We’re approaching November once more. November is the month where for 30 days, people all over the world from all walks of life will spend their free moments writing a novel. All over the world, families will dine on microwaved pot-pies as people steal minutes from their day to get 1650 words written, to keep up their word-count.
They will strive to get their word-count of 50,000 words in total, or more, and will hopefully have a novel with a beginning, a middle and an ending by the time November 30th arrives.
This year is really special for me. My oldest daughter, Leah, is participating for the first time, and she will be writing in the area of contemporary women’s fiction. As you can see from her picture she is lovely and glamorous–nothing like her frumpy old mama. Leah is passionate about her characters and is fully committed to developing the story that has been rolling around her head for years. It’s a fun and hilarious story, one that so many young women will identify with.
What Leah really wants to do is write a screenplay, and once she has the story written, she will be able to turn her book into a screenplay with no problems. After all, great movies begin with great stories.
I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of having a child who wants to follow in your footsteps, who wants to work at the craft you love so much. It is a mixture of pride, amazement and mystification–and by that I do mean mystification.
It’s a lonely job, one others find interesting in theory, but rather useless. It pays little or nothing for years, usually. On vacations she will be as determined as I am to get those precious writing moments in and others will think she is being selfish and ignoring them. Her chosen path is not an easy one, but Leah has the backbone and the balls to do this crazy thing, and to make it work.
I have begun writing my story descriptions, and have created the basic synopsis for my NaNoWriMo novel this year. The working title for the book is “UNDERGROUNDERS”.
It is a hard science fiction novel and grew out of a short-story I wrote called “Alpharse Run.” That tale is an old-fashioned Gene Roddenberry type of “Space-Opera.” I began researching the physics for this project in 2010 for Alpharse Run. My science is all based on current theories, and all my technology is physically possible according to current physics.
We humans could do all this now–we just haven’t got the hardware or the funding to do this monumental an undertaking at this time in our history. Getting the hardware right is the most critical thing, for people living in an alien environment. I’ve spent a great deal of time designing the technology that will make or break my tale.
Short Synopsis for UNDERGROUNDERS:
A retired fighter pilot and leading researcher in the field of terraforming and adapting earth-type plants to alien environments, Professor Elena Brend has been invited to continue her work at the University on the distant colony-world of Alpharse.
But all is not as serene as she had been told–the ecology of Alpharse is both fragile and dangerous. Handsome shuttle-pilot, Braden Langley wants more of Elena’s life than she is willing to give and she will have to make a decision that could break two hearts.
Two factions within the community now fight for dominance as Alpharse is cut off from the rest of the human worlds.
Can Elena survive in this new world of power, politics and brinkmanship?
One of the first things I found myself doing this time was creating a possible book cover for the book, before it is even written. I’ve never done that sort of thing before, and, of course, I messed up on the word “Dream.” But there is something about having made a cover (bad though it may be) that forces you make the interior.
This is not the final cover, but is a mock-up pointing in the general direction of what I envision the completed book to look like, something to keep my mind on the right path.
I’ve been creating bios and descriptions for all the characters, and building the world. I’ve a great story in my mind, and it takes place in a completely alien environment so I have been asking myself questions.
1. What is their new world really like? What is the composition, the atmosphere, the indigenous life, microbial and complex? Can the colonists live on the surface or must they live in special habitats?
2. What have they had to do to adapt to this new world? What sort of monumental task was it to get to the point where they have a university at all? How far out of the pioneering phase is their society?
3. Who is Elena Brend and what made her that person?
4. Who is Braden Langley and what makes him tick?
5. How does my protagonist fit into her new society? Who are her friends, and who feels threatened by her? Who resents her intrusion into their closed community, and why?
6. What is the problem? Why is this a problem?
7. Who profits from the situation as it currently exists?
8. Who stands to lose if this problem is resolved, and what will they lose? To what lengths are they willing to go to ensure they don’t lose this battle?
I will have everything ready to go by November 1st so I can pound out this new tale, of wonder and new worlds. The great thing about this for me is the knowledge my daughter Leah is doing the same thing, preparing and educating herself about the people and their environment, the problems and the triumphs they will go through. Her book takes place in a truly alien environment–Las Vegas. I’m excited about her story. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!