Monday, September 23, 2013

Singularity, Singularity, Singularity

Apparently, Russian search engine spiders loooove the Singularity, judging from the spike in my site traffic. I should refocus my blog, be all about post-humanity, and watch all the fat rubles roll right in.

Anyway. Fun story; the writing not only went fast, it went very fast. The first 2600 words went down in about an hour and ten minutes--that's 2200 words per hour, which is some sort of record for me, I believe. I originally thought I wasn't giving myself enough time to write this, but fortunately, I had plenty. No idea I was just going to blurt out damn near 3000 words in an hour or two.

They--and I do mean the fictional they instead of anybody in particular. It's like the royal we, dontcha know--always say that writers come in two varieties--those who brain-dump, not going back to edit much, just let a stream of consciousness flow onto paper which they then edit later on. Then there are those people who grind out each sentence carefully and slowly, like a jeweler patiently grinding a diamond into facets. I guess I'm in the former crowd. I never seem to get anything done when I'm writing slow and carefully. It's hard to keep the big picture in mind when I'm mired in sentence-crafting.

On the other hand, when I'm writing fast, I'm never quite sure of the quality of my writing since I'm just dumping whatever passes through my head. I go fast, a lot of words hit the paper and then only when I hit the final period am I quite sure what I've got. Usually it's better than what I think it will be. Sometimes it's horse-pucky. Usually not completely, though.

This one turned out pretty well, I think. It's another story about technology. I've been thinking a bit again about how our constant online presence is sort of making us more awful as people. Mostly because I have a few friends who are terrible about being distracted by their smart phones when hanging out. Partly because of that Louis C K thing that's making the rounds on Facebook.

I actually dusted this one off from partial notes I'd left a few months ago. I can't remember when I'd originally planned this story--some time in late spring, I think--but I abandoned it in favor of something else, probably with talking ponies or bears.

My original concept was going to be a Dancers at the End of Time type of thing where the character would have to deal, under-equipped and far too human, with gods and all sorts of strange things. He would have to make his way through a broken and dysfunctional wasteland filled with shallow dreams and horrific fantasies to rescue a princess who no longer remembers him.

But then my opening paragraph took the premise in a different direction because of my preoccupation with social networking and how alienating it can occasionally be. Weird how that works.

As I worked my way through the technology and its implications, it turned into a strange and lonely--largely benevolent--zombie apocalypse, which, I think, works better as a social statement. I guess. If I were the sort of person who makes those kinds of things. I am, but I'm going to pretend I'm not because I'm all cool and stuff.

So much of science fiction writing is simply coming up with a useful and interesting frame for what-if scenarios, just playing make-believe while your brain works its way through the implications of an issue or a scenario. While I do love me some character-building, sometimes the single-minded focus of high concept science fiction is extremely appealing.

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