Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Floundering Through Life...

...down at the Ozdust, if only because dust is what we come too! Nothing matters, but knowing nothing matters…it’s just life…keep on floundering through…

Name that musical. Ha!

Anyway, I’ve been floundering for a few weeks. Penelope (who you might remember was choking Jag inside my head) has decided that she doesn’t want to find the body I had so carefully planned for her to find. (I hope you read that with a heavy dose of sarcasm on the “carefully planned” part. I mean, did you read yesterday's post? *snarf*)

Jag is still mildly—okay majorly—peeved about the whole interview thing. He can pout a bit if he doesn’t get his way. I keep trying to coax him out the way you do a small animal with a chunk of cheese or something. He’s not having any of it. I guess he won’t eat anything he can find. *shrugs*

Anyway, so I’ve been floundering, trying to come up with something else writerly to do. And little things keep flashing up, but nothing substantial enough to yanno, actually seize on and run with.

For example, I’ve had a couple of titles come up that I thought would be cool. I was listening to “Mad World” by Adam Lambert and the words “no tomorrow” came up. I was in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs like I usually do. I thought, “Wow! ‘No Tomorrow’ would be a totally cool title for a book.” I promptly stopped singing (you would’ve been happy. I am not what you would call the next American Idol) and started pondering what the book would be about.


Suicide? Someone who dies all the time? There has to be a “No Tomorrow” moment, right? And death and dying and committing suicide are a little dark for me. *flounder, flounder*

So I discarded that. Moved on to my favorite movie of all time—Groundhog Day. I thought, “Hmm, maybe my MC could live the same day over and over.” But why? *flop* What would be the conflict? *flip* Maybe it could be “Groundhog Day meets…???” *flounder flounder flounder*

That wasn’t working out, so I moved on. I thought maybe I could yanno, actually try writing a science fiction novel that included science. See, I’ve written two SF novels, but they’re what I call “soft sci fi” which means I don’t actually have to know any science to write them. They’re dystopian novels. One of them does have some wicked cool gadgets, but the other one is like a genetic thing that has evolved in people. Anyway, I began contemplating maybe making “No Tomorrow” a harder science fiction novel.

Let the floundering begin! Again.

I thought and thought. Stewed. Floundered. Chatted. Checked email at least fifty billion times. Read five books (one of which can hardly be called a book it was so bad). Watched Survivor re-runs. A movie made in the 80s. (I like disco, but come on. Who picked that music and thought it sounded good?) Almost finished another school year (freedom this Friday, baby!).

And nothing.

I thought maybe it could be like a kid’s experiences in a holodeck or something. You know, Groundhog Day meets Star Trek. But I couldn’t think of a reason to have him there, and I really don’t want to write about space and space ships. That’s just not my thang. And I was back to the lame Groundhog Day idea.

So I scratched that and went back to wallowing in the stewage pot. I thought of a few more dumb things, and then finally I thought, “What if time started going backward? So that there was ‘No Tomorrow’?”

That could be kewl. But why would time suddenly start moving backward? Would the characters get older or younger? What challenges would I have to face with a protag who’s getting younger and younger? Do they have to re-live their yesterdays? Or are the days just going backward? If so, that wouldn’t really be “No Tomorrow” it would just be “A Different Tomorrow”. What would the conflict be? Fixing time? How much science do I really need to know and how much can I make up? Is this time travel? *panic face*

*flounder flounder flounder flounder flounder*

So what have you been working on?


Michelle McLean said...

I love your thinking processes :D And keep stewing! No Tomorrow WOULD be a totally cool title :D

Scott said...

The musical is . . . Wicked! Now, what do I win? There is a prize right?? : )

Welcome to my world - the floundering part. This too will pass. It did with me! I immersed myself in Tolkien and . . . voila!

Oh, wait, the immersing yourself in books didn't work, did it?

Hmmm . . .No Tomorrow. What if time froze? Yes, if time freezes, there is no tomorrow. If time freezes, does everybody freeze, or is it some anomaly that freezes the sun/moon/stars in place. So, the sun where your character lives never sets. Time doesn't move forward. And . . .

Sorry, best I can do this morning. Just keep tossing those ideas around and one day you'll find yourself writing instead of floundering. I know I did.

Best of luck!


Windy said...

Wow, you've really been thinking about things, haven't ya? Maybe a side effect of summer vacay. My husband always tells me our vacays can't be too long because I thrive off the work stress.

Anyway, working on...Right now, struggling with character descriptions. Oh, and I'm still trying to figure out where one of my wips is going, because the words are just spewing forth in no particular order and I'm not sure yet if there's a point to all of it.

By the way, "No Tomorrow" does sound like a great title, but (not to rain on the parade) wouldn't a growing younger story be a bit Benjamin Button-ish? Well, maybe you can put him on a space ship.

Good luck. Keep stewing. Eventually something will cook itself up and you'll have a masterpiece on your hands. Or a mess in the kitchen ;)

Traci said...

Working on revising my novel, and I'm not having fun! :-(

B.J. Anderson said...

