Category Archives: Ayla & the Doors

On abstract locations (a #doctorwho post)

(copyright, sort-of: alibi_factory)

It’s started to crop up again: “A Partial Map to Your TARDIS” is making the rounds on the internet. I am quietly pleased when I can say, you haven’t seen that before!? and also a little saddened by it. The internet has become so huge and sprawling (quite like a TARDIS in its own right) that these wonderful things get lost in the cyberspace.

The fanfic/fanart mash-up has regained prominence because the latest episode of Doctor Who took us further into the TARDIS, exploring rooms, technology and even the engine. Of course, the writers will not need to keep these rooms as the official rooms–the TARDIS changes so often that there is no guarantee that a room that was there before will still be there nor that it will look the same as it did earlier. (See, the console room and its desktop themes.)

I first came across the project as a link from Sam’s blog. (Sam writes unbelievable fanfic of all fandoms.) This was a really long time ago. I tend to tweet about the mash-up at least once a year because how can you not when something so beautiful, elegant and awe-inspiring lives in the world. Yesterday, my darling friend Zja linked to a Tor blog post on the topic.

It intrigues me to consider the idea of an infinite space. Much like our own universe, but a universe inside a universe. The TARDIS is like that. Time is like that. I think that’s what I like the most about time and stories about time. Time is a single moment and all moments all at once. A deck of cards, and time travel allows the traveller to step from one spot to another. Imagine if all time was contained in a house and by stepping through a door was just like stepping through time.

How does one map that? How does one navigate it? How does one keep up with things that are constantly changing?

“A Partial Map to Your TARDIS” will always be special to me because it constantly brings up these questions, it makes me think, it makes me inspired. It was the seed that created The Museum, my next work-in-progress novel.

The internet would be incomplete without A Partial Map to Your TARDIS.

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On beginning an edit and plotting a new novel

So, what have I done this week? Well, I’ve put my first, completed manuscript THE CHRONICLES OF CHARLIE & CUB in a lovely blue binder.

I have to admit, I’m a little scared to read it. There is only this moment in time that the draft will be ‘perfect’. It’s the perfect incarnation of story and words on the page. As a writer, I know it’s not perfect, but right now, until I read that first page, it is. It’s like Schrodinger’s Cat, right? Right now, you have no idea whether it’s a masterpiece or a complete epic failure, but until I read that first page, or even the first word, I will never know for sure. I like it being a dead-and-alive cat right now.

It will probably sit there until I finish this blog post. I’ll then have run out of things that I “need to do” and so I will have start reading it.

The other story that I’ve started working on is currently called “The Incomplete Guide to the Museum” which was in part inspired by “A Partial Map to Your Tardis” and in part inspired by the fact that I wanted to write a TV series as a book.

How does one write a TV series as a book? Well, I have three main characters, and they are the main characters in the entire book. However, there are ten short stories (about 10,000 words each) which have their own plots and bits and pieces, and across all the stories is an overarcing story. It’s a little difficult to plot out. It also means I need to come up with eleven plots, and link them together by something else besides having the same characters in each story.

The plan is to publish a short story a month online. A little blurb: Ayla is your average university student. She has friends, she goes to class (sometimes), she exercises with her new neighbour. But when her neighbour dares her to go into the ever-empty, always-mysterious Museum–that’s what it’s called, just the Museum–Ayla doesn’t want to explain about the missing people. From here, Ayla is thrown forward in time, back in time, living right in the moment and finds that the museum isn’t exactly what it seems. Can she find the Housekeeper again and get her answers? Will she ever see her own life again?

It was a very successful plotting week, with some help from writing friends.

Do you get scared or anxious about re-reading your work?

[This post was also posted at The Great Noveling Adventure (with some additional paragraphs)!]

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On the Great Noveling Adventure

This week I signed up to participate in The Great Noveling Adventure”. Essentially, it’s a group of writers that commit themselves to finishing their novels AFTER November is over.

I love doing this stuff. It keeps me accountable, and I have a supportive group of people that are heading towards the same goal as me.

The problem is that I finished my novel in November.

I now have a draft of Charlie & Cub that is 69,627 words long, or 269 pages as the Microsoft Word flies, or 373,320 characters long with spaces, and has been developed and written over the last four or five years.

You see the smiling idiot in the corner with the blue binder? Yeah, that’s me. I can not tell you how proud I am that I have this. A complete draft.

And while I am sure that this happiness will wear off as soon as I start to tear it apart, I think the fact of finish a first draft needs to be celebrated.

But that leaves the question of what I will be doing for The Great Noveling Adventure now. I will take the opportunity to stay accountable on editing my draft. I will also start the next project that isn’t actually fully fleshed out–I have four characters and an idea of what I want the novel to look like. But that’s enough. (My first check-in can be found at the official site!)

Until next Sunday (which is both my Great Noveling Adventure check-in day and the work-in-progress day on this blog), I hope that everyone will keep writing (or editing) to finish their novels. And I make this my call to you–check-in with me on Sunday. Comment on this blog on Sundays and tell me (and the Great Noveling Adventure team) where you are up to in your writing process. I know I would love to read snippets and hear about the problems and successes you are having as you finish that first draft!

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