09 November 2012

fri-write friday 11/9: a nanowrimo excerpt

Welcome to the first Fri-Write Friday post in some time! It's been a busy past few months, and obviously November is no different. The one major change, however, is the "change in focus" from poetry (despite participating in Robert Lee Brewer's November Poem-a-Day Challenge) to fiction. This is my eighth year participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo); out of the preceding seven years, I've "won" four times, and hope to make this year the fifth! For the past two years (this being the third) my NaNoWriMo novels have focused on one theme: zombies.

For me, zombies are more than just "look at all the blood, guts, and gore we can stuff into two-hours" or any of the more carnage-based examinations that might be out there. To me, zombies make for a fascinating cultural examination: a look at what happens to humanity when the world gets turned upside-down. Admittedly, my first "zombie novel" wasn't anything as profound as all that; it simply examined the world of fairy tales through the question "What would have happened if the Evil Queen's plot to kill Snow White went totally haywire, and Cinderella was a sword-wielding warrior instead of a glass-slippered damsel in distress?" Last year, my focus became much more focused and "real," examining the effects of a global virus when the central figure isn't a hero or a warrior but a father trying to protect his family and a scientist slowly turning from scientific inquiry to survival by any means necessary. In the latter novel, titled Everything Will Be Alright, there may be two or three actual encounters with zombies, and they all occur within the last few chapters. In that novel, zombies weren't the central figure: humanity was.

Original cover art for Vereor Nusquam
This year, I've opted to do my first real "sequel" novel. Vereor Nusquam, the title of this year's venture, is a phrase taken from one of the secondary characters in last year's Everything Will Be Alright. This novel takes us beyond the terror of a global epidemic to the aftermath, in which society tries to rebuild through a re-establishment of justice. The plot focuses on a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee charged with determining the "legality" and potential criminal acts stemming from an event in which the entire population of a small town in Pennsylvania was wiped out by a group of survivors. There are two "major questions" at the heart of this plot: 1. Where do "law" and "justice" either lose their meaning or no longer bear relevance in situations where survival is on the line? and 2. In a "just" society, can modern/current law be pressed upon events transpiring in a society or situation where those laws may not have applied? One thing that keeps coming up already is the question, "How can we, who were forced to make impossible choices to ensure our own survival, judge the choices of those who did the same?"

Check out this excerpt from (what is, for now) Chapter 1:

Vereor Nusquam Excerpt 1

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  1. Khara, I think you are incredibly talented. I am in awe. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you both! I'm having fun writing this. It's even more fun since I've been able to access actual Senate Committee records/transcripts to make sure I'm at least somewhat following the right "format" (this is a not-so-distant future scenario, but the world has changed significantly so I think I'm allowed improvisations)!


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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