Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: The Vortex

The year of writing outside the box?

After finishing 2014 and starting 2015 with Secrets, which was already weird enough for my usual workings, I have tackled a couple of projects that seem somewhat off for me – time travel and hard sci-fi.

The Vortex

Writing period

11 January – 17 February


27118 words

Which one is it?

The time travel

What about it?

I’m not a fan of time travel due to… sciency stuff. It just makes my brain skid with all the implications and ramifications and stuff. I’ve often complained about it. And never the less I have had the bloody plotbunny in my brain since forever (truly speaking about a decade here, maybe). Thus, I decided to write it out, dusted up all the notes on it (yes, I kept them, I am a freak, shut up), changed the concept, character names, and typed it out. It was an outlining nightmare, but eventually worked out. Somehow.

Think Terminator. Except, John Connor is the person travelling back in time with the idea of committing suicide by killing his younger self to protect someone else. Yeah, I know, I was confused as hell when I started working on it, but eventually it became something I have enjoyed. Even if the topic did not convince me at first, writing about it has made me more open.

Writing the same people twenty years apart was especially interesting. I have done it before, in the Hyakki Yagyō, but the environment was different. Now I was dealing with the parents of a three-year-old baby and those very same parents 20 years later at the turn of the page. It was an interesting writing exercise, although it required a lot of research on baby development…

The main problem

Point of view. Following a closed number of points of view leaves me without an explanation of the antagonists’ motives. I need to work on that and find the way to include it so the story feels rounder.

The best bit

Mocchan. He is a character who was not considered in the first draft, but who enriched the story one hell of a lot. I am very happy that he popped up.

The Spaceship Ghost

Writing period

2-3 February, 18 February – 20 March


4185 + 24406 words

Which one is it?

The hard sci-fi

What about it?

Let me be bluntly honest about this, this spawned as a short story after watching a special running of Space Pirate Captain Harlock at the cinema. The first story was just over 4,000 words, in four parts of around 1,000 words each. Furthermore, each part was written in first person from a different POV, all of them overlapping in order to tell about the same incident from the beginning to the end.

For some reason, though, I could not let go of the idea. In a weird plotbunny crossover between Harlock and Firefly. So space pirates I started, for almost 25,000.

I kept the four original characters as main, and switched to third-person POV. I used a fluid point of view, changing it to the character whose thoughts would transmit more information about the story at each point.

The main problem

Time measurements and creating the new vocabulary. It was also hard to keep up with it, even if I took notes XD

The best bit

The Red Ram. The spaceship almost developed a personality of its own. I enjoyed naming and designing it a lot, and also making the flag, a variation of the Jolly Roger.

In general, I have a very clear image of the ship, the way it looks and how it feels, and that has helped a lot when writing a genre I am so unfamiliar with.


Not-too-serious reflection on outlining, in list form

The outlining and writing progress when I actually bother to try to keep it up.

  1. Draft original main idea, on any random piece of paper.

  2. Research names, locations, annotate the original idea.
  3. Write planned outline. This usually happens in my notebook, and is colour-coded.
  4. Find a way to paste the original idea documentation into the notebook so you don’t lose it.
  5. Start writing. Fine, no problems here, move along. Open the processor and type away.

  6. Find plothole in outline. Yup, blaring and huge plothole there. Inconsistency. Also known as Korean in the Bedroom.
  7. Freak out.
  8. Come up with a way to fix the plothole.
  9. Fix plothole in writing, making details up along the way. Feel very smug for solving the problem.
  10. Make a note on outline, in another colour, of course.

  11. Keep writing. Also, keep feeling very smug because you found the error.
  12. Come up with new detail, which might be important or not.
  13. Write it.
  14. Annotate the outline.
  15. Keep writing, whether what you are writing was in the outline or not.
  16. Randomly swear at characters who do whatever they want, ignoring the outline.
  17. Annotate outline with unfolding events
  18. Realise you’re not really following the original outline, and that you are not going to remember every detail you are writing.
  19. Make a new outline to work with on the fly. This is still related to the previous one, but not really.

  20. Realise a new continuity error.
  21. Leave yourself comments in the file so you remember what you actually wrote in the outline and what comes next.

  22. Write something only vaguely related to what was planned.
  23. ????