There Are Many Others Like Them But They Are Mine

Day 3 of NaNoWriMo. I just hit 10,000 words, averaging 3,336 words per day, which is pretty awesome. My plot is still moving along, my characters are going a little bit crazy, and I’m having a rocking good time.

I went to a write-in yesterday at SE Woodstock, at a coffee shop called Papaccino’s. Pretty cool place, nice time, fun experience. There were about a dozen folks there typing away on their laptops, drinking coffee, daring each other to write faster – it was a great atmosphere. Even though there will probably just be a couple of people there next week due to inevitable attrition, I’m definitely enjoying the social NaNo experience. In fact I’m “hosting” a write-in at McMenamin’s Market Street Pub on Friday – if you’re a Portland wrimo reading this, show up!

As I’ve written more of my story, I have definitely noticed a tendency to pull away from my pre-planned outline. Certain scenes that I had planning to go in a certain order don’t end up following each other that well, or a character does something unexpected or unworkable, and I have to replan on the fly. That’s fine – the outline has remained useful because I know what I’m working toward, even if I’m following a slightly different than expected path to get there.

And now for something completely different: I’ve started a fun little personal project that’s not really writing-related, but I’m posting it here because this is, after all, a website for a fun little personal project. While reading over a list of Nebula award winners on Wikipedia, I decided that it might be fun to start in 1950 and arbitrarily choose two or three novels a decade among the Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell award winners and read them in chronological order. Submitted for your approval: Decades of SF!

There are two purposes here, and neither is very deep. First, I’m curious how science fiction tropes that we are extremely familiar with today have evolved from their primitive forms – as you all know I’ve done a fair amount of thinking on science fiction cliches. Second, I want to read some classics that I’ve never gotten around to before.

I’ve actually already finished my first one: Foundation, by Isaac Asimov (1951). I’m not the biggest fan of Asimov – his characters are made of only the purest cardboard and in fact are all variants of two or three archetypes. There are also no women. But, I can definitely see why he would become so successful; he did a tremendous job of showing the gradual decline and fall of a once-mighty galactic empire over the course of a hundred years, enough that it was melancholy despite my lack of empathy for the characters. Great example of “show, don’t tell.”

Next up is Hal Clement’s Mission of Gravity (1954).

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One response to “There Are Many Others Like Them But They Are Mine

  1. Oooooo! Oooooo!

    *jumps up and down excitedly*

    I’ll come to the write in on Friday!!!!!!!!

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