26 September 2009 - 4:19 pm


I just got done writing today’s Apocalypse Blog post. Phew.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster this week. This section of the blogfic is complicated, and work is proving to be highly stressful right now. I’m trying to manage a lot of stuff that I really don’t know enough about and I’m muddling my way through as best I can. I’m not sleeping well (mostly because of the stress). We have one more week left before the big deadline at work, which is both AHHH and something to look forward to. I just have to keep reminding myself that there’s only so much that I can do; the rest will have to sort itself out.

On the plus side, my dire money situation has sorted itself out now that I’ve been paid. I really don’t like running that close to the bone. All I need now is for nothing to break (stupid PC) and I’ll be good. That’s one less thing for me to worry about. Also, my cold is easing off now, so I’m feeling much better than I was a week ago.

AB’s Haven is both a boon and a headache. On one hand, I’ve had this section in mind for so long that I have a lot of material to play with. A lot of threads, and a lot of ideas from various sources (you might spot a movie influence or two in there). So when I snatch time to write a post, I’m not short of stuff to write about. I always have somewhere to go with it – hell, half the time I’m not sure which one of about six threads I should write about next.

Which is the headache part. Trying to unfold Haven’s story and secrets is more difficult than I had imagined. I’m trying not to do it all at once, but give each facet of it suitable screen-time (that’s been my intention throughout AB). I’m also trying not to make it predictable or too black-and-white. I like my reality dirty and grey. I like that there are no easy choices.

I haven’t really talked much about my plotting before. Truth is, not much of AB is heavily plotted. I have notecards on a pinboard that I tick off every now and then – most of them have been up there since December (including Haven’s, which says ‘Faith encounters the army’). Some scenes or episodes I have worked out in my head months in advance, sometimes days.

Most of it gets made up on the spot – I pick a starting point and see which way Faith runs that day. I usually have something that I want her to run towards (or through). It’s the best fun for me. I love to see how characters react to different situations and I like to let them choose their own paths. If I want them to change direction, I throw in a roadblock or two (I hate a character acting out-of-character for the sake of the plot).

Sometimes it gets difficult to balance all the threads. I get paranoid about missing something, forgetting some important detail, or leaving a subplot hanging on for too long. Haven, in particular, has meant a lot of skipping around between stories, partly because the cast is physically separated. The nature of the place means that it’s not always easy to get those pieces to connect, through Faith or otherwise.

Still, it’s getting there. I’m constantly adjusting my mental plans – over the past few days, several posts have gone sideways from what I started out doing. I’m constantly moulding it into the shape that I want, adding corners, smoothing out edges. I have to think on my feet a lot, but that’s okay – I’m still loving the story, still engaged with it.

That’s part of what surprises me most about writing AB. After all this time – all year – I’m still in love with it, and can’t wait to find out what happens tomorrow. I thought I’d be fed up with it by now. A couple of weeks ago, when I started to get sick and there was a lot of life-stuff kicking up, I was desperate for a break. I wanted one less thing to worry about for a few days. I’m so glad I didn’t do it.

I cried while I was writing today’s post. Twice. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s a particularly emotional post, and I still get all caught up in Faith’s struggles when I write (I’m glad I didn’t write that one on the train!). I hope that at least some of that emotion made it into the words and will reach out to my readers. That is, after all, part of the point of doing this.

I’m looking forward to writing tomorrow’s post. I’m not entirely sure how it’ll go yet but it’ll be fun to find out. AB is hard work, but it’s so worth it.

Here’s to another three months of heart-wrenching fun to come.

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