At about 11pm last night I finished the outline for ‘And Here The Wheel’, ending my ‘planning’ stage and beginning my ‘writing stage’. Some stats of interest:
Percentage of it that is useful: . . . Lets not get too critical, shall we?
Seriously though it was well worth it.
I had previously talked about the beats of the story and how important it was for me to lay these out. But the beats are the main structure of the story, like the wooden framing of the house, or the steel girders of a high rise. They are what make the story work, but they aren’t the story by themselves.
To make a story you need details, just like a house needs walls, trim, wallpaper, plumbing, etc.
A beat might say ‘Robs a merchant ship, finds a dead body.’ That doesn’t give me a lot to write with. So the outline fleshes this out. What kind of merchant ship? What is her crew? family or commercial crew? What are they carrying? Where is the body? What is the reaction to the body, Are there any problems along the way? What kind of action occurs or is there any action at all? How does he rob the ship? All these things and more need answering before i can electronic pen to electronic paper. (Sorry to all those who prefer pen and paper. Excel is my planning paper these days and word is my writing paper)
Some times the outline has been quite brief. in other places it has been very detailed and I have written out whole conversations. Sometimes because there is a gem of a speech and sometimes because the speech is the crux of the scene and the emotion and the ‘feeling’ of what is going on is wrapped up in the words and it makes sense to me to outline the scene that way. (Which is the point really, whatever works for me the author is the way to go).
So I have thirty odd pages which I have to turn into probably around ten times that. So there is still work to be done, but with ~ 1 page per chapter I have something solid to start with.
I have been in contact with Frontier Developments about my storyline. It was a risky choice involving Raxxla, but I didn’t just want to write some science fiction story and just transplant it into the Elite universe – rename the ships, the places and be done with it. I wanted to write an ELITE story. A story that could not play out anywhere except in the Elite universe. I wanted it to be so completely tied with the history and future of the game that they could not be held apart, that anyone who played the game has to read the book.
Of course I can’t just willy-nilly alter the entire game. What plays out in my novel can’t affect the way the game plays for everyone out there. There is a balance, so discussions continue with Frontier about what can and can’t be done. There may be some re thinking of ideas to come, but they will affect the end part of the book and won’t hold me up from starting the first draft.
Now that Frontier Developments have come out with their web app to assign rewards to those who pledged my next job is to get that sorted. A lot of supporters paid good money to ‘buy’ my rewards for the writers pack and I have to make sure these get through. Once this is done I’ll start the newsletter. I am behind on this and I apologise for this, but its release is imminent. Then I will get back into the dirty gritty depth of the novel and start writing.
Thanks for everyone’s support so far and keep coming back as I’ll keep updating progress as I go.