NaNo ’13: Disconnect

Confession: I’ve never written a cyberpunk before. I don’t think most people have – but slowly, after the first fledgling idea, Disconnect (formerly Restart) grew into a futuristic cyberpunk story, and there’s no going back. It’s going to be a blast, I know that. I get to tangle with some weird ideas and weirder characters, and it should keep me on my toes during November. So basically, my NaNo this year is a cyberpunk story in futuristic Tokyo about a group of teens who decide to rebel against the LifeGame system and find out exactly how their world came to revolve around the latest level. To talk to the Powers that Be, one of them has to win the Game Wars at the end of the year. The entering students are covered in paparazzi for the three months leading up to the Game, and the winners go on to become professional gamers and trainers. Everyone wears a chip inside their left eye, and it sees what they see, gathers the information they gather; so the game they’re given when they’re born becomes tailor-made for them as they get older. It’s as much a part of their life – moreso – than family or friends, and one guy, Q, becomes curious about it. I’m loooking forward to it, needless to say. So, since you’ll be seeing a lot about them during November, I thought I should introduce you to the Disconnect cast.

Q2Q is the main character, a 20-year-old student. He’s a sweet, watchful, thoughtful sort of person; very likable, but shy. As a result, he really only has one friend – Chopper, better known as ‘Freak’ at the School. Q is extremely mild for most of the students at the school.

His hair is dyed blue, and…that’s about it. Considering how hardcore everyone else is, he sticks out like a sore thumb and calls unwanted attention to himself. He isn’t competing in the Game Wars, but his one other sorta-maybe friend, Gummy, is.

“Don’t you ever…” I hesitated. “Don’t you ever wonder why we do it? Why we wake up and play every day? Don’t you ever want to do something with your life?” Chopper leaned his head back against the wall and shrugged. “For a little guy, you’ve got a lot of curiosity,” he said, knocking one gloved hand against my leg. “Too much electricity between your ears.”

ChopperChopper is known as Freak because his height – 6’3″ without his platform boots – is towering over everyone else at the school. He looks intimidating – he wears his hair shockingly red and wears nothing that isn’t black leather – but in reality he has only two goals in life: a.) underacheive everything, and b.) beat Deathstrike, the villain in his Game. He’s twenty-two, but he’s two years behind and doesn’t care. He’s easygoing and can turn anything into a joke, but he views Q as his responsibility as well as his best friend, and will do anything to protect him. He has a crush on Gummy.

A blur of black and red vaulted over the wall next to me. Without looking over, I said, “Hey, Chop.” “How’d you know it was me?” he asked with a grin. “Oh, I don’t know,” I said, shrugging. “Probably because you’re the only giant at the school who likes to throw himself over tall obstacles.” “Snap,” said Chopper. “He’s onto me.”

GummyGummy is the only girl at the school (aside from Junko) entering the Game Wars this year. Popular, friendly, and athletic, she occasionaly goes out of her way to say hello to Q or keep Deuce, the head of the Pack (those entering the games) away from the non-professionals.

Although she’s considered one of the Hardcores, she doesn’t flaunt her abilities or skills, preferring to prove herself with actions when necessary. She likes Q, but thinks he’s unsociable and doesn’t like her, and so she talks to Chopper sometimes instead.

She grinned, causing the blue strip over her nose to crinkle like a ribbon. “You should talk more,” she said. “You actually have something to say.” “Yeah, well,” I said, “I’m storing it up for a real emergency.”

 

Deuce1

 Deuce is the leader of the Hardcores. Ferocious, arrogant, and always ready to join a fight should there be one, he never associates with the non-Hardcores like Q. He’s been Q’s enemy since they joined the School, but one thing Deuce has is loyalty toward his friends.

When Gummy convinces him to help Q, he grudgingly goes along with it and becomes the most unlikely ally Q could have possibly had. His girlfriend, Junko, does not agree with the idea, and instead transfers her affections to Strife, a previous winner. He’s called Psycholicious by many students.

Deuce and Chopper do not get along, as Chopper believes he’s just waiting to sabotage the entire plan the minute they stop suspecting him. He has injected each of his eyes with a different color, and he’s known for his borderline crazy behavior.

He straightened, his face curving in a grin beneath his mask. It was like being grinned at by Godzilla. I could only stand and envision how many ways I could die if we ended up really fighting, and there were a lot. They ranged from A.) Deuce breaking my neck with his bare hands to B.) me impaling myself on his dog collar. Where was Chopper when I needed him?

strife

 Strife. He’s one the Game War once before, he’s planning on winning again, and he’ll do anything to get there again. He’s deadly, ruthless, and doesn’t do friends. He’s been nicknamed the Dead End, as it’s rumored he cheated during the last level and killed his opponent the last game. It has not been proven.

