Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Bright Black Sea Progress Report




I've just about finished my second final read through of Ghosts of the Lost Star, part three of The Bright Black Sea and I find that, like the last time, I'm still hoping that the next final read through will be the final read though. I'll always find words to change and sentences to rearrange no matter how many times I read through something I've written, but when I start adding whole paragraphs and changing the how things play out, which has been the case in the first two final reads I know I'm not finished. I need to read everything I write at least twice, with a break in between, to have confidence in what I've written, so I'll have to go over everything at least one more time to make sure the new additions work. I'm under no deadline, but I'd like to clear my desk so that I can turn to something new. I'm looking at an early September release date now. The fist two parts are done and proof read, so it's only this last 1/3 of the novel that needs to be finished and proof read.

I began this project with the idea of writing a serial adventure – a closely linked series of short stories set aboard an interplanetary tramp freighter. I thought I'd do all sorts of different types of stories within the series – adventures, mysteries, humor, even the supernatural – within this format. However, that plan ran on the rocks rather quickly. First because I'm only getting up steam when I pass the 10K word mark, so short stories became novellas. And then there's the fact that I've come to realize that I'm not really page-turning thriller type of writer. You want cliffhangers in serials, which means you cut the story off 3/4 of the way through and include the last 1/4 in the next installment. Not really the type of writing, or reading, I care to do. And then there was the opened ended nature of a serial – never knowing where it's going and always having to come up with a new story to keep it going – which made me uncomfortable. I'd this fear that I'd run out of ideas and leave the story just hanging. Orphaned. So I felt that before I could consider publishing it, I needed to write a stockpile of stories just tide me over if I should run dry. I wrote the first five sections which ended with a good break point, so I decided to lump them together and launch the series with one 104K word novel. But then, of course, I still needed a backlog, so I started on the second volume... and halfway through that, I discovered how it all ended, and so, I decided, what the heck, I'd just write the whole story and publish it as one long novel.

I ended up writing it in three volumes, The Captain of the Lost Star, Drifting to Despar, and The Ghosts of the Lost Star. They make up one 320K word novel that goes under the title of The Bright Black Sea. Each volume had an end point that would've allowed them to stand on their own as part of a series, but since I'm not in the business of writing or publishing so there is no commercial reason to do this. I'll just make it simple and publish all three parts together as the novel they're meant to be.  

Note: Updated this post to reflect the current working title: The Bright Black Sea, A Golden Age Inspired Interplanetary Adventure

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