Straight Out of the 80s!

The big news of the week was that I finished the ‘Script Outline’ draft of my military sci-fi book. The working title is ‘Maelstrom 1: Valkyrie’, because who writes less than a trilogy nowadays? Seriously, though, there’s definitely more than one book in the idea behind it, and this first book only takes things up to a certain point.

The Script Outline (I’m using capitals there because capitals make it a ‘thing’) has taken a lot longer than it was supposed to, but I’m not yet completely distraught about that. I had hopes of publishing in November, but as long as it’s before the end of the year, I guess that’s okay. And, either way, having found a copy of my old novel, Promenade, to mercilessly edit down and put out there – well, it might be better to push that to market first and perhaps leave this until the New Year, when I might be most of the way through a second instalment. In fact, as I write, I’ve literally just talked myself into that.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’m not so worried about how long the Script Outline has taken, as the point of it was to hopefully do away with a draft while simultaneously completing a detailed (as it turns out, very detailed) outline. The idea is that my next (1st, I guess) draft will be a lot better than an ordinary first draft would be, that I will have already learned many of the things I need to learn about the story. Well, that’s what I’m sticking with.

My hope is that, after this, I’ll have an editing / proofing draft, and then a final draft via a proof reader, and BOOM… book.  This is not how I will ideally work on every book, as I’d at least like to have a proper ‘editors’ draft before proofreading, but that is simply going to be too expensive this time around.

As for Promenade, trust me when I say that book has already been mercilessly edited for many years before now, as it was originally completed in 2002. Although, like some poor, mistreated captive, it has barely seen the light of day, read by only a handful of people that weren’t its creator. No… no proof reading for Promenade, that one’s going to be the guinea pig, and the sooner I can shove it out onto the market, the better.

I’m actually quite daunted by putting my script version of the Maelstrom book into Scrivener, as I’m now starting to do. I know it’s going to reveal all those research / world building / background and character points that I’ve failed to adequately explore as I’ve gone along. The whole thing is going to look like a mess, and I’m going to have about three times as much work as I thought I would have, I know it! However, I also know that, somewhere on he other side of all that, is a book and a story world I can keep exploring. Plus, it might even be fun along the way. For one thing, as I wrote the last pages of the script, I was surprised by how many things just seemed to slot quite neatly into place, and it’s a great feeling on a book when that stuff starts to happen.

You wouldn’t think I’ve been writing books for years, would you? But when it’s your own, somehow it makes you feel more like a newbie. Not sure why, would have expected that to work the other way around, if anything. Plus… sci-fi. Somehow, military sci-fi is quite intimidating. I’ve never properly written sci-fi before, and, I don’t know… there’s definitely more fear of getting stuff wrong.

Couple of other things to finish of this slightly rambling post:

‘Constitution’ by Nick Webb. I was very critical about this in a previous post, mainly because the set-up stage of the book felt like Battlestar Galactica rehashed. I would just like to say that, although I haven’t changed my mind about that aspect of it, the book has nonetheless turned into a superb read. Am currently a little over three-quarters through, and have found myself really drawn to the characters and the situation, and the pace is just electric – not to mention some situations that are h-a-r-s-h on the characters. Always gotta love that.

And finally, Alpha Smart Neo 2. I’m writing this post on one of these wonderfully retro little beasts. They’re like eighties tech, but made in the zeros, or later. I’m currently just using it as a plug-in keyboard on my phone. I don’t know quite why I’m doing this, my laptop is just upstairs, except for the fact that I just like writing this way. It also has its own little LCD screen, and can – literally – ‘write’ it to MS Word – or anything else – when plugged into a PC later on.

Maybe I love using this rather outmoded technology because I grew up in the 80s. Speaking of which… can’t wait for season 2 of Stranger things later this month!

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