Here’s a look at the new video trailer my son Matthew Robinson put together for my book Infinity’s Reach:
Archive for the ‘apocalypse’ Category
I have a lot of respect for Orson Scott Card. By linking his name with mine in the title, I am not presuming that my writing is the same caliber as his, at least not yet. But I admire him greatly because he has been able to do something that I am trying to do as well.
You see, Orson Scott Card is a Latter Day Saint, or Mormon, as they are also known. He is also a science fiction writer, as well as a writer of Bible stories for the Mormon church. Most of the time, his science fiction writing and his writing for the Mormon Church stay separate. But there are a few exceptions. I have in my library at home a book called The Folk of the Fringe. It’s a collection of short stories that are dystopian in nature, but also bring Mormons into the story. And Card has also used Mormons in his other stories, usually as an oblique reference.
But I learned long ago that who you are as a person will be reflected in your writing, regardless of what you write. Card has allowed his values to be reflected in many of the characters of his stories, sometimes bringing other Christian characters, such as a Catholic nun in the Ender’s Shadow series. Having such characters allows him the latitude to bring in ideas that are important to him. But he’s never preachy, and I think that’s his saving grace. He simply raises questions.
Most everyone knows that Orson Scott Card is a Latter Day Saint, and although I don’t know for sure, I suspect that being so hasn’t held him back in his career. And he hasn’t been either boastful or shy about what he is or what he believes.
I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, which in some people’s minds puts me in the same category as Card. Just like Card, I don’t intend to hide my beliefs or who I am, but at the same time, I don’t plan on using my writing to try to make my readers into Adventists. But as I mentioned before, what I believe is bound to come out in my writing at some point, for better or for worse.
Science fiction is about considering new ideas, and ironically I find that sci-fi readers are generally more open minded about ideas than many of my Christian readers. Even now, I get a raised eyebrow or two on campus when I mention that I write Christian suspense and science fiction. Not scholarly, I guess, despite how many professors have written in both of those genres.
And so after surviving high school and years of working in conservative Christian institutions, I have decided that I won’t hide my light under a bushel anymore. As Popeye says, I yam what I yam.
My writing will reflect that, whether I want it to or not. And that’s not such a bad thing.
I’ve never been able to pat my head and rub my belly at the same time, and so I have been remiss in keeping up with my blog, or my writing for that matter. But I had decided early on that this summer was not going to be writing intensive. Instead, I have spent the last two weeks working on house stuff. I got a start (not a good start, but a start) on painting my deck, which sorely needs it. I did paint out dining room, and it looks great if I say so myself. I started tearing up tile in our kitchen in anticipation of putting in some kind of new flooring (not sure which yet). I replaced the sheetrock in our bathroom where a major crack has appeared. And I spent several days with my wife cleaning dust off of everything in the house because of all of my other endeavors. And, oh yeah, we caught a couple of movies. Ironman III and Star Trek–both thumbs up.
But even though I haven’t been pounding the keyboard, stuff has been happening. I have a book signing here in Keene tomorrow and Sunday at the Texas ABC. I told the manager that my two new books–Infinity’s Reach and The Champion–were a great deal more edgy than what he was used to selling, but he still insisted on the event, and he seems to be more excited about it than I am. Previous events haven’t been that well organized, but this one seems to be coming together well. I ordered 50 of each book for the ABC and I will be there three hours each day. I encourage you to come by.
As part of that event, I sent out a press release (Tiffany: this is why authors need newswriting skills) and have a story in today’s Cleburne Times-Review, on the Keene Star website, in the Southwesterner and on Facebook. In addition, Mark Smith from the Times-Review will be coming tomorrow to interview me while at the book signing. So pretty cool, eh?
And more good news: I regularly get listings of books from Amazon that they recommend I purchase, as I presume other people do. Today they were promoting a book called Tom Horn vs. The Warlords of Krupp. Every heard of it? Well I guess I have, since I wrote it.
