there was nothing he could do to save them.

The common factor was the food, donated food to the needy, so it could be that cheap contaminated food was being sold on the black market somewhere and a benevolent donar had thought it would feed hungry bellies as well as anything else. If so, that person would probably have commited suicide. He knew those reports were yet to come, the nurses and aid workers who would think they’d done it, the officers who had to watch a childrens’ home die.

Eventually he got into his office, his gut churning on nothing but black tar coffee. This had to be deliberate, all the vunerable had been targeted. His heart sank as he read confirmation messages, every city and town, all of them – the same. It was a national operation.

And then he saw it, a red envolope. Gingerly, he opened it.

Metcalf, Welcome to the New Solution Now the world will be stronger Now we will have only the brightest, strongest Society has been cleansed

Do not fight you are part of it

The Actiman Affiliate

…..

It could be a hoax, people did things like that, and why sign it such if it really were the Actiman Affiliate, the global corporation? And why? Just why? But he was already punching the forensic team’s number and the internal post’s. This was genocide, this was a cull, why hadn’t he seen it? He’d thought it was an accident cover-up – but this was systematic. The sick, the old, the poor, all those who rely on society had been… exterminated.

A white-clad officer took the envelope from him. He called the government; the coldness in his stomach told him he would be fighting them on this one. His life expectancy was now probably very low. Time for Rose and her brother to leave the country – he’d sort out their visas before he trod on too many toes. Of course he thought bitterly if the Actimen Affiliate were involved then there would probably be entire nations writhing in slow languid death already, and if that was the case then nowhere would be safe.

GothNoWriMo 2016

September 28th, 2016

I always do a little extra nano challenge – this is GothNoWriMo which is a challenge to write gothic lit in a month. I stretched the meaning of Goth slightly and went with alternative instead. Because I tend to write trilogies or books in 3 parts, I start new series within the Punk’s Universe every year in October.

Also it is a warm up for NaNoWriMo – I rarely meet my word targets for October but it gets me back into the practice of writing each day and the word counts increase over the month so that during November and Nano proper I do hit the word goals and sometimes exceed!

This year is zombies – or rather more zombies!!!

There are glow diagrams!!!!

And science!

It is almost time to WRITE!!!!

Z4 – Premis

September 21st, 2016

The Blue Lotus – Book 4 of the Zombie Quintette

A drug epidemic is flashing through London, characterised by violence and necrosis. A young police officer and her team end up enlisted in a military effort to stamp out production but what the army don’t know is that the drug is not new. It is ancient and at the heart of a battle that predates human civilisation, a war for power. There is more at steak than anyone can possibly imaging, will they be able to help stop the destruction as the UK slips further and further into chaos and ruin.

Z4 – The Blue Lotus

September 14th, 2016

The Blue Lotus will be the novel I’ll be working on in October for GothNoWriMo which is a kind of unofficial spin off of NaNoWriMo but has a thing where you decided on your own goal between 30-70, 000 words for the month.

The Blue Lotus is the forth in the Zombie Quintette series of The Punk’s Universe. The ground work for the story was laid down during the writing of the Godex trilogy where the drug and the cult of the same name both appear. And with that in mind I have decided to just steal one of the Godex’s main characters – the female police officer who is actually secretly working for an ancient secret group who look alot like our idea of aliens…

Having said that I completely can’t remember her name or anything nor a lot of the plot for Godex and I know that it is not actually a finished story yet but when have I ever let such minor details get in my way!

So I think this means I might have to a) find, b) read, c) analyse The Godex.

Nano 2016 – The Plan

September 7th, 2016

Botanical Notebook from South Africa

This is the planning notebook and within it are plans!

I started by thinking about which of the many story ideas I should run with – I knew the story would be Punk Universe based as my nano projects always are! But I wasn’t sure what within that universe it would be.

Having suffered a head injury last year it has been a challenge to remember exactly what is going on within the world/universe I have built but fortunately I have lots and lots of notes and snippets of stories written not to mention diagrams and my poor family and friends who know all about the project in painful detail!

So armed with all of that I looked at what I managed to do last year and what I did for camp-nano in summer and have decided to go with finishing off my Zombie Quintette.

I’ve been working on this series for a couple of years now – the idea was to try and include as many types of zombies as would fit – of course there is no actual magic in the Punk’s Universe it is Science Fiction/Fantasy where it may appear to have magic but it all comes down to high tech in some form or another.

This means the zombie vectors for the last two books are a narcotic called Blue Lotus and Meat Puppets or implant mind control which manifests similar to voodoo.

And with that decision made there is a lot more planning to do!

Nano Prep

September 1st, 2016

It is September and that is the month I attempt to plan my nano in these days – this is mainly because I do a kind of double writing challenge.

They started off as separate things but as I have progressed with writing the Punk’s Universe using the writing challenges it has become something a little different. I am often writing sets of stories so I will start say one of a trilogy in October and then then the second book in November for actual NaNoWriMo.

Also though I started the Punk’s Universe as a seat of your pants project ie I was just writing as I went with no planning – that is no longer possible as there are so so many interconnected stories.

So September is planning month!

I am doing most of the planning using paper and pen – this is mainly due to having lots of funky notebooks and fitting the planning in during odd moments when I am out waiting for kids at clubs etc… This year I have a lovely notebook all the way from South Africa :)

My plan is to spend half an hour on this everyday at least 😀

Celtic Music to Write To!

December 17th, 2014

Stimulating music – wrote some good scenes to this – I like finding the vids and just writing for the duration of the music!

Camp Nano Survival

July 18th, 2014

We are just over half way through this months writing challenge and I am not doing as well as I would like. I have written 8000 words so far, scattered across two novels and a flash fiction. I am hoping to break the 10 K barrier today though obviously I have side tracked myself into writing blog posts!

Hoping to get to a second write in this weekend as I always write more at those. Also big spur is that my Camp Nano survival kit has arrived complete with cloth badge! (Yes I have a camp blanket and guess what is going on there!).

At the moment it looks rather doubtful that I can complete the challenge but you never know!

Camp Nano Survival Kit

To Split or Not To Split?

July 3rd, 2014

Looking at the volume of the first Punk novels I am starting to think I need to split them out – they were written with chapters alternatively in the past and future. I really like this style of chapters which I first came across as a teen reading The Eight, but the book lengths are getting stupid.

I had interwoven the plots but think they could would as distinct books – however the other reason I did it was to try and make it clear that there was a science fiction element there and the huge stretches of time – think Highlander.

Also I really enjoyed writing it as it was like working on two separate stories but the other trilogies set in the World do not follow this pattern – what to do?

For now I will just keep writing but would be interested in opinions.