darknation's Doomworld Forums Blog

darknation's Doomworld Forums Blog

alcohol December 17, 2013, 5:26 pm
friday night: work's night out in hotel. Free Bar (eventual tab: 300+ quids). Behaved semi-reasonably by all accounts.

saturday night: woke up at 6pm and met up with old school friends. Forgot to eat before drinking. Got totally smashed on cheap beer before heading out for expensive beer. Might have had some (microwaved) stovies when I got home, evidence inconclusive.

sunday night: woke up feeling like a deep fried turd. throw clothes on, got on train to Glasgow. Cannot physically force myself to eat. Beer o'clock is 12 o'clock (afternoon). Got steaming minced ruined. Discover a 32% (ish) ale called a Tactical Nuclear Penguin and proceed to new heights of total destruction. Get into an argument with a Big Issue seller. Went to the O2 to watch Gogol Bordello. Amount of gig I can remember: none. Alcohol bill for weekend = two hundred quid and still rising. Return to youth hostel and experience extremely vivid nightmare about murdering the Queen of England. Awake at 4am and run around hostel room screaming about dead Queen (suspected alcohol induced psychotic break lol) with no clothes on. Other occupants of room (2 female) rather unimpressed with said behavior. Smoke cigarette through closed window to calm self down. Go to someone elses' bed still not wearing any pants.

monday night: liver in a state of severe distress. Finally ate a cheese sandwich. Bank account hanging in tatters. Still no idea if I like the new Gogol Bordello album or not.

spacehulk December 9, 2013, 2:16 pm


weird fucking dream that my subconcious subsequently made worse December 3, 2013, 12:27 pm
yeah, this sometimes happens. Mad dream that, upon entering that weird, semi-logical half-sleep state, somehow became rationalized enough to actually make enough sense for me to consider doing something with it.

This is a weird idea.

Try to get it straight: basic plot – four (five?) guys build a time machine and try to travel back in time. Only they fuck it up; they in fact travel forward in time, ever so slightly, maybe a year or two. Which is absolutely fucking useless, because it turns out it is impossible to travel backwards in time. And it breaks the world.

How to travel through time: make it relatively simple. One of the characters (the professor who is not a professor: he is in a field of chronophysics that he has entirely invented from scratch, there is no accrediting institute.) devises the theory that time is somehow connected to the laylines that criss-cross the Earth’s magnetic field. Dowsers merely follow the positive timestream with their stupid little sticks, thus gaining a slight forth dimensional advantage over their non-timestream following companions. Dowsers, by following future timestreams, can temporally access their future knowledge and use it to attain their goals in the present.

Of course, the ironic thing is that dowsers are only ever concerned with finding water with their stupid little sticks.

The professor uses this trick (or TIMEHACK) to access this week’s winning lottery numbers. Unfortunately, he can only access this week’s winning lottery numbers a full twenty seven seconds before this week’s actual lottery draw. The timesteam simply isn’t strong enough to let him see further into the future than that.

The professor has won the lottery over four-hundred times, which is a shame because he never has a lottery ticket.

But the theory is sound. The professor speculates that animals all over the world also have access to the timestream; giraffes that know how to walk mere seconds after they are born, instinctual behavior, everything previously attributed to intellectual coding on the DNA level.

Even humans occasionally get the hairs rising on the back of their neck when danger threatens. Doom. Dread. All attributable to limited fourth-dimensional access.

The professor tries to measure it and fails miserably. The experiment is always affected by the observer, after all. He comes to the conclusion that by measuring time one affects the outcome of the experiment and alters the universe on a quantum level. This is why animals have such ready access to the fourth-dimensional timestream: animals do not have pocket watches.

With this breakthrough, the professor can finally begin to design the time machine. The time machine cannot use computers or anything that analyses or documents the passing of time. The professor goes dowsing to access the timestream to hack into his future knowledge and memories and begins to instinctively piece together the time machine.

The machine itself has to be both simple but complex. Clockwork, for obvious reasons, is out. As are machines and computer components.

The time machine looks a little like a non-submersible submarine with a big paddle at the back of it.

