I’m not lacking for ideas so much as lacking for time as I’m in the middle of moving house–but rather than make that an excuse for my absence, I’ll just eke out time now that I’ve found it to jot down a handful of my pre-NaNoWriMo drafting and planning thoughts (for I have many).
New Persepolis: Space Ships, Cordyceps, Found (And Lost) Families, and Representation
…that’s it in a nutshell, really.
(NB: After a lot of thought, and outlining, I’ve tabled my city witch plan and will determine, at a later date, whether the idea is worth pursuing further.)
I’ve decided, after much discussion with members of my writing group (more on this later), to return to my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, New Persepolis. It is the broader novel that the short excerpt I shared a few weeks ago is set within. New Persepolis is a working title, and one I’ll probably change in the future. The idea for it has been tumbling around in my head, in multiple iterations, since at least mid-2012, and my first real stab at drafting an outline of it happened in October of 2013, just in time for NaNoWriMo that year. Prior to NP, and aside from the handful of Star Wars and Mass Effect fic I’d attempted to write in the past, I’d never attempted to create my own original science fiction story before.
In retrospect, I’m not sure why I waited so long to give it a shot, because it’s easily been one of the most rewarding world building experiences I’ve ever had. My attempts at world building fantasy universes have always been bound by some constraints that, probably, deserve their own blog post to be most effectively unpacked, so I’ll save those thoughts for another time. Since childhood, fantasy has been my ‘bread and butter’ when it came to playing in fictional universes; science fiction was always something else that I enjoyed, but couldn’t possibly create myself. I’m completely hooked now that I’ve taken the plunge, though, because with science fiction, I feel limitless in what concepts I can choose to explore, in what genre-specific conventions I can choose to adopt or reject, and in what kind of worlds I can create.
So, one of the things I’ve decided to do is blend genres. I’ve woven horror as neatly and inexorably throughout the plot as possible. That’s where the cordyceps come in. Monstrous fungi already seem to have an established following somewhat exclusive to the weird/horror genres. But I think the weird often serves as a bridge between horror and science/speculative fiction, so I’m happy to blend the deeply personal stories of my space opera characters together with the threat of a fungal infection that is indiscriminate in who it affects.
I’ll share an excerpt from the first draft now, then end, as always, with what’s on the radio. (It’s an oldie but a goodie–at least for me–this week).