Category Archives: Awakenings – Book 4 Parables Of The Apocalypse

So, I’m working on my next novel, and have been stuck. Actually, I’ve been stuck for a while. But, yay! I’m not stuck anymore. As it turns out, I’m really good at journaling, and when I say journaling I’m talking about writing something called Morning Pages. If you Google around you’ll find a more detailed description of what they are, but essentially they are an exercise in free writing whatever comes into my head for at least 750 words every morning. I’ve been doing them for almost a year, and they’re incredibly helpful. I have no problem writing them, unlike my novel, which seems to find all sorts of reasons to block me. Well, the other day I was staring at a blank writing screen, when it occurred to me, that I should just write like I’m doing my morning pages. And, if after a few hundred words or so, then what the hell, I’ll just throw them out.

So I just started typing all sorts of crap. Some of it was directly related to the scene I was trying to write, and some of it was just babbling onto the screen some thoughts that were in my head. And it felt really good. It felt really good to just have my fingers flying over the keyboard, and writing stuff down. And, as it turned out, the more I wrote the more ideas popped into my head. So of course, I just kept writing. And before I knew it, I had a four or five hundred words with some really good ideas for the scene that had up until then been blocking me.

Well, what did I do next? Of course, I wrote the scene. All 1909 words of it. Is that friggin’ cool or what. Anyways, I thought to myself I would share this little tip with other writers that are blocked and see if it helps them. If it does, please share and let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear if it worked for you, or if you have other good ideas about getting unblocked from writing.

As well, I thought it would be a shame to just keep those rambling thoughts hidden in my Scrivener files forever, so I’ve decided to publish those notes here. For those interested, they may have you some hints (if you care) as to how my creative process works. If not, then I guess they won’t ;)

A Difference Of Opinion

OK, so not quite sure where to go with this. I’m running out of time, and need to get this thing moving. So, it says that there’s new info on Christa, but what perhaps should that be. Can’t quite remember when I did the outline for this what I should have had in here. At the moment, we know that Christa is with Andreas and Leekasha, and that both have gone through a transformation of sorts. They are however, at odds with Christa’s goals at the moment, based on what they’ve done. They’re basically killing and being like traditional zombies. What are Christa’s goals at the moment. She’s basically tired of having her mind interrupted all the time by the trapped zombies under the drugs calling for help. She wants to put an end to that, but not just for her own personal relief, but because she feels it’s wrong. And, perhaps, it’s because there’s something in her biology that is driving her to take care of her people. She was the next mutation remember, and she does have a responsibility to them. She’s sort of like their mother. She also feels guilty for them being in this situation. The people at Fort Knox (Dr. Montgomery etc) used her to come up with the drug for imprisoning everyone. Leekasha and Andreas have different goals as well. Well, maybe the same sort of goals, but just more direct (violent) in their approach to reaching the goals. Maybe this scene, should be another battle between Christa and Andreas and Leekasha this time. Some kind of battle, that actually seperates them. Causes them to go in opposite directions. Where, she starts off stalking Chaz’s family. Would she get into the prison to do that? Or maybe, we need to tie in the revolutionary (not to be confused with the renegades Andreas and Leekasha) faction, that might say break Caius out of prison. Right, so I think this one is about Christa. So, where does this one take place. They should be heading back to Christa’s place in the swamps. We could start off with them driving on the way there to the swamp sinkholes. Discussions ensue, differences of opinion arise, and when they stop for gas, Andreas and Leekasha disappear. He is more powerful, he is the next one. So, here’s the other thing. Why would Christa start stalking Chaz’s family? Because, maybe she knows he’s after her. Maybe, somehow the connection with Alex, gives her glimpses of it. Maybe, she knows, that someone would be after her because of the recent events (boat, bar) and that she needs some leverage. But, why leverage with Chaz’s family? Wouldn’t that just make her more obvious. Maybe, she knows it’s Chaz, and she figures getting a message to him through his family would get him to leave her alone. Maybe, she just wants to go on and live in peace. She things, that what she’s done, has just made things worse, and now she needs to get out. Chaz of course, continues to persue her and forces her hand later in the story. She has tried for six years to reach a zombie, she wouldn’t give up quite that early. I might be getting ahead of myself into the next scene. For this scene, we just want to see a break up of the three of them, and do some character building for all three. Especially Leekasha, as we haven’t done anything with her yet.