 “Hey, look on the bright side. Strife’s the only thing between us and the Deus Ex Machina up there.” “I’m looking,” said Chopper. “Somebody poke my eyes out.”

In which I chronicle a day of NaNoWriMo

So today I decided to do something different. I’m going to keep my blog up and open, and at various times during the day I’m going to post here as to how NaNo is going. Things like that. So, here, at 11:44 in the morning, about half an hour after I got up (I was up late last night struggling over Unforget and fussing about the election so they let me sleep in), I am at 11, 704 words and have written 66 of them this morning. Let’s see how this goes.

11:50 and my heart is already crumbling into little dusty pieces…poor Cayne… Song of the minute: Who Painted the Moon Black by Haley Westenra

12: 07 and I just got back in from checking the mail. I had a beautiful pair of silver chopsticks waiting for me in the mail from one beautiful Amanda Bradburn – I know they’re for eating with, but they’re currently in my hair. Thank you, Amanda ♥ Song of the moment: Tonight by MBLAQ.

2: 07. Just took a break to watch an episode of Jericho with Mom, back to writing. Song of the moment: Red by Taylor Swift

3: 05. Sitting here. The ideas. They are not coming. Right! I could throw some more danger in… Song of the moment: IF This was a Movie by Taylor Swift

3: 33. My sister made fudge. Enough said. Song of the moment: If Today was Your Last Day by Nickelback.

4:00. Word war with Emily begins. Song of the Moment: Nillili Mambo by BlockB.

4: 45. Word war with Emily ends. She has 599 words. I have 700. We were close. Song of the Moment: This is War by MBLAQ.

At the end of the day, my stats were as follows –

I ended up focusing on writing and kind of forgot to update this most as often as I wanted, but oh well. It’s about writing in my novel, not on my blog (as much as I love blogging). How’s your NaNo coming? Are you feeling hyped, or discouraged?

Adventures in NaNoLand, Day Three

Despite being gone until about three thirty this afternoon, I managed to get my daily quota in and finish the third chapter in Unforget! I tell you, having a reading team is the best thing for my motivation and accountability. I honestly couldn’t wish for anything better. Anyway, this chapter was fun to write – full of the beginnings of Moon’s snarky personality and also the beginnings of their perfect teamwork. (Only beginnings, mind you. This part included Moon arguing with herself and Cayne and being chased up a roof.)

Here are my stats for the day –

Here’s a snippet from chapter three –

I laughed. I knew death wasn’t funny, but the situation was so bizarre that I couldn’t help myself. “So you accidentally killed a memory lord and fought with who? Byou?” He nodded. “Byou’s a freak.” He nodded again. “Did you kill him?” This time he shook his head. “No wonder you got smashed up, if you fought Byou. He’s part cyborg, you know.”

            “Another thing I was unaware of that it would have been amazingly helpful to know,” he growled, “before I went in there.”

            “You didn’t ask,” I said defensively.

            He looked as if he was going to reply with something angry, but he leaned over, clutching his head instead. “Aaagh.”

            “Okay, how exactly are you hurt?” I asked with a faint sigh. The guy had gotten me into a freakishly large mess, but I couldn’t let him sit there looking pitiful.

            He looked at me over his shoulder and stood up. “I’m fine.”

            “You aren’t fine. You look like a wreck. You are a wreck!”

            He stood up, looking as if he was about to fall over into the water if a strong enough wind blew up. I shouldn’t have thought about wind, because the second I did, it blew stronger and I realized that I was going to turn into a human-shaped icicle if I didn’t get warm.

            Cayne walked up the steps and I followed him. “Where are you going?” I asked.

            “Away.”

            I fought the urge to punch his back. “We’re going to get hypothermia if we don’t get warm.”

            He said nothing. I think it was supposed to be a silent indicator to leave him alone, but I was too wound up. I mean, I was soaking wet in the middle of November, I’d been chased by guys who worked for possibly the most evil man I knew – or had known, I thought after a second – and now here I was with what I was convinced was some sort of thin demon in my dad’s coat.

            “Hello!” I grabbed his arm, aggravated to the shouting point. “What is your problem?”

            “Your face!” He jerked his arm away from mine.

            I paused. “What about it?”

            “I can see it.”

            For a stranger who had done nothing but cause problems, kill people and pull me into a mess in the space of a few hours, he was a master at getting under my skin. “You aren’t exactly perfect yourself,” I snapped. “Look at the mess you’ve gotten me into! I can’t even go back home because those blinkers know where I live!”

And I don’t have a completed picture to show you tonight, but I have half of one. Guess who 🙂

That’s all for tonight, folks! Say goodnight, Gracie.