And the giveaway on Goodreads for ten copies of Infinity’s Reach is winding down, with 11 hours to go. Presently I have 664 people signing up to get 10 books. Glad that I’m not the one who has to decide who those autographed paperback copies go to.
But this blog is called hits and misses. I am still trying to figure out how to best use pricing and advertising on Facebook to my best advantage. Sales on If Tomorrow Comes were doing well a couple of months ago, and so as an experiment I decided in April to run Facebook ads promoting it, while raising ITC e-book pricing from $2.99 to $4.99 to pay for the ads. After three weeks I cancelled the advertising because it was costing more than I expected for less results than I expected. Yesterday I checked with Amazon and it appears that my sales actually went down during that time. And so I have dropped ITC prices back to $2.99.
There’s no great mystery to book marketing. For me it’s been hit or miss; trial and error. I am learning as I go, and so far haven’t made a million or lost my shirt. And so that’s a good thing.
But I have come to one conclusion. You have to keep trying until one day something you write will appear at just the right time with just the right person. And then it will take off.
At least, that’s the plan.
If I seem a bit preoccupied these days, it’s because we are entering the last week of classes. Finals start next Monday and run through Wednesday. Then on Sunday, May 5, I will march with the other professors to graduate our seniors who have earned their right to a diploma.
One or two won’t march, simply because their grades didn’t entitle them to graduation. I have been the bearer of bad news a few times, and even though it’s not something you look forward to doing, it’s necessary. You do it to retain your own credibility, because you have an obligation to the University and the industry, and because you owe it to the student. It’s not a complicated thing to get good enough grades to graduate, yet every year, someone doesn’t seem to catch on. I tell my students on occasion, “The way to get an A is simple: give your professor what they ask for.”
It’s that simple, but many students find it not so simple to do.
I bring all of this up because of an email I got this weekend from a reader. He had bought the paperback version of Infinity’s Reach. Overall, he was happy with the book, stating that it had a good story and that he saw it as a book he wanted to hold onto and read to his children in years to come. But he was bothered by one thing so bad that he hesitated to give it a good review. That one thing was proofreading. In Chapter 6 of the book, I used the name “Devin” instead of the proper name for a character “Damien.” It’s a mistake I have made on other manuscripts, which is easy to do if you write over a period of time. But it’s annoying to readers, understandably.
Suffice it to say that I corrected the mistake and offered to mail him a new copy of the book with the correction added. But I don’t know if it will make any difference.
For authors are just like college students. Just as students are at the “mercy” (they think so) of professors and their grades, authors are at the mercy when readers grade us two ways: (1) book reviews; and more importantly, (2) whether they buy the book. Unfortunately, (1) often determines (2). More and more I am seeing the value of getting reviews. And in a sense, a mediocre review is better than no review at all. When someone visits Amazon and looks up one of my books, they might be enticed by the cover or the back cover description. But often the litmus test will be what other readers say about the book.
Authors obsess about reviews, but in the end there’s not a lot you can do about them. You do your best to write a good story, get a good cover and back cover copy, and edit it as well as you can. And then you have to sit back and pray that readers like your stuff. And you can stay up nights worrying about it, or you move on. Fortunately, in this day and age of digital publishing, errors can be repaired relatively swiftly. I intend to put out a cleaner edition of Infinity’s Reach–probably today or tomorrow–and I am glad I have the ability to do so.
Readers have a lot of power over authors, and that is rightly so. The trick is to give them what they want.
I’m not proud. It’s been sixteen months since I made the decision to go into independent book publishing after three decades of traditional publishing. I have already gone into the reasons why I did so, and I still think it was the right decision. And I knew from the very beginning that I was going to learn as I went on a trial and error level. As I say in my writing classes, “The day you stop being a student is the day you stop growing as a writer.”
