Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's All Brewing

I don't know why, but I've really been shying away from writing lately. I keep thinking "I should go write now" only to then think "Eh, I've got chores to do. I'll write eventually." Chores to do!? Really!? I mean, yeah, they should take priority with how sloppy my home is, but still. I HATE chores. That's why they're CHORES. I'm not entirely sure why they are now taking precedence over something I thought I had a passion for.

Something I DO have a passion for.

I've fallen off the reading horse as well. I do little to nothing hobby-related when I'm home, and I barely steal away 15minutes at work anymore. When I do have down time, I find myself struggling to stay awake. I do Sudoku puzzles to try to keep my brain active, while not really needing to focus on a whole. Strange way to do Sudoku, but I'm a strange woman.

Every now and then I get flashes of stories developing in the background of my mind, but I never seem to be at a point where I can stop and write any of it down. It just stays brewing quietly in my head.

Hubby and I drove nearly an hour away to go to a movie theater - we live in the boonies - for back-to-back showings of "Logan" and "Beauty and the Beast" last week. I did use the drive to think some more about my stories, but, as the driver, I couldn't really write anything down. The same thing always seems to happen when I'm doing dishes. Or when I'm falling asleep, and I know if I stop to write down my thoughts as I'm trying to pass out, it will just keep me awake longer.

Perfect timing, Muse. Perfect.

I have thought a bit more about "Glitches" lately, though. That was what took up most of my driving time when Hubby and I went to the movies. Mostly trying to build more background for Lia's father Cody. Namely, what his connection is to Chayse's mom - who I believe I named Emily, but I'm leaning towards Margaret now - or Chayse's dad Ryder. I feel like Cody has to be connected with either of them for it to make sense for him to think of working at the school/orphanage in order to bring Lia there to train.

I thought that maybe he was Emily/Margaret's brother or cousin, but then I couldn't have Lia crushing on Chayse, which is a big part of her early character development. I then thought that maybe Cody knew Emily/Margaret via her deceased friend Cecilia. Maybe Cody was another brother along with Dominic - whom I think I'm going to name Mateo after all - or a cousin. Having Lia somehow related to "The Glitch Formerly Known as Wolverine" wouldn't be bad. However, I wasn't really much of a fan of so many characters being connected to him. Dom/Mateo is connected to Emily/Margaret via his sister, he's also connected to Fidget and Lucas after rescuing them, and he's already pseudo-connected to Chayse as an unofficial sensei. If I bring Colette over to "Glitches", Dom/Mateo is also a father to her. It just brings too much focus to him. Makes him too much of a central figure instead of one within an outlying ensemble.

I then thought that maybe Cody was Ryder's brother or cousin, but same issue about Lia/Chayse. A childhood friend, maybe? But I already have that with Ryder and Willow's father. Having both women vying for Chayse's attention be daughters of Ryder's friends? Too coincidental.

Briefly, I focused around the woman who inspired the orphanage/school the series is based in. Cody was Cecilia's boyfriend. Problem with that is she died in college while Cody would have been studying on the other side of the country in Hawaii. Bi-coastal college relationship? It's a stretch to begin with. Plus, how would he have met Cecilia's roommate Emily/Margaret? During the funeral? Would that be enough of a connection to draw him to her school when Lia's powers surfaced? On top of those complications, there's the fact that I had Cody falling for Lia's mom while he was in college. The timing just wasn't adding up. I could only think of taking a page from the Kitty/Gambit X-Future book: Keahi and Cody fell for each other as she helped Cody cope with the death of a loved one. It worked better for Kitty/Gambit though because they were helping each other grieve over Rogue's death.

For right now, I've settled on Cody knowing Emily/Margaret when they were kids. They were childhood friends who built a sort of sibling bond. They aren't siblings, so the Lia/Chayse thing isn't taboo, but that bond should also prevent people from wondering if there was - or will be - a hook up between Cody and Emily/Margaret. I actually don't have much figured out about Cody, so everything's pretty much still up in the air.

