Sunday, March 29, 2015

A to Z Challenge Warning

No, this isn't a content warning.  At worst, content will be at PG-13 level, with nothing lewd.  This brief warning is to note that some of the stories here in the Ravenous Maw will exceed the suggested 300-word maximum for A to Z posts.  The first post may approach 1,000 words, but hopefully the majority will fall from 300 to 500 words.  My median word count for flash fiction is 310 and my mean rounds to 319, so I definitely have experience writing 300-word stories, it's just really tough with my pseudo-theme to pack everything that needs to be presented into so few words.  Then again, due to time crunches, there may very well be a few pieces at drabble-length.  Anyway, please bear with me for word count.  If a post appears to be too long for the amount of time you have to spend on it, feel free to skip it and move on to other blogs participating in the Challenge.  Good luck, everybody!

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.