Something Different Altogether

Maybe.

For all my pondering and plotting, and the quasi-random musing about my plotting and pondering, with brief sojourns into that super awesome, elusive and fantastical place that is the Land of Exposition, not much by the way of substance (at least in the form of credible and coherent narrative) has emerged.

The above impossibly elaborate and possibly grammatically incorrect run-on sentence is/was confusing and nonsensical, as much of my writing here has probably been. Then again, I’m dealing with the process of processing the various emotions that have emerged during this time of year. Not only am I’m talking/writing about the annual Doctor Who Christmas special, but also of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and (to a somewhat lesser degree) the final (Christmas Special) episode  of  Downton Abbey (and only because the 6th and final series has yet to air on the US, though I’ve skimmed some of the spoilers – because I couldn’t help myself – for the final series and no doubt there’ll be another round of tears when it airs in the new year).

[Yes, more quasi-run-on sentences with parenthesis galore – by now you should know that’s how I roll write.]

But I digress.

[I do that a lot too.]

Having recently watched the Series 9 Doctor Who Christmas Special “The Husbands of River Song” (and re-watched “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” for the obvious reasons) and somewhat recently watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s difficult to grasp the various (conflicting) emotions swirling about within my head, which has imploded a few times during the past week. There were moments of laughter, moments of shock and moments of sadness. Tears were unabashedly shed amid the laughter and screams – and I was not alone in this respect. For that’s the true power of storytelling, regardless of the genre and the medium. Even though the stories are fictional, drawn from the imagination(s) of the writers, actualized by the director and the various production specialists (costume, make-up, visual effects, etc.), underscored by the composer and imparted by the actors – they have the unique ability to play on the emotions of its audience and bring about feelings perhaps they long buried or nearly forgotten.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, and I’m a fairly new Whovian, but nevertheless, it’s the overall narrative arc and the (inside) references to the past that has me feeling all the feelings. It’s the characters with whom I (and many, many others) have grown up, watching their story unfold, amid the plot twists and revelations.

Note: there will be no spoilers for either of the aforementioned – I don’t want to be that person who ruins the story for anyone. That’s just plain rude and annoying. Avoiding spoilers has been a challenge, given the omnipresence of social media these days (with the exception of my reading spoiler summaries for Downton Abbey  – for whatever reason, that doesn’t bother me as much. Then again, my emotional attachment to that series is newer than that for Star Wars and Doctor Who). All I will say that both the aforementioned are fantastic and are a credit to their respective fandoms.

But I digress. Again.

I suppose the point of this week’s entry (as it’s the final one for 2015) is to reaffirm my fledgling commitment/promise/objective to actually!write my magnum opus, otherwise known as the epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles. I just keep getting distracted by all these feelings, and pondering ideas. It should be a fairly straightforward task – plot out a story, create a cast of characters and set them loose in a world in which they live.

Then there are the plot twists, character arcs, and exposition with which to contend – stories within stories, crisscrossing narrative arcs and (most importantly) ensuring it all makes some semblance of (logical) sense.

Things in the Land of Exposition have finally (!) calmed down a bit, with the antics  of the Real Life Brigade contained (at least for the time being) – the contracts sorted out, the Muses and Minions calling a tentative truce, not unlike the original peace agreement between the Humans and the Zygons, before the madness that was The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion happened… Hopefully any drama will be contained before it gets out of hand, which might happen in the New Year, but that’s in the future.

Let’s focus on Now, and not on  Then, because we’ve already past Then. Just now. We’re looking at Now Now, and we can’t go back to Then. Or worry about Later, because Later is not Now. Now is Now).

Anyway.

To which, I offer as a late holiday treat, and an early preview (subject to change at any given moment): a snippet of actual!writing, made up (like everything that has come before it) right off the top of my head in real time. I have no idea where/when it will fit or whether it’ll survive the numerous rewrites, edits and plot twists.

Without further ado, some actual!writing:

The job was straightforward and easy. Retrieve a jewelry box from a certain vault and deliver it to Miss Rosalind Udine within a fortnight. Complete the task within the specified time, and the reward would be $100,000, guaranteed. Complete the task within a week and the reward doubled. It was an irresistible offer, which Malcolm Hayes and Brandon Stolle accepted without hesitation. They asked Miss Udine no questions and offered no explanation on how they would complete the task. The less anyone knew, the better. Too much knowledge was a dangerous thing. They maintained a quiet reputation as professional adventurers, discreet and reliable. Their methods were unorthodox, but in the end, they always got the job done.

