Thursday, October 06, 2011
My Novel's Journey: Old Man and the Void
Neeta Lyffe II is on hold until I can talk with someone at an oil refinery about how radical environmentalist zombies could wreck havoc. In the meantime, I've started on a new project, another serious science fiction.
I decided to do something completely different for me. Rather than come up with an idea and run with it, seat-of-the-pants style, I was going to take a more methodical approach, and take a tip from some successful authors--rip off a classic.
On the long trip to Moab, I mentioned this to my idea man, Rob, who suggested Old Man and the Sea. He wasn't especially impressed with the book, which he read at the Academy, but thought the whole Man-Against-Nature was a sci-fi angle not really looked at in current novels. We talked about the book awhile (I'd not read it yet) and decided to move the story to a black hole with an ancient alien ship as the marlin.
The first thing I did was go to SparkNotes and take notes on the important themes and events. This will not be a knock-off of Hemingway--I can't mimic that well--but I want to capture the spirit of the book. The exciting thing was by reading the notes and the important quotes, I got a lot of interesting ideas.
Next, I bought a copy of the book and read it through slowly, outlining my own novel as I went along. Hemingway provides the basic sequence of events, though the pacing will differ. There will be other differences as well. I'll talk about those later. Thirty handwritten pages later, I was ready to be begin.
I've also been doing research about black holes. Incidentally, if any of you know someone who studies these and would talk to me, I'd love an introduction!
I've written about 2000 words, and I'm already loving it.