The professor discovers a layline that runs the length of the River Tay. However, he cannot paddle fast enough to get any closer than thirty seconds away from winning the lottery. Additional paddles and oars are added: he recruits three alcoholics from the pub, drunk and incapable of counting in a straight line, to aid him in his quest.

This is probably where the book should start; all the rest is background material.

This time they miss the lottery queue by no more than fifteen minutes. The professor unveils his discovery to the alcoholics; as proof, he shows them the lottery numbers he accessed from the timestream, buys them all a pint and they sit in the pub and watch the lottery draw.

The professor weeps into his pint as millions of pounds are cruelly snatched from his grasp for the 432nd time.

One of the alcoholics, who has an even less-sound grasp of the universe he lives in, suggests the possibility of traveling backwards through time and winning the lottery that way. If they could find a layline that moved backwards against the rotation of the Earth then they would be traveling fast enough, relatively speaking, to break whatever bullshit Einstein came up with to make the job of science fiction writers harder.

They venture outside and see three of their names engraved into the wall outside the pub. None of them remember doing this; it must be a message from the past; it is themselves telling their present incarnations that they will indeed succeed.

It also suggests that one of them doesn’t survive the process. This flies right over the poor victim’s head, but his friends pick it up. Greed, desperation for the winning lottery numbers, mean that the three would-be survivors come to an unspoken pact that such a sacrifice is acceptable.

And so, we come to our drunken heroes in their time machine, paddling like fuck against the current in a desperate attempt to break the laws of physics. A battle that they must surely lose, because the time-machine leaks somewhat. They fall into the river and nearly drown, are washed ashore on the banks of the Tay and traipse home to their miserable beds.

And have, inadvertently, traveled forward through time.
They awake to discover they have broken casualty; time is all fucked up. People around them are moving too fast or too slow, their eyes won’t adjust, the entire universe is glitching. They have crashed the laws of physics and the entire system is heading towards terminal breakdown.

Explanation: the creator of the universe, be it God or whatever, laid down the laws of physics to hold everything together. The universe we live in is God 2.0 operating system, which was installed by his child, Jesus, on the eve of the new testament (children are always better than their parents, on a technical level, and always end up performing their IT tasks for them). God 1.0 was old testament style, which explains why everything was so fucked up back then. Upon seeing this new operating system, the population of the world pulled a Mac Fanboy style rage-reaction and killed the person they held responsible.

God got understandably annoyed by this and moved to a new universe shortly afterwards, but only after inventing Linux.

So the rules of physics are in fact the code that stops the system from turning into a buggy shit-feast. And the thing that is breaking the system are the same, identical, atoms co-existing in the universal timestream at the same time. Which means, if you think about it, our heroes manage to return to their own time after all, later in the novel, in order to be present in the future. But no one think of that, mainly because they are idiots.

Time and space continue to bork up: at its worst, events happen to the characters out of sequence as they desperately try to fix things. The time machine is sitting at the bottom of the River Tay so that’s out. Every time one of them tries to consult a watch or clock, everything goes even crazier. The world and the people around them are going riot-apocalypse crazy.

Then one of them sees himself. His future-self, probably doing something really crazy. The professor comes up with the ‘co-existing atoms’ theory as a result.

He knows how to fix the universe. They must remove the offending atoms from the present timestream. They have to either kill themselves or assassinate their future incarnations and somehow remove their atoms from the current timestream. Firing their remains from a cannon at sub-lightspeed might do it (theory of relativity) or the Large Hadron Thingie would do. Even loading them onto a spaceship and firing them out of earth’s atmosphere would, in theory, save the universe after a thousand years or so.

They are in the future. These things are (maybe) possible.

Thus begins a game of Cat and Mouse, kill or be killed. Even though their future incarnations have already lived through this once already on the opposite team, they don’t know the timescale of events (watches break the universe, remember?) Finally they corner one of their number and prepare to bash his skull in, but they are not murderers; they can’t do it.

This is when a third, super-future version of the Professor turns up on a new, superdooper time machine and casually executes their intended victim. Time begins to shit itself less noticeably; the professor explains that he came back in time to kill all the present versions of the chrono-naughts and save the universe. He has already driven a bus over two of them and vaporized the remains with his new raygun, which is made out of a mirror and some dowsing sticks. The only person that remains to be removed from the timestream is the super-future professor himself; he can’t kill himself in the past, because then he wouldn’t exist to save the universe in the future.

