Incoming! NaNoWriMo 2010.

The start of NaNoWriMo is pretty much exactly a month away now. And I’m both psyched and apprehensive. I think I’ve decided what I’m going to write but it’s a bit of a jumble. I’m taking a break from dystopian science fiction and going for “Epic” fantasy. I think I’m trying to incorporate a bunch of ideas I’ve had for fantasy stories into one mainly for the sake of giving me enough ideas to work with.

The basis of my idea is that in the beginning there were three gods one of Light one of Darkness and one of Twilight. These three gods represent Good, Evil and the balance between the two, the god of light and the god of darkness were at constant war with each other while the god of twilight merely observed not wanting to give either side an advantage. This war between Darkness and Light, Night and Day is the reason the seasons exist, in winter the Darkness is winning in Summer the Light.

At some point in history or prehistory the it looked like the god of darkness was going to win over the god of light, so the god of light asked the god of twilight for help. Fearing that the balance would be upset if the god of darkness won the god of twilight agreed to help the god of light in defeating the god of darkness, but on the condition that upon his defeat the god of light would also surrender his power, lest the balance tip in the other direction.

The god of light agreed to this and together they managed to seal away the god of darkness and break up his power into crystal shards called “God Shards”. However the God of light reneged on his agreement and tried to create a world of true Light.

The world cannot survive with light alone, the endless day meant that people could not sleep, crops dies because it was too hot, and there was no rain.  The overpowering good was corrupted and twisted, good taken to extreme can be just as evil as evil it’s self. In order to return the balance the god of twilight enlisted the help of man to topple the god of light, it was a long fought out war but eventually the god of light was also sealed and his power broken up into “God Shards”.

At this point the god of twilight fearing that he too would become corrupt decided to take a back seat and let the age of man begin.

The god shards were entrusted to an order of knights/monks who were sworn to defend their power. The crystals gave the monks a modicum of power that enabled them to protect the shards lest the fall into the wrong hands. If all the shards are assembled why can imbue someone with the power of a god, or possibly lead to the god trapped within them to be reborn. The monks for the most part live in a solitary existence, they accept one apprentice who is chosen with the help of the crystal and is trained up so that they may defend the crystal when the monk passes. (Someone has already made the Always there are two a Master and and Apprentice Sith analogy).

The story will centre around one of these monks trying to protect his crystal shard from someone who is trying to steal it for some nefarious plan.

I’ve got some other ideas but I’d rather not say much more as it would give away the story.

At the moment I’ve got a 3 page document of Ideas and Questions, I fear the number of questions out weighs the number of ideas, although the answer to each question is an idea I guess.

If anyone want’s to offer suggestions/ideas I welcome them, I’ll try to take them on board, but I may also ignore them.

Business Idea: Vanity Ghost Writers

It occurs to me that there are millions of people out there who “Want to write a book” but either don’t have the time or talent to do so or are too lazy to bother trying. But these people have a “Really good idea for a story” which would “Sell millions of copies if they ever got the time to write it”. I can hardly criticize, I have posted several story ideas on this very blog, some of which I think are pretty good seeds for a story some of which are utter bollocks.

It also occurs to me that there are hundreds of starving artists out there who would love to live the bohemian dream of writing for a living rather than serving overpriced coffee to business men, if only someone would pay them to do it. Some of them might actually be talented writers who haven’t been discovered yet, some might just actually be a waste of space.

The business idea is to get the people who want to write a story but don’t have the time/inclination/talent/whatever and exploit their vanity by getting them to pay someone with some combination of time and talent to write the story for them. They pay by the hour and have editorial control of the story, and the ability to veto/suggest any ideas the ghost writer comes up with and or steer the story the way they want it to go. And the writer goes away and writes the story.

The Credit for the story goes to the “visionary” behind it, the Ghost writer meanwhile is given credit somewhere inside the book. After having run this for a while you can establish an economy for ghost writers, particularly good ones can demand higher prices and new ones cost less to hire.

I guess the business model is kinda of like what happens with hair dressers, you compliment someone on their hair and 90% of the time you don’t care who did it. But if you are looking to get a good haircut, and can’t do it yourself you go to a hair dresser. Top hair dressers charge an arm and a leg regardless of what you want done to your hair, but you can also get a really good deal on a student hair dresser who may be just as talented as the superstar hair dresser just not as well known.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you think it would work? Am I just mad? Probably…

Story Idea: Zombie Water World

This idea stems from a tweet by @endless_psych. The basic premise is that zombies have taken over the major land masses of the earth, and people have had to migrate  en masse to the sea.

