Testing Grounds is the novel I wrote during CampNaNoWriMo July edition so any other blog post with "Camping - Author Style" is in reference to this novel. Overall it was a depressing novel and is probably why I wasn't able to start the AugNoWriMo right away. That and I lacked a important thing known as the PLOT. Anyway:
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 84,197
Prompt: I wanted to write something with the same theme as Hunger Games, Battle Royal, The Long Walk and all those other "fight to the death" type books. To make mine different I added aliens. You'd be surprised how much issues I had with this thing.
Main Characters: Evan, Alex, Baxter, Drew, Yiezhen, Kazhen.
Minor Characters of Note: Yu-Song, The President of the USA, Raizhen.
Summation: The Zhen (aliens) want to take over Earth for the resources but in order to keep most of the resources usable, they convince the higher ups to essentially force the population into the Games. The Zhen say that the Games are to find the leader-types who will be on a special council once the Games are complete. Anyone who doesn't win the Games (find the crystal) will be placed in new positions in the promised utopia based on their position in the Games and another test. New York is hit first and everyone there is given a kind of hola-hoop that glows a different color (red, blue, white or yellow) based on their personality. The Zhen want all the reds (natural born leaders) dead because they want to take over Earth. The Zhen figure the best way to do it is to make the people trust you before killing them all off.
Things don't go according to the Zhen's plan as Evan, Alex, Baxter and Drew (all reds) are the ones to win the Games. They're brought back to Zhenkin (the home planet) because of Evan who doesn't want to hand over the crystal and none of them are killed. Yiezhen figures he can use Kazhen's mind-control abilities to convince the four to destroy Earth's population with them.
High Points: Um, some of the conversations between the characters. There isn't really one scene that sticks out to me as happy. I think one of the better scenes that got written was in the end of the book.
Low Points: Every body dies. Take that as meaning either all the mains or every single flipping person on earth. ;)
The World: Earth as we know it today. Zhenkin is a few thousand years ahead.
Major Plot Twist: Drew. That is all.
"Yeah if you call riding a bike around the city delivering mail a job. It's a matter of time before we're replaced by you know, actual mailmen."
"I told you today was going to suck." (Such a simple line really...)
"Okay, let me get this right in my head: our government has decided to let aliens throw us into a kind of like Hunger Games thing with the reward for the winners being put on a special council while the losers do some kind of like slave labour. We got to find a crystal to win and we have no clue in the city where it would be. Am I dreaming, dude?"
"What if there is no crystal and the aliens are just fucking with us?"
"What the Hell was that?" "A warning like you gave the other group." "You busted them up and cut off a man's hand." (Why yes, yes she did. She is awesome like that.)
"Well duh. They did say no one could leave or enter. We're living Stephen King's novel now, that's all."
"You got that right. Recoil is a pain in the ass."
"Haven't you watched any horror movies? It normally means that someone's inside and we should move the Hell on."..."I've watched horror movies. I'm not that stupid. Besides, we don't have the token black person in the group so if anyone dies, it'll be one of us."
"I have a weapon. It's hidden."
"I don't want a gun." "Why not?" "It's too loud. Besides, a Kanata never runs out of ammo."
"He needs his glasses cleaned." (This marks the first character death)
"This ends the Games."
"And I don't want to be fighting for my life and didn't want to be in these Games in the first place. You can't always get what you want. Talk or leave."
"I'm a human: we like lots of things."
"You don't just go around turning places into utopia's unless you're getting something in return."
"You became leader by beating the old leader in a series of Games, right?"
"Yiezhen is mine. All mine."
Just for giggles I did a wordle of this novel. Basically it put my most used words into picture format. I thought it was cool so here it is:
Next up will be Seer. This one is about a 15 year old kid who has certain powers and wants to figure out the cure to mortality.