This past week was not a great one as a writer. I spent some time at the keyboard but spent far more time setting up my website and looking at software for keeping track of my story’s timeline, characters, events, and interactions. I’m not big on planning, but now that I have a couple of episodes out there and establishing the universe, I need to keep track of those solidified and stable events before I can dive too much deeper into the universe. While the significant events are easy to keep track of, the smaller events and personal moments get harder to track as the story grows longer.
So, I had planned to do a weekly update on progress, give a brief overview of favorite scenes I had written or edited in the past week, and provide a brief glimpse into where the story might be headed. There was so little progress this past week due to spending a lot of time setting up the website software, it’s tough for me to think of something to fill each of those categories, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Best of the Week
Episode three has a lot of huge moments coming.
I didn’t write one of those this past week.
One thing I did write was a padding scene. It was one of those scenes where I didn’t write it during the first pass because it seemed unimportant in the face of what it’s padding. But I tackled it this week, and it felt great. I think it just needed to sit in my mind for a while and simmer to be everything it needed to be. Instead of just being a padding scene, it’s now a nice look at an intimate moment between our lead characters. Charles describes some of his family life and how much he misses it. The captain tells him of more of her early career and starts to lay the groundwork for a story that will come much later in the books themselves.
Seeds are planted.
The best writer’s moment of the week was one evening when I had a period of about ten minutes where an entire book came to me all at once. I see all the events and can lay them out logically in a way that makes sense and feels exceptionally poignant. Unfortunately, I can’t do more than outline it for my future self because self-imposed deadlines are still deadlines. If I took the time to write that book right now, episode three would have to wait for months, if not over a year. And frankly, I want to keep plodding along through the parts I’ve already got a rough outline for.
But that book-in-a-rush moment will be cherished when the time comes to sit and write it. I have a feeling it’ll be the most words in the shortest amount of time I’ve ever put on digital paper. It’s just so complete in my head and fills in a lot of missing pieces for the rest of the story.
But that will have to wait. Even describing the missing pieces right now will spoil so much of the story yet to come that I don’t dare hint at it.
Still to Come
I have a character that isn’t very fleshed out yet. I know he’ll play a part in several books to come. And I know I will have to write some difficult scenes to get him fleshed out as he’s a bit of a, pardon my language, shit-bag when he first shows up. I don’t relish writing villains. And while he’s not a villain proper, he comes across poorly for a while, and I have difficulty trying to wrap my head around his motivations for being such a pain-in-the-ass for the other characters.
That said, I have a villain in mind that will be great fun to write for. Naughty, devious, tormenting, and happy, happy, happy, this guy will be an absolute hoot.
The Brigadier is approaching Bombast Icilise. I have to say, that it may be my favorite creation to date. “A world turned inside out,” the station is a massive and up-scaled version of the O’Neill Cylinder concept. The thing is, it doesn’t have any viewing portals in the cylinder. Just large, long, solid walls that become the ground, retaining walls on either end to hold in the atmosphere, and light is provided by high-powered nuclear reactors in the center of the station, along a spire that provides light during the day and power for the rest of the station at “night.”
Huge, sweeping fields of beautiful flowers and fruit line acre upon acre of the inner surface of the station. The fruit is used in various ways, but the most infamous is the station “brew.” A concoction that is brewed, then distilled and stored in aging barrels in the deep, thawed, and frozen multiple times to smooth out the harshness, then distilled a final time before bottling. It’s a heady drink and hits even our navy friends harder than expected.
The society of the station has been so very separated from most of humanity for long enough that they’ve developed their own culture. It’s a culture that’s familiar in many ways but with some unique and fun twists. It’s just different enough to cause some questions and concerns among our navy friends. All the more for fun story tensions.
This Coming Week
I’m hoping to make more progress this coming week. The first printed books of episode two arrive early in the week and will begin heading out to supporters. That will probably be my big moment of fun for the week.
I hope to make much more progress on episode three. I need to hash out those newer characters and get them more solidified. I’ll be spending more time just writing, I’m sure. It’s tough to disengage edit mode from episode two and get back to just writing. Hopefully, I can complete that transition this week and hit it hard.
Episode two made it out a month later than I had hoped. I’m hoping episode three moves more quickly. With a solid base and a significant portion of it written, I should be good to get there in time to catch up with my initial planned release schedule. But it’s more important that the books be what I want them to be than hitting those planned dates. I also need to plan more content for the website. As a written universe, The Hollander Chronicles is a lot of fun. As a brand? It leaves a little to be desired.
Hopefully, I can fix that in the coming months.
Until next week, friends. As Chuck would say, “Cue the music!”