Writing A Cyberpunk Story: Week 2

This week has been a week of change. After pitching my idea to my wife, she very cleverly pointed out some pending problems that may come up throughout the story. As I realized she was right, I began altering the story-line by creating different offshoots of the existing rough outline. After many changes, I began recreating the story from scratch instead of trying to make things work.

By the time Friday came around I had created five different stories. All of them had similar themes but were nothing alike. After re-pitching the idea I settled upon, my wife managed to point out a few more issues that were haunting me. She then managed to suggest a few quick additions that got my brain flowing in the right direction. This is the beauty of bouncing ideas off another person. A concept might sound good when I pitch it to myself, but within a day I start to hate the idea and want to abandon it completely. Having someone else chip in a few suggestions helps to get you out of a creative rut.

So without revealing too much about the new pitch, I can say that essentially I am writing a Young Adult / New Adult Cyberpunk novel. Right now it is leaning toward Young Adult with characters on the upper end of age (18-21).

So now that I am back on track, I am aiming to have a rough outline completed by the end of the next week, and to know all of the characters inside-out. Hopefully, I will be able to put up a new pitch for all to see, therefore, re-committing myself to the plan.

Next week I will also be discussing one of my favorite things to do when writing: listening to sci-fi soundtracks.

In the meantime, please enjoy the some inspirational artwork below representing some high-tech, low-life Cyberpunk settings.

Writing A Cyberpunk Story: Week 1

In a recent post I declared my desire to take a stab at writing a cyberpunk story. As a result, I have spent this week brainstorming and developing an idea into a loose outline, while creating an extensive back-story for the main character. At this stage I am still not ready to reveal the plot in full detail, but I can divulge somewhat of a pitch.

The pitch so far:
Vittoria Lerrella, better known as Vit, is the 19 year old daughter of corporate tycoon Eldridge Lerrella. When Vit was just 16 years old, she witnessed her older brother Issac be violently kidnapped from her family by a gang of heavily armed criminals. In a moment of panic, one of the kidnappers opens fire on the rest of the family, wounding Vit and her father.

In the year 2033, Vit is left with a cybernetic arm, a crippled father, and several years of depression. After getting her life back on track, Vit’s only thoughts are of vengeance for her lost brother. Desperately hoping the trail hasn’t gone cold, she uses her father’s wealth and connections to hire three contractors to help hunt down the gang and bring them to justice.

After a blood soaked investigation, she discovers that the kidnapping was merely a cover for something more sinister, taking Vit on a violent path that will transform her life forever.

This pitch may change a lot over the course of the next few weeks, but I’m aiming to write a story around this premise.

About Vit:
As it stands, I see Vit as a fragile young girl who is somewhat sheltered and insecure. While a deep anger broods within, it is going to take a lot for her anger to boil to the surface in the form of vengeance. Her strong connection to her brother Issac will be the driving force being this.

I envision Vit as being a short, slender, dark-haired young women that looks slightly younger than her age. If I had to define her exactly, it would be a combination of the below artworks:

I really love the broken look on their faces that somehow conveys a fragile yet determined individual. These artworks really make it easy to focus on a particular character direction such as the one I’m hoping to achieve.

Goal for next week:
Write up the rest of the main character sheets and further refine the loose outline.

High Tech, Low Life: Writing A Cyberpunk Story

Having just wrapped up my latest project, I have spent the last week or so searching for inspiration on what to write next. Although I already have a few other titles waiting to be written, I feet a strong desire to move away from existing projects and write something new.

After a few dozen brainstorming sessions, I’ve narrowed the list down to a few different ideas and finally settled on one; making the decision to begin developing a Cyberpunk story.

What is Cyberpunk?
Deus Ex Human Revolutions: “I never asked for this…”

If you are unfamiliar with the genre TV Tropes defines Cyberpunk in the following way:

Cyberpunk is a Speculative Fiction genre centered around the transformative effects of advanced science, information technology, computers and networks (“cyber”) coupled with a breakdown or radical change in the social order (“punk”). A genre that is dark and cynical in tone, it borrows elements from Film Noir, hard-boiled Detective Fiction and postmodern deconstruction to describe the Dystopian side of an electronic society.

Beyond this description, Cyberpunk covers many different genres; taking slices from many different sub-sections of science fiction and blending them together to create something else. Genres aside, another aspect of Cyberpunk is theme. Often dark and nihilistic in nature, the overall tone of a Cyberpunk tale will often convey a strong social or philosophical message. Questions of morality and the human condition will often be pushed to their limits.

Currently I am still developing my core concept, and have a million kinks to work out. I can, however, reveal that my idea so far centers around a young, 19 something female lead. More to come on that note.

When trying to source inspiration, there are many ways to spark something within. I personally love going onto Pinterest to browse through hundreds and hundreds of fantastic digital artworks made by talented individuals from across the globe. You can see some of the works that have really stuck out to me below.

So from here the long, long process begins as I make all the difficult decisions needed to get this project underway. First stop, though, is a loose outline, followed by a detailed character sheet for each of the main players. What I love about this part of the process is how quickly you can explore different pathways and possibilities. Outline wise, I personally enjoy having a concept for each scene/chapter that isn’t too strict or finalised, allowing me the freedom to come up with new ideas on the fly.

I have also decided that I am going to stop being lazy and document this process from start to finish. This will help to get the concept out there, and also allow me to view my ideas from another angle. It will be interesting to see how this goes. Let the fun begin!

- Josh

First: Last Series Book 2 Cover Reveal


After much delay it’s finally time to reveal the cover for my upcoming release titled “FIRST.” I have gone for a similar cover to book 1 deciding I couldn’t find anything else that intrigued me enough to shift directions.

FIRST is book 2 in the LAST series and takes place 5 years prior to the events of LAST, and was quite a challenge to write.

Prequels are a tricky thing to attempt, as I’ve previously mentioned, but I feel I’ve done well to connect the two books together without compromising the storyline.

I am currently still editing FIRST but plan to release it in the next month if possible.

Stay tuned for more.