Until now.

Happy Holidays everyone, and see you all in 2016!

May the Force be with you.

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Managing Expectations

Another week in which not so much actual!writing (or pondering and/or plotting) has actually!happened. The Real Life Brigade has keep things lively in the Land of Exposition, with the Muses still searching through the piles of papers for the proper forms with the necessary signatures so that the Real Life Brigade merger is rendered complete. Meanwhile, the FanGirl Meter (patent pending) has undergone another revamp, with specialized nuances to account for the various fandoms and their quirks (and to tweak the snark-o-meter).

For those following the antics of this blog, and the quasi-random musings of its perpetual non-forward momentum, the expectation of whatever narrative I actually!write is at a certain level (whether it’s high, low or meh is debatable). Well, at least it is for me – as I’ve been (quasi) living with these characters, narrative arcs and such for so long, the expectation that it’ll be any good is kinda high. For all the quasi-vague declarations I’ve made here, I should make an attempt to deliver on whatever promises I might have made. The [epic] story arc has built to a fairly high level in my head, though it’s a whirlwind of a thing – there are (literally) hundreds of possibilities down which the story can go, with plot twists and digressions galore. Deciding on which path is “canon” and which are “AU” (alternate universe) is (still) an ongoing, daunting task.

The rationale behind all of this is (of course) the high expectations I have on Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, which I will see tomorrow. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I was excited, wary and peeved about The Force Awakens, and purposely avoided (almost) all spoilers about the film. Excited because the franchise was returning, with several of the actors from the Original Trilogy, wary because Disney owned the franchise (and might decree that the next trilogy be “Disney family-friendly) and peeved because  all of the Expanded Universe [EU] stories were rendered non-canon in relation to the new film. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing the film, and keeping a (somewhat) open mind about it.

Anyway.

As the overarching themes within the Star Wars universe was/is/always will be a source of inspiration for my (feeble? meager?) attempts at storytelling, the plotting and pondering remains a thing, and organizing all the moving parts is always a challenge. Revenge, redemption, and retribution have an omnipresence in any story arc, and mine is no different (or at least I think that’s the case)

Perhaps I’ve set my standards too high.

Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic.

Perhaps I should stop over-analyzing everything and just write.

Yes, this is all probably coming across as a broken record, all this Hamlet-like pondering, but it’s where my (writing) mind is situated at the moment. Then again, among the stories not related to the Epic Saga that is the MASC Chronicles is a nugget of an idea of writing AU, expository tales based on existing (great) works such as Hamlet, if only to “fill in” the missing/untold portions of the story. Even though I’m a mad (in a good way) Star Wars geek/nerd/dork, I’m not going to even make an attempt to write fan fiction for that fandom – there’s more than enough out there (and it still peeves me that the 30+ years of novels, comic books, games, etc. is not relevant in relation to the films).

But I digress again.

The calendar year is quickly coming to a close, and with the advent of the New Year, hope spring (ever) eternal that at least one of my stories will emerge quasi-formulated from the recesses of my mind.

Once again, May the Force Be With You (and with The Force Awakens)

Also, looking forward to River meeting Twelve next week – The Husbands of River Song should prove to be quite entertaining.

Needless to say, expectations will be running high – whether or not they’re met remains to be seen.

A (Quasi) Different Kind of Writing

So here we are (once again) nearing the end of another year, and this writer’s journey has moved a snail’s pace, at least in terms of actual!writing – a smattering of plotting and pondering has happened intermittently, with inadvertent digressions, inevitable distractions and illuminating diversions. There are only so many hours in a day, and there’s never enough time to get the things that need to get done done before other things start to appear to that take up time to get done.

In short, it’s a perpetual cycle of deadlines and diversions on all fronts. Between the Real Life Brigade causing organized chaos, causing the Muses and Plot Bunnies to scramble about in an effort to find some order amid the chaos, and the newly discovered (?) bugs in the FanGirl Meter (patent pending) causing glitches in its basic programming and letting melodrama and smut pass through unnoticed, things in the Land of Exposition are… interesting. It’s also the odd sensation that there isn’t a new episode of Doctor Who this week from where to draw inspiration or insight, which has happened every now and then in the past few weeks (though there’ll be the Christmas Special in a few weeks’ time, and I’m looking forward to seeing how River Song interacts with Twelve).

