It would be wrong to say that at the beginning of this project I didn't know what to write about. The problem was I had no idea what I didn't want to write about. I didn't start out with one idea that I would whittle and build onto. I had to brush aside idea after idea until I found a scenario that I liked then I could start that process that many other people were doing ever since the beginning. And even then my idea was ever changing. It was really quite volatile but I like it that way. I am accustomed to writing in an open ended fashion (due to years of fan fiction) so having multiple mostly vague ideas was actually to my advantage. Like I've mentioned countless times before, I love writing so this project was just one big fun experience. I find writing fun! Otherwise I wouldn't do it on my free time. It's sort of an advantage when it comes to school. You beat the system in at least some aspect of you enjoy writing. The only tough thing about the project was killing my darlings. For those of you who don't know, this basically means I had to take things out of my story that I might of really really liked for the greater good of it. I mean I took out a whole character! And he wasn't just a side character he was one of the main characters in my set of three later reduced to two! So that was tough, especially since his namesake was a reference to one of my favorite characters from the book Cryptonomicon. This was just one of the many changes that I HAD to make between my first and final draft. When you're a writer one of the most important things that you have to be able to do is admit what you made, may not be perfect just yet. As a matter of fact, it's pretty much guaranteed that your first draft will always be crap. However, I have personally always used the word crap in the positive and negative connotations. Writing this crappy version of your story is a very important step in the writing process. You can't nitpick every sentence and attempt to make your story perfect on the first try, it doesn't work like that. The crappy draft isn't necessarily bad. That counts especially with my writing style where I spew out all my ideas onto the paper and go down on that. In this manner I managed to go from eleven pages of below average writing to seven pages of writing that I could be proud with. And that's the funny thing, I could show people my rough draft and be proud of it just because I have that mentality, that mentality is very important in any good writer. If you wish to do anything worthwhile in writing then you gotta live by it. Too be honest I realized most of this while I was writing this piece specifically. I mean I already knew these things beforehand and I applied them to how I wrote, but it wasn't until this project that I was really able to put it into words. Really understanding a concept is fundamental for using said concept in your everyday life. So I hope that this mindset is one that I will be able to carry on into all of the writing that I do in the future. All in all I really enjoyed this project and I hope I get to do more writing projects in the future.
The fruit of my labor! My final draft! I am really happy how this turned out. Although I cut out Randy I was able to focus more on Perry who I also really loved on the grounds that she's this just really cool gal who also happens to be a hacker! Also, it just so happens that I was the only male in the whole class who has a female as their main character. So that's pretty cool. You can read my story here.
A down draft is basically just a rough draft, a first version. I seriously changed a lot between this version and my final. This has a lot to do with the fact that I actually rewrote the whole damn thing. This is my method not some reckless spur of the moment action. I took out A LOT from my story.You can seriously tell since it went from 11 pages to seven. I took out whole characters and situations. It was a bot of a mess but I loved it. It really helped to polish what I wanted my final to be, since I wasn't really sure even after finishing my rough draft. You can check it out here.
The Logical Leaps assignment was similar to the research assignment except in this one we actually had to implement concepts into our story. We ha to take a real life scientific concept and make a logical leap and makle it into science fiction. For example, take parasitic infections.Those are very real, but a logical leap would be saying what if there was a parasitic infection that turned you into a mindless flesh-eating decaying monster. Thus zombies. Hopefully that helped, here's my logical leaps.
Most if not all science fiction is based on reality.Most of that science is explained when that one nerd in the group (the guy who will most likely survive to the end) starts saying a bunch of fancy words you can only assume are scientific fact. So for our stories we had to do research.I'm sorry to say that I didn't include nearly as much of my research into my story as I would've liked but I did the research and it definitely helped me write so I'm glad I did it. Here's my research doc.
All the World Building Graphic Organizer was was a set of questions meant to help us add some depth to our worlds.This works much better for stories in worlds far different than reality. Alien worlds or dystopian future are ideal. Filling this out was actually quite fun and helpful. Here it is. Now the second part to this assignment was drawing a picture to accompany our story. Unfortunately these aren't going into the book but that would've been amazing.My drawing should be below and below the drawing should be a small explanation of what's going on in the picture.
