Friday, July 22, 2011

Quintessence

First: This is a “lighter fare” post, but as for the coming posts, I’ll be writing on this conflicted creature (well, maybe not conflicted--but I know I used to be!), the Christian novelist, and more on the research, process, and etc. of writing historical fiction.

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So, you all should already know that I am a Traitor and am writing a sci-fi novel now instead of historical fiction (I’m still hoping to work on editing Forest of Lies, however). But, in case you’re wondering what I’m up to, and because I’m an author and like people to know what I’m working on, here’s some of the basics of my novel Quintessence.

Quintessence






Hero: Hywel, a fourteen-year-old boy.
Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Futuristic
Name inspiration: Okay, no, not telling. You have to read it. (Once I release it.)
Status: Ready for Chapter 2 of the rough draft; 2,800 words so far.
Projected Length: 12 chapters, 25,000-50,000 words.
Synopsis:
Hywel's always asked questions. But no one's ever gotten angry, no one's ever been sent to his house to straighten him out over them. No one's ever died. His questions have never been worth bothering about.

But now they are. Now, Management is standing at his door. Now, people are dying. Now, his questions are too big, too dangerous. They threaten The Good Life. They threaten Hywel's life. They threaten the lives of his friends. But really, he's only asking one thing. Why is it such a big deal? Why will Management stop do anything to stop him questioning? It's really only one question. One small, simple question.

What is quintessence?
First page:
My grandfather’s dead. That doesn’t sit that well with The Good life, however, so my parents will fix it.

I’m not even supposed to know he’s dead, but I have a habit of tinkering with the old comp, thinking that if I jiggle enough wires, the Internet just might be resurrected. That’s why my parents didn’t see me when they came into the Main Room--I lay bunched up underneath the comp desk with my hand tangled in a nest of wires.

“It’s just so--shocking, Nelson. I can’t--can’t cope,” my mother said in a breathy voice. “People don’t die anymore!”

“Look, Agnes,” my father said. “It says on the box that we only have to call for Management, mention a dustbin, and it’ll all be sorted.”
God bless your weekend!

9 comments:

Taylor Lynn said...

Sounds interesting! I'm sure you'll keep me updated... right? ;)

Nairam said...

Most likely! Novelist tend to like to blab about what they're doing...;)

Taylor Lynn said...

Definitely! I speak from experience... LOL I'm surprised I still have followers, you'd think I'd have bored them with all my writer talk by now. ;D Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration... but still! ;)

Godsgirl said...

I REALLY like it! Very intriguing... I want to read it most definately :)

Sandy said...

That is really cool. It was the 'people don't die anymore' that made me go... what? =P

Yorrick said...

Well, you may be a traitor, but you certainly speak it fluently. ;) Sounds fun!

A few things I wondered about from the excerpt:

"I lay bunched up underneath the comp desk with my hand tangled in a nest of wires."

Does he have to keep switching it on and off, to keep from being electrocuted? Or some special glove? Or just impervious? Obviously, you don't want to spout technical terms all over the place, but Hywel seems pretty savvy in this area. It might up the tension of the moment if he's having to keep something from beeping or catching on fire while he's trying to eavesdrop.

And with this one:

"I have a habit of tinkering with the old comp, thinking that if I jiggle enough wires, the Internet just might be resurrected."

Is he trying to resurrect the entire Internet, or just his connection to it? If the latter, is the Internet like this huge dormant being? Is it conscious? Can Hamlet-style ghosts get trapped in it, a la Silence in the Library? Does Management catalog them?

And who *is* Management? A Claudius? A committee? A Borg-style collective consciousness?

Also, how much Hamlet is going into this? Just the title? Or more? Concepts? Characters?

These are just a few questions sparked by your fascinating new world; I can't wait to hear more of it! (Though, alas, due to the rules of temporality, wait I must.) ;) Good luck!

Nairam said...

@Godsgirl: Thanks! Chapter 1 is actually up on the forum, if you're interested.

@Sandy: Yay. >:D

@Yorrick (I'm going to sound like a complete nerd [but hey, that's what I am], but isn't it one 'r'?): Thank you for the points/tips/edits. I'm not really in editing mode right now, but I'll try to remember to come back and look at this in a few months.

You find out who Management is, as you might've guessed. Hamlet plays a lot into the story, but it is by no means a re-telling (though I'd love to do that sometime). If I told exactly how, I'd give away plot points, so I won't. But I DID forget to include that this'll be near the front of the book somewhere (maybe before the first chapter):

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals--and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Hamlet
Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 327-332
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You can speculate on why I would do such a thing. ;)

Thank you!

~Nairam

Yorrick said...

*chortle* Yes, 'tis usually one measly "R," by to-day's standards. Personally, I prefer the two-R spelling. It's like the difference between "favorite" and "favourite." Not to mention that Shakespeare himself probably wouldn't care one way or the other.

To my more academic defense, both versions are acceptable variations of "York;" "Yorick" actually might have been pronounced "York" in Shakespeare's day, but without iambics it's not clear.

I'm glad I was able to help you, even with a time lapse. I can travel in time, after all. ;)

Oh, certainly don't spoil it for me! The whole Hamlet-based dystopia just opens up so many possibilities that I couldn't help pondering . . .

Excellent on the quote! Such lovely literature, all but wasted on Ros and Guil . . . (Which reminds me to hope for their at least symbolic appearance in your book . . . :D)

--Yorrick

P.S. I wonder (but don't tell me) what Management does with madmen . . .

Nairam said...

Aha. Play fluency, I have. Academic fluency...not so much.

The world isn't really Hamlet-based, but rather plays a role in the plot...yeah, maybe I should just wait until you can read it.

Well, maybe...

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