I was a bored little urchin surfing the internet for blog tag ideas when this presented itself to me on the goldmine that is The Caffeinated Fangirl, which I shall never grow tired of stalking. I wasn’t officially tagged, but that has never stopped me from showing off my unnecessarily Southern manners and it never will. So thank you, Eva-Joy, for bringing this awesome tag to my attention!
Rules, because all societies are built on them:
- Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog.
- Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic.
- List the rules.
- Answer the questions.
- Feel free to add snippets!
- Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.
- Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the “tagged.”
And now, without fuss nor further ado, let us begin.
Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
What we’re dealing with here is a horror/sci-fi story about a bunch of characters exploring an abandoned space station called Paradise. Because I am clever, it originally was labeled as Paradise Found–cuz, y’know, they found it and stuff–but then I decided Milton wouldn’t mind if I just went ahead and called it Paradise Lost–cuz, y’know, they had to lose it to be able to find it. What’s he gonna do, smack me in the head with a frying pan?
Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
The leisure station Paradise is abandoned after its neighboring sun Taurus III is deemed too dangerous to remain nearby. Seven years later, Exploration Team Bravo is sent to evaluate Paradise’s potential to be updated into a research station, but they soon vanish. The only message received from them is broken with static, saying that the entire sector is dangerous and demanding that it be shut down. It is, for forty years, until finally another message drifts into range. It’s faint, lonely. One single word.
“. . .alone.”
With this, new interest in the station is peaked, and Echo Team is sent in to investigate the barest possibility of Bravo’s survival. But what they find onboard Paradise is beyond what any of them could have ever imagined.
(I know, the last sentence is so horrendously cliched. Ironically, the blurb for this WIP is itself a WIP, creating an infinite world of WIPs all contained within each other like the barbershop effect.)
Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
I know, I know, you’re all in awe of my digital art skills. This was pieced together on Canva as the roughest of rough ideas, and I know the official cover is going to look so, so much better than this because how could it look worse? (Is that spaceship from Star Wars? It looks like it’s from Star Wars.) The last name I smacked up there is the pseudonym I’ll hopefully publish under someday.
How did you get the idea for this story?
I was lurking in the dark places of YouTube at 3:00 AM when the gods of Google put a video in my recommended feed. This video, to be exact, containing the alleged recording of a female cosmonaut’s last words as she burned up in our atmosphere. There’s some controversy about whether or not said recording is a hoax as there’s no official evidence of a failed mission (but you know how those pesky Soviets could be with their “no man, no problem” policy of covering crap up), so naturally I went skimming through the comments to see what wisdom they could offer. I stumbled upon one typed by none other than the 32nd President of these United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt:
“It’s pretty sad to hear someones last words before dying and not able to comfort them while they died.”
I have a nose that can smell out tragedy from two miles away. It did not fail me. “Oooh,” said I, and jumped on this opportunity. It took about thirty minutes to spin the tragic tale of Paradise and her lost exploration team. Essentially I built the gun around the bullet; I had my literary gimmick, and all I needed was a scenario to put it in. Thanks, FDR!
How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
I never have an exact idea of the length I want, but I am hoping it’ll be a rather long short story, and so far it’s not letting me down. I’ve got a novella of about 37k words, but I don’t want Paradise Lost to be quite that long. It doesn’t even have proper chapters yet, just sections in random, different lengths. We’ll see.
Who’s your favourite character so far?
Jack is the obligatory Texan, and the one whose eyes we see most of this story through, but I do love Ace. He’s the veteran of the bunch and looks out for Jack without making it look like he’s looking out for Jack. He’s also my gauge for the “horror” part of this horror/sci-fi story. If something is so awful it affects him, you know it’s bad. And he has a very sarcastic relationship with the medical officer, Devereux, which is a lot of fun to write.
What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
I only officially started it about a week ago, so it’s still young, but so far it’s sitting researching such tiresome subjects as coronal mass ejections and ionospheres because I had a cat in my lap and was slurping down a fourth cup of coffee and had the window open to let the lovely spring air in and life was good.
Any special person(s) who helped create it?
I am the lonest of lone wolves when it comes to the initial stages of a story, and Paradise Lost is definitely in those. I already have enough trouble smacking my characters’ grabby hands away from the plot and don’t need any “foreign” input when an idea is in its most delicate phase. So what I’m saying is. . .no.
What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
Every team member has a little doo hickey called a wrist recorder that they narrate logs and reports into. There’s a scene where our guys, Echo Team, find a couple of recorders belonging to Bravo Team and listen to the, er, final moments contained therein. It’s utterly appalling and I had a total blast writing it.
Can you give us a snippet? 😉
Yikes, not of that section. It took some doing, finding a spot that’s not so spoiler-heavy it sinks through the floor, but these two are some of the lighter moments from the beginning.
