Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Creating My New Novel (Adept)

I’ve said elsewhere that the Flight of the Kestrel series started as plots for Star Trek. I didn’t want to write fan fiction so I created my own ship, the Kestrel. Once the Kestrel was created, however, the stories quickly moved away from Star Trek and took on a life of their own. The Kestrel only has a crew of eleven, and the crew members change quite often, for example.

Using NaNoWriMo, I started to turn the plot ideas into novels, but left them all in the very early stages of development and worked on just the first one – Intruders. That is now published and available in ebook and print on Amazon UK and US, so I’m turning my writing attention to the next one, called Adept.

The first thing I’ve had to do is bring it up to date with the changes I’ve made to the characters during the development of Intruders. The biggest one is that the trainee changed from a boy to a girl and, due to a plot twist near the end of Intruders, she can’t be in the second book! (For those who liked her, Tabitha will be returning in book three, older and wiser.) So I had to sit and work out who would replace her in the opening scenes of Adept. That provoked more changes because the new character won’t speak or behave the same as Tabitha would.

Adept was originally two stories linked by the same character but I have decided it would be better as two separate books. Adept was only 35,000 words and had a long way to go before it would be novel length. Splitting it in two means I now have only 18,000 words to turn into a novel! In print, a novel is at least 50,000 words but more commonly between 80,000 and 120,000 words. Ebooks tend to be shorter, but I still have a huge amount of work to do.

I thought it would be good to share the process as I create this second book, especially as I’m not really a ‘pantser’ (as in ‘writing by the seat of my pants’) but like to plan ahead. I have the crew of the Kestrel and the basic background already worked out for Intruders, and I have written about that already. But for the new novel I have only as much plot as fills 18,000 words, so it’s not far from starting from scratch.

Let’s see where it goes.

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