Monday, November 1, 2010

Excerpt #1

“Oh for the love of god,” Alyss yelled as she bolted out the door.  The bus disappearing around the corner at the end of the block didn’t seem to notice her annoyance.  It was seven thirty in the morning, the fifth of April, and Alysson Little was off to a bad start.
Twenty five dollars and a half hour later, she pulled her backpack out of the taxi, slung it over her shoulder and contemplated another day of high school.  It was not something that she contemplated with delight or pleasure.  For her, high school was what tore her away from the rest of the world, isolated her in a small room with people who neither liked nor understood her, and more importantly, forced her to turn off her birthday present.
The implanted weblink that normally allowed her to immerse herself in the flow of information and gossip that permeated cyberspace was blocked and had to be turned off on school grounds.  The consequence of not turning it off was unquestionably unpleasant, a wall of audio feedback that was physically painful and nauseating.  So just before Alysson stepped across onto school ground she gave the mental command to close her link, primed her audio recording programs, and stepped into another nine hours of purgatory.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Almost time!

Just a few more days before I can start writing!  Oh damn I'm excited, very excited.  Can't wait.

Anyone have ideas for incorporating the dormouse?  I'm stumped on that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Red Queen's Palace

McNeil Island in Puget Sound is currently home to a bunch of prisoners, including a bunch of sexually violent predators.  Fast forward a few generations, and both McNeil and Anderson Islands have been used as the foundations for a massive, complex, prison.  It's visible easily from Ft. Lewis, still visible from any high point in Tacoma, but out of sight from Seattle.  The major building is roughly rectangular, huge, blocky, and bears only slits for windows.  I'm still working on what the interior should look like, but for now, exterior is what I have.  It's flat-roofed, with no direct access from the inside of the building to the roof.  Access to the prison is by ferry only, while access to the palace is air only, probably VTOL craft.  Oh, the palace, I didn't mention that?

Atop the prison complex sits Victoria Scarlette's residence, a massive palace made of red stone and carefully rusted iron.  This is where she lives, where she stays when not terrorizing the populace, and where countless people have disappeared.  Torture chambers ranging from the medieval to the ultra-modern, and room after unpleasant room.  This is not a nice place, and it should give that feeling of brutality behind a mask of civility.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Knave

Alright, we know the Knave serves the Red Queen with something that at least resembles loyalty, but he's ultimately self serving.  As the RQ happens to be the DA, that means that the Knave is probably in prosecution or law enforcement.  He's the 'dirty work' end of her operation, so... a crooked chief of police?  Or detective?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, and Alice.

Inevitably, these characters have to be there, and they have to serve certain roles in the story.  Alice has to be the protagonist.  The White Rabbit has to be the catalyst that draws her out of her normal life and into Wonderland.  The Cheshire Cat has to be the guide that gets her here and there, without ever really telling her where she's going.

My issue is that this setting really doesn't have room in it for anthropomorphic animals.  So we have to concentrate more on the function of these roles than the form.  What does the Cat need to be able to do?

My cat must be able to come and go at will, and lead Alice where she needs to go.  His presence needs to be ephemeral, fleeting.  Like his namesake, he should probably never speak clearly.

The more I think on it, the less I need the Rabbit to be a character.  I'm beginning to get an idea in my head, another 'what-if' scenario.

What if the Cheshire Cat 'dies' early in the novel, before Alice comes on to the scene.  What if he hides his consciousness in a specially prepared white rabbit?  What if that rabbit is then given to Alice as a birthday present?  At that point, the rabbit becomes the cat's tool and vehicle, a way to manipulate Alice at the onset, and something for Alice to protect as the story progresses.

There needs to be communication, and a plot.  So... the Red Queen wants the Cat, or something that the Cat knows.  She gets the Cat's body, but his mind is gone already, in the Rabbit.  Alice gets the Rabbit, without knowing what it is.  Shortly thereafter, the Queen discovers where the Cat's mind has gone, and goes after Alice, sending her fleeing into the underworld.  And probably some time in that last section is when the Cat decides to start talking to Alice, probably through some sort of technological interface.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Musings on the Mad Hatter and March Hare

I'm sitting here, thinking about what must be one of the key characters of this story.  How can you have an Alice story without a Mad Hatter?  And he can't just be 'mad'.  Why is he mad?  What is his madness like?  There has to be a sensible reason why he's missing a few screws, and with the lack of mercury in hat making in the dark future, we're shy the classical excuse.

What if it's drugs?  A long term abuse of hallucinogens might be a way.  Addicted to the point that stopping will kill him.  So suffused with his drug that he moves in a cloud of it, drawing others into his lunacy as he passes.  He still lives in the real world, but it's all seen through a twisted glass.

Which brings up the March Hare.  Of all the characters, he and the Dormouse are the most troublesome.  I can't see a way to change them into humans without losing what they are.  And then it hit me.  What if the Hare is something that only the Hatter can see?  An invisible friend brought on by the drug, a companion in his constant haze of madness.

Where did the Hatter come from?  How old is he?  Why did he start using the drug?  What is the drug?  What does it really do?  How addictive is it?  Can you overdose? Likely not, or he would have by now.  Perhaps he's grown to a point where the drug isn't toxic to him anymore.  It's a part of him.

Well, the more questions I have to answer, the more answers I have to write!