Not much to report this week. I’ve kept the pedal to the metal, punching out the draft as fast as I can.
Word Count for the week: 11,068 words. My best week so far, but there is still room for improvement.
Total Word Count: 27,752
Quote du jour: “Robert’s smile grew, a smile of pure simple pleasure, the smile of self-gratification, a wild eyed scheme coming to fruition.”
Chapter five finished on a cliff hanger. Chapter six has charged into a car chase. Robert Garry, the hero, is doing his best to help the Alliance Operative find some people to interrogate. But he is doing it on a planet which has a history for him, one that threatens to swallow him up, a history he has been running from for the last few years.
Eleven thousand words is a good turn out for the week. If I can continue that through this first draft will be finished in around 6 weeks, 2 or so weeks ahead of schedule. Writing the draft is my strength. I have my keyboard set to the DVORAK keyboard which, unlike the QWERTY keyboard, is actually designed to speed up your tying. I’m a touch typer as well getting the draft down on ‘paper’ is the easiest part for me. Once I have the ninety odd thousand words written then the hard part starts of making it absolutely perfect so you the reader think I am terribly awesome. I predict it will take 2-4 edits to get the story up to scratch. I’m also coming to the realisation that I will have to fork out some money for a professional copy reader. They aren’t so much a line editor as someone who finds inconsistencies and spelling mistakes, etc. Nothing makes a story look unprofessional like spelling mistakes!
All the Elite:Dangerous writers have access to a writers forum where we can discuss issues and receive background data on the Elite:Dangerous universe. It’s been an interesting experience. I have my own preconceptions about what would be acceptable in the Elite:Dangerous universe, such a technology, companies etc but these need to be approved first. For example I have been writing a chase scene and I need to know what technology will be allowed and what isn’t.
There are hundreds of little questions being raised by all the authors across the whole spectrum and in credit to Frontier we are getting answers pretty quickly. This is going to ensure that all the novels are consistent and make for a unique library of fiction by the time the game is released.
In Fiction I believe the key to a successful milieu is the backstory. It doesn’t all have to be in the story of course – and lets be frank: it’s better off if most of it isn’t – but the depth of knowledge and understanding always shines through in the writing. If you compare Star Wars or Babylon 5 to Star Trek you’ll know what I mean. Writing backstory is great fun, allowing you to really play with ideas your and imagination without having to worry about writing it down in a cogent and readable-to-the-masses form.
It’s pure creation and I’m really thankful that Frontier are taking it so seriously.
The writers have access to several documents on the political factions in play (The Federation, Empire, Alliance and the independents) that have taken the known knowledge from Frontier and First Encounters and expanded it. Being an avid player of First Encounters in my youth and having absorbed all of its nuances, stories and gamplay most of this was known information. This allowed me to write with confidence and start on the right track. But there are new nuggets of information as well, which add to the overall tapestry of Elite:Dangerous universe and I’ll be weaving these into my story as I go. I want to make a strong bridge connecting my novel to the game.
That’s it for the weeks summary. Look for another post mid week.