So to recount what I did: last year I launched four books under a new publishing name that my son and I made up: Prevail Publications. Two were under a penname: Jackson Paul. The other two were under my real name; one was a collection of short stories that I gave away on Smashwords to help build my name, the other was a book that had been traditionally published but had gone out of print. I hit Twitter pretty hard, rising from less than 2,000 followers to more than 13K as we speak. I sought out reviewers and tried to promote myself and my books on Facebook to the risk of alienating my friends and family.
At this juncture, I am doing pretty good monetarily. In fact, I am making more money indie publishing than I ever did with traditional publishing. But I also noticed a truism that I heard from another blog on writing that was very, very true: 90 percent of sales come from Amazon, and about 95% of sales are e-books.
That prompted me to try a different approach when I launched Infinity’s Reach earlier this month. I went with the KDP plan on Amazon, hoping that making the e-book free the first weekend would help me make a bigger splash. The jury’s still out with that one. The other thing I’m trying is to get more visibility on Goodreads, where I am giving away 10 paperback copies of Infinity’s Reach in the next month. Finally I decided to try Facebook advertising. So far, that’s had mixed results. Of course, I will share everything here–eventually.
But the BIGGEST MISTAKE I ever made was deciding to launch two books under a penname: Jackson Paul. My original logic was that since I had a history as a Christian suspense author, I didn’t want readers confused by The Kiss of Night, which is a sci-fi book, or Tom Horn, which is a western steampunk book. What I didn’t stop to consider was what that would do to the copyright information. I couldn’t make the copyright out to Jackson Paul, who didn’t exist. And if I made it out to Glendal P. Robinson (my legal name), well, that would just be a problem. So I created Prevail Publications and made it read: Copyright 2012 Prevail Publications.
The second thing that didn’t occur to me would be problems I would have on both Smashwords and on Amazon with listing these two books as my books. The two companies aren’t really friendly toward writers with pennames. Further, there were problems setting it up for payment. Even now I am trying to iron out issues with Smashwords, who are putting my books on hold for distribution to Kobo, Barnes and Noble and other distributors.
So sometime soon, I plan to put out new editions of these two books. And the covers will probably read: Glen Robinson, writing as Jackson Paul. I’m still not sure what to do about the copyright; I am not sure I can change it. It hasn’t been officially filed with the Library of Congress yet, but I do need to figure it out.
All in all, of all the blunder I have made since 2012 started, this is the one I would go back and correct if I could.
The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Ballentine Books, New York, 2012.
It may seem odd to some for me to be reviewing this book a day after I reviewed the devotional Hearing God by Dallas Willard. After all, if you are familiar with the first book in this series, The Passage, you might have the idea that Justin Cronin is writing horror here. But I would disagree.
While The Passage has its share of gore, and The Twelve is not too far behind, I would hesitate to classify either of them as horror, just as I would hesitate to classify Stephen King’s dystopian masterpiece The Stand as horror. I would classify all three books as books about the apocalypse. And whatever form that apocalypse may take, in the end these stories are really about how people deal with that event.
In fact, just as in The Stand, there is a lot of spiritual imagery in these two books (and to my joy I discovered that a third book is planned). Of course, there is a lot of reference to blood, and how blood can bring eternal life. There is a lot of personal sacrifice by the protagonists. And of course, there are the twelve.
To understand any more, you have to know the story from the beginning. A corporation working for the Department of Defense sends an expedition to Peru to bring back a virus from ruins there. In a sense, it is a vampire virus. Their desire is to turn this virus into something that will grant eternal life. As guinea pigs, they bring 12 death row inmates into a laboratory in Colorado and begin experimenting with variations of the virus. Of course, the 12 men escape, which really starts the story off. And from there, the virus spreads across the United States.
In addition to the 12, a young girl named Amy is exposed to the virus. She is protected by two FBI agents through most of the first book. Amy, and two a lesser degree one of the agents, continue to play a part in both books, and I would suspect the third as well.
