March 1st, 2007

Quizzical

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: Collapse ) Edit: Notes to self: I really need to disable autoformatting. LJ's inserting line breaks can be a right fucker at times.