Kill Or Die

I’m thinking, that this scene needs to start off with Alex and Chaz loading up for their mission. There could be some conversation, maybe some view of the gear they have. I’m thinking they’ll have some pretty nice resources at their disposal. Guns, gear, food, medical supplies. The extra pressure that’s added to Chaz at this point, is that he is now ordered to stop the renegades and Christa at all costs. Meaning if he can’t capture them, then he needs to kill them. And, that includes Christa. I’m thinking, that Rabban should be paying them a visit at this point. And, it should probably be just before they start to leave. The next time we see these two, they should be on the road or in some major conflict with the renegades. Of course, Alex is not going to take this information very well. Remember, that Alex thinks, that Christa is in his head, that she talks to him. No special connection, other than their existing relationship. What other pressure could be put on during this scene? Rabban is there, so we could do something more with him. Make him seem a bit more difficult than normal I suppose. What’s his agenda? We did have something special in mind for him. Like, he was on the short list for becoming the regent, but instead was selected for an advisory role. He wasn’t supposed to know about that, but ended up finding out. I don’t want to get too sidetracked with Rabban though. This is really a scene to move the plot along primarily. That doesn’t mean you can’t so some character reveal building sort of stuff with Rabban though. Maybe a little something about Alex. Maybe, you could drop some hints as to Christa still saying things inside his head. Maybe this connection, is not one that even Christa is too aware of. Maybe she kind of does it subconsciously. Which of course, won’t be revealed until later. But, it could come in handy for their hunt, where Alex could come up with some sort of hint … maybe even in this scene like Christa is worried, or things are going wrong. Like Alex is pretty quiet at first like he’s worried. You could build some sympathy for Christa here with the reveals from Alex, before Rabban comes in and let’s them know that they all have to be taken out. He should pull Chaz aside before telling him.

Killing It At The Club

Last we saw of Andreas and Christa they’re were having a fight. Andreas just wanted to go off and drink, and Christa has a better sense of the current situation wanted to head for cover. It’s how she’s managed to survive for all these years. Leekasha has been with them for a while, but hasn’t done or said much, other then to follow the two of them around. She needs to get into the action a bit more, and I believe here is where it’s about to happen. Something needs to trigger in Andreas. We need some hinting that he’s more then he realizes he is, and that Christa has a sense of what he may be. Christa has really only had this mind control sort of thing going on. She’s inadvertantly controlled the other zombies in the first few books, and has quite deliberately done it in this book. So, what should really happen here, is that Andreas pulls Leekasha somehow back from the drug induced coma she’s in. Maybe by, making some sort of perverted advances on here or something. That might be appropriate for his character. Maybe, they almost get busted in the bar. Maybe, there should be some thought or description give to how zombies look under the drugs influence vs without the drugs. There were always some that looked normal, and some that didn’t, even before the drug. Maybe, there would have been some sort of branding or tagging done to the normal looking ones(or maybe all of them, that would indicate they are zombies. Electronic tagging? Implants? Something visible only under types of lighting. So, what happens when Leekasha transforms? They should be in a bar I think, and she should just rip people to shreds. Yea. Time for some gore. Some tearing people apart, blood and guts and all that shit. This is a story with zombies in it isn’t it. Ok, so here we go. They go into a bar, their fighting, Andreas almost gets busted, Christa mentally controls the bouncer to get them in, there are other freaks around, Christa gets a little overwhelmed, she tries blocking/helping Leekasha, Andreas tries to step in and see if he can do it, and instead brings her out of the drugs easily, which Christa couldn’t do. Leekash goes nuts and kills a bunch of people. They get the hell out of their. It should be a crowded night club, with lots of lights and loud music that makes it hard to tell what is going on.

