Sunday, August 23, 2015

Novel Completed!

Now Playing: 

AHH, IT IS DONEE. I'm making this post sync up with the exact same hour and minute I finished--11:19 pm of this day!

Title: Vanguard's Exodus
Genre: Science Fiction
Protagonist(s): Amber Jackson and Miranda Delatour.
Started: November 1, 2014
Finished: August 23, 2015
Word count: 155k words (43 chapters, 545 Word pages).

What Happened:

Oh my sweet Batman.

Somehow I got this book's entire first 50k words during last NaNoWriMo, and then I spent the next NINE MONTHS writing another 100k words, picking up speed, slacking a lot, trying to write in between papers, short stories, required readings, exams, graduation, occasional lapses of good judgement, too many trips to Dunkin Donuts, moving back home, a summer of eternal job applications, two computers trying to die on me, too many music choices, plot bunnies attacking me for separate stories-

Ghaaaa. My original plan had been to finish in June or July and spend the rest of summer and fall working on something else. But this book did not want to end. I kept thinking about some of the plot holes, entire scene problems, questioning certain characters, going over some of the reveals. It was a mess. It is a mess. At one point, I couldn't figure out which side the ship was on and what time it was in one of the planets. My head almost EXPLODED.

I said months ago that if the plot didn't slip through my fingers, this could be the best written work I've made so far.

And I don't know about the last half of that statement but...

AHAHA. CONTROL OF THE PLOT. That's so funny. That's...so funny.

But I FINISHED! I am done with the first draft.

Things I Learned:

I do really love the hell out of robots. This is the most fun I've had writing them, probably because it's my first real, full-on attempt.

Problem is, the robots in this story are so varied that it actually made my world building very difficult. I need to narrow a lot of things down in subsequent drafts--how far do their abilities extend? Their chance for growth? What makes A.I's like Isadora and Luna all the more special? I hint at how society has utilized them and even how they might feel about them, but I don't show enough of that. And that's the golden writing rule--I can't disregard it.

Despite the fact that I had an outline, I also winged a lot of things, particularly as they involved more technological aspects of the story. I spent all of October preparing spread sheets and journals and word documents and sticky notes, all with planning material--and it was not enough. There is still a ton I need to go back and rewrite. Still a ton of things I need to research on and tweak.

The great thing is--I got to know these people. I thought I already knew Amber and Miranda, but this was one of the most interesting writing experiences I've ever had. There are some characters that feel two-dimensional even to me. Who I thought they were during planning never appeared in the actual text, so I'll have to go back and really analyze them, from the day they were done until the last moment of the book.

Oh and I rushed the ending. Again. I can't figure out if it's too confusing, too short, or what, but that's gonna be killer to edit. Actually, since this book ended up so long, editing is gonna be...extensive, let's say.

Also, I don't know if this counts as helpful or not, but the Pinterest for this was kinda fun. Might have actually kept me sane a while back there.

I'm tempted to open one out for other books, even those I'm revising rather than drafting. It does drive me nuts that sometimes people repin without deleting or altering the captions, but at least others share my pain; I love finding writer's boards. Sometimes they have excerpts of their novels and, for the most part, they pin a lot of faces to represent their characters. . .though sometimes, some tend to have an unparalleled number of white people in their cast. (What? It's weird >.>)

Here are some favorite pics that went up:

(file names should have the artist...although I couldn't find some of them, so if that's the case, then the file name is just...incoherent string of text. If I find the artists to credit, I'll put them up, I promise.)

Finally, I want to say this, having saved the best for last:

I love dual narrators. I didn't realize how much I loved that kind of set-up until this book. It is honestly as a direct influence of Halo 2, and I spent an entire presentation for a creative writing class talking about that. When I wrote Redemption at thirteen, Hitomi was supposed to be the one and only character. But then, out of nowhere, Bellatrix showed up in the second chapter and took over part of the story. It became a pattern then for me to switch between the two, watching their stories unfold in a parallel until they finally met at the climax of the book.

Ataraxia started as just Caesar's story, but Sonya's voice sneaked in when he couldn't be present for certain moments or couldn't speak at all. It became as much about her struggle as it did for his. Millennium Girl's was more subtle, but I don't think that first draft would have half as much potential if Wendy hadn't taken the reins of narration from Lilith on occasion.

In here, it was going to be Amber and just Amber. But she was in cryosleep for those first few chapters. I always knew it would start with Miranda, but I didn't expect her to stick around and fight so much throughout the story. She may not be able to fire a gun or battle giant robots in an alien planet, but she led the narrative all the same.

I'm proud of those two. I'm happy with what they showed me. I don't know where this story will go or when I'll get to work on it again, but I'm so thrilled I got to finish it.

What's Next:

Obvious answer is obvious. Millennium Girl >_>

>.> It's weird how a three week break from that novel was not enough. There was so much to do and I felt so overwhelmed. "Giving up" on it, moving on, planning and writing this other one--it all has given me a lot of hope. Now I feel ready enough to go into revisions for MG. I've thought a lot about it while writing VE. I can tackle it once more.

So...I'm done for now. No celebration pizza this time.

So instead, have a bunny:
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JK I'm still gonna have celebration food. I bought chocolate chip cookie dough, so I shall bake half and munch of little bits of the raw dough. Weeee.

But first, as this is really, really late Sunday night, I'm gonna go sleep for like twenty thousand hours and then keep jotting down revision ideas for MG. And then eat cookies.

Work never ends. Ever.

(Even when I could be playing Witcher 3.)

Happy reading, happy writing :D
~Becky

P.S: Sorry if this post is a total incoherent mess full of typos and weird sentences. You see, as it is late at night and I'm really tired, I am currently an incoherent mess of typos and weird sentences. Ahh the glamorous life of a writer.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Personally I like homemade dough more than store dough... @_@ Maybe it's the thrill of raw eggs?

    But congrats! owo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My homemade dough never tastes as good in baked form as the premade one >.> But one day...one day...

      And thanks! :D

      Delete

"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.