Sunday, September 1, 2013

Homecoming Update

I began my most recent novel just over a month ago.  I was worried because I started over and hadn't reached any real level of success in regards to word count.  Therefore, I set a series of intermediate goals and decided to focus on that.  I'm happy to report that I've far exceeded what I wanted when I left for Germany a couple of weeks ago.

I more than doubled my current work.  My target was 40,000 words when I returned, and I now stand at over 45,000.  The book has started to take several interesting turns, and I think an idea of the ending is starting to take shape(yes, I sometimes...actually, a lot of the time...start a novel without knowing how it'll end).  The biggest thing that has surprised me is the level of involvement of the narrator.

I chose to write this in the format of a historian writing a journal so that I could get an inside look at the goings-on in our fight to retake Earth without having to make any one person central to the story.  The only character that was supposed to come closest to that was the Admiral in charge of the invasion fleet.  However, as the project has moved forward, the narrator has established more personality than I expected.  Shalliko Kai, the historian in question, has gone all over the place to document what's going on, and his personality is coming through loud and clear.  He started out very optimistic about the adventure, but he has recently begun to have doubts.  The complicated questions of our interaction with the alien races involved, as well as with several unexpected encounters with humans no one knew were still on Earth, has forced him to question the naive point of view that his government is always right.

One of the most important back stories of the novel involves the man who initially led humanity away from Earth as a race of alien invaders slaughtered us.  This man has always been seen as a flawless savior, and Kai holds him in the highest regard.  Missing pieces of history are floating in, and they don't always mesh with the narrative he has of the founding father.  This doubt is starting to come across in the work.

Given the massive progress I made while in Germany, I expect this book to be done by the end of September(the final product will be between 80,000-85,000 words).  I could have had it done by the middle of September, but one of the ways I'm able to write so much is by being bored on an airplane, and one of my business trips was just cancelled, so it'll hinder my progress a little.  The biggest problem I think I'll have will involve the scope of the book - I need to figure out just how epic I want the ending.  Am I going to go for a large scale event like war on an intergalactic scale, or will I narrow the focus and make the ending a little more muddled?  I haven't decided that yet, but I know it's coming soon.

Once this novel is finished, I have a few more things to do.  I plan to do the final edit on Wrongful Death, the first edit on Schism, and write a short story a week for my short story collection.  However, I first have to complete this book, and I don't want to be in such a hurry that the final product suffers(I think that's part of what happened in Canidae).

I'm excited to be working on this project.  I don't yet know where in the pantheon of books it'll be released, but it'll be nice to have another that can be in the queue.

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