Monday, February 27, 2012

Chapter 3: A Trigger Is Pulled - Draft Complete

This weekend I completed the first draft of Chapter 3 of the sci-fi novel I'm writing.  Word count for the entire story is now at 13,705 words.

I had to do some research on the CDC for this chapter to get some verisimilitude.  I exchanged an e-mail with a woman in their Media News department and asked some detailed questions, so I'm probably on a watch list somewhere now.  They take a while to answer e-mails (like, a week).  I still haven't gotten answers to my questions, so I just bulled past that point and will go back and tweak it in the edit.

The next chapter will be about the same in length, at least according to my outline.  That said, I discovered as I was writing that I needed to add more material to Chapter 3 to provide some bridging material and to up the sense of urgency.  Looking at the material in in my notes for Chapter 4, I can already see that I'm going to have to break apart some of the scenes into separate pieces and re-write parts of the outline for a better story, rather than a series of information dumps.

This writing stuff takes time to do.  It'd be much easier if I didn't have to keep going to work instead of staying home and writing.  Pesky work.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chapter 2: Pieces in Motion - Draft Complete

This weekend I finished the draft of Chapter 2 of my sci-fi novel.  Right now I'm looking at 7 chapters total, with each chapter having multiple scenes.  I will stick with that through the first draft, but may make each scene a chapter and have tens of chapters.  It depends on what chapters 4-6 end up looking like - I expect them to be rather large.

The working title of the novel contains a big plot point, which is why I've not shared it beyond my writing committee.  I'm torn between making it a secret and going with a more indirect title or just putting it out there and telegraphing a story element to the readers.  Still dithering on this right now and really have no plan on making a decision until the draft is finished.

That's it for right now.  Another update when the draft for Chapter 3: A Trigger Is Pulled is finished.  Later!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chapter 1 - Draft Complete

I've completed my draft of Chapter 1 of my novel and started work on Chapter 2.  As a result, all of my other writing has come to a standstill.  I'm doing this on purpose so I can stay focused on the story and get the whole thing written.  The last novel I started I got pretty far into, but really didn't know where it was going and got into a point where I didn't know where to go next.  It is titled "Getting Educated" and can be found on The Podge Cast Forums, here.

This time, I did a storyboard using my living room wall and a bunch of sticky notes of different colors.  I hashed it out with my focus committee (my wife and a friend familiar with the roots of the story) and worked out a better flow.  Simply explaining it to them helped focus the story for me and make it more concrete in my head.  I've then did a much more detailed story board of the first major arc and converted that into bullet pointed lists for each scene or group of scenes and ran it by my focus committee.  This helped point out some timing issues in the story and some gaps in the story.  I've moved the scenes that needed moving and added those missing.  Now I'm convert all those notes into the text of the novel.

I'm torn between sharing the material as it gets finished and wanting to wait until the entire draft is done and sharing the bits as I edit them.  I'll probably go with sharing the edited version, so you'll have to wait a while.  I want to have the first draft done by the end of March, which currently seems do-able with the restricted writing time I have now, so the wait won't be for ever, it'll just seem like it.

I'll post here as I get chapters done to keep folks up to date.