Archive | May 13, 2014

“12 days of writing: a subplot” – a writing exercise in Escape from Rochester setting

This is written from an exercise from Writer’s Greenhouse: Why did the protagonist fake those maps?

It is, I believe, a piece of background for Escape from Rochester.

It shouldn’t have been all that important. It was a school project. A project in Civil Engineering; this wasn’t exactly the stuff adventure novels were made of.

But there was something about the way Mr. Cecchini had asked that made Amber nervous. And the more she found in the old records, the more she wanted to hide what she’d found.

Mr. Cecchini wasn’t a proper professor anyway; he was an adjunct, and nobody was quite sure what had happened to Dr. Estrada. That was more than a little problematic for Amber, since Dr. Estrada was her adviser, and Mr. Cecchini seemed to be more than a bit distracted and not very good at the whole advising thing.

Amber thought it was probably the kids. His office was covered in pictures of kids and, while some of them seemed kind of unlikely, genetically, to be his, there was something to be said for adoption, after all. And when he looked at the pictures, he smiled. So, probably his, one way or another, even if there was no mother – or second father – pictured anywhere.

“So, for your project, you’re studying the layout of the entire University,” he said, every time she sat down. “With an eye to, to…”

And, every time, she would remind him, “to both see how it could be improved now, and how I would do differently if I were rebuilding from scratch.”

“And the sources you’re using are…”

And so on, every time. At first, Amber thought he was just a bit scattered, but as he began to pore over her notes, as he began to demand copies of her primary sources, she began to think something was up.

It didn’t seem like a good idea, faking documents for her final project, but, on the other hand, the rooms that she’d found on the oldest maps were kind of terrifying, and the underground roadways were even more so. There was swamp over there, and a river. Why was there a road there?

Was that what Mr. Cecchini was looking for?

And, if so, why?

Amber laid out the maps on her drafting board and, very carefully, began creating edited copies. Nobody needed to know about that road.

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Escape From Rochester (Camp Nano July’14 project) Character Profile 3

This is the third in a series of character profiles for my upcoming July Camp Nano Project.

The story follows a group of friends and acquaintances as the faerie apocalypse destroys Rochester, NY – their flight from Rochester and the challenges they meet along the road to someplace safe.

It isn’t like Jennifer Walker likes fights. They just seem to happen around her.

Of course, sometimes she started them on purpose – or sort of suggested that they start and let things take their course. But, like the time where her nose got broken, sometimes she just said something and then all of a sudden there was punching.

Puns can be made about volatile tempers and Chemical Engineering majors.

Jennifer isn’t the sort to end up hanging out with gamers, not really – her hobbies include cooking, casual sports, and poker – but she ended up in a three-way fight with two frat boys on the quarter mile one night, and it was Rob and Lewis on the way to one of Raven’s parties who caught her, helped her staunch the bleeding, and got her out of the scene before Campus Safety came. Since the frat party was clearly a no-go, she ended up drinking with Raven’s friends in the swamp.

Jennifer is cute, though she’d be a lot cuter without the perma-broken nose. She’s got a round and curvy build that she covers with some level of fashion skill, blonde hair in improbable curls to her hips, green eyes, and skin a nice deep honey-brown; she’s been called California Barbie a time or two, although, at a mid-range 5’6″, she doesn’t really have the legs for Barbie.

There is a tiny bit of fae way back in her bloodline, somewhere. She has an uncanny knack for finding clean fluids and people have stopped trying to drug her drinks at parties. It’s what ended up first interesting her in chemistry, back in Jr. High.

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