Note: If you’re seeing this message, you are visiting I Evolved Into This’s new location! If so, you can disregard any talk below of the site moving to a new location. This is the new location. I repeat: if you see this message, you’re in the right place.
If anybody has been waiting with bated breath for the next IEIT entry, I apologize. These past two months or so must have been a trial.
I have been busying myself with NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know. The gist of it is that aspiring novelists begin writing a novel from scratch on November 1st, with the goal of producing at least 50,000 words–roughly the length of The Great Gatsby–by the end of November 30th.
To cut a long story short, I made it. What I have has no resemblance whatever to an edited, finished novel, but I do have my 50,000 word first draft. (50,044 words, to be exact.) For anyone curious about it, here’s the blurb I initially came up with:
He doesn’t carry a gun. He doesn’t throw punches. He cleans up messes.
Worm is a problem-solver-for-hire, a permanent name on the speed dial of every criminal and crooked big shot in town. He forms a careful barrier of amorality between himself and the crimes committed by his employers, but he soon arrives at a crossroads where he must confront the ugly truth of what he does. Worm’s story is supported by a cast of do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells who all have the potential to influence his life. And Worm himself may harbor secrets that make him more than he seems…
Consider that a prophecy that ended up coming half-true.
Here is the excerpt I put up on the NaNoWriMo site a couple weeks in:
He slipped into one of the supply rooms and softly closed the door behind him. Fumbling, he found the switch next to the door and clicked it on. A single incandescent light bulb flickered to life overhead, uncovered and dangling from the concrete ceiling by a wire. The walls were lined with metal shelves. And, luckily, there were hooks with coveralls, plus rubber boots beneath them.
Worm doffed his hospital gown. Now nude, he shuddered in the cold, hurrying to the hooks and finding the set of coveralls that looked closest to his size. A he pulled them on, he noticed his injury for the first time. A large pad of gauze was bound to his chest by long strips of medical tape that wrapped around his torso, presumably to another pad in the back.
The size of the pad unnerved Worm. He wondered just how bad the damage was underneath. It did not escape his notice that his arm was very stiff and limited in mobility. He was also becoming more conscious of the dull throb, which was steadily blossoming into a sharp ache.
He would have to deal with that later. One thing at a time. He closed and zipped the coveralls. He was sitting on the floor, struggling into a pair of boots, when he heard footsteps coming down the small hallway in his direction.
Initially, he tried to stay quiet, but he quickly remembered the overhead light and realized how noticeable it would be to anybody in the hall who happened to look in the direction of the door. Still clumsy from the meds, he moved to dash toward the light switch, but something stopped him: the loop on the back of the coveralls, which was still hooked to the wall. He stretched his good arm as far as he could, but he fell comically short.
Worm despaired. To be undone at all was tragic; to be undone this way added embarrassment to the mix. Then he spied a spray bottle on the nearest shelf from the corner of his eye.
He felt the side of the bottle. It was quite cool, having been sitting here in a darkened, unheated room. Grabbing it from its perch and hoping hard that it wasn’t filled with something toxic, he aimed it at the light bulb overhead and fired off several quick bursts of cold mist.
When the dense cloud of airborne droplets touched the hot surface of the bulb, the thin glass cracked and the light fizzled out.
The footsteps drew closer and closer. If he’d been too slow, his valiant attempt at evasion would be over as soon as those steps reached the door. He strained to listen to the loudness and acoustic properties of each footfall, trying to deermine if they sounded as though they’d been alerted to something awry.
The steps were outside the door now. Worm thought he heard them pause and shift. His heart pounded and his shoulder throbbed in sympathetic response. His bald scalp was beaded with nervous sweat. He thought he could see long shadows cast under the door from the feet just on the other side.
He was wrong. There was no pause. The steps continued past the door, giving no indication that whoever it was thought there was anything amiss with this particular room. Worm’s shoulders sagged. The hook held his uniform taught, making him instantly uncomfortabe.
He extricated himself and commenced loading his pockets with a few essential items. He found a pair of rubber cleaning gloves. There was a large roll of duct tape, much of which he tore loose and folded into his customary fat, pocket-sized square. The rest would have to stay behind. He was unable to find a lighter, but he made do with a mostly complete book of matches that must have been left on the shelf by a careless employee.
Locating a step ladder and placing it under the now-darkened light bulb, Worm climbed up and unrolled some of his tape. With great difficulty, he managed to blunt the broken glass and unscrew the bulb from its loose morning with one nimble hand. Climbing down, he crushed the glass inside the tape with his fist and tore it loose from the metal base. Using a small pair of wire cutters, he removed the filament from the base.
Tossing the base in a waste bin, he pocketed the filament and the wire cutters. He left the supply closet, far more confident and alert now, but also now feeling his shoulder pains in earnest.
For better or worse, that’s a pretty good taste of what the novel is like right now.
Keep in mind that I paid zero attention to style and variety of prose. The purpose of the 50,000 word challenge is to encourage writers to forgo all other concerns and focus purely on bashing out content. After all, it is easier to rewrite something that’s already written than to write everything new from the ground up.
Many aspiring writers quit because they find themselves editing, honing, and otherwise monkeying with their text before they have even a fraction of their stories out. It’s time-consuming and ultimately disheartening. I’ve been in that trap a number of times, but this year’s NaNoWriMo helped me to evade it finally. To convey a sense of what it feels like, I was watching a documentary (in case anyone cares: “In Search of Steve Ditko”, by Jonathan Ross for the BBC) that featured Alan Moore, Stan Lee, John Romita, Jerry Robinson, and Neil frickin’ Gaiman. In a state somewhat resembling disbelief, I found myself thinking, Now I’m one of them.
That isn’t to say that I consider myself a writer of their caliber or anywhere near it, but at the very least, I’ve shown myself that I can do the thing that I admire them for doing so well.
Now, onto the site news: I Evolved Into This is moving to new digs, and potentially retiring there.
Yes, I know that the site just crashed, everything on it was lost, it just came back with a fresh start and a new design, yadda yadda yadda. This is actually related to that. Rob over at Freak Safari, who hosts I Evolved Into This on his space, is switching over to a new hosting company. This will hopefully provide him with professional, reliable, non-idiotic service.
(For more on this topic, click here.)
The catch is, with the move to the new company, the bill for I Evolved Into This is going up.
To be blunt about it, I occasionally forget that this site exists. It goes through periods of neglect, sometimes long ones. Even if NaNoWriMo can be considered an excuse for November, that still leaves October before it as a fairly barren month for content, for no other reason than I simply had nothing I felt like posting at the time. I busied myself with other projects and left the site to languish.
To me, the additional cost to keep I Evolved Into This on Freak Safari’s space, with the dedicated URL, is not worth it for a site that spends a lot of its time collecting dust.
To that end, I’m moving all the posts that are currently on this version of I Evolved Into This to a free WordPress account. Once it’s there, I may continue writing new posts. Or I may simply leave it to function as an archive of the IEIT that once was.
From now on, in order to visit I Evolved Into This, the new URL is ievolvedintothis.wordpress.com
Change your bookmarks now, because the old site with the dedicated URL will eventually disappear.
So, I may be doing more with IEIT at its new home in the future, or I may not.
If this is indeed farewell… screw everybody who still reads this crap. I’m a real writer now!