Prima Data – a novella

Well, it’s a bit late, but here it is! My planning post for the New Year Novella challenge over at Kiwiwriters.

Tools of the trade

First up, I started a round of Dictionary Impossible by selecting ten random words from the dictionary. I no longer know what those words were because my computer ate them. What I do know was that there was a strangely religious bent to them, which possibly set me off on the chain which followed.

Diligently, I selected another 10 words: Tamper, silence, majesty, prima, smash, data, shrunken, enthrall, and heresy, conclave. I was trying to come up with a story that involved coffee, but nothing was singing to me, the titles bouncing out all sounded like fantasy to me – Conclave of Silence, To Smash the Thrall, Her Majesty Enthralled, The Majesty of Silence – I wasn’t sold. The other option was Prima Data, but what the hell was that about? I went back to the basics of the words: information, first, female lead opera singer…hmmm information about the first woman? Oh Eve, hello! I guess I am writing something of a religious nature after all.

So I chased some ideas. I chased them around in circles and tried to find out more about the nature of the story – was I going to write about a woman who’d had an accident and woke up thinking she was Eve? was there some lesson for her to learn in that role? – Again, I wasn’t sold. It didn’t really make me tingle, and it didn’t feel like a good enough match for the title, which I’d grown pretty attached to by that point.

Onwards then. I dwelled on it, let it simmer for a bit and then Jack Downs burst into my mind asking me to really think about what would have happened if Eve and Adam had been given more information, been better informed about how their choice to eat an apple from the tree would affect not only them but the future of mankind?

What would happen? Would they make the same choice or not?

Jack demands to know, and he’s actually in the process of finding out. My novella opens as he wakes his creations to see what the results will be. He knows it’s not a scientific replication, but still, he just wants to know…..

I wasn’t sure about the story at all, but you know what? It excites me, Jack incites me to want to see this through, see what he gains out of it and how his own Adam and Eve will react to the environment and situation. What will happen?

I don’t know…

But, I did do a three card spread to see if I could get a little more insight: beginning, middle and end. Below is what I came up with:

beginning, middle and end

The King of Cups is obviously a man (why hello Jack! nice of you to pop up), and the card signifies someone who is (FYI I’m taking whats relevant and leaving whats not, for those who know about tarot) a scientist, religious, interested in arts and scientists. Often he would be considered a reliable man, kind and considerate, and Jack typically is, though if people knew what he was up to they may not view it in a positive light.

The two of Staffs in reverse signifies sadness and trouble, but also surprise – this bodes well for me, the writer 😉

Finally we have The Empress (my card!): feminine progress, mother, sister, wife, marriage, children, intuition, ability to motivate others. This is Eve at the end of the story, I’m not sure how she gets there, but she’s going to be transformed through whatever happens. I wonder how Jack fares? We’ll have to wait and see!

There were two proverbs that stood out from my little Celtic book that will possibly contribute to the story as well: Necessity knows no law, and Your feet will bring you to where your heart is. The first makes me nervous, the second makes me feel warm. I’ll let you know if they do find their way in.

Anyways, that’s it from me for now. I haven’t managed to write more than the first line of the novella, but am charging the laptop and will probably take it to bed with me tonight and get some writing done then.


18 thoughts on “Prima Data – a novella”

  1. This sounds really interesting! I love how you used all those things and wrote down your thought processes, that was real neat. Hope you get some more words out soon!

    1. Me too… still waiting for the little one to sleep though! Sometime in the next hour….
      I haven’t done a post about my planning process before, and while I often use some of these things, I don’t normally use all of them, so it was interesting to see what came out of it. Normally I have an idea to work from, this one was a fresh start though – should be fun!

    1. Hope you’re having a good start to the new year Graham, thanks for stopping by! Nice to have a psychologists approval, it might be a first for me 😉

  2. I love reading about how an idea comes together. I really want a set of tarot cards! I’ve used online ones but there’s something different about holding the cards yourself.

    This is also a great response to the question: where do ideas home from? It’s imagination, it’s possibility and it’s the world around us.

    I’ll be watching eagerly to see how the novella progresses! Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year Kerryn 🙂

      Ideas really can come from anywhere, whether you have an inkling to begin with, or you use a bunch of different tools to create some – anything is possible!

      I wouldn’t be without my cards. I’ve had my main deck (tarot of the moon garden) since I was 16, so… 13 years now, and they are still in great condition and have been useful for such a huge range of things. The Goddess Cards are simply gorgeous and very empowering.

  3. Hah your idea rocks so much better than mine! As I’m using the same method, I really can’t complain. I should have done a dictionary pick to get the title though I think.

    1. I really like using Dictionary Impossible to come up with titles, seeing as they are something I am just bad at. I like that you’re often forced to put things together that you never would have otherwise. It does often leave me with very odd titles (The Consign Mate, Prima Data), but there is something kind of catchy about them for me, they draw me into the writing of the story even if they don’t end up being the final title, and they prompt me to think outside where I might normally for stories to fit them.

  4. This sounds positively fascinating! I really enjoyed reading your process as well. Choosing random words from the dictionary is something I’d never considered before, but it sounds like a wonderful idea! Good luck – I can’t wait to read more about it 🙂

    1. Thanks! It is a fun thing to do if you’re stuck for an idea. I can’t remember where the Dictionary Impossible thing came from first, but you pick 10 words at random, make 5 titles, jot down ideas for them all and see how they develop. Generally, these days, I just do it until I get a title I think I can work with and an idea pops into my head, which I then work until I have one that excites me. I’m terrible with titles, so it’s a great way to have my stories actually named!

  5. This is exactly one of the techniques I was going to klog about – how to come up with ideas for stories.

    Did you get this technique from anywhere? It’s sort of the random input/oracle at Delphi technique of generating creativity. I’ve read about it in a couple of places, including some “how to be more creative” books, which are always a fun read.

    And, more importantly, it sounds like you are having a great time.

    1. Yeah I am having fun lol it’s meant to just be a fun piece for me, so thats all I am focusing on.

      I didn’t get the technique from anywhere, I haven’t really read a lot about how to be creative. I have a bunch of tools I use for a range of aspects in my life though, and they can certainly be applied to writing! I just use what feels right for a particular piece and run with it. Anything that helps spark your creativity gets a big tick in my book 🙂

  6. Hi, i’ve just discovered Kiwiwriter and am just feeling my way round it. I think your Dictionary Impossible idea is fantastic and will definatly use it, thanks!

    1. Hey Chezza, big welcome! Hope you’re enjoying KW, and if you want more info about Dictionary Impossible there is a page of it in the archives I think I could dig up for you?

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