So the first thing you might notice in my drawing is the large angel smack in the middle. This is some rebel graffiti. In my story you can choose to be immortal, this is through some unconventional means that get rid of your body but immortality is immortality even if it's just digital immortality. The sign it's painted on is company propaganda encouraging the uploading for digital immortality (man I wish I used the term digital immortality in my story now). The painting suggests doing this tethers down a person's soul making it so that they can no longer go to heaven. Something similar to that is suggested by the words "PARADISE IS LOST" on the lower left of the drawing. Paradise Lost is kind of a running theme in my story, small references showing up now and then. This includes the graffiti and the company's logo being a snake. I'm actually really proud of how I used the snake in the story. The cool thing about it is that both sides in the battle use the snake as a negative and a positive image. The company uses it as their logo, the rebellion uses it to make antagonistic graffiti designs (seen bottom left)but they also all their malicious programs used in hacking snakes. And much in the same matter they both sides have differing views on what "Paradise" is. On Lazarus's side, "Paradise" is living forever inside the computer network. On the rebellion (Judas) side they see this as paradise being lost therefore they use the snake to get it back. This whole idea of differing viewpoints comes from when I read Paradise Lost and how I found it hard to see Lucifer as an antagonist. Of course he is technically the protagonist if the story but demons are typically known as evil beings. So I tried to implement that into my story, the argument of whether Lucifer was the hero or the villain. We can see stores simply labeled food and clothing. This suggests the future world's new economy under a single power that has completely eliminated all brands and left the essentials for survival and nothing else. On the top of the drawing we can see windows covered in cardboard. I don't say much about this in the story but sometimes after a loved one dies the people they left behind can't let go and decide they don't need to anymore and spend all their lives in front of a monitor talking to the dead. Their mental health deteriorates and they begin to fear the outside world finding only solace in the world inside the Lazarus Network. Most of the time they decide to kill themselves to be together with their loved ones. Others however snap out of this however still decide to commit suicide but unlike the others they do not wish to be uploaded. However Lazarus is an evil corporation so they upload citizens regardless of their consent (registration is a lie). So of the three windows in the the top the tow and the left represent the former while the last on the right belongs to the latter. "Do Not Upload" is a play on "Do Not Resuscitate" which means somebody does not wish to receive medical help in the case of an emergency where without it they would die. And that's about it.
So in one part of the project we had to get in groups and write down premises together. I was excited to share my ideas with a group but ultimately was ridiculed, actually let me go into that. So I presented the idea of the parasitic cells of a starfish were to be used to test accelerated regeneration in humans but since the cells were parasitic the starfish would take over a human's mind. The cool thing about that is that scientists actually do use starfish cells to help human cells regenerate so it was great to have some real science in a science fiction story. The takeover would be really subtle just causing impulses in a human's mind controlling emotions nothing big like cliche zombies. But oh no, my group decided scrap my idea and make fun of me calling my story the "starfish zombie" story making fun of how ridiculous they thought it was. So I just meekly retreated taking my story with me. On that day I swore that I would keep all my writing and story ideas independant. Anyway, they then proceeded to write up a crappy scenario about robots fighting an AI. I really can't explain how poorly thought out this premise was. So much in fact that once they looked back on it they realized that and asked me to replace it with my story but I was like "Oh now you want my story!" Other groups didn't fair much better, but maybe that's just me seeing it from my convoluted high standards glasses. At least I analyze myself with these glasses as well as others. My group didn't photograph their seed text (it was actually destroyed out of shame) but here's some others.
Our Big Idea Graphic Organizer is, as the name suggests, a graphic organizer meant to organize our big idea. We made these pretty early in the project, which is good because it gave me an opportunity to just vomit all of my thoughts onto something to be later reviewed. For example, in my B.I.G.O. there's a character named Randy (namesake Cryptonomicon) who I really loved as a character since I found him to be the most relatable of the bunch but in the end I had to kill my darling. It's too bad that darling happened to be dear sweet Randall. Here's a link to it.