Writing Progress: Week Ending November 12, 2011

Not a shining example of productivity in writing this week, and yet I’ve no excuses…

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 1,606 words

Grand Total: 1,606 words

I had more than one writing day this past week in which I stared at a screen blankly and simply did not produce words.  It wasn’t due to writer’s block.  I just had other things on my mind.  Nothing of significance, really, but life’s been throwing a few curve balls of late, and there are a few more on the way, I’ll wager.  And sometimes, when you get curve balls, you get other things on your mind, and writing doesn’t happen.

And yet, I did get some writing done, just not as much as I’d have liked to.

In related news, I did pass another interesting milestone this past week.  But first, a little back-story to “The Book of M”:

I describe “Book of M” as “Final Fantasy meets Mad Max”.  A slightly longer-version goes this way: “a steampunk-flavored post-apocalyptic epic fantasy”.  The immediate circumstances of the novel relate to the “post-apocalyptic” part, but I didn’t want a post-apocalyptic wasteland for post-apocalyptic wasteland’s sake.  There had to be a “how” and a “why” to go with the “what” of the post-apocalyptic setting.  Understanding the “how” and “why”, as it turned out, necessitated understanding the “who”.  In other words, if there is a wasteland, there is a reason for the wasteland.  In this case, there was a war some indeterminately long-ago that left the land thus.  But if there was a war, then there were different sides to the war, and there was some mechanism by which the war resulted in a wasteland.  That means understanding the people who went to war.

Up until now, the entirety of the background history I have been writing has been toward this goal: understanding the character and history of the two powerful nations whose war ravaged the landscape.  I went all the way back to the foundation of those two countries, the better to understand the idealogy that underlies the cultures of these countries.  (Ostensibly this world has a history that goes back still farther, but that still-more-ancient history was mostly irrelevant.  Rather like how understanding ancient Mesopotamia would have little relevance for someone trying to understand the causes of World War I.  Arguably you could make a case for the relevance of the history of Europe and the Middle East going back to late Roman times, but much farther than that and you’re probably stretching things a bit far.)  That’s what I’ve been doing: telling the tale of World War I by telling about the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of new kingdoms and divisions in Europe and the shifting political affiliations and alliances, until at last we have these big, earth-shattering powers that face off in an epic grudge-match.  Okay, actually I’ve been writing the history of World War III in a world that skipped World Wars 1 and 2.  But anyway, you get the idea.

All of which is the long way of saying where I started in the long, long ago history, I’m finally up to that pivotal historical point: the start of the war that created the milieu into which my protagonist will find herself.

In terms of writing the historical background of this world, it’s all downhill from here.

So, how was your writing week?