Congrats on almost being done with school! And I'm working on a middle grade book after deciding fantasy wasn't the right voice for me. Jeesh, took me 6 1/2 years to figure it out, but I guess better late than never.

Jamie D. said...

Well, my short story is seriously floundering - I'm considering just dropping it for now. It's only irritating me. And I'm trying to edit a draft, which is not going as quickly as I'd like it to.

But I did get a great new idea for a romantic comedy while making dinner last night that I'm going to run with.

As for "No Tomorrow", what about something set up North - like "way up north" in Canada or Alaska, where the sun doesn't set for 6 months? Then there could be a tomorrow...but not 'til the end of the book, and perhaps someone important will die before "tomorrow" actually comes?

Just a few thoughts - great title!

Good luck.

~Jamie said...

sigh... I actually got the musical BEFORE ever clicking in and seeing that you were talking about a musical... the title alone gave it to me... I'm THAT big of a dork...

I hear ya on the floundering... I am living that moment myself right now!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, love the slightly altered Wicked lyrics!

And I think your idea for the time moving backwards concept is awesome - keep stewing on that one - I think you have something there!

Also for inspiration if you've never seen it before "Donnie Darko" is a really awesome movie and the version of Mad World that Adam sang actually came from there. I would highly recommend checking it out.

Kathryn Hupp-Harris said...

“Groundhog Day meets…???” Terminator II -- there is no fate but what we make.

If your person dies at the end of each day, but then wakes up to realize its only a dream. But that dream was a premonition. Your heroes mission is to finally make it to midnight alive to break the cycle.

You just might be onto something Elana.

Eric said...

Nice post. After reading what you wrote (and everyone else's comments), I came up with the idea for your title. No Tomorrow could be a place where there is no concept of time. There is no sun (think eternally cloudy or hazy sky), people kind of sleep whenever they want, eat whenever they want, there is no impetus to do anything that denotes passage of time. Along comes the MC (figure out some way to get him/her there) and deals with the culture shock of no concept of time. Think Time Machine without the Morlocs and the stupid cattle/humans. I'm completely spitballing, but maybe this will help you out. I like the title, and there is definitely something there. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I like No Tomorrow, too!

*back to revisions and rewriting*

Danyelle L. said...

I love hearing about other people's writing and thinking processes. Reminds me that I'm not alone in my weirdness. :P

Revisions. Writing. You name the stage of writing, and somewhere, I 'm doing it. :D

M. Dunham said...

You WOULD like rants. Silly goose. I love reading your thought process. It's brain food for me. ;-)

I'm working on DT - same old, same old. Working between bouts of RL work, since this is the crazy time, but I'm happy because I'm actually *working* on it.

Andrea Cremer said...

What a relief to know I'm not the only one floundering. Right now I'm trying to figure out the right way to end my novel...and it is hard!

No Tomorrow is a great title and I love the suggestions all these creative critters have already suggested. Here's my drop in the bucket:
Boy has batty old next door neighbor for whom he's become the de facto caretaker. All the other kids are cruel and ostracize nutty old guy, who spends his days predicting the end of the world. One day while helping old man organize his oh-so-cluttered study, boy finds loads of obscure, weird-looking books and papers filled with archaic information. Slowly pieces of old man's predictions about the end impending of the world begin to come true. Is the old man truly crazy or is he the one person on earth that must be listened to?

Hmmm, that was fun. I may need to write this story now :) If I do I promise to use a different title!

Katie Anderson said...

Oh my gosh - you have just described my last two weeks!


Floundering sux

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, you guys! You are awesome. Scott I love the concept of time freezing. No sunset, no sunrise. Really, I do like that. It causes a lot of stewing which you know I like.

Windy, Benjamin Button-ish? (Um, I love how you used -ish there. That rulez.) But I don't know what/who Benjamin Button is. I'll Google.

Jamie - up north? Great idea! My husband actually lived in Alaska for a while when the sun never really set. He'd be a fount of information!

Kat - make it to midnight to survive? Holy crap, girl. That's sooo cool! I love that! I'm majorly stewing on that now.

acdreamer - Love that too! Maybe I can take all these ideas and mash them together into something awesome? I do have mad skillz...

Thanks everyone!

Oh, and I'm glad you guys all knew Wicked.

DeenaML said...

I liked over to you from your comment on Author2Author. :)

I love that song Mad World -- all versions that I've heard!

What am I working on? A total rewrite of my first ever written YA novel! 3 chaps down.... :)

Anonymous said...

I love this post...first off, had Mad World in my head CONSTANTLY for the last four days...keep trying to see if there is a lyric or some reason why it won;t get out of my head.

Second, you HAVE to use that tite - it rawks!!! not sure on the conflict aspect, but I KNOW you'll figure it out!

Third...I just love your thought process. Okay - that's all :D

Robyn Campbell said...

Still *grimace* revising. No Tomorrow shall be written by you, Elana. It could mean all kinds of things. Start with typing that title. It will come, baby! Write the book!! :)YEAH!

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