Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Progress Report

I call myself a writer-in-training because I haven't really put that much out yet. I have been published, actually. I entered four pieces of writing into a writing competition: two poems, an essay and a short story to the poetry, essay and short story divisions respectively. The essay won second place in its area and the short story won third in its. As a result, they were published along with the other winners in the school's honor society's publication, The Eclectic. I also published a poem in the school's literary magazine The Alternative. These are all achievements I hold in high regard, because I never had anything published before. I intend to enter next year too, and maybe I'll place a little higher and win some money.

I have been published, but I've never published anything in a major magazine or print, much less an actual book. That's why I call myself a writer-in-training. I'm going to publish a book, then I'll call myself a writer. I'll publish another book, and I'll call myself an author.

The idea generation process has been slowing down. I've got a lot of them saved, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions I need to get to. I've got a system going where I write 1,000 words every day. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, as long as it's for the book. I've got a pretty good idea of the general order of things and the plot, so I know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. I've even got an ending, but that's really just because the ending is... well, you'll just have to read it. I think the ending is going to disappoint a few people, but it's the ending I want, and I don't really care if people dislike it. My only concern is that people would find it so unlikeable that they would never read another one of my books again, and I'd only ever have one successful book, assuming it would be successful. But assuming your book will be successful is foolish.

I've gotten into fleshing out my characters primarily, now. There's this wonderful set of 100 questions to ask your role-playing game character that really works well for book characters, too. It's going to help me understand my characters a lot better. But I feel like I should have created the characters before I created the plot, because now I feel like I'm making my characters do things they might not, almost like my real characters are actors, playing characters they're not supposed to be. Anyway, I'm going to make my characters first next time.

My character creation process is pretty simple: give them a name and an appearance, blood relatives and a general history, then answer the 100 questions to understand them better. Some people write entire biographies for their characters, but that doesn't suit me. I don't really have the patience to write some five books for just one story, which is why I don't really want to write a series either. I don't care if not writing biographies for characters or not writing an entire series will hurt my quality or success. All I want is to write the book and to get it out there. I'm doing this for me and me alone, to prove to myself that I can write a book.

But I haven't even started outlining yet.

I haven't made any details public yet. I've told my family and a couple of my friends some of the details, but not all. I'll give the reader(s) of this blog a small taste of the plot:

Job is a successful man. He loves his job, his home, his wife and children, and God. But one day he loses everything. He loses his job, his home, his wife and children, even God, all to a tragic accident (I don't know what the accident is yet). Well, they aren't gone, but his life is. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a strange place full of strange technology and strange people. The locals call this place Heaven, but it's unlike anything he had imagined. Where are the clouds? Where are the angels? Where is God? He learns he's in a new world, called Phoenix, which rose from the ashes of a destroyed civilization long ago. It's not Earth. He learns that Earth was just a creation of the Phoenixians (pronounced fee-nee-zee-ans) to create better life forms, so they can hand-pick the ones suitable for life in Heaven. He was just a program within the Nexus (that's a working title. It isn't final, but it could be), but now, is he in the real world?

That's all I'm going to share for now. It's going to be a very rewarding experience, writing this book. Even if it doesn't get published. Even if it isn't finished.

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