AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,


OK, for the first time I'm doing NaNoWriMo. [breathes into paper bag] November's really an awful month for something like that but it's always in November so if I want to do it, and I have for the last couple of years, then it might as well be now, right? Right.

I created a journal just for NaNo, since that seems to be What One Does. It's at angienano (so I can use it again later if I decide to do this more than once and besides I have no friggin' clue what I'm going to call my story yet, so...) and anyone who's interested in seeing what the raw, unedited outpouring of verbage is going to look like should feel free to friend it and watch me slowly frazzle as the days go by. There's nothing in there yet, since I did all the blathering that came to mind when typing up the profile page, but if anything occurs to me between now and midnight on the first I'll put it there. Note that any organizational and headdesking-type rambling I feel like doing in public regarding NaNo from now on will be done there rather than here, so anyone not interested won't have to defriend this journal to avoid it. :D Note that I'm not friending anyone back from that journal, since I'm not going to be doing any reading from it.

As always, I welcome in-depth commentary and discussions, including concrit, so feel free to comment however you like.

During November I'm going to have to cut way back on what I read on my Flist. Long stories will be bookmarked to read later and I probably won't do much commenting at all. (I hope I won't, although it is a great work-avoidance strategy.... [cough])

Anyway, I have only a vague idea of what I'm going to be writing, which makes this no different from anything else I've ever written, right before beginning. Current thought is an SFish story (no spaceships or laser guns, but set in the future) where the conservative tide has swamped the US and the country has gone hyper-isolationist with a rigidly straightlaced morality enforced by law and social pressure. Anything not American is seen as actively anti-American, dangerous and corrupting. Foreign travel is strictly regulated and essentially impossible unless a person is with the government and going on government business. There's little foreign trade (still working on details there) and foreign nationals are not welcome.

Information is strictly regulated as well, of course, and it's been long enough that decay -- both acidic paper and dissolving celluloid, and the standard failure of magnetic media, as well as many generations of electronic media and readers/players having rendered even "live" copies of older media unreadable or unplayable -- mean that all the information commonly available in the "now" of the story is that which supports the official view of life, history and the universe in general. Developments in information and communication hardware and software mean that the larger internet (or whatever it's called in the future) is not available to Americans online. Everything is internal, walled off, isolated -- sort of similar to Japan before the Americans kicked in the locked door in the 19th century.

That's the setting. Within this environment are two guys, one a historian and the other an engineering geek. (I don't even have names for them yet. [headdesk]) The historian is studying the social climate at the turn of the (21st) century and is incredibly frustrated because there's very little information -- primary sources are all but nonexistent. Think about it -- how many people keep paper diaries anymore? Write paper letters? How many people keep their personal accounts and other business information on paper? Most people use accounting software, e-mail, electronic journals, whether something online like LJ or just a word processor file on their computer. I have a stack of disks sitting on my desk right now that I can't read anymore and they're not that old -- think what the situation will be in a few centuries. (Thanks to Raven for this idea -- we were BSing in chat a few days ago and this topic spawned a plot bunny. :D ) Anyway, Historian-Guy is suffering from a dearth of primary sources.

Engineer-Guy has been dinking around with the problem of recovering information from failed electronic media, and has stumbled over a technique for reading even seriously munged-up stuff -- old, yucked up, dead stuff that no one ever thought would be readable again. Historian-Guy hears about this and contacts him, says he knows of a cache of really ancient media some archaeologist dug up out of an old commercial building, would he like to collaborate? You extract usable data from this stuff, I'll share my budget with you, we both publish papers, how about it?

He agrees and they start working together. And slowly discover what the world really used to be like, and that the current atmosphere of narrow bigotry and oppression isn't necessarily all there is. Which is particularly cool because they're attracted to each other like whoa and have been feeling awful about it. :)

Anyway, that's where I'm starting from tomorrow, or late tonight actually.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to PJ! :D

Tags: nanowrimo, original fiction, writing

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