The present-day professor must kill his future self with the raygun. “It’s suicide, either way, when you think about it.”

The friends jump aboard the new time-machine and head back to their own past. They burn the infernal contraption to the ground outside the pub, shortly before realizing that they forgot to get the lottery numbers en-route.



FINGERNAILS November 6, 2013, 10:40 pm

justification September 14, 2013, 7:18 pm
so, rewrite number four of the dn novel is about to begin. writing a blog about it to solidify the reasons why rewrite number three didn't quite work. If you're interested then I applaud you, but this blog is mostly for me, to get my ideas straightened out. I need to examine why this latest period of editing has failed to produce the results I was hoping for.

brief synopsis of where the project currently stands; what has emerged from the rubble of yet another rewrite is a 90'000 word straight-line monologue. Every single piece of exterior dialogue has been stripped out and replaced.

This has been a huge, monstrous, pain in the ass. Writing a novel featuring multiple characters with their own actions and motivations entirely from the standpoint of one person, without the aid of dialogue? Not fucking likely.

And yet it was done.

Why? Mainly so the voice of the protagonist isn't forced down to bad, one actor radio play status. The "he said, I said, she said..." complete with bad impressions of the person being imitated. For one thing, nobody speaks like that in real life. It's a contrivance bad novelists (looking at you, Anne Rice) have now made the norm and I'll be fucked if I'm going to fall into that lazy bullshit trap.

I have also went with the principal of having the protagonist witness everything he reports. If a crucial piece of plot happens offscreen, away from the eyes of the narrator, then he does not know about it. If he mentions how he learned about it later on then that, in turn, suggests that the protagonist survives the events of the novel. Which fucks dramatic tension.

Bearing this in mind, having the narrator speak to the reader in the past-tense throughout the book was, perhaps hilariously obviously, a complete and total cocksnarfling fuckup on my part.

This is one of the problems the fourth edit will rectify. It is being rewritten in present tense.

During the second draft I came up with the concept (after watching far, far too much 24) that the novel should not skip from scene to scene, but rather flow in real-time. The novel is, in a sense, a single entity. There are no moments of unaccounted for time; we spend every second with the narrator over the course of two days with no convenient 'fade to black' or perspective change when things get quiet or plot holes (how did they get from A to B?) need convenienced out of existence. Again, this was done. Again, this was absolute, mental break-down inducing lunacy, but it was done none-the-less.

I quickly came to the conclusion that 80'000 words of straight-line, no-break monologue is just too much for someone to be expected to sit through without some form of relief. I introduced segues between chapters (mostly featuring previously excised material; these, I reasoned, could be considered flashbacks to previous days and help explain the origins / motivations of characters. These I did in the same signature monologue style as the rest of the novel.

So, to fix an 80'000 word non-stop monologue, I added a further 10'000 words of monologue. Because I am a fucking retard.

Reaching for the delete key when I put months of hard work into these segues is pretty fucking heartbreaking. And it leaves me with several fairly major fucking problems; if motivation for a character's actions during the course of the novel was explained in the now-deleted segue, then it must be reintroduced. Somehow.

A concept that I introduced mid-way through the third editing cycle (the narrator used to write shit-tier children's books) has now evolved into a secondary book, pages of which are inserted between chapters. I've got an artist whom I used to know at college drawing scenes of lemmings flying kites, stuff that is metaphorically connected with what is happening in the forthcoming chapter, sketch-lined Winnie the Pooh shit. These will be accompanied by court documents, lines of script, declassified medical records, newspaper cuttings, etc. etc. etc. that will deliver the same information as was present in the segues.

These, after more than three years of writing more-or-less in the first-person, are proving to be a challenge. I'm actually enjoying both the research and writing of these. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed doing anything connected to this fucking piece of shit book.

Finally, there is a stylistic change. Going from past to present-tense has forced my hand somewhat in this; the flowery, faggoty flowing prose of the third-edition edit simply will not survive the transition. Moving things to the immediate tense sharpens words, shortens them, events are happening NOW so there is no time to fuck about and prettify the language. This, again, I am enjoying.

