In a week where I found myself writing the term “spunk vampire” in a Bang2writer’s development notes (hi Allen), I have discovered my novel so far is full of profanity as well.

That won’t come as a surprise to those who know me in real life. As my own mother points out, I have “a gob like a sewer”. She had hoped I was one of those teens who would grow out of it in time, but sadly she’s had to give up: f*** this s***!

What did surprise me was the word that has popped up most consistently – and please avert your eyes, my less profane readers – is COCK. I had no idea I had such a preoccupation with such a word; I cannot think of a single time I’ve even SAID it. But there it is, no less than FOURTEEN TIMES, in just thirteen thousand words. Hmmm.

I’ve adopted the Adrian Mead no-rewriting “emetic draft” approach to my novel though, so I won’t be changing it any time soon: I have one hundred and seven thousand words to THROW UP before I can return to fixing such things. I have the ending in mind, I know what I’m doing – kind of – but I’m seeing what turns up. I’m making all kinds of connections between events as I go along, which is weird. Normally I have all my set ups, pay offs etc all planned out in advance – yet now I’m finding them knitting themselves together of their own accord. It seems to be working, but of course I could just be kidding myself.

One really odd thing that happened was the creation of a character I hadn’t planned. I’d always envisaged this novel as a two-hander, with two characters in the lead roles: one male, one female. But very swiftly I got bored – about two thousand words in – and another character, Robbie, was born. He does not play his part *with* my two other main characters in this narrative: he’s actually miles away from them, dealing with his own problems surrounding the situation they’ve all found themselves in. This now means the narrative has more of an ensemble cast, something I had never thought of doing. When did that happpen? How? If you sit down at your keyboard to do something, how do you end up doing something else that you hadn’t thought of? I suppose I must have done, somewhere deep in my psyche, but it’s like, well-weird, man.

Finally, skimming through the start of my novel last night, I discovered that there’s one other motif that crops up again and again: baked beans. Cans of baked beans, eating baked beans, throwing a can of beans through a window. I had no idea I liked the damn things so much. What a voyage of discovery.

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8 Responses to Novel Update # 1: Profanity, Character Creation & Baked Beans

  1. David Bishop says:

    Thank grud for cutaway characters that give you somewhere else to go when writing a novel. They make life [and building suspense] so much easier.

    As to recurring words, some reviewer on Amazon.com went through my Nightmare on Elm Street and counted how many times I used the word BITCH. Answer? Once every two and a half pages, apparently.

    COCK? Not so much.

  2. Darren Goldsmith says:

    ‘Cock’, eh? Er… nice!

    I can’t do the whole emetic thing. I’m new at this so, admittedly, I can’t do much at all… but the whole write it all down first and then (and only then) go back and start fiddling just really stresses me out. I have to edit as I go. Is that wrong?

    Actually, I prefer to think about my story and characters and plot (and I’ve just learned that I’m supposed to be thinking of mid-points and a whole bunch of other stuff too, apparently!) etc. waaayy before I write anything down. I usually do my best thinking in the shower… something to do with negative ions, or so I’m told. This, as you can imagine, takes several weeks… or some very long showers.

    When I’m happy that I’ve got something relatively concrete, I then make notes, in pencil, in a notebook. It’s only when I’m happy with the notes that I sit down at my laptop and start typing. The time taken, from initial ideas to keyboard, can be three or four months. Sometimes longer!

    I realise you’re supposed to work in the way that suits you… but am I being too pedantic? Is my ‘can’t do’ merely inexperience?

  3. potdoll says:

    That Robbie was supposed to be in my project but I just couldn’t get him going. Now I see he’s fucked off to hang out with you!

    Bastard.

    And I looked in the cupboard and he’s taken all the baked beans.

    Good luck with the novel Lucy, and tell that Robbie he’s a COCK.

  4. Eleanor says:

    Bangers ‘n’ beans, eh, Lucy? You hungry girl? 😉

  5. Elinor says:

    No ducky, none of this is a surprise! xx

  6. Good Dog says:

    Am I reading this right?

