Week One: The Adventure Continues!

Before I get to the update on my adventure into writing a novel, I had another article published in the Scientific American Guest Blog about so-called “ugly animals.”

In the spirit of February (the month of “love”), I decided to write a post dedicated to animals that may not be the cutest or most lovable, but still deserve some love … or at least respect. You can read the whole article, entitled “Ugly Animals Need Love, Too” by just clicking here.

Now, onto the main event – The Epic Writing Adventure continues (Week One)!

I decided against blogging my progress every day, as that could be rather boring, with instead doing a weekly catch-up post to tell you how I have been doing in this little adventure.

Last week, I picked up the 15 or more pages I had written on “The Black” about a year and a half ago, and read all five chapters (plus the prelude) and noticed something. There were a lot of consistent themes and errors throughout my rough draft.

But, equipped with a red pen for corrections and a blue for added content, I persevered. And there were some substantial changes that were made, especially in the first few chapters and prelude.

The greatest asset, that I have found, was an outline of the story I wrote almost two years ago on my computer at work during the summer of 2009. There I laid out all the main characters, the overall narrative structure of the plot, and even some dialogue I wanted for important scenes. If you learn anything from this, or are attempting the writing adventure on your own, an outline is a great thing to have (even if it is just a few points written down).

An outline helps you with flow, but most importantly, organization. The worst novels I have ever read were just scattered thoughts, like buck shot fired at a target. Just random thoughts thrown into a rough narrative structure.

You don’t want to end up with this – just a random assortment of plot points

I am at almost 7,000 words at the moment, and I am still going strong.

I have also decided to throw you, my faithful readers, a few tidbits of information about the novel. As I know you are all looking forward to reading it when it’s done!

First off, the main character’s name is Roger Wilks, and he is a lab technician at an experimental biotech company, testing various drugs on animals. He also recently broke up with his girlfriend, which shattered him to the very core. He needs something to grasp onto in his life, and so he dove into work. But that was not what he needed. He needs friends, a purpose and a mission.

Lastly, the themes of fate versus free will and the subject of destiny play a significant role in the novel, as (eventually) Roger is confronted with two branching paths: one that has been laid out before him, and one he must forge himself.

Which will he choose? Which would any of us choose?

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