Cronin doesn’t start Book 2 (The Twelve) exactly where the first book leaves off. Instead, he backs up and introduces characters who are there when the virus hits Denver. And then it leaps forward about 80 years. At first, it seems like there is a disconnect between what happens in different sections of the book, but Cronin is enough of a master storyteller to pull it all off. He has a long list of characters that he juggles through the telling, and in the back of this book he includes a Dramatis Personae to help you keep them straight. As I got closer to the end of the story, I found myself visiting the character list in the back more and more. But everything fits, and there are no continuity problems.
Like I said, I am not a regular reader of horror, but I do consider The Stand one of the best books I have ever read. And this book–excuse me, these books–are pretty close to the top as well.
It’s a gorgeous day in north Texas, and we have a winner on the first day of the Infinity’s Reach Escape Clause Contest. Monica Espinar wins a first edition, autographed copy of Infinity’s Reach, which is scheduled to come out April 1. Monica emailed me her photo in her office, and writes that “My boss and colleagues were making jokes about escaping from Electrolux.”
I will be announcing a winner each day this week and next until the official launch. If you want to participate and get a free book, here are the rules:
1. You have to make a sign. The sign should read: “I CAN HELP YOU ESCAPE.”
2. You have to take a photo or video of you holding up said sign in a public place. An example of that is below, which is from the cover of my short story collection, available free on Smashwords.
3. Post the image of you holding the sign on your Facebook page. Send me a link to that page. If you can’t get that to work, then just send me the image in jpg form. In the case of a video, post it on YouTube or a comparable site and send me the link. Send it to this blog or to my direct email address: email@example.com.
4. I will be announcing it for the next two weeks, showing examples and will be accepting submissions, but the actual contest starts Monday, March 18. I will pick a winner each day thereafter (Monday through Friday) until April 1. Winners will need to provide mailing addresses where I can send the book. If you would rather receive an e-book version (Kindle or otherwise), I can do that too. But all prizes will be sent after April 1.
5. You can enter as many times as you want, but only one prize per person. Images with more than one person will still receive only one prize.
6. Winners will be announced here daily as well as on the Facebook Infinity’s Reach fan page. I will also post the winning photos in both places.
It wasn’t life. I had given up on life a long time ago. It was existence—barely. I took no notice of my gray, pallid, flaking skin, my putrefied face and hair, my black nails or the thick, black fluid that oozed from the sores that covered my thin body. I was only dimly aware of the shops that I passed as I shuffled down the ash-filled city streets along with all of the other shapes that had once been human.
I was resigned to what I was, only dimly aware that once I had a choice. I could have chosen what to wear each day, what to eat, even who to talk to. Now I only knew that those memories were far, far below my consciousness. I was a spectre, a shape without consciousness. I was a zombie.
And so it was that I hardly noticed when the big deuce and a half U.S. Army truck drove up and the scientists in their yellow plastic hazmat suits jumped out. A few took out rifles and began shooting the other shapes around me. And I waited for the shot to come for me, a bullet to rip through my skull and brain and turn me into the pile of garbage that I knew I already was.
Instead, a shape that looked somehow familiar stood in the back of the truck, scanning the street until the shape saw me. I looked through the clear plastic faceplate and saw the soft eyes of a woman. She stared at me for what seemed like a long time, until I began to shuffle toward her, my arms reaching out to somehow capture the life that she represented. She pointed at me, and nodded to the others.
“That one,” she said simply.
In response, two men threw a heavy cargo net over me. The weight of it dragged me to the ground and I collapsed. I moaned and grunted, trying to push the net out of the way and stand up. Instead, a man stepped up and jabbed a needle into my shoulder.
They loaded the cargo net with me in it into the back of the big truck. I drifted in and out of consciousness as they left the city streets and followed the road back into the mountains. The truck bounced along the rough road, and I saw another truck carrying the scientists following behind. I looked up at two big men in the hazmat suits on either side of me, preventing me from rising, and the woman sat right behind the cab of the truck. She continued to stare at me as if I were someone she knew, and I stared right back at her, although in my state, my thoughts were more about food than about fellowship.
