Saturday, January 19, 2013

5,000-word mark

Passed 5,000 words in my new story today. I love this story!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WIP Update

I past 4,000 words in my wip (work in progress) today. The more amazing part (to me) is that I am doing this in short but regular bursts of writing (half hour every other day or so), rather than how I wrote my first novel, Cyberdrome, which was 4-hour stints once every week or two. I didn't think I could write this way, but I actually like is better. I find that I don't "loose the moment" when I keep the space between writing less than 48 hours, which is great! I recommend it to anyone who, like me, feels they have no time to write.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The New Story - part 2

I wrote another 1,000 words of the new story last night. I'm not averaging 1,000 words per day like some writers I know, but 1,000 words per writing session works very well for me. My original goal for this first of four stories was around 20,000 words, with a goal of ~80,000 words for the 4-book series when finished. However, as I am 10% there already and my characters are just now leaving the dock on their way to the adventure that will change their lives, I think this first story will be much longer, which is great!

My first science fiction novel, Cyberdrome, was such a struggle because it was originally going to be a movie script, then it turned into a graphic novel, then finally a traditional novel (with a few of my brother's illustrations moved to the end.) I was also trying to base it on a computer game my brother and I had created years earlier, but at the same time, trying to infuse it with cutting edge technology and still make it a character-centered story. Add to that my brother kept designing really cool vehicles and gizmos that sent me down new avenues of thought on a weekly basis. That's why it ultimately took me 7 years to complete.

Thinking back on those days, it reminds me of Ridley Scott's problems with bringing "Prometheus" to life on the big screen, in that he apparently kept changing his mind about what the story was ultimately about (from what I've read anyway.)

So after my experience, I decided that all future books would be outlined beginning to end, in detail, and "written in stone" long before I started typing a single word of the manuscript. I also decided to create this story with no outside influences this time. I've been doing that for about a year now and I even have all of the characters and sub-plots firmly established on paper and in my mind.

I should add that my brother, Dave, is still involved, but this time he doing what he does best, which is bringing the futuristic submarine (where 80% of my story takes place) to life, inside and out, using CGI modeling. Even he doesn't know the plots of any of the stories yet, although he will be the first to read them when they are finished.

I am completely ready for this and it's showing in how ridiculously fast this first story is flowing out of my brain and into my laptop.

More as it happens...

Monday, January 7, 2013

The New Story begins!

On Saturday Jan 5th, I wrote the first 1,100 words of my next book. More important is the fact that they are the first manuscript words I've written in 5 years!

Why am I writing again? Well, I have been outlining dozens of stories, and tweaking them over and over, but nothing really jumped out at me, at least enough to force me to "make" the time to write. With a full-time job in science and raising two kids, I simply don't have the free writing time I used to. Then I finally settled on one particular story that takes place on a distant ocean planet (I'm an oceanographer so it made sense to "write what you know") and I began outlining what was going to be a series of short stories or novelettes. I've been tweaking that outline for over three months and two weeks ago I thought I had a perfect 8-story arc completed.

Then this past week I had a major brainstorm and slashed some of the middle "filler" stories and merged some of the others, to come up with a 4-part story (actually 5 parts counting a stand-alone prequel story I want to write) that is very tight, action-packed, full of deception and mystery, and yet centers on one man's struggles to deal with both his tortured past and his troubling present. It is also an "epic" story in that it deals with the very survival of humanity in the distant future.

In addition there is a subtle "moral" to the story--which follows some of my own rather liberal beliefs--that of the importance of embracing differences in people and of not fearing change. I know so many people who distrust anyone of a difference skin color or background, and others who live in fear of tomorrow and what it may bring, and I just wanted my story to discuss those subjects without preaching.

I also like that I came up with a survival story that takes place not in a stereotypical post-holocaust "dystopian" future, but rather a utopian world that has just gone wrong from neglect and is now falling apart. It is actually a play on the word "Utopia" which many believe means an ideal place, but literally means, "an imaginary and indefinitely remote place." 

So anyway, there I was, Saturday afternoon, realizing that I no longer had a valid excuse to keep me from starting down the path to bringing this epic story to life.  So I just started the simple act of putting fingers to keys and the story just flowed out of me and onto the computer screen. It was almost magic!

At long last I am heading down the writer's path again, and it looks to be an arduous, and yet adventurous one!

I'll keep you posted as I go...