    You have a preoccupation for cock?

    …in baked beans?

    You’re getting stranger by the day, baby!

  7. Chip Smith says:

    Baked beans and cocks? Sounds like the Obscene Publications Act might need a new clause 😉

  8. 順銓 says:

    http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/shun-chuan
    Are you aware that the news you are watching is interlaced with Communist China’s propaganda,as
    Communist China maps a realm of news with innocent lives?
    Communist China is scheming a millennial terrorist activity by manipulating people’s behaviors
    through electromagnetic waves to contain criticism and harm innocent human lives.

    1. The anomaly in community traffic of cars and motorcycles and drag racing,and reckless honking by
    cars and motorcycles is exceeding an unprecedented level.
    2. Communist China has the technology to scan the human brain waves through military satellite and
    to discern and decipher their thoughts,scheming to instill individual interference focusing on each individual in need using the satellite electromagnetic waves.
    3. Deploying electromagnetic waves is poised to project onto the human brain with certain sounds for the perception of grossly traumatizing or startling pain,or deploying the broadcast of noise via electromagnetic waves in sleeping humans with edited clips of films or through voice or image signals onto our brains or besiege our sensory functions with fabricated audible and sensory illusions.
    4. It manipulates one’s moods,such as smiling,nervousness,disgust,panic,anger,sorrow,desires,appetite,and so forth.
    5. It interferes the human brain’s thinking capability,memory or linguistic capability,to name a
    few,causing spasms of muscles and fingers in the left and right hands,stinging aches throughout the body,coughing,yawning,trembling,involuntary blinking of the eye,runny
    nose and so forth.
    6. Electromagnetic waves are deployed to hinder the motoring functions of the body and neck,
    disrupt the heartbeat or respiration,manipulate dizziness,deprive one’s sleep,spasm,saliva gland,dental neural pain,etc.
    7. Watch out that Communist China is infiltrating the news media by deploying electromagnetic
    waves to besiege the broadcast media,map out viral disillusion or erroneous perception,and
    investigate threats of brainwashing in viral spreading.
    8. It further moved to deploy various symptoms in what one sees of media icons,gesture terms,
    adding a skewed interpretation to one’s cognitive awareness,misleading an individual to hallucinate or suffer,such as the North Korean’s rigid smile,which is a tactic Communist China often deploys to counter the people.
    9. By observing the resolution accuracy of Communist China’s sound and image (scenario)
    interference projected onto the human’s brain,this can only be achieved with a certain level
    of frequencies at the source of interference,hence there is no doubt that it has to be the
    electromagnetic wave. Yet questions remain as to what range of frequencies the source of
    interference deploys,or what kind of electromagnetic waves insulation chamber would suffice to provide an insulation yield? Communist China might deploy specific metal alloys as small scale molecular antennas, which are attached to the human brain in large number,creating electromagnetic waves when the human brain is in function,where the current created by Communist China’s electromagnetic interference would poise to amplify in a staggering
    number of multiplication,which Communist China can detect at all times to discern and muscles would excel the generation of electrode,which in turn create a corresponding electromagnetic wave within.
    10. Some of Communist China’s intimidation experiences in 2002:6.9 “Hey,are you tired of living?”6.14 “We had concocted the bombing incident at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan” “Jiang Zhemin ordered us to kill you,but without creating scenes”6.16 “The Pakistani
    civilian troops confessed that they had schemed the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Pakistan,which we had manipulated them to confess,so what are you going to do about it?”6.19 “Hey,why don’t you just go ahead and commit suicide””We are going to scheme
    murder using the public bus”6.20 “Commit suicide by burning charcoal,get it?”6.25 “Jiang
    Zhemin just does not like you,go hit your head against the wall”.
    11. I reckon that there are victims abound out in the street,no less alarming than wars,and those
    not in the know or did not understand that Communist China’s simple electromagnetic design
    could easily turn people against each other,create moving incidents,little lese to say mislead