We entered a dark tunnel with a sign arching above the tunnel. I could no longer read, so I had no idea what the sign said. All I knew was that the trucks entered the tunnel and the darkness that came with it. And then lights came on overhead. I lay in the bottom of the trucks and stared at the fluorescent lights that ran by, each panel that we passed taking us from light to darkness and back to light.
Finally I heard brakes squeal and the trucks stopped. The woman jumped down from the back of the truck and I felt the springs lift as her weight disappeared. I saw that I was in a large room made specifically for storing vehicles. Hands reached on either side of me, and before I knew what was happening, metal clamps locked around my upper arms, just below my armpits. The netting lifted off of me, and I found myself free, with the exception of the metal clamps. The two strong men who had watched over me up to this point held the end of inch thick metal rods attached to the clamps. Together they encouraged me to stand up and then half fall/half jump from the back of the truck.
Even though I was drugged, I jerked and pulled against the clamps, hoping to pull free, even if it meant losing an arm in the process. Injuries meant nothing to me and others like me, for with the pale existence that we lived came painlessness. I could tear my arm out of its socket and never feel anything. Several others I had been around had done that very thing. There was some drippy oozing of the black fluid that replaced blood, but that didn’t seem to stop or even slow down those who did it.
I stood facing the crowd of people that had gathered there, my back to the big green truck, strong men holding me in place with clamps. As I stared at the crowd and gnashed my teeth, threatening them with the only weapon I still had available to me, I felt someone else come up behind me. I couldn’t see them, but could smell them standing there. Frustrated, I tried to twist and turn to get at them, but felt a cold metal rod glide across my back, clicking into place between the two arm clamps. The woman stared at the man I knew stood behind me.
“Is that absolutely necessary?” she asked.
“It is if you want him to remain in one piece,” I heard a deep voice behind me say. “These vermin will pull their arms out of their sockets as simple as pie. This will protect him—and us.”
After the rod was added, the two man walked me through a set of double doors, down a hall, and into another room. They clamped the rings around my arms to a large metal table that was standing on its end. I felt my arms and legs clamp to the table, then other belts and clamps went around my chest and my hips. All the while I watched the two men, waiting for one of them to get close enough for me to rip his throat out, or at least to sink my teeth into him and share my misery. But both were careful and I never got the chance.
When I was locked down, they brought out shears and cut the rags that used to be clothing from my body. I stood naked against the metal table, helpless yet defiant.
The woman I had seen in the truck came into the room, now changed out of her yellow hazmat suit into a white lab coat. She was joined by a smaller man with glasses and a white lab coat as well. For a long while they inspected my body. Finally they stood back and looked at me, talking.
“No broken bones, only minor contusions, and that one nasty bump on the back of his head. He’s in remarkably good shape, considering,” said the man.
The woman smiled faintly. “He’s got good genes.”
The man shook his head. “We’ll have to do some blood tests, CAT scan and other lab work. Regardless, I think your plan is futile. It will take a miracle to do what you want to do.”
The woman stared at me for a long time. “I’ve always believed in miracles, haven’t you? After all, we are here, still alive, even though the rest of the world has gone into the toilet. Isn’t that a miracle?”
The man took off his glasses and pretended to clean them. “Yes, well, I guess you could call that a miracle. But what you are asking….”
“What I am asking is only what I must ask. Nothing more,” she said. “I am not just looking for a miracle. I am looking for an answer.”
“We are all looking for an answer,” he said.
“Then that should settle the matter,” she said, turning and leaving the room.
What followed were several weeks of tests, more tests, and even more tests. I was prodded, poked and stuck. I had every manner of tissue and fluid removed from my body. I had doctors and scientists stand in front of me, chatting with each other as if I wasn’t there. Because for all of them, I was only another lab rat. There was no sense of desperation, hope of even optimism. They were going through the motions; that was all.
