Thursday, June 30, 2011

my novel's journey: Discovery: Conclusions on the manuscript

On Saturday, June 18, I finished my analysis of Discovery. It was in all about a 20-30 hour project, depending on whether you count the first day of reading, and the imagining, or not. I thought I'd give you the summary, so you can see why this book has been evading me for the past three years:

Theme: The wounds we hold in our souls can be our making or our undoing.

Main idea: The crew of the Edwina Thomas discover an alien device that can show you the hidden parts of your soul; how each reacts to this knowledge will make their lives better--or destroy them all.

Subplots: 11 Total No spoilers, but there are two romantic situations, a couple of lost sheep, a murder in the making, attempted sabotage, daring rescue attempts and of course exploring the ship itself.

Main Characters: 12 (Yes, twelve)
1. Sister Ann: a genius nun with a penchant of speaking in quotes and technical manuals. She understands the device, but cannot make others understand
2. Sister Rita: she joined the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue to escape Earth and the temptation of a romance, but she's still haunted by doubts.
3. James Smith: left priesthood because he thought he was in love with Rita; returned to find her gone. Three years later, they meet again on the Edwina Thomas.
4. William Thoren: power-craving mission commander and head researcher. He sees the Rescue Sisters as a threat to his power base
5. Chris David: PhD candidate who discovered the alien ship by accident. Lives in Thoren's shadow, until he falls in love with Andi
6. "Andi" Andromeda deChavez: commander of the miners in charge of extracting the alien ship. Loves Chris, but his weakness and lack of confidence put her off.
7. Ian Hu: Derive systems specialist with a terrible guilt; had habit of washing hads.
8. Jason Larache: mechanical engineer with a horrifying secret; likes to say he can either laugh or cry. Ann thinks he should have cried more.
9. Merl Prithard: Evangelical type with a lot of fear and a drive to "save" everybody, whether they want to be saved his way or not.
10: Kelli Riggens: a pagan who battles with feelings of rejection
11: OvLandra: a zerog, a race genetically engineered to live in space with a strict racial purity policy
12: Cay Littlefield: a troubled miner with undiagnosed xenophobia

Other Important Characters: 31 named characters in all--here are the top five
1. Sister Thomas "Tommie": pilot of the Rescue Sisters' shuttle. Ex-military who found peace in her calling
2. Captain Jamal Addiman: Captain of the Edwina Thomas
3. Galen Keegan: pilor of the Rockhopper, the miners' ship; Chris's roomie
4. George Powers: a loud mouthed miner; good for saying what needs to be said
5. Zabrina Muha: xenobiologist (microbiology); freaks when sees a real alien

So, as you can see this is not my usual stuff--it's far more complex, and enters territory I've never uncovered, from Church policies on genetic manipulations to planetary astrophysics. Last night, I realized I'm not writing a story; I'm writing an epic science fiction that examines issues of space colonization, religion, and the resilience of our souls. No wonder I've felt intimidated.

But what have I said is the cure for intimidation? Write! So here I go!

1 comment:

Devon Ellington said...

That sounds great. It's also the basis for your series bible, where you track all the characters, their arcs, the details of their quirks and physical and mental and spiritual progress, so you can remain consistent where you need to, and have them grown and evolve while still remaining within your world's logic.

How's that for a complex sentence! ;)