Right, that's enough bullshit procrastination from me. The plan for the forth edit is now carved in stone. Fuck your mother and fuck her anus.

FUCK NO June 27, 2013, 10:18 pm
After three levels of starving to fucking death I finally find a motherload of food, eat till satiated, jump a yeti and stab that motherfucker to death. Then I think 'Hmmm, resistance to cold intrinsic' and decide to eat the yeti's corpse.

Player, over-satiated, chokes to death on a yeti.

punchline: was playing as a valrykie, who start the game with resistance to cold as standard.

lol unemployment June 18, 2013, 8:37 pm
Re; mandatory completion of SVQ 3 before 2014

Hi there, just dropping you a quick email to explain why, after much consideration, I feel unable to participate in the SVQ3 course. My rationale is explained below.

I know of no other business that expects their own staff to pay for job training out of their own pocket. It is not in my best interests to invest my own money in this scheme, especially for a job that pays so little in the first place and the lack of significant advancement opportunities within the care industry afterwards.

Arguments that my money will be recouped two years after course completion have angered me beyond belief - assuming that the course takes between 8 to 12 months to complete, I would be unable to leave this job for up to three years without incurring significant financial penalties. This, in my opinion, is nothing short of blackmail and an utterly appalling way to treat anyone. You will not tie me to this job for a further three years because I fear to lose a thousand pounds.

To put my position in perspective, I would suggest that those three years would be better spent gaining a nursing degree. I would also point out that nursing degrees come with the option of receiving a bursary.

I would also like to add that the position of care assistant is stressful enough without the addition of disgusting financial penalties to be dealt out whenever the business owner feels she has somehow not gotten her money’s worth out of me. I have put up with physical, verbal and psychological abuse on a daily basis for seven years - I tolerate these severely unpleasant aspects of my job because I know that many of my charges are mentally ill and cannot modulate their behavior. I will not tolerate management holding a ransom over me on the off chance that I will get fed up of being abused and seek alternative employment.

I do not give you permission to dock my wages to pay for SVQ3 for the above reasons. I understand that, under the conditions set, my continued employment with <company> will become untenable past the date given for mandatory SVQ completion.


drinking for four days straight, guts are wrong May 19, 2013, 3:20 pm
holding it in, but am in mortal terror.

devin townsend's drummer thinks I am a bit of a cunt. May 11, 2013, 7:27 pm
true story.

was at the retinal circus in london last year, specifically to see the retinal circus show. As a side note, do not drink the water in london; it tastes like someone else's kidneys. Anyway, the show was fantastic and, being a fucking humongous alcoholic, I decided to go to the afterparty and get smashed, perhaps meet my heroes and generally be a cool dude.

The afterparty was in a complete cesspit music-basement with a bar upstairs that only sold beer in tins. There was a suspicious lack of people at the place; not knowing london, I cursed and asked the bouncer if this was the DTP after-party and if so where the hell was it all going down?

Bouncer says downstairs, third door on the right.

So off I go with my friends and GF in tow, clutching half a crate of ridiculously overpriced beer with the intention of getting completely mashed. The room to which we were directed was, if anything, even more of a dump than the rest of the bar; green wallpaper hanging off the walls, shitty leopardskin sofas. No one else is there - we must be early.

We set up camp; already half ruined from the gig, the tins of beer stand no chance. The empties begin to pile up. An hour passes and there is still no sign of this fabled afterparty. More beer is bought and consumed.

A lot more.

About an hour and a half into our epic drinking binge my GF taps me on the shoulder; a few girls have just walked in, and my GF thinks they are from the choir in the show. I scoff at this notion and continue to get completely wrecked.

Two hours in and I am *drunk*. And, through the miraculous alchemy of beer, I am starting to put two and two together. Something here is not right; the green wallpaper, the faux leopardskin couches... what the fuck sort of shitass music basement has couches like that?

There are empty tins everywhere. We have split beer everywhere. Our shit is spread from pillar to post. The girls from the maybe-choir are giving us some serious evils.

It is at this exact moment that two things happen; the band members walk into the room and, simultaneously, I realize that we have invaded their fucking dressing room.

The drummer is HUGE.