    the youth to broach down the wrong path,suicidal prompting,design and fabrication of a host of society news (which Communication China refers to as movie making),as Communist China has had a decade long of the technology,and has long abused its technological advantages to scheme up design of abusing human lives by arranging fabricated news to poison and infiltrate the free world,manipulate and misguide the contents of the media,and deploy brainwashing and malicious
    spread of viruses,done with insinuation and riddles.The fact that Communist China’s slaughtering
    the innocent had been the result of a high level of calculation,and a high level of rationalization,
    where the threats are in existence,and cannot be ignored of their detrimental severity.
    12. Communist China often coerce people to watch news compiled by the reporter Lu Yuling of the cable
    news in order for them to be saved,but few are aware that Communist China had merely deploy the reporter to entrap many people. I do envision that those that turn to committing crime as framed by Communist China,the extra sufferings by the ordinary people,and the deaths of many innocent lives will not go unnoticed as hindered by a condoning attitude.
    13. Nazi Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Chinese Liberation Army, security police and armed police have committed suppression and massacre on their own civilians. Hu, Jiang and the other atrocious butchers owe these innocent civilians! More horrible and serious is that they are using mysterious killing technologies to cause harms to human brains around the world, making advantage of numerous international politicians and journalists to help them commit atrocities and beautify their actions, aiming to overturn and suppress those innocent people and cover up their terrorist acts and win fame by cheating the world. Securing in the knowledge that they have strong backing, these arrogant and shameless butchers have committed tortures and mass killing cruelly to those innocent ones around the world. Unfortunately, neither these politicians and nor journalists knowing what is what would dare to express their conscience.
    14. The inhumane acts and atrocities committed by Nazi China are far more vicious than that of Nanjing massacre in China during WWII committed by Japanese army, as Chinese government is using mysterious technologies to commit massacres to masses of bare-handed civilians around the world as well as launch violence and terrorist activities to suppress these completely unarmed people’s freedom of speech. These demons, like Hu, Jinag and Chinese Liberation Army, despise the chastity, dignity and precious life of those innocent ones and suppress the emotions of their beloved. Meanwhile, relying on the condition that most of people in the world will not be able to witness their vicious acts of violence and behaviors they have committed unscrupulously and shamelessly, these Chinese Liberation Army enjoys using cruel ways to torture, massacre and trample on these innocent people, physically and mentally, in one free world. The arrogant Hu, Jiang and those jackals nurtured under such ferocious power treat themselves as the symbol of benevolence and hero, as they fail to learn their gutless and vicious acts to trample on those innocent people. If these demons, butchers and dregs of human, such as Hu, Jiang and Chinese Liberation Army who have become frenzied and conscienceless appeared in the site of Nanjing massacre in WWII, they definitely would be the leading roles to act atrocities!
    15. We don’t want to see masses of innocent people to fall victim to the hell on earth built by red China where they will be susceptible to tortures and massacres for thousands of years.
    16. Despite being even unable to fend for themselves in face of the high-tech detriments and attacks from China, we can not tolerate the fact that these politicians and journalists will become the accomplices to help China commit its terrorist acts and suppression on these innocent people in the current era or an unknown future.
    17. In view of the notorious, vicious and sinister Hu, Jiang, Chinese Liberation Army with blood-stained hands, we just cast doubt over whether these greats of knowing what is what who have negotiated with these demons will show their conscience to save these innocent civilians or will act just for the sake of their profits, or are under the control of China. In this current drowned world, how will these innocent lives be treated in face of the atrocious acts committed by these diabolical figures, or when these innocent people will witness the practice of democracy in China? Will these phenomena turn out to be the joint efforts and endeavors achieved by China and those powerful figures in the world? Are we really dedicated to overturning such adversity? Our goal is to eliminate the vicious power one day with our strenuous efforts, and we absolutely will achieve it!

    Chen,Shun-Chuan 2002.10.13* Republic of China (Taiwan)

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