There's a lot to figure out, which is why I was able to think about it for nearly two hours and still don't have a definitive answer. I get credit, though, for at least mentally working on it. Right?

It also occurred to me this week that I still haven't officially written up a backstory for Jynna. I have the broad skeleton of her past, though.
Orphaned at a young age, Jynna was a street urchin that was abducted by a cult. One of the few religious in the area, the cultists were zealots who believed the numenera was a gift from The Divine as a way of communicating with the denizens of the Ninth World; proof that the gods exist. Jynna resisted brainwashing during her initiation, which lead the cult leaders to submit her and a few other unindoctrinated to "The Tests." Jynna and the others were forced into surgeries that started transforming their bodies into mechanical conduits for the numenera, as a means of "helping" the initiates better "communicate with the divine."

It kept her until she was fourteen, but Jynna eventually learned to manipulate the numenera enough to help her escape. By the time she did, the other initiates were either fully embraced by the cult, or had died. She was alone in the world, and quickly learned all she could about the numenera as a means to better learn how to survive with her new body. After a few years of isolation, beatings, and near execution at the hands of scared citizens, Jynna figured out how to both utilize her new powers, and how to hide her mutilations.

She still loathed what she was forced to become, and attempted to become a jack; working the less-than-lawful career bracket. It didn't last because she was no longer a jack, she was fully a nano. When she hit adulthood she embraced her ability to manipulate the numenera; now knowledgeable about the nanites that made up the world around her. Not only was she a proud nano, but she added to her body enhancements. She wasn't quite human any longer anyway, so she embraced what the cultists made her. She tried to remain as human looking as possible, and will never again allow someone to force her through surgery, but she was no longer above putting herself through further transmutation. She loved being able to work the numenera to her will, and her goal in life was to learn as much as she could about the power. If no other reason than to be able to return to the cultists as a Divine Avatar, then promptly tearing them apart so they could no longer torture another child.
I still need to get it to Hubby to approve. Then, perhaps I could start working out more details, such as the name of the cult and where it's based. I'm thinking of having Jynna be mid-to-late twenties when the game starts; depending on how old everyone else is in the party. So, I also have quite a few years to try to fill in gaps about. Finally, one of the components of my character build - as dictated by the actual rules of the game - is that I need to select another player's character as the one party member who knows that Jynna is a cyborg. If I decide Jynna's no longer going to hide that fact - probably not from her partymates at least - then I need to come up with a dark secret the other character knows. For instance, a command word that would shut down all the mechanical parts of her body. I was thinking, being raised in a cult constantly trying to brainwash her, that she does actually have a command word. I'll need to figure out what the word is, and what it does. Should be fun.

Finally, on the "thinking about writing counts as actually writing, right?" front, I did use a prompt to start up another Willow/Devon scene. I only managed to get about four paragraphs in before I had to stop - I don't recall why - but I have been thinking about how the story goes. The writing prompt was "write about a sideways glance" so it's a fun scene to think about.

I really need to stop slacking off and actually get back to that prompt, and other prompts since I'm not even done with all 31 January ones yet. I also should go back to character building for "Glitches" to help with the world-build. Everyone else in writing group has at least one story they're trying to continue and finish. Something that they can share progress about, and I just have this long list of individual prompts. People could comment about my writing in general, but they can't share thoughts about my story building abilities like we do with everyone else.

I need to pick a project, and stick with it.

In the meantime, perhaps I'll read "Please, Let Me Explain" in group. I don't recall if I've done that yet, and maybe it will drive me to finally finish editing/writing the darn thing.

For now, though, I do have another prompt typed up for your reading pleasure. It's the first narrative about Jynna that I wrote a month or so ago. It's just a vignette, but it does hit the "under 1000 words" limit that Ronoxym gave me. So I guess this counts as another entry for his challenge. I don't know if I really set up a lot about Jynna herself in this short, but I hope I set up the Ninth World setting of Numenera well enough.

"The Future is Bright"

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