Monday, September 01, 2008

The End (again)

Yesterday I finished the second draft of my novel -- much rejoicing! This is the first version to be a functionally complete story, the first that can actually be read. It has the new 1945 storyline intertwined with the main storyline, with both arcs reaching climax at the same point. I was able to draw parallels throughout the book between the two arcs, and as a result, I think the book is much deeper and richer than it would be otherwise.

What I don't know at this point is whether the writing is any good!

Now, normally, I know when I've been writing well. I can re-read a turn of phrase and say to myself, "Damn, that's pretty good!" But with this latest revision, I'm way too close to it to even know. I was focused on getting the plot written and the characters illustrated through the text. As a result, while the book is probably okay, it's almost certainly not at the "breakout level" of fiction that it must be before it can go out. Sending out a publishable, but not breakout book can kill your career. If you don't get the sell-through on this first book, you probably will not sell a second one. "Good enough" is actually worse than not publishing at all!

So, even if the book reads fairly well now (and I have no idea if it does), it's nowhere near done. On the plus side, I now have a complete manuscript that I can start applying Maass' Breakout Novel Workbook exercises to -- which long-time readers of this blog may recall is what convinced me to start writing a novel in the first place! At any rate, I loaded the draft onto my wife's Sony Reader so that she can be the first reader. I also printed out a paperback-sized version and used the "perfect binding" techniques I saw on the web to make a print version of the book. It's pretty neat to see it actually looking like a novel! I gave this to a very good friend of ours, though I'm not sure this particular genre will be her cup of tea. I'll be very curious to see what they think.

So now I'm going to have to get some distance from the book so I can see where I need to go from here. I'm going to start brainstorming the plot for the next one, then in a month or two I'll come back to the current story. I may play around with some of Don Maass' exercises as well -- that should help both this book and the next one.

Good progress!


MD Selig said...

Hi Keith,
My name is Michael David Selig. I'm a filmmaker in Hollywood. Former A-6E driver (Marines) (Desert Storm Vet) Have finished Writing/Directing/Staring in my first feature SOUTHERN JUSTICE (which just spent the last 1.5 years on Showtime) (you'll see me with long hair in the trailer. (A little diff then my military days. ;)
Anyway, I'm now firing up a futuristic webisode series that I'm shooting on film dealing with a rogue professor who has figured out a brain-computer interface via nanobots. I would be interested to have you read the webisodes and give me your opinion. I'm a big SF fan. "Moon is a harsh mistress" one of my favs.
Let me know if you are interested. Best,
M.D. Selig

WeberGunso said...


Im a mere student of Forestry at the TU-M√ľnchen, Germany. I´ve always been burning to build a SF Space simulation program/game, which focuses on heavy artificial intelligence and astrophysical realism (obviously somewhat bent by the SF einvoirement). Unfortunately I havent been able to come together with enough people of expertiese to bring this idea to life. Having looked at, tracing back to this blog, and seeing that we share the enthousiasm of creating SF worlds and your expertiese in matters of astrophysics... makes me think that there could be interest in joining forces in the future. It is a long-term proyect though. It requires quite some time to gather people willing to build something under GPL (General Public Licencing/No profit in sight/Hobby). As far as tech-trees, settings, SF-Technologies. I have about 60% of the templates done. They need to be overworked afterwards and reevaluated as well as balanced into actual numeric scales. The core inspirations are:
-Hiroyuki Morioka: Crest/Banner of the Stars.(Political setting, time-space and space-travel[later 2, very innovative], as well as strategical settings)
-Gundam Series (Thinking about taking some things [mainly asro-structures] from there[no mechas though xD])
-Ghost in the Shell (Taking also lots of tecnical gadgets into account, brain-computer interfaces, cyberwarfare)

If there is interest in this, please contact me at

Best regards,
Leonhard Weber