Lesson to be learned from this - there is something worse than meeting your heroes and finding out they are complete cunts. Imagine meeting your heroes and finding out that they think you are a complete cunt.

It is my secret shame.

random thoughts on the writing process. March 20, 2013, 6:58 pm

This is just an exercise before I start my daily editing binge. Looking at a blank page, for me, is very intimidating. When confronted with a fresh, virgin piece of paper I find it helps to doodle in the margins, write obscenities and generally defile it unthinkingly before I start the proper writing. That way I can rest easy, knowing that nothing of value was lost should the end product head binwards.

Slept for maybe three hours today; one of those weird, creative dams in my headspace burst while I was lying in bed and after that I’m too wired for sleep. Think I came up with a nice literary framing device for my book, something that can bracket the beginning and ending of the novel and add some much needed pathos. It *should* work nicely and make the ending slightly less out of the great left fields of WTF. It does, however, require me to add in a little bit of conceit mid-way through the novel (say, in the winnebago).

Amongst the protagonist’s possessions scattered across the winnebago is an old mechanical typewriter, the sort with the manual slide like some pump-action shotgun of wordsmithery. Piles of paper reveal his delusion – in his spare time, sober and drunk, he has decided to write a children’s book, starring three lemmings (the analogues of which are, of course, Ziggie, Gambit and himself).

The novel will now open and close with a quote from this imaginary children’s book (the final line, ‘someday, a lemming with learn how to fly’ or something).

It fits in with Prot’s character quite well (after all, we are subjected to his point of view for the entire novel and should be well acquainted with his delusions of grandeur).

Of course, this means more re-writing. And more blank pages.


So other thoughts on the process. Two things have been praying on my mind recently; the first is the disturbing concept of Mary-Sue-ism, the second was something I saw on a TV interview with a comedian. Said comedian had decided to write his autobiography and described the process in harrowing terms, comparing the writing of a novel to standing alone on a stage performing a comedy act to an empty house.

Pretty accurate. But then, in all honesty, the only person you are trying to entertain (initially) is yourself. The lonely, soul-destroying part comes afterwards, during the editing process where you perform your routine time after time after time, honing it to a razor’s edge or dulling it completely. And because you are alone on that stage with no audience, you really have no idea which is which; jokes you thought hysterical during the first draft are less funny after the hundredth reading. This begs the question – were they funny in the first place? You start second guessing yourself *constantly*.

Which brings me, inelegantly, to the whole Mary Sue thing. For those not in the know, a Mary Sue is a character, nae, an Avatar of the author’s own fevered ego. Think of every fan fiction you have read in which the author’s fursona outruns Sonic the Hedgehog, has a 12 inch cock, or for whom Louis Lane dumps Superman.

James Bond, the invincible super-spy lady-killer, created by a frustrated intelligence agent. The fag from the Da Vinci Code, who’s muscular physique is matched only by his giant throbbing brain and his penchant for seducing women half his age. There are many more examples that I find equally repugnant.

Of course, it is par for the course to add in one bad feature; perhaps Bond’s nose is crooked, or Da Vinci Fag is a recovering alcoholic. Yeah, she’s got tiny tits, but I’d still shag her. If such things are added in a ham-fisted attempt at realism then it’s the mark of a bad author. If such things are added because the author is desperately trying to deflect the Mark of the Mary Sue...

I hate such literary egotism to the point of rabidity. Oh wow, spellcheck says rabidity is a real word, fucking awesome. I’m totally using that in the novel.

I can’t bear to read books about such characters. They bore me. I get enough of fevered egos polluting the radio and television networks without them insidiously invading my imagination as well.

I think if you really must carve sculptures of yourself out of marble, then cast yourself as the villain. No one minds superhero villains with genius level IQ’s shagging everything that moves. We tolerate it because their well-deserved demise is assured.

Which brings me to my point – by giving Prot literary aspirations, I slide a little more down the slippery slope of creating a Mary-Sue. Of course, I have taken precautions against this. Prot does not have one bad feature to mar his otherwise Adonis-like perfection; Prot is a repugnant, drunken failure who *might* have one good feature. If he’s lucky.

This is important. Character development can’t happen if the character is perfect to begin with.

Fuck You, Mary-Sue.