I had no intentions to do Camp NaNo next week. NaNoWriMo last November was supposed to be the only challenging project I was supposed to do each year moving forward. As I pondered away on finishing my novella, Aeva (my current wip), it occurred to me that Camp NaNo can help me finish the story. My goal for the Camp is to revise, to go through the story from the beginning and make sure everything connects and makes sense, to take care of loose plots or unnecessary scenes, and to create a cleaner and tighter storyline. And, as crazy as this might sound, I’m super excited.
Marlowe update. I loved writing this story. It’s still strong in my mind and my heart. Sometimes I will listen to the soundtrack I’ve created for this story and just get immersed in that world. I wish I could begin to revise it, but no-can-do yet. I need a little more distance and a little more time to think on the plot. What I have done is rewrite pieces that have popped into my head begging to be edited. Here’s an excerpt from one of those pieces. This is when Marlowe secretly meets with her friend, Sam:
I enter the dome. The lights are off so it’s darker than the last time I was here. The ceiling lets a soft light in casting a glow into the room. I thought Sam would be here waiting for me, but I’m the first one here. I walk to the center of the room and stand directly under the ceiling. I look up at the curved intricate design of the ceiling which resembles a spider’s web, a web that is both delicate and strong. The design stirs a mixture of emotions in me. It’s beautiful yet imposes power and fear. I take off my helmet. It will record my conversation with Sam if I leave it on and that’s not what I want. A clanging sound by the cyborg door grabs my attention and I turn toward it. The door slides open and there stands a cyborg—tall, tough-looking, all shiny metal, and strangely beautiful. It comes over to me. I’m about to put my helmet on so if it attacks me I’ll be ready, but the cyborg says, “Mareesa,” and I lower my helmet. The cyborg comes and stands in front of me leaving three feet of space between us as though by some rule it was trained not to get too close. The cyborg’s half-face visor slides away and reveals the same face I saw the other day that resembled Sam’s. “I am Sam, Cyborg-M30,” it says. He’s being funny so I laugh. “Stop the joke, Sam. Is this your way of telling me you got a big promotion? Must be nice to work in the Cyborg Unit.” “You are Mareesa Lowenstein,” the cyborg said. “You have access to my real name too, huh?” “That is the only name I have for you.” “I’m fine with you calling me Marlowe.” A few seconds of silence passes, and he says, “I do not register…Marlowe.” “Don’t mess with me, Sam. Where are you hiding?” I look around the room for hidden cameras. I’m expecting a door to open with Sam coming through. “I’m standing in front of you.” I look at the cyborg. “No. No. No.” I shake my head side to side. I don’t want to believe it. He’s playing me. He’ll stop. He always does. That’s Sam. “It’s me, your friend, Sam.” There is a long silence while I look into his brown eyes. They are his eyes. I look at his full face. How did I not recognize him before? I must have been fooled by all the robotic parts. I step closer to him and reach my hand up to his cheek. He leans his head down so I could touch the human part of him. “Sam,” I whisper, “who did this to you?”
I finished my NaNoWriMo story. Not only did I reach the goal of 50K words, I also ended the story. What I’ve learned from this experience is that I’m capable of cranking out a full novel within less than a month. It’s not perfect and it’s basically a super rough and dirty draft but the story is done.
Goals going forward:
Take a break from Marlowe and work on finishing Aeva.
Write new story I’ve been itching to start.
Continue with first edit of TLS fantasy novel.
Return to Marlowe and clean it up.
First edit of Marlowe.
Here is a cut-and-paste from my Nano page with the updated “Marlowe” synopsis (still somewhat rough) and an excerpt. The excerpt is the scene just after Marlowe fights a cyborg that detonated.
I’ve been working along on my “Marlowe” novel for NaNoWriMo and had an inspiration to make a concept art piece for one of the chapters. In this chapter, Marlowe meets her roommate’s boyfriend who has a robotic arm. He is essentially a cyborg but in their world, a cyborg is not a human with a robotic part or two. Cyborgs are more than that.
I made this piece using CS6 and the following images:
Last November, I didn’t do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) because I was finishing up my master’s degree. I had wanted to but knew it couldn’t be possible. I’m excited to say, I am able to do it this year.
The first time I did NaNo (2016), I didn’t make a cover and didn’t include a synopsis. I rushed into it. I didn’t outline but did have a pretty good idea on what the story was about. I finished my 50K words, but it was tight. I felt like I just threw whatever I could into the story to hit my numbers per day. In the end, I felt I lost track of the plot and the main reason for the story. This time, I’m outlining to avoid all that. I’m sure there will be moments of the aforementioned, but my hope is to have less of it.
My story is a sci-fi dystopian speculative with some cyberpunk. It’s called, “Marlowe.”
The rough synopsis (will likely change):
After the great war, in what was once the United States, a new government emerged. They hired a clean-up company to remove debris and junk to clear out land for homes and farming. This company used machines and robots to assist in the cleaning. The robots are cyborgs: half human, half robotic parts. Cyborgs could only be created by using dead human parts but there are secrets the government doesn’t intend for anyone to learn. A girl named Marlowe will unearth the truth.
The temporary cover:
I have a playlist I’m putting together for my story. Here’s one that I’ve imagined to go along with a scene. The scene is when Marlowe learns that her friend was converted into a cyborg without his consent. He finds a way to talk to her and asks her to turn his switch off (to kill him). She refuses.
Last month, I worked on getting a sci-fi story into an anthology but missed the deadline by a couple of hours. I’m now looking for other anthologies to submit the story to. I found a few places that I’d like to submit to but I’m also debating on whether I should turn it into a novella or even a novel and have it published that way. I never thought making these decisions would be so difficult.
Aeva is a speculative science fiction about artificially created humans and an alien race in dire need of naturally born humans to incubate their eggs. It takes place many light years away from earth in a different galaxy. The back story is that just before earth’s surface was destroyed through wars and global warming, a large spaceship was built, and carried in it where humans who were eager to survive and were willing to take the chance of surviving in outer space. They traveled nowhere for some time until they began to run low on fuel, food, and oxygen. They located an alien planet named Pfore (pronounced, P-4) where they were able to get what they needed, but they were cautious, and they had every right to be.
The aliens on Pfore looked exactly like humans with the exception that their chests and upper back (just below the neck) was dappled with round scales. They also have a different reproductive system from humans. They laid eggs. Not all at once but one at the time. A fertilized egg incubates in the female alien for three months before it is pushed out and then matures under the alien’s care. Somehow, a virus interrupted the alien’s cycle and no eggs were able to survive in its mother’s womb. The aliens found a way around it by using female humans.
The humans in outer space have their own issues, but long story short, they created artificial humans and removed the reproductive organs from the females. The aliens can’t use these females to reproduce but they know there are females who can and they know earth is full of them. After the wars and global warming, humans on earth rebuilt, making earth extremely technologically advanced. The question now is, will the aliens find a way to earth?