Progress: 27,914 words, Seven Chapters (First draft)
After reconceptualizing the core story and characters of Ghost City, I’ve returned to this book with new vigor.
There are a few lessons to share from my early experience with this book, ones which deserve more of a highlight. The overall purpose of this blog is to arm new writers with what I’ve learned on my own writing journey. Most of the lessons involve preparation and analyzation of your outline. Others are knowing the value of your words, and having other projects to recenter your mind. (Expect separate blogs on these lessons soon.)
On that last point, though I wasn’t working on my novel, I was writing. My brother and I have begun a film review podcast, with a twist. After choosing a film franchise, we each create our own ‘retake.’ This can be a sequel, reboot, or reimagining, but all require a unique synopsis for our movie vision, complete with director and casting choices. It calls on our love and knowledge of film while pushing us to write stories we’d actually want to see on screen. For episodes and writing samples, check out MovieRetakes.com.
Ghost City is less than a third written (I’m aiming for 90k words), but I feel the story has the right elements for drama and mystery. I’ve challenged myself with characters. One is hardened and defensive, so also not entirely likeable at the beginning of the story. The other is meant to be funny, and writing consistently humorous dialogue is not easy.
Most difficult is my concept of taking them on an ambitious journey of growth. It’s ambitious in that I expect this to be a three-book series, so character change in book one will be subtle. Parts of their backstories will be kept in reserve for the sequels. Maybe that’s the wrong approach, and I’ll rely on early reader feedback to help, but whatever happens, I’ll be sure to share the results of this experiment with you.
I’m aiming to have a first draft done by my birthday, which is late November, and at the pace I’m moving now, that should be possible. I’m old enough to know how plans work, however, so the new year is a more reasonable deadline, but having the goal of 1,000 words a day keeps me motivated. It keeps me accountable.
Follow my advice from my previous blog, How To Finish Your First Draft, and you can finish your first draft on time too.