Awww fuck! I’m posting this on the 21st like a person who hasn’t just spent a weekend doing everything but working on novel prep and research.
October 15: Working title
My working title is “The Devil Rode West.”
I’ve had the working title for roughly three years since I finished the first draft of the first book and knew I was going to write a western sequel.
How much I like it varies from day to day, so it will just depend on how much I like the title when the time comes to do something with the manuscript.
October 16: Setting
The novel is set around the turn of the twentieth century in Washington state. The main character, Dante, worked at the Blewett Stamp Mill for awhile before settling further east in the sagebrush expanse of eastern Washington.
The locale itself is the fictional city of Clatley, Washington but I’m basing it on research I’ve done of existing eastern WA cities like Waterville, Tonasket and Ritzville.
October 17: Main character
Dante Blickley started out as the deathly ill/”possessed” child antagonist character in my 2015 NaNo project.
In that story, he’s the catalyst used to rip asunder the marriage between a fundamentalist Christian wife and a scientific rationalist husband in the late nineteenth century when gender roles and Christian doctrine would dictate the wife as subservient to the husband. For good measure, the husband was hard into the snake oil patent medicine and the wife was dabbling in charlatan spiritualism.
In this new story, Dante and his mom, Elizabeth, make it out of Ohio alive to start anew in the west where she reverts back to a fire and brimstone version of Christianity and he ends up caught in a battle between the fates and a dissenting group of gods based on the ancient Greek pantheon.
October 18: Favorite trope
This whole project hinges on fusing supernatural tropes with western tropes and subversively dissecting them.
I’m probably most excited with taking the infuriating magical fuckboy Crowley-proxy romantic interest horror trope and marrying it with the wild west sinister minister trope.
This character will be Elizabeth Blickley’s romantic interest during the story and he’s gonna be absolute fucked-in-the-head peripheral chaos.
October 19: Writing tools
I’m pretty all over the place — I have notecards, notebooks, and a Google Docs file tree that I’ll use to write remotely while I’m traveling.
But in the end, I’ll organize everything with Scrivener. Scrivener is probably the easiest program I’ve used to manage the complicated process of multiple edits and drafts.
October 20: Author you admire
Honestly, it can be sketchy to admire authors or other creators in relation to their work.
I’m a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan and love the cosmic horror genre, but Lovecraft was a racist piece of incel shit. I’d yeet him into the sun if I had the opportunity.
Another example: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon” is my all-time favorite book, but she was an abuser and her use of the occult golden fuckboy trope in her horror novels was gross af considering her history of child abuse and permitting her partner to abuse her children.
I think the closest thing I have to an author I can admire is Stephen King. I grew up reading his books and he’s not a horrible, shitty person as far as I can tell. He has posted some insufferable centrist/boomer takes on social media, but for the most part I think he makes an effort to care about other people and tries to do the right thing.
October 21: Week 3 check in
Oops, I spent most of this week working on Call of Cthulhu campaign materials — like laying out a truly frigged newspaper page using a free inDesign alternative that had me yanking my hair out.
Seems using my marketable skills for cursed bullshit is kind of my thing.
Anyway, in wrapping up this week’s preptober responses, I realize that all of my pre-write materials are v scattered. So, at the top of this week’s to-do list is get EVERYTHING into Google docs.