Archive for category Unleaded Crosspost

Cruise Characters

I’m still trying to come up with a good plot for a cruise ship.  Something horror related without going with a haunted house or a sea monster pastiche.  For the time being, though, there were more than a few characters I discovered while on board.  What follows are first my observations then my own creative license taking over.

Washy Washy:  Located outside the main buffet on the ship there were always two hyper cheerful people whose goals were twofold: get people to smile and spray their hands with bubble gum smelling sanitizer before they walked in and started touching everything.  There was one in particular who took extra gusto in his job, smiling everywhere except his eyes.  This was the same greeter they chose to see us off the boat because people absolutely loved him.

The Assistant Assistant Cruise Directors:  There were at least two of these who I met.  One was a gangly American, the other was a stocky Canadian.  Both were in their early twenties and clearly on low rungs within the cruise staff organization.  These two directed people to the gangways going ashore, and helped the Assistant Cruise Director run the bingo game, nightly at port and twice a day at sea.  The ACD himself was only a few years older, and I just felt that for the first time in his professional career he has underlings after being the AACD himself for so long.  I can smell the makings of a petty dictator a mile away, and when the actual Cruise Director wasn’t there, I’m sure the ACD had no problem reminding people who was in charge.

The Shopping Consultant:  This was someone with a job to do.  That job, however, involves helping the stores at each port of call to separate travelers from as much of their money as possible.  For that reason, he’s hawking the Diamonds, talking up the rarity of Tanzanite, and generally is the closest thing to a used car salesman that existed on the ship.  What I’d be curious to find out, though, is whether he was a nice guy who was just doing a job he happens to be good at, or whether he’s someone who actually enjoys his job perhaps a little too much.

The Youth Counselors:  Being neither a child nor a parent, I had little interaction with the youth counselors.  The only reason I ran into them at all is that they had the reservation right after mine at the Teppanyaki table.  They were all uniformly early 20s, uniformly attractive, and uniformly American.  The latter was an abnormality on the ship, this was the largest group of any kind I encountered who all had United States on their name badges.  Also one of the only groups who only had first names on their badges (with the exception of the Latino member whose name tag read, and this is no joke, “Tex-Mex”).  Four guys, four girls, all young and attractive, working and living together.  Strikes me as the perfect combination for pairing off.  They were all sun dresses and khakis for their reservation, but don’t let that fool you that there aren’t some shenanigans going on with this group.  Side note: when I observed the youth counselors to my wife, she swore I said “grief counselors” and was shocked that, even with the older-skewing demographic on board, that eight grief counselors were necessary.

The youth counselors seem the easiest targets for a horror plot, but just because twenty-somethings-in-peril is such a well established sub-genre of horror.  There was even the one requisite ethnic member of the group.

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It’s Wednesday…

That means it’s time for some writerly words over on Unleaded.  This week: how best to use Nanowrimo.  (Hint: the answer is “however you want to”.)

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Unleaded quickie, Nanowrimo

New post up at Unleaded featuring SMBC and me…well, linking right back here again.

Next Monday marks the beginning of Nanowrimo.  This year I’ll be missing a big chunk of the month as I’m heading to New Orleans for a cruise to celebrating the wedding of the proprietors of the Unleaded Blog (yay!).  That means that the standard 50,000 word goal is out the window.  But here’s the thing.  I wouldn’t really want to anyway.  I feel like I’m less than 50,000 words from the end of Capsule, and that trying to put that many more words into it would be contrived.  And I sure as hell don’t want to start anything new, no matter how much I’ve been thinking about a plotline I’m currently calling “The Filibuster” (based on the old definition…shameless 200 Years cross-link).  So here’s my Nanowrimo goal:

Maintain Nano pace on any day that I’m not on vacation until I get to the end of Capsule.  Then work on editing, oh dare I even say it?  End of the Line.

Also, came up with an odd idea for a flash fiction piece that I’m hoping to write and post here in the blog by the end of the month.  Yay, flash fiction!

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Week of Action

Here was the preliminary schedule for my week of action.  I’ll keep this up to date through the week as I do things:

  • √ Friday: Edit and submit Queen of Belmeth
  • √ Saturday: Identify market and submit Sleep
  • √ Sunday: Identify market and submit Div!0 or The Rustler
  • √ Monday: Edit Capsule, chapter 1
  • √ Tuesday: Edit Capsule, chapter 2
  • √ Wednesday: Edit Capsule, chapter 3

Things got to a slow start, as editing Belmeth took more time than I anticipated.  I did the editing Friday night, but as it was getting late, decided I wanted to give the story one last read-over while well rested.  I did one last pass this morning, and sent it off to the contest at around 12:30.  I’m still planning on getting Sleep sent out this evening to catch up to my schedule, probably to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.  It’ll be easier to send out because I’m just going to give it a quick read-over rather than a full edit.

Updates as I have them.

Update: Saturday 9pm.  Sleep submitted to ASIM.

Update: Sunday 5pm.  The Rustler submitted to Hyrda Publications for the Steam Works anthology.

Update: Completed an editing pass on Chapter One of Capsule.  Can’t promise that I don’t want to do another before an editor saw it.  No longer plan to have a copy of the first three chapters on a thumb drive to hand to someone.  That was a somewhat silly idea anyway, no one would be willing to read it but unwilling to wait until the end of the weekend.

Update: Completed an editing pass on Chapter Two.  Even if I’m not entirely thrilled with the results quite yet, it is getting me back into the story.  Yay!

Update: Today’s editing felt the best.  I don’t know if it’s because the original was in better shape or if I’ve just been getting more into an editing groove.  I heard once the idea of writing that you take something through to the end and then start over the first quarter because by the end you’ll have finally found your voice.  Anyway, week of action: epic win.

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