It was only the woman who dared to try to communicate with me. Every morning, she would come into the room where they had me shackled and would talk to me. I didn’t understand a lot of what she was saying, but I enjoyed the tone of her voice. Sometimes I would hear her use a name: Johnny. She would repeat it as if it was supposed to mean something to me. And once in a while I would see tears gather in her eyes. I didn’t understand what they were, but somehow they moved me. The woman was the only one who showed me kindness. I swore than when I broke free, she would be the last one that I would kill.
One morning, several weeks into the tests, the two strong men appeared again. They injected me with something that made me sleepy, and then they unlocked me from the table. They walked me into the next room, and then walked me up a set of stairs and into a large glass tank. I had no idea what it was for, and decided to not fight them.
The clamps fit into place on either side on the inside of the tank. When I was bolted into place, I suddenly felt strong hands grip the sides of my face and a mask slipped over my face. That was when I started to panic. The mask had taken away the only weapon I had; my teeth.
While I struggled in place, the tank began filling with a bright green fluid. I continued to fight as it rose to my knees, my waist, and then over my face. Soon I was covered by the fluid with only the mask to allow me to breathe.
I remained in the tank for several days. Again, only the man with glasses and the woman came to visit me, and then only the woman talked to me. There was an intercom system on the outside of the tank, and surprisingly I could hear her as she continued to call to me, “Johnny. Johnny. Johnny.”
It was the third day in the tank before I realized that I was Johnny. What had been my existence began to change into more of a nightmare. I began to remember that I had a life before my time on the street, before my skin had turned gray and my mind had gone blank.
And I began to try to communicate with the woman. She couldn’t hear my voice behind the mask and beneath all of the green slime. But somehow she recognized that my struggles had turned from a being who only wanted to destroy into someone who could be reasoned with.
A day later, they drained the tank and attached wires to me and tubes to my left and right arm. As I hung there suspended, I watched black fluid pump out of one arm and red fluid—blood—pump into the other. My skin began to change color. I watched the scientists come and gather, staring at me through the glass as if they were truly watching a miracle.
And then the disaster came. I was becoming more and more human, until one day I felt a searing pain run through my chest and down my left arm. I cried out and the man with the glasses came running. He looked at the monitor that was hooked to me and began to frown.
“It’s not going to work,” he said over his shoulder as the woman stepped up behind him.
“But we’re so close!” the woman said.
“We were never close,” he said. “You’re not being reasonable.”
“Reasonable?” she echoed. “We’re close. This could be the breakthrough we are looking for. Just tell me what we need for him. Tell me.”
The man took his glasses off and cleaned them, his eyes never leaving me. He spoke so that I couldn’t hear his words, spoke low so that only the woman could hear.
Her face turned white. And then she nodded.
He turned a dial and suddenly I was asleep.
I woke up in a bed. I had photos of the countryside on the wall across from me. It wasn’t the countryside that existed now, a land of the undead. It was a countryside filled with green grass and cows and sheep and fluffy clouds. It was from somewhere in my memory, somewhere in the distant past—or the distant future.
I looked down at my pale, thin arm lying atop the sheet and realized it was the arm of a man, not a zombie. I looked over at the other one, then felt my own face. There was no loose, dry skin. It was firm and young. As far as I could tell, I was a healthy young man.
As my eyes gathered focus, the man with the glasses came in.
“Ah, you’re awake,” he said, more to himself than to me. “How are you feeling?”
“I feel–,” I started to say, and the voice came out hoarse. I hesitated.
He waved at me as if dismissing the problem.
“Oh, that’s just a combination of the anesthetic and the fact that you haven’t spoken human words in over a year. So, what’s it like to come back from the dead?”
I stared at him, not knowing how to respond. He chuckled to himself.
“Well, there will be plenty of time to answer rhetorical questions like that in days to come. You know you are a miracle, don’t you? The first success story of many—we hope.”
“The woman–,” I whispered.
“Do you remember your name?” he asked, not bothering to respond to my question.
