It has been so long since I last had the urge to post something, and yet here I am, typing away on a blank page.
I have been hard at work writing a new book called A Shatter Down The Hall– a sort of yelling at myself for past mistakes, to force myself to stop the constant cycle of wanderlust between simplification and decentralization. Do I want to automate everything so that I’ll spend more time actually working on what I enjoy and less time making the connections between all the facets of my online life work with each other? Or do I want to take the extra steps of spreading out my work among several different sites so that no one entity has control of my data at the cost of more time down the gutter in maintaining the flow of work?
The main problem I have while writing this book is the main character- she’s a little… flat. Vey doesn’t have very many defining characteristics, which fits the book’s theme- she’s dazed and gets her identity from losing herself inside of Virtuality, a hybrid of an ocular implant giving one a nonintrusive HUD and a Matrix-esque virtual reality video gaming platform which puts one in a simulated sleep and then manipulates dreams. She longs to reunite with her brother Velaire, who supposedly committed suicide several years prior but turns out is actually still alive and in hiding. And she loves to write, although she hits writer’s block quite often as a result of her addiction to Virtuality. But her indecision when it comes to fighting to return to the world she’s always known or submitting to the fate forced upon her mucks up the book and makes her a quite unlikable character.
In contrast, we’ve got Vio- a quite insolent man who enjoys reminding Vey that her only viable choice is to go with him to the village. Because Vey was present during the “terrorist” attack, Vey has connections to Vio, which makes her a potential target to the police. Vio barely restrains himself from forcing himself onto Vey, as she reminds him multiple times that she resents him, especially since following him through a convoluted journey is the only way she has a chance to see Velaire again. But halfway through the book, his role becomes quite diminished as the book focuses more on Vey’s development, and he doesn’t return in a major capacity until the climax.
Normally, if I were writing, this would be perfectly normal- the story writes itself, and I can’t force a character to be more than they design themselves to be. But there’s the issue of retaining the reader’s interest, and if they decide early on that the book is boring, then… there’s no recovering from being shelved, ignored, and forgotten.
As I write this, I’ve got twenty-two chapters written and am working on the twenty-third. But, as usual, there’s a thousand other projects calling for my undivided attention as well, voluntary or foisted upon me by the high school. And there are only so many hours in a day to sleep…