Monday, March 2, 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 Plan

This will be my third year joining in on the A to Z Challenge.  To fulfill the challenge, you must blog each day in the month of April except for on Sundays.  The first post must deal with something starting with "A," the second post "B," the penultimate post "Y," etc.  (If you'd like to take the Challenge too, you can sign up here.)

I'm going to try to be creative (read: complicated) this year for the Challenge.  I won't be using the schedule that I developed for my past two years, nor will I be utilizing a concrete theme.  Instead, I will be taking a setting and event and using that as a framework for all of my posts.  Before I explain further, it's probably best that I describe that framework.

On June 24, 2046, the aliens landed.  They did not, however, land on Earth.  First contact was made at, appropriately enough, the Drake Lunar Base.  Every member of the base's crew remember the specifics of that day a little differently.

I'm going to experiment a lot with this framework.  Each day, the post will be: a) an account of the alien landing by a character whose first name begins with the letter for that day; b) a sequel to one of the character-POV posts (those posts will have to have a title to match the letter); c) a pseudo-informational article on some aspect of the setting (my "D" post will probably be about the Drake Lunar Base, for example); or d) a story tying together different character threads (which will need a title).

Posts of the first variety will be given a date, corresponding to the date the "testimony" was given.  To prevent confusion, every post of this type will be written in the 3rd-person.  Yes, the characters will be telling their stories from their points-of-view, but in the 3rd-person rather than the 1st-person.  The date of the "testimony" may range from the day after the event to several decades later.  Because of this, facts such as the physical appearance of the aliens or the exact timeline of events will not necessarily be the same across posts.

All sequel posts will be taken from the same date as the original post for their POV characters.

Pseudo-informational articles will be written in a 100% reliable manner.  All facts stated are meant to be the truth.  That does not mean, however, that they will line up with what is stated in the stories.  There will likely be foreshadowing and dramatic irony present in these articles, so if you want to leave everything a surprise, wait until the month is over before you read those ones.

The stories tying together different character threads are to be taken as cross-sequel between two or more posts of the first variety.  They will be told by a character who was not the POV character of any of those posts, but may have been included in one or more "testimony."  These stories will be told in the 1st-person.  You will be provided with the name of the POV character and the date on which the story was meant to have been told.

This series as a whole shall be titled: First Contact at the Drake Lunar Base.  It is meant to be character-driven science-fiction somewhere between soft SF and hard SF.  The science will not be perfectly sound, but it will be more sound than the science in space opera stories, for the most part.  Because of the wide variety of characters present, some stories will lean toward soft SF and others will lean toward hard SF.

This is an experiment.  It will test all of my sci-fi writing skills.  Hopefully it won't crumble, nor become too redundant (through the repeating of the same basic events or through different character voices being too similar).  If it does, I apologize, in advance.

After April has ended, there may or may not be bonus posts extending this series.  As of this writing, I do not plan on including any posts from the POV of any of the aliens with the Challenge month.  However, I may post some such stories later, for anyone who cares to know.

If anyone has any questions, thoughts, etc., please leave a comment here or on any of my Challenge posts once the A to Z Challenge begins on April 1st.

14 comments:

  1. Have done the Challenge only once (last year). Like your idea of setting and event, and using that as a framework for all your posts, Patrick. It's an interesting theme. Looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Thank you! I shall try not to disappoint you, haha.

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  2. Sounds like the bones of a book. I'm sure you'll make it interesting. Can't wait to see some of the cool names you come up with.

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    1. It would be a very interesting book, for sure. I shall do my best to come up with some cool names!

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  3. Hi there!

    I just stopped by to check out your blog. I've signed up for yet another year of the A to Z Challenge and look forward to reading many, many posts next month...;~)

    Take care,

    Donna L Martin
    www.donnalmartin.com
    author of THE STORY CATCHER (Anaiah Press 2015)
    coauthor CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: ANGELS AMONG US (Simon & Schuster 2013)

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    1. Thanks for coming by! Take care, Ms. Martin.

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  4. This does sound like a very interesting way of doing the A-Z challenge. I'm going to have to sit this one out again, we'll be travelling right smack dab in the middle of April for 2 weeks, which will make posting difficult and I don't have time to pre-schedule. But good luck with the challenge, it'll be interesting to see how your story evolves. :)

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    1. Have fun with your travels! Thanks, I'm interested to see where it goes as well. Thanks for dropping in!

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  5. I love your idea. What a great way to work on different writing styles. It sounds like a very involved challenge that could turn into an excellent novel. I can't wait to visit and read your story.

    I'll be joining you in the challenge, my third year as well. Good luck to us both.

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    1. Well thank you! I hope that I am able to entertain you. Yes, good luck to us both!

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  6. Wow that does sound complicated, but fascinating! I can't wait to start reading about this world.

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    1. Well I'm glad that I've piqued your interest. I'll do my best to not let you down, even though this is proving to be an even more difficult plan to execute than I imagined.

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  7. very interesting idea! I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

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