Onna and Glory (Camp NaNoWriMo Excerpt)

Yokai are creatures of the Japanese supernatural.

Ironically, it’s horrible being a yokai in Japan. A rigidly hierarchical, overly political, rotten state of affairs. A half-British yokai and her friend, like others, have emigrated to London in search of a better life.

Trouble is, English supernaturals are about as forgiving of immigrants as English naturals. Tensions flare, divisions are drawn, ghost fights ghost, and large amounts of tofu are spilled.

And that’s before the appearance of a man who calls himself The Yokai Hunter, whose calling is… pretty obvious from his pseudonym. The yokais’ carefully preserved existence is suddenly balancing on a scissor blade.

A cast of horrors, both European and Oriental, living and less so, are dragged into a conflict with consequences that could reverberate across the underworld.

This is one of five novel extracts written during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016. It is largely unedited, but can be assumed to be representative of the finished novel. One such extract will hopefully become a proper novel later this year. Please give me feedback, both on this alone and on which of the five you prefer!

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The Kingdom of Light is Drunk and Rotten (Camp NaNoWriMo Excerpt)

Congratulations, you’ve saved the kingdom. Now what?

You’ve all heard the story before. Peaceful Kingdom of Light, aggressive Kingdom of Darkness, band of plucky youths, magical macguffins, climactic confrontation, hooray the land is saved. A fantasy tale as old as fantasies themselves.

Thereafter you’re left with a bunch of youths who dropped out of education and training to be heroes. In this pre-sponsorship era, post-heroism doesn’t pay. So they defect, or turn to crime, or worse.

All the while, royal propaganda hails them as the saviours of the known world. And a little voice in the back of their heads questions whether they did the right thing at all. So they drown it in alcohol.

When a new evil(?) arises in the Kingdom of Light, would-be disillusioned student Lumia von Wyston seeks out the four Legendary Heroes. Five years after their celebrated victory, with their lives scuffed up once, can they save the Kingdom of Light again? Should they?

This is one of five novel extracts written during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016. It is largely unedited, but can be assumed to be representative of the finished novel. One such extract will hopefully become a proper novel later this year. Please give me feedback, both on this alone and on which of the five you prefer!

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Number 14 Paradise Drive (Camp NaNoWriMo Extract)

“There is a war coming. A war between the forces of light and dark. And both will know what you have done. Both will come for you.”

Laurie’s aunt has found her a house for her to stay in while she studies. It’s perfect: a quiet suburban village, nice housemates, a garden for the summertime, and nobody asking too deeply into what she studies.

Laurie gets to know her housemates: bookish solicitor Sess, hedonistic developer Sasha, cheeky charity-worker Gabby, his grumpy boyfriend Luke, and the elusive reclusive Sixth Member of the Household. None of them are too noisy. All seems well.

Except the world is crackling around them. Laurie’s aunt and her peculiar friends are on edge. So is the house. Peculiar figures are glimpsed outside. Some of them try to get in.

As Number 14 Paradise Drive becomes the nexus of the worst war the world has ever ignored, its name is both astonishingly appropriate, and downright wrong.

This is one of five novel extracts written during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016. It is largely unedited, but can be assumed to be representative of the finished novel. One such extract will hopefully become a proper novel later this year. Please give me feedback, both on this alone and on which of the five you prefer!

Unlike the others, this extract is split into two.  The first part is the very beginning of the story (maybe); the second occurs a bit further on.

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Clockwork Catastrophe and the Celestial City (Camp NaNoWriMo Extract)

Nathan Newman is a genius. And that is a big problem.

Humanity’s saving grace is that there’s someone who knows how he thinks, and wishes she didn’t. So Wheel tracks down Violet Kawasemi, granddaughter of Hikaru Kawasemi, in a small pub in the middle of nowhere.

Together(?) they have to stop Nathan from unwittingly unleashing an army of steampunk monsters on the world. And they have to stop Nathan’s backers for discovering the location of every engineer’s fairytale: the Celestial City. They’re not entirely sure why.

Clockwork golems, home-made robots, geeks and nerds of all kinds, angry villagers, shadowy government operatives, shadowy non-government operatives, ninjas in flat caps, and pseudo-angels feature in a space opera centred, like all the best space operas, around a tiny village in the English Midlands.

This is one of five novel extracts written during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016. It is largely unedited, but can be assumed to be representative of the finished novel. One such extract will hopefully become a proper novel later this year. Please give me feedback, both on this alone and on which of the five you prefer!

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Safe Melody (Camp NaNoWriMo Excerpt)

The world has changed since the Terraforming War. Literally.

Our narrator is one of the MUSICs (Melody Utilisation for Safe Inhabitation Corps, one of those organisations where the acronym almost certainly came before the component words), musicians who play the Safe Melody across the world to make it inhabitable. Musicians aren’t the best of fighters, so he’s joined on his quest by a bunch of people who can fight. And a bunch of terraformed creatures who can too.

At some point he might find out why it is that music cures this mutilated but beautiful planet. For now, he’ll be happy with not dying.

This is one of five novel extracts written during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016. It is largely unedited, but can be assumed to be representative of the finished novel. One such extract will hopefully become a proper novel later this year. Please give me feedback, both on this alone and on which of the five you prefer!

Continue reading

July Camp NaNoWriMo, or “What I’m up to right now”

As promised, Camp NaNoWriMo has loomed, and this blog entry is back to the fiction side of things.  Shout out to my great and talkative cabin, Sir David Cabinborough.

Here’s the deal.  I’ve set myself a goal of 31k words for this month (if you’re good with them there numbers, you’ll see that that’s 1k a day).  But this is divided into five different projects.  Each project is the start of a new story, with a lower limit of 6k on each (of which up to 1k can be planning).

I’ll be posting a blurb and excerpt for each up at the end of the month, relatively raw, relatively unedited.  And one I’ll take forward into November, and hopefully develop into a full novel.

This is where you, the reader who is not me, comes in.  I would very much appreciate your feedback as to which excerpt(s) you enjoyed, and would like to read more about.  I don’t mind having my precious feelings hurt, although would prefer not to read “This was sh*te, don’t give up the day job” ta.  Honest feedback will help me more than ego-stroking, much though I’ll never object to the latter.

Here are the working titles, to whet(?) your appetite.  Would really appreciate your feedback on them at the start of August!

Onna and Glory
The Kingdom of Light is Drunk and Rotten
Number 14 Paradise Drive
Clockwork Catastrophe and the Celestial City
Safe Melody

Bamboo Battle

I think that the title actually tells you most of what you need to know, other than that Sibelius’ default soundset is utterly useless for faux-Oriental music.  This was the actual fulfilling of Drunkalilly’s request (again, off the GNamer Forum), and the final piece of music I composed last month – slightly rushed.  Give it a listen and give me feedback.  I need it, it sustains my Internet sense of self.

Next entry: back to the fiction side of things, as Camp NaNoWriMo looms!