“Johnny. The woman said my name was Johnny.”
“Yes. John Blackthorne to be exact. Do you remember your life before? Oh, never mind, the memories will come soon enough.”
“Where is the woman?” I asked again.
The man with the glasses paused and blushed, as if caught doing something distasteful.
“Well you see, John. The tests and the procedure we did on you was almost a total success. Almost. What we didn’t count on was the fact that you had a congenital heart condition. If you had had a healthy heart, it wouldn’t have been a problem. And we have high hopes for the others who follow.”
He reached down and pulled back my sheets and I saw that a fresh scar ran from between my two collarbones straight down my breastbone almost to my navel.
“What happened?” I said, staring at the scar.
“Your heart gave up from the stress of the procedure,” he said. “We needed a replacement for you to live. With the population as low as it is, it was impossible for us to cross match and find some stranger who fit your profile. The next best thing was to find a close relative.”
“Close relative?” I repeated.
“In this case, your mother,” he said, not daring to look up at me. Instead, he reached beneath the bed and pulled out a framed photo. In it was a likeness of the woman who had talked to me as I spent my time in the tank.
“Dr. Marta Blackthorne. She gave you life—twice. And she will be known from this day forth as the woman who saved countless souls from a unthinkable destiny.”
I stared at the photo and then at the man in the glasses.
And then a wail broke free from my lips. It was the cry of a lost child who had been found, only to lose the one most precious to him.
Sunday I finally got to a plateau with my #NaNoWriMo project. I had a short-term goal that kept motivating me to write–the point where the protagonist in my Pilgrim’s Project story finally makes it across the Mississippi River. Now she’s across, and…I am having a hard time getting going again.
Novels are best written in small pieces. Those who never complete their novels are those who are thinking about the next 50,000–or 90,000 words. Those who do are thinking about the next chapter, or the next scene. It’s easy to write a scene. A scene can be anything from a paragraph to a few pages. Throw 3-5 scenes together and you have a chapter. Throw 20-30 chapters together and you have a book. That’s how I have written most of my books up to this point. And I should have stuck to that formula. The formula I am using in the writing of “Infinity’s Reach” is to tell each chapter first person by one of the people in the story, most of the time by someone other than Infinity. My original plan was to always tell it from someone else’s perspective, but I found that didn’t work, so I included her viewpoint a few times.
And that’s worked so far, but having a short-term goal has freed me from looking too far ahead. Trouble is, now I am at the point where I DO have to look farther ahead. And that’s when I have learned you have to forge ahead regardless of whether you think what you are writing is good or not. If you do that, eventually it will all start gelling again, and the story will begin telling itself. But that’s not going to happen right away.
As I see it, I have nine more chapters to write, but that’s not set in stone. Some of my earlier chapters have mutated into two chapters. And that’s OK, because that’s a sign that the story is developing. But if I tell myself to focus on nine chapters, I am going to be encouraged, at least enough to keep going.
So far, my writing on this project hasn’t been my best, I feel. But it’s hard to be objective when you are in the trenches. I’ve learned that over the years. I will withhold judgment until I am done. In the meantime, I have nine more chapters to write.
Back to work.
Well, I got a good chunk–2,500 words–written yesterday, and I haven’t given up on my NaNoWriMo project. In fact, finally it’s starting to get fun. My weakling, whiny main character just went through survival training and was faced with the realization that she would be alone for much of her trip across post-apocalyptic America. In the meantime, her ex-boyfriend has joined the other side and is currently using Coalition troops to scour the countryside in search of her. What’s ahead? St. Louis, where everyone is in for a big surprise.
I hope to get another good chunk done today, because we are off to Austin tomorrow to help my son and his family move into another apartment. So it will be Sunday evening earliest before I can write anymore. Right now, I stand at 26,000 words toward a total of 50,000.
Sometimes writing is drudgery. Sometimes it is fun. You suffer through the drudgery because you know–you hope–the fun is just around the corner.
Have a great day.