Getting Worse

My notes for this scene say that Chaz suspects something about Christa. I need to give a little more in my notes I think, when I’m setting up scenes. At least a couple of sentences would be somewhat more helpful. Even if it’s just in the synopsis. At least to give you somewhere to start from. You can always change it after the fact. So, Christa suspects something about Christa. I believe what my initial thoughts were, were that there had been no sign of Christa and some even would trigger in Chaz to believe that Christa is still alive. Now, the reader knows Christa is alive, but of course Chaz doesn’t know for sure. He’s seen the pictures from Rabban, and he should be able to piece things together. What Chaz should be suspecting, is that in fact those zombies killed the Captain, and that Christa should have something to do with that. Now, Chaz is a smart guy, so what would he suspect. He remembers Christa as a nice kid, but one he didn’t really trust, because she was once a zombie. So, he should likely fall back on his gut instincts, that she played a part in the murder somehow. But, it still shouldn’t quite jive with him. The connection he had with her, should still bother him a bit. Remember, Andreas is the one that’s going to be the problem here. But, I still want Christa to come off with more of an edge than she had before. She’s got a right to be a little pissed, and a little crazy. She’s been listening to the sounds of thousands up thousands of zombies screaming in her head for six years. That’s bound to make anyone nuts. So, who does Chaz have to confide in, or what actions should he take where we can lay out his suscipions. There needs to be something interesting going on. Maybe, it would be a good idea to have a discussion with Dr. Montgomery. Maybe, he should take something from the Dr? Maybe some sort of conflict. You already had him sneak around her labs looking to steal info before. What about, if instead we have him pull some strings using Rabban or the Regents to force the doctor to turn over information. Can something about KonGod get put into this scene. Maybe by way of his conversation with Dr. Montgomery. That might sort of work. So, Chaz pulls some politics to get what he wants, and maybe, he gets more then he bargained for? Maybe, he finds out that Montgomery and the General kind of let them get away last time. That they were testing them. The Dr. Could hint that she knows more about KonGod then she’s supposed to.

I’m thinking now, that what should happen, is this should be some sort of confrontational issue with the good doctor. That maybe Chaz lets her know a little bit about what he knows now, and that in an attempt to get some information from her, he learns that she may not know as much about how the drug works. Or, maybe she does, and we let the reader know a bit more about it. Gonna have to figure that out. And, what about the conflict here, and a little bit more plot advancement. Maybe, the doctor should suggest that the real fear is of any zombie coming back from the drug. Perhaps she should suggest something about her suspecting that the drug could be doing damage to the minds of the zombies. To a degree, that they don’t quite understand, and maybe, that’s why she stayed at the research facility.

Three Zombies And A Dinghy

So, where do we go with this one now. Originally, this was supposed to be a bit of self discovery after Andreas was rescued from under the water. But now, I’m not sure. I suppose, there does seem to be something, where he starts to get a sense of what he is. This guy has to have a bit of a steep character arc, given that he’s quite a jerk in the beginning, even the beginning from before we meet him on the boat with Christa. But, I would have to think, that since I plan to kill him off before the story ends, that he needs to develop fairly quickly. So, where we would we put him for this scene. Bear in mind, that Chaz is on the hunt for Christa now, and that at some point we want this guy to become like the next big thing, and we should see some hope from him. I want the reader to empathize with him a bit, so I’m thinking we likely need to reveal something from his past … say that something traumatic happened to him as a child. Something that helped to form him as a kid. He, maybe he was an abused kid, his father gets run over on the highway walking home drunk one night, so Andreas has to go to work even earlier, and ends up getting beat up there. Long story short, he has a miserable childhood, and he grows up to be a miserable bastard. Now, it turns out he may be the next big mutation for the species. So, basically a kid from the streets makes it big. Kind of like the beverly hillbillies, except this kid was in pretty rough shape before any of this began. So, where does this scene start, more specifically, where are the three of them Andreas, Leekasha and Christa? They would have had to get off the boat somehow. Has any of Andreas abilities manifested yet, that would help them? Maybe he senses where they should be? So, I guess where we’re starting is with the three of them adrift somewhere … or perhaps they’ve landed somewhere not far from swamps of something. We were going to end up back there at some point were we not, where they had some sort of network through the sinkholes for hiding or whatever. Maybe Christa only … could that be where she disappears to?