Friday, October 30, 2015

Pinpointing Global Positions; National Novel Writing Month.

Dear friends and fans -

Please excuse my lack of updates the last couple weeks.  I broke the fifth metacarpal in my left hand and was in a splint, then a cast, for a combined total of four weeks.  I've only just gotten my cast off and been able to resume working full-time on this project.  However, I do have some updates and information for you.

Being bandaged up limited my typing ability, but I was able to get some research done.  I've fleshed out more of the logistics and behavioral traits of Psamanthe, one of my smallest colossi, with the invaluable help of an ornithologist at the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.  I also began plugging some more numbers on Triton's and Proteus's travel routes.  By multiplying Triton's speed and the mileage of his trip, I was able to determine to the minute how long it would take him to circle the Earth (as detailed in a previous post).  The new news is I found out exactly how many miles per year Triton travels, and have used that to figure out within a few miles where he'd be at any moment in time over the book's 100-year backstory.  The short version is, if Triton begins transporting his humans in Los Angeles and this book begins 100 years to the day after our colossi begin their regular migrations around the globe, then on that day Triton and his residents will be on the Eastern end of the Gulf of Mexico on their way from Miami to Mexico City.  Depending on the hour of the day, they could be north-by-northeast of Havana or northwest of Cancun.  I'm currently working on Proteus's figures and should have them figured out for my records by the end of the day.

And now I can shed a bit more light on why I want this to be done so precisely.  November is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo).  Thousands of novelists and aspiring writers try to write as much of a book as they can throughout all 30 days of November.  It sounds like a large task, and it is, but no matter whether one finishes or not, s/he will have that much more of a book finished than s/he had the month before.  If an author writes 2,000 words a day, then by December 1st that author will have 60,000 words done, which is a good size for a book.

I have never participated in National Novel Writing Month.  My books have taken me between 11 months and six years each to write.  This year, however, I decided to find a compromise.  Rather than try to cram in writing the entire novel in a month, I'm going to aspire to completing the book's sub-plot: a heart-wrenching tale about a man earning the unfortunate nickname "Topper" and the lives involved in his tragic misadventure.  In order to write this story, I needed to know when and where Triton and Proteus's paths would overlap, whether at the same time or with no more than a month's overlap.  I also need some of Topper's story to take place a set amount of time prior to the rest of the events of the book, so knowing when each titan would be where and how far ahead/behind of the other they'd be was absolutely vital.  Now that I've done that (and finished outlining the story), I have all the tools I need to begin writing the book.

I'll do my best to update about my progression throughout NaNoWriMo right here on Wandering City Blues, so tune in every Writers' Wednesday for an update.  Thanks for reading.

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