People living on cruise liners which have been retrofitted with desalinization equipment, big floating cities reminiscent of  Water World, the difference being there is land and we know where it is but we cant go there, because it’s infested with Zombies.

Not only do you have to worry about resource gathering, and general survival on the seven seas but you also have to deal with the odd floater (floating Zombies?) that passes by.

People will want to get on land to harvest raw materials and food stuff, but they run the danger of being eaten alive by the undead. I also envision there being floating zombie ships where all the occupants have been turned or eaten because the ship ran aground or they took on someone who’d been bitten.

It’s an Idea for thought, I’d be surprised if there isn’t already a B-Movie that has this very premise.

This is Awesome! I want this bed spread so much it hurts…

If it weren’t for the fact that Annabel would kill me for getting this I’d buy/get somone to make it in an instant! The temptation to make jokes about it being a double bed, and that anyone sad enough to have this not being able to find a “Player 2” are rendered moot by the fact that it seems to have been made by a girl, at least according to the pictures on the instructables page for making it.

If anyone out there is feeling particularly crafty and really wants to get me a joint birthday/Christmas present that would leave them in credit present wise till at least 2020….

Via Infendo

Mandagrams – helping to understand written Chinese

Johnson Banks has come up with a novel way of learning Chinese characters which he calls Mandigrams

The Basic Idea is to draw the Character within what it is morphing it slightly like so.

He has a whole bunch of examples in the post see if you can guess what these mean?

I love the drawing style and I think these could be used as a learning tool for Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji, except I think it might be quite difficult to do for some of the more abstract characters.

One of my favourite things he’s done is the clock face below with all the numbers in both Chinese and Arabic numerals. I’d considder paying money for a clock that had this face, it’s just looks really cool.

Via the johnson banks thought for the week.

How Apple came up with the design for the new iPod Nano and Shuffle

I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before. Apple have refreshed their line of cheap iPod, by gimping the Nano and adding a touch screen, and making the shuffle tiny and reverting back to their it’s old design (Why they didn’t call it the shuffle classic I don’t know). The above image shows an artist’s impression of the design process behind the new iPods.

Personally I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t released a new iteration of the classic, as someone on twitter said to me I think apple don’t know what to do with the classic.

The Classic’s form factor is almost perfect for what it does, there is no point in increasing the hard disk size; as although it can play video there is little point in doing so on such a tiny screen, and believe me I’ve tried watching TV shows on it while at the gym it’s was not a pleasant experience. Upgrading the hard drive to flash would mean decreasing the capacity or make buying one require a mortgage, both of which are not really viable.

The reason I got a classic when I did was because I have over 80 gig of music on my iPod, I don’t want to have to sift though that to make play lists for a smaller iPod and I’m not going to pay £329 for what is essentially a downgrade in size.

Sure the iPod touch has a touch screen and apps and a camera, but I carry around a phone that does that too. I’m not going to use my phone as an MP3 player either because the battery on modern smart-phones lasts at most a day when you only use it as a phone, using it as an MP3 player too would mean that I’d pretty much have to charge it three times a day.

So I stick with my classic with no upgrade path in sight and you know what I’m happy with that, I’m on my third iPod in the Classic series, I got a 4th gen iPod which died a horrible death,  a 5th gen one which I left on a plane, and my current “Classic” which does everything I want it to. The hard disk is just right, the battery life is just right and the size of the device is just right. I feel like Goldilocks in iPod-land. You can have your Papa bear iPod Touch, or your Mama bear iPod nano my Classic is just right for me.

On a side note, if you really want to rile up an Apple store employee you should call the “iPod Touch” the iTouch, they hate it when you do that.

Via  The Jason Calacanis Weblog.

Dream Journal: Olympic confusion & Alien avatar

I just wanted to log this before I completely forget about it I had either two dreams last night or one that lead into another.
I the first I think I was on a family holiday somewhere in the far east probably China and somehow I got myself inducted as part of the American Olympic team for some kind of sword based martial art. I think this was slightly inspired by my having seen Scot Pilgrim the other day, in the dream I was a lot younger than I am, possibly in my teens and I remember getting in trouble for something; I can’t for the life of me remember what. I seem to remember something    about me sliding down some slidey thing into a crowd, not sure what was going on.
The second dream involved Aliens who took control of people and used their bodies in sporting competitions. I think the aliens possessed the people and trained them to compete like it was a video game. Don’t remember much else, the aliens might have been worms, or snakes that lived inside the people they controlled, not sure.
That’s it, I’m off to bed to do some more dreaming now.