Anyway.

As I’ve kept up with writing for the blog throughout the trials and tribulations that is the attempt to actually!write, there have been many (well, one person thus far) who have pointed out that I’m quite good at writing essays (or whatever the heck these quasi-random musings are called) – they’re not quite fiction, not quite non-fiction, but they’re (apparently) amusing and entertaining. There are metaphors amid the meta-ness of whatever travels that (seemingly long) distance from my head through my fingers and on to WordPress – as I’ve always written these entries directly into the site itself and rarely ever edit/reread before hitting “publish” (unless it’s a blatant spelling/grammatical error). If I spent less time plotting and pondering and actually!wrote my stories the way I write this blog, then I’d have a several novels written (albeit probably not ready for Prime Time, as they’d be quasi-random streams of thought which would need a whole lot of editing and stuff like that.

[Like editing the “stuff like that” stuff – it’s almost like writing the way I talk, with bouts of repetition, non-sequitur and quasi-random musical / pop culture references.]

Then again, writing is an art and a science [scientific art, artistic science? Who knows?] and it’s crafty and it’s precise. It’s a jumble of words stung together with imagination and wit. Even though I haven’t written as much as I would have hope to have written, it’s still an objective towards which I would like to aspire – to write something of value (whether it be entertainment, inspirational or maybe sentimental remains to be seen).

Six days until The Force Awakens.

May the Force Be With Us All.

Plot Twists and Red Herrings

“So what happens now?”

Now that I’ve quasi-decided/declared to stop participating in NaNoWriMo and return to my usual writing schedule, which happens whenever the Muses confer with the plot bunnies and make sense of whatever is lying about in the cluttered Vault of Plot Points, Character Exposition and Narrative Arcs [or the VOPPCENA – I make up acronyms now, – acronyms are cool] hidden deep within the Land of Exposition. While much of the data stored in the VOPPCENA lies within an intricate electronic database, guarded by the Phantom Shadows (with their swishy cloaks and Force-like abilities), a great deal of data is still in paper form, collated, date and time stamped, written in different colored ink, mostly in cursive writing). It’s a hodgepodge of discarded notions, recycled concepts, and (to be perfectly honest) stolen borrowed ideas from existing (published) material. Of course any of the latter would need to be filed away, never to be used (or at best, modified to the extent where no one would ever have reason to sue me).

“So what happens now?”

Now that NaNoWriMo is behind me (and now forever in my past), thus begins (restarts) my journey to plotting, pondering and actually!writing that which is (still) called the MASC Chronicles. The Good News is that I have had fleeting thoughts about the PPCENA [plot points, character exposition and narrative arcs], and have made quasi-sense of the sheer depth, breadth and volume of the daunting task I set for myself when I first thought to create this universe of things. There are plot twists amid plot twists, red herrings that might not be red herrings and other literary metaphors consistent when working on an epic saga. The science fiction elements mixed with mystery and fantasy are omnipresent, and make quasi- sense in my head – at least the general overall narrative arc does.

The “Bad” News is that time is not on my side – the demands from the Real Life Brigade, with its time sensitive demands and concurrent events and processes, have taken up almost all of my time and concentration, which has left little time for the aforementioned Muses to present their ideas to the Literary Administration who would be the ones to make sense of the narrative arc so actual!writing can commence.

[Yes, the quasi-Meta drama that is the Land of Exposition continues to grow, and will warrant its own epic saga of sagas… It’s on the (long) list of Things to Write.]

“Where am I going to?”

Again, the notion of plot twists and red herrings is influenced by the Series/Season Nine finale of Doctor Who “Hell Bent”, which I rightly predicted would be a mind-imploding experience, full of plot twists, misdirection and red herrings. (not to mention loads of throwback references to the series’ rich history). Presumptions are made and shattered in an instant, while at the same time, take their time to reveal themselves, which makes sense since time is a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ball of … stuff. The lengths a person (or Time Lord) would go to save the people they care for show the true measure of the person.

But I (slightly) digress.

The ideas are there, quasi-set in some sense of order, the characters are (for the most part) developed enough, and the (general) narrative arc is somewhat set in stone (or at least in wet cement). All that need to be figured out are the actual details – and a TARDIS so I can find the time to get at least some of this completed.

But when will that actually happen?

“Don’t ask anymore…”