“Control Room is on A Deck,” Jack reported, looking at the map on his wrist monitor. “There’s a maintenance shaft that goes up onto the next deck. We can climb up into B and cut through the pool room.”
“Pool room?” echoed Ace disbelievingly.
“B Deck is guest accommodations,” Devereux reminded him. “Guests like to swim. This place was meant for vacations, remember? You can’t exactly go to the beach in space.”
“You don’t go to space to go to the beach,” argued Ace. “You go to space to go to space.”
“If it makes you feel any better, it’s probably drained and dry by now,” soothed Holt. “Nobody around to refill it for forty years. Now be quiet and walk.”
“Didn’t anybody put any windows in this thing?” wondered Ace aloud as they turned another pitch-black corner. The security lights were few and far between here, flickering dimly like ghoulish checkpoints in the shadows ahead. “I swear, it’s so dark I keep tripping on things that aren’t there.”
“Half the outer wall is windows,” said Jack, running his flashlight over the area in question. “The blast shields are just closed, that’s all. On every single one of them.”
“Funny,” murmured Ace, and fell silent. Ahead the hall branched off through several closed doors. As they got closer to these, they could see on the inner wall, at waist level, a heavy-looking metal hatch.
“Here,” indicated Jack. “This crawlway leads up to B Deck.”
“And the pool room,” chipped in Devereux, enjoying the icy glare of death Ace sent her way.
“Hold this,” was all he said, and handed her his rifle.
Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
I figured when I started that it would act like all my other stories and add in a few surprises I neither want nor know how to stop from appearing, but I didn’t think those surprises would be so good. For once my wicked brain is working in my favor.
Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
No, but after googling “scary quotes about space” (we’ve all done it) the best thing that fits is probably that tagline from Alien, which I’ve never even seen but I want to someday because Tom Skerritt is in it along with that guy who once shot Danno on Hawaii Five-O:
“In space no one can hear you scream.”
Which, I mean, only makes sense. There are a limited number of things you can do in space, and screaming is not one of them.
When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
I had to do a lot of research for this one (a combined nine hours for just the first three paragraphs. Hooray!) so I went to the desktop computer instead of the laptop. All my resource tabs are here now, so I ain’t moving. As for the “when”, a fair bit of this story has been written mid- to late afternoon, which is surprising to me. The rest was rattled out at 2:30 AM in line with my usual habits of doing things.
Where do you get inspiration for this story?
YouTube is a veritable goldmine of ambience, so I found an hour loop of sci-fi-ish computers and whirligigs clicking and puttering away. I play that over whatever video pulls up when I type in such nonsense as “sci-fi music instrumental” into the search bar. For visuals I look up playthroughs of sci-fi video games and watch Star Trek and Stargate, both SG-1 and Atlantis because I can’t decide between O’Neill and Cam or Sheppard (who can?).
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a sort of hybrid creature who likes to plot the outer layers, the inner layers, and leave the middle to the whims of fate. An outline, for me, is more of a suggestion than gospel. It’s very prone to change as I work out kinks and come up with new details. As long as I can write the best story possible and make it fit smoothly together, I’ll take inspiration any way I can get it.
Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
I have a note app on my phone, which is where almost all my stories begin as ideas before I type them up into Google Docs or Pages. When I get ready to do that, I grab a blanket and a cup of coffee and snuggle in. It’s not a very big to-do, but it’s cozy.
Are you thinking of publishing this story?
If it’s worth a flying flip, I definitely am. If you’ve hung around this blog for three picoseconds you’ll know that I want to not only be an author, but a successful one. I shall use my riches for good before faking my death like Christian Bale’s Batman. Of course, if I finish it and it turns out to be crap, I may just post the whole thing on here in its entirety and force you to suffer through it for free.
What things have you learned while writing this story?
That space is confusing, dang it. 7-year-old me was insane to have wanted a career in astronomy.
Despite space being confusing, sci-fi is actually. . .really fun to write. It’s especially fun when I put it in the future, with made-up technology that will probably never exist, so I can justify literally anything that happens.
That it’s okay to screw up, skip entire sections when I’m stuck on them, and write “backwards”, AKA the later scenes first and everything else after.
It is not in fact the end of the world when I do not word a sentence so perfectly Shakespeare himself could find no error in it.
That the temptation to put the word “quantum” in front of random things when I don’t have the scientific knowledge to explain something is strong.
Well, that’s all I got. He who wishes to be tagged may now consider himself so. Here’s the clean copy of questions:
- Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
- Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
- Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
- How did you get the idea for this story?
- How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
- Who’s your favourite character so far?
- What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
- Any special person(s) who helped create it?
- What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
- Can you give us a snippet? 😉
- Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
- Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
- When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
- Where do you get inspiration for this story?
- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
- Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
- Are you thinking of publishing this story?
- What things have you learned while writing this story?
And that’s all she wrote!