The title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? I’ve been busy (of course) and let the time get away from me. I’m trying my hand at some real gardening this year, and that’s turned out to be a major endeavor. Preparing the garden for spring, learning what plants I might be able to grow in this new climate, planning the garden….
The biggest time sink has been getting the new dirt in the garden. Since we had no idea what had been in the garden before, I wanted to get a good garden mix and put a nice solid layer in for the spring. So I ordered a full dump truck load – twelve cubic yards. Let me tell you, that’s a LOT of shoveling! And since the dump truck was too heavy to roll over the sidewalk, or even off the edge of the driveway, it has to go from the driveway in the front of the house, to the garden way in the back.
But it’s slowly getting done, despite the freezing temperatures (it’s noon, and a balmy twenty-three degrees – ten degrees warmer than when I got up).
So, if it hadn’t been for my better half sending me a reminder that I hadn’t blogged in a while, I might have forgotten it for even longer. Thank you, wife!
On the up side, a lot of that time has been spent writing. I’m happy to report that Chucklers is well over the 100k word count that I set as an estimated length for the novel. I won’t say that there’s a lot more to write on the first draft, but the parts that are left are pretty tricky, since most of them are sections that are essential if I want to pull the various story lines together into one cohesive unit. On top of that, I’ve found it necessary to add another major character line.
Ross and his crew were originally slated to be part of the first novel, and were going to be written by Edward Lorn. However, when Ed had to move on to another project, I thought I would try to keep Ross in the background and let more of his story fill the pages of book two. Unfortunately, it has become pretty evident that there are problems with that idea. Basically, I can only see two ways to do introduce a major new POV character in the second book. I could either do the same as I’ve done in book one, and show what happened to him on “day zero”, or I can introduce him in the second book as if he had already been through his version of what happened to everyone else, and bring his details in slowly through back story. If I do the former, then I have a timing issue, essentially showing a timeline that the reader has already covered in book one. Granted, it would be events from the POV of a new character, but to me it would be cheating the reader of the progress they made in book one. And if I try to introduce him via back story, then the story seems out of balance… “here’s what happened to Ross last week”, followed by “meanwhile, here’s what’s happening to the group you already know from book one”.
I know there are ways to work around it, but I prefer book two to have the major characters fully introduced and moving towards an established goal. This is a SHTF apocalyptic novel. So let’s have the S hit the F in book one, and show how the characters deal with the aftermath in the ensuing two books. Otherwise, I could conceivably write book after book of nothing but “here’s where I was on that day” stories. If I let that happen, then Chucklers goes from one overarching story, to a collection of themed short stories.
So that’s it for now. Time to try to get some more writing done. I would really like to get the first draft finished this week. I think it’s possible if I can get some of those plot threads tied together. Wish me luck, and as always, stay safe!