National Novel Writing Month is now over, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve scored another victory! I managed to write a 50,000 word draft over the course of one month.
I hadn’t planned on participating this year. I really hadn’t been feeling creative, so I didn’t think I’d be able to produce anything. But I posted something on one of the Facebook groups (Supergeeks) about a book idea I had kicked around at one time. It received so much support, including from my wife, that I decided to give it a shot.
The premise of the book was pretty simple. Aliens arrive in orbit around modern-day Earth, and they have a mission – they’ve been searching the galaxy for Jesus Christ. They wonder if this planet might have clues as to where he walked.
I only had a rough idea about how I wanted to start the book and how to end it. But everything else I made up as I went along. I asked various questions and wrote down the scenes that came to mind. What would the aliens think about Earth culture? What about the multitude of religions on the planet? How does their own culture compare? In some ways it was therapeutic to write in this fashion – it allowed me to examine and point out a lot of the things that are wrong about our society, as well as craft a utopian society that the alien race is seeking. (Their culture on their world is pretty good, but not perfect – for example, there is very little creativity on their home planet.)
After I finished the first draft (or so I thought), I still had quite a ways to go before I hit 50,000 words. So I added three more chapters from the perspective of a second character. Once that was done, I was only 75 words from 50k. I managed to find a few sentences and scenes to expand on, and got the work up to 50,001 words. Victory!
My wife wanted to read it, so she’ll be my first beta reader. After I edit it a couple of times, I’ll decide if it will be worth pursuing, then see if anyone else would be willing to read it and provide feedback. (Incidentally, I’m a big fan of the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” approach. If you’d like me to take a look at your book in exchange for a look at mine, send me a message here or on my Facebook page.)
But for now, I should focus on some more gaming! Now that that project is out of the way, perhaps I’ll actually work on discussing video games on this blog. Until next time, keep on writing!