Saturday, October 19, 2002

If it's a boy, call him Shelton? Or something more ordinary and call the protagonist Shelley?

Remember to put crowds in, don't make this city a ghost town.

Call the city Grace City (Grey City).

Friday, October 18, 2002

I'm still struggling mightily with the vexed question of whether to set the story in Manchester or somewhere completely imaginary. I want a rooftop world - even Manchester is maybe too spread out plus there's no way I could make it accurate. But I lose so much by disabling cultural references. :(

I've decided to call my runaway girl 'Shelley'. (Or maybe it should be a runaway boy? That would freak the AP's out more...) No name for the protagonist yet. Who also still could be male or female...
Another cool quote: "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." - Ray Bradbury

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Bother, I did lose it. :( Oh well, easy come easy go. At least now I have a blog address to post on NaNo.(NaNoWriMo - all this drivel is notes for my planned NaNo novel.)
some trouble with blogger - looks like I might lose my template...

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


Sexuality, relationships, freedom, music, passion, duality, multi-level nature of everything (it’s all more complex than you think).


Planet settled by humans good long time ago (same sort of frame of reference as Snowball). Not terraformed, as inhabitable (though no need to mention). Was previously occupied, or rumours of same denied by authority. Authority is big-brother style, Thatcherite (commerce has freedoms, individuals don’t), traditionalist, grey, narrow-minded… but also incompetent, chaotic (think freedom to bugger up the railways and dig up the roads), insecure. History has been largely deleted (though still awareness of having come from Earth). No aliens in evidence now whether or not there were any before, but some belief that ancient buildings and technologies that the Authority takes credit for are actually alien structures. (Why would they cover it up?) Simple curiosity about this could be one strand of the story – an idea that the proof lies under the city. No absolute proof is ever found of course. Into this grey authoritarian scene walks X and The Fallen Angels.

The Black Dahlia
Orchid – Phil Orchid?

Don’t try to write about music or art when you should be writing music or doing art – it won’t carry. Be literary. No slash?

Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth?
You can use drugs to escape from yourself or to find yourself; it’s a question of courage.

Remember that video of the poo going back in time to become the cow at Rollercoaster…

Mix in some Russian?

Will there be animals in my city apart from rats and pidgies?

Should defo have a river. Thought last night maybe one overground river and one little known underground river.

Have narrative parts 3rd person past tense but intersperse with transcripts, maybe even diary entries to get closer to the action or represent things not directly experienced by the protagonist.

Deep deeper deepest but it isn’t dark no it’s brightest at the bottom; that’s when the lights start up…. The lights inside your head?

Have a room full of mannequins – Orchid is so in love /hate with the idea of being an android, something more and less than human, he surrounds himself with artificial people – OK so this is going to resonate with Bladerunner but so bloody what I haven’t got time to worry about it.

Could I set it here, soon, but Liverpool or something? For the river? Then I could acknowledge all my inspirations. Bugger.

P suggests more P K Dick, more fractured, don’t worry about a plot, chuck in more aliens… govt could be aliens? But P is not writing this – I am.
Buffy-Faith style relationship conflict between the 2 leads?

Another thought entirely – have the disappearing character be the wife / long term gf of the questing character. Have him be also somewhat seduced by the scene. Or just any way to make him a him (lost gf is clich├ęd and also difficult as too emotionally charged)

Idea of parallel worlds – use the metaphor of parallel worlds – though the second world, the underground world is right there in actual fact, it may as well be magical realm requiring magical portals because most people are so unaware of its existence. Or aware but afraid. An old ruined town under the bright and sunny place? Sewers, tube tunnels, bomb shelters…? Alien ruins? Submerged starship? (too rocky horror?)

Remember the gothic side to it
Remember the funny side to it (it’s so cheesy it had better be funny or nobody will forgive).

If the infiltrators are androids, the aliens could look like anything – cthulus? The alien presence on Earth could in fact be gone; leaving a factory that builds and tracks the androids, which no longer have a master or a purpose. Who cares if it’s cheesy? Nefertiti could have been an android. Cleopatra.

If it’s not Earth, same general idea, easier to invent but loses impact & resonance.

Sub plots needed.
Remember the dream with the phosphorescent cocktails and the sun rising behind the mountain? Feel for that.

Set in a future Manchester – what would stick? Not my fault Jeff Noon lives here too, so don’t worry about that. Or maybe a fictional town very like Manchester. Want references to glam, to RHS, to Victorians… VG is set in a fictional alternate-history version of London; I could do the same. Draw Manchester in 2004 as it might have been imagined in 1989 – if the Tories had not fallen out of power, and people hadn’t gotten over AIDS. If gays were still as vilified. If the acid house movement had been crushed the way the government would have liked….

Or should I be brave and write this as if it was the acid house movement and the glam movement combined (i.e. to really freak out the mums and dads) in a completely fictional world? Oh, it’s so tricky!

“The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold, and the curve of your lips rewrites history.” – Kurt Wilde in Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine

--What if Brian Slade’s lips had rewritten history?--
Murder Mystery plot option

Char gets sucked into entourage of rock star. Contacts sister to plead for help as entourage are being picked off 1 by 1. Disappears. Killer strangles victims with feather boa. Many ppl have motives – jealousy, money, homophobia. Turns out the entourage are aliens being killed by other aliens in a mafia stylee, OR being removed by the authorities who have found them out… might be best is we never find out if they are actually aliens or not, just have the killer believe they really are. Leave the reader uncertain. Are they/aren’t they, are they/aren’t they? Hehehe.

Have another undercover agent working for the government… have people change, or appear to change, loyalties.
"The Universe is thronged with fire and light, and we but small suns, which, skinned, trapped and kept, enshrined in blood and precious bones, hold back the night." --Ray Bradbury
1. mousy on the outside, repressed glam queen on the inside, finds late release a la Janet but much more real, takes her further than she wants to go

2. cop type character only wants answers, finds more questions, takes him/her further than she wants to go (investigating a death? Looking for a lost friend or sister? (char 1?))
(get picture of characters following one another down the rabbit hole)

3. slinky sexy satanic gender-ambiguous rock star alien android thang

4. his entourage

5. the killer…? Killer could be undercover agent who believes they are aliens and has gone into drug-addled frenzy and starts killing people. Bit P.K. Dick-ian…
murder mystery but nobody’s dead, or are they?

acts 1, 2, 3 & 4

who needs a straight-man?

Boa Constrictor… a character? The murderer? Or just an aside?

Current culture offers reference for superficiality and humour; how can I hide my dark and futuristic world within it?

Aliens walk amongst us, The Man Who Fell To Earth, demons running karaoke clubs in LA, Liquid Sky, oh yes…

Set some of it here and take it underground and then orbital, clothe it in chintz and china tea cups (only never too much like Robert Thingy) then reveal it like Frank throwing his cloak off? NO DON’T – make it all up. But still reveal it gloriously.
NaNoWriMo novella – first thoughts

Spaceships – rejection / acceptance – love – envy & anxiety

living above the planet – quadrant44 – vicious metal hounds – a slap on my ass by a lipstick kissed elbow glove – ten feet tall better walk it back down

hi-tech futuristic just for fun bows-and-arrows swords-and-sorcery walk the line
feather boas, dirty pavements, mega-transit, fast and loose, underground illegal shocking beautiful dangerous dissolute drug-induced
Pure innocent troubled ageless beautiful dangerous elvish untouchable