I’ve really come to enjoy these posts. Of course, it’s easy to enjoy reporting on one’s progress when one has real progress to report.
My work-in-progress continues to hum along, and I feel better about it with each passing day. Roadblocks are now few and far between, and when I reach them, they prove to be short-lived. The Pioneer, safe to say, has taken on a life of its own, and while I once found it difficult to force myself to write, I now find it increasingly difficult to stop.
With that said, here’s the latest on my beloved work-in-progress:
Wow. Things are moving along rapidly now, and I’m enjoying the chance to really develop my core characters.
While this second phase of the novel will see the colonists begin to discover their new planet, first I’ve had to plow through the formative initial chapters. The past three chapters have been dialogue-heavy, at times tedious, but these chapters are important for both plot and character development.
At long last, I’ve been able to get to know my protagonist, Randall Holmes, and I find him every bit as compelling as I’d intended. At this point, he’s a somber, brooding man: a harsh realist with a frontier mentality. Though he plans to lend his best efforts to the colonists, he remains haunted by his experiences stranded for years on Vega VI, and thus serves as a counterbalance to the resounding optimism of the rest of the administrative board.
I’m very happy with how well sections of dialogue between Holmes and David Hyde, the colonial administrator, have turned out. The lengthy dialogue serves to develop the overall setting of the story, filling in the reader on the current state of humanity. But I’m far more impressed with how additional dialogue has helped to introduce Holmes’s backstory. By peppering it in through his interactions with other characters, I’ve managed to establish his background organically, slowly revealing his past to the reader without launching into a multi-paragraph screed.
However, with the background in place, the proverbial stage finally set, I find myself approaching the next major change in the story. Once the initial scouting party lands on the planet, the entire story will change. Rather than dealing with the slowly-expanding cast of characters I’ve dealt with thus far, I’ll be focused on three people, who will come to form a close bond with one another. Having spent the entire story thus far aboard the Susan Constant, I’ll be leading the reader onto a vast, unspoiled planet: a wild place of untamed wilderness and hidden dangers. And I’ll be shifting from a story about space travel to a struggle for survival, as Holmes and his companions must rely on their resourcefulness and will to persevere.
I’ve really been chugging on this. Every time I feel as though I’m not ready for the next chapter, the next thing I know it’s finished. The next chapter will require some consulting of my notes, the ones after likely additional research. I would say that means it will be a while before I continue, but recent experience suggests that won’t be the case. I’d say that, after all the writing I’ve done over the past few weeks, I could use a break, but with how things have gone recently, I’ll probably write the next chapter tonight.
And I’ve got to say, it feels good to say that. – MK