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Utilities and Stories

I have a couple of really simple vi macros to make story-mangling easier. I type, I end up with a text file suitable for general use that automagically HTMLs, adds smart-quotes, em- and en-dashes, et cetera. Markdown handles the HTML-tagging and reformatting, SmartyPants does punctuation prettifying.

I’m sure that at least some of you knew of these already, but they’re rather funky. Hell, I’m writing this using them just to get used to them.

The typical thing has happened, though. I’ve got this and fixed it and it’s working, but at present I’m blanking on stories. This blasted brain of mine isn’t blanking on “things to write about”. This could be because I’m currently reading a collection of Mary Gentle’s White Crow stories and the setting’s pervading my brain. It’s mangling a few ideas from listening to VNV Nation (Future Perfect and Empires), and blending in some of Chris Shy’s artwork (especially these pieces)….

Vaulted ceilings, vastly high. Huge cities that rise miles into the sky, with little but wasteland between them. Gothic architecture in concrete and girder with neon overlays. Flying cars. Cybernetics with visible pistons and wires. Almost age-of-steam in cyberpunk chrome type of thing. Weird new churches with fucking huge vaults and flying butresses so big that spaceships can dock. Altars that could handle the sacrifice of small villages all at once. Resistance. Struggle. A new world, forged in gunsmoke and power armour. Kind of like Obsidian: The Age of Judgment, but without the supernatural bits, and also without a really bad RPG hanging off it. (Darren MacLennan’s review sums up my thoughts rather nicely).

Anyway. I have this setting, but nowhere to go with it, so I perforce leave it hanging. Much like I have the one about a fractured Britain. I have the politics down, even to why the People’s Republic of Yorkshire and Scotland have allied themselves, and I know that someone unleashes some “instant sunshine”, but I don’t have a plot to expose these things. I need to kickstart my brain, working on The Project has left me drained and if I don’t get some fiction down soon I risk falling out of practice.

But I’m babbling now. Enough of this.

Oh, and just for reference:
I have a couple of really simple vi macros to make story-mangling easier. I
type, I end up with a text file suitable for general use that automagically
HTMLs, adds smart-quotes, em- and en-dashes, et cetera. [Markdown][0] handles the
HTML-tagging and reformatting, [SmartyPants][1] does punctuation prettifying.

I'm sure that at least some of you knew of these already, but they're rather
funky. Hell, I'm writing this using them just to get used to them.

The typical thing has happened, though. I've got this and fixed it and it's
working, but at present I'm blanking on *stories*. This blasted brain of
mine isn't blanking on "things to write about". This could be because I'm
currently reading a collection of Mary Gentle's White Crow stories and the
setting's pervading my brain. It's mangling a few ideas from listening to
**VNV Nation** (*Future Perfect* and *Empires*), and blending in some of
Chris Shy's artwork (especially [these][3] [pieces][4])....

Vaulted ceilings, vastly high. Huge cities that rise miles into the sky,
with little but wasteland between them. Gothic architecture in concrete and
girder with neon overlays. Flying cars. Cybernetics with visible pistons and
wires. Almost age-of-steam in cyberpunk chrome type of thing. Weird new churches
with fucking huge vaults and flying butresses so big that spaceships can
dock. Altars that could handle the sacrifice of small villages all at once.
Resistance. Struggle. A new world, forged in gunsmoke and power armour.
Kind of like Obsidian: The Age of Judgment, but without the supernatural
bits, and also without a really bad RPG hanging off it. ([Darren MacLennan's 
review][5] sums up my thoughts rather nicely).

Anyway. I have this setting, but nowhere to *go* with it, so I perforce
leave it hanging. Much like I have the one about a fractured Britain. I have
the politics down, even to why the People's Republic of Yorkshire and
Scotland have allied themselves, and I know that someone unleashes some
"instant sunshine", but I don't have a plot to expose these things. I need
to kickstart my brain, working on The Project has left me drained and if I
don't get some fiction down soon I risk falling out of practice.

But I'm babbling now. Enough of this.

[0]: <http://www.daringfireball.net/projects/markdown> 
   "Markdown Project Page"
[1]: <http://www.daringfireball.net/projects/smartypants> 
   "SmartyPants Project Page"
[2]: <http://pelovish.com/ronin/> 
   "Main gallery page"
[3]: <http://pelovish.com/ronin/pics/fullsize/printo28%20copy.jpg> 
   "Virtual Adepts Tradbook cover, jpg"
[4]: <http://pelovish.com/ronin/pics/fullsize/printo16%20copy.jpg> 
  "Number 3, jpg"
[5]: <http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_2732.html> 
  "RPG.net review"
Edit: Notes to self: I really need to disable autoformatting. LJ's inserting line breaks can be a right fucker at times.

Comments

( 3 informants — We want information! )
trahari
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: vim, et al
Nice. I've bookmarked those to look at in more detail later on, but I like the notion of typing in pure text and letting something else prettify it later.
tehblahhh
Mar. 1st, 2007 08:56 am (UTC)
That setting sounds eerily like the Warhammer 40k-Imperium setting. Strip the flying cars and a bit of the neon and you're there.
Some of the artwork for that might be good references, as the writing doesn't convey that aspect overly much.
It is also very dystopian, which may not be what you are aiming for.
spudtater
Mar. 1st, 2007 09:13 am (UTC)
Almost nothing to do with the setting described above, but:

I have recently been giggling about the idea of a post-apocalyptic society where people make offerings to The God of All Knowledge, the mighty Gugel.

8^)

("I, King Steev, need a map of my enemy's domain so that I may conquer it. Mighty Gugel, what must I provide to be granted this knowledge?"
[thunderous voice from the clouds:] "ONE EIGHTH OF YOUR HERD OF CATTLE YOU MUST PROVIDE TO ME!"
"It shall be done, oh mighty Gugel")
( 3 informants — We want information! )

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