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October 25, 2002

NaNoWriMo 2002 - This Broken Earth

So, NaNoWriMo 2002 will be focusing on This Broken Earth, aka the name of the future novel. It's also the name of a game I'm running, on which the novel will sort of be based.

Back in the day, Lou ran a GURPS game called Broken Earth War, about a post-apocalyptic Earth in which the event that caused the apocalypse spawned psionic powers in those that survived and their descendents. The game lasted a good while, but eventually it fell the way of many games and stopped.

During this time, he realized that the War wasn't really the story he wanted to tell. See, BEW took place 250 years after the event, and what he really wanted to deal with was right after the event. So while our friends from North Carolina were up visiting us, he had them create modern-day characters for a game he'd run while they were visiting. Little did they know that they were headed for the apocalypse. One of the other players knew, as did I, because we were both in the original game. This game was called SBE, or Survivors of the Broken Earth.

We've played it twice face-to-face (or FTF as those in RPGing call it) and we also decided that it was fun enough to move to an email board.

Last year at this time, I was looking for a game to run, and something that would keep me going Dreamlyrics where I played some RPGs. I started my own version of this game, TBE, or This Broken Earth. I told my players nothing of the background, just that an event would happen that I couldn't tell them about, and they should make up modern-day characters with a slightly futuristic bent.

The game, and the novel, start about 50 years in our future. For this month, I will be trying to write stuff here that I will need to have on hand to write the novel, like the changes to technology and such that Lou, and later I, have decided on.

I don't quite have the focus of my novel yet. I'm torn between one main character and a group of characters, even if they aren't all together.

I originally envisioned this a year ago, before I started my game. I saw it as a trilogy, with the final (maybe the second) books dealing with the creatures (for yes, there were aliens that helped kickstart all this) who are now plaguing Earth (that War part of BEW above). For now, I'm going to be working on the first novel, the immediate aftermath. Maybe next year I can work on the sequel.

The other inspiration for this is a book that is, alas, out of print, but can be (somewhat) easily found. EMERGENCE, by David R. Palmer, is the diary of a young girl who survives a bio-plague and then goes about trying to find others like her. Candy is a neat character, and though the book really heads into what I call "Exploding Hat Syndrome" (comes from the Star Trek Hat, where physics and the real world don't mix, and you need to keep your "Star Trek Hat" on to suspend disbelief) by turning Candy into almost a superhero, it's still an excellent book. And written almost entirely without pronouns (it's a diary. She uses shorthand. Mr. Palmer was a court reporter/stenographer or something, too), which really makes it sound like a VSD or something, before there were VSDs.

Posted by Julia at 10:53 PM