So this weekend I’ve finally started putting some proper work into my first novel. You know, that one about zombies in space. So far my efforts have seen me lay the groundwork for the later action sequences – establishing areas of the ship, a few of the characters, and giving myself plenty to work with when the action finally kicks in. The last thing I want is to get halfway through the first draft and realise I’ve left out some rather important details in the opening chapters – that would definitely be a rookie error.
Well, I say finally – right now the real meat of the story kicks in at the start of Chapter 3 and my current plans are to not really let it slow down until we get to the end. Right now I’m not sure if I can maintain that level of pace for 70,000 words, but we’ll see how I get along. There will be the odd pause for breath, of course, because maintaining such a frenetic pace would leave me having to write one page chapters, Dan Brown style. While I have read and enjoyed his books to a degree, they should and cover never be considered as amazing examples of how the English language has been implemented. I’d not want to be considered in the same category as Mr Brown, but I wouldn’t say no to his book sales and recurring royalty fees.
What have I been creating then? Well, for now I’ve thrown in half a dozen characters who may or may not make it to the end – I admit that I haven’t thought about who I’m going to kill off yet with the exception of one major character. The main one I’ve worked on this weekend is the main villain who currently goes by the slightly unimaginative name of Dr Smith. Decent character names have never been a strong point of mine at the first draft stage, but I do quite like the simplicity of it. My main work today has been writing a scene where Smith’s internal monologue takes centre stage. That’s proven to be much more fun than writing out the less interesting, albeit necessary, introductory chapters.
This part right now is where the real slog of getting the book written sits. Once I get beyond 10,000 words, have introduced all of the necessary characters and set things in motion then it should have enough momentum to almost carry itself through to the end. At the moment I’m looking at having the first draft finished by the end of March, at which time I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks and move onto something else. Thankfully I’m not short on ideas for future novels, but for now I’ll focus my attention on this one and worry about developing the others at a later time. This makes a change as usually I’m dipping into various projects at a time, which so far hasn’t helped me finish anything. The change in thought process is certainly helping me achieve more – for my sake if nothing else, I hope I can maintain this level of focus for the rest of the year.