It’s been a busy week! My day to day work has been keeping me away from my writing more than I would like but I have done what I could. If you are wondering what the chisel in the title is about: I had a bit of a mishap and the index finger of my left hand is currently bound up tightly in a dressing! Typing with one finger incapacitated has been interesting.
In my last post I set myself the goal of ironing out the final kinks of my plot outline, specifically of sorting out my main character’s motivations. For a while I was not really sure how to go about this. I went through my big outline, changing small things here and there but not really achieving the desired effect. I left it for a while, came back to it but still couldn’t get things right.
Here’s a tip I have learnt this week – if you have something in your story that you are excited to write about, when you have ideas about it put it in a separate document. Do not put it in your plot outline as a reminder because it can become a HUGE distraction! I did this, specifically with the description of the ship my characters will travel in throughout my story. I spent all of my writing time for two days adding to and adjusting this description instead of focusing on what I was supposed to be doing…
Eventually I got back on track and managed to sort my main character’s motivations by changing the dynamic of the relationship with another central character. Suddenly everything snapped into place and things I had already written made more sense.
I have sent a copy of my outline to a writing friend, Ramona, just to get another pair of eyes on it and check it for glaring plot holes. While she is doing that, I am going to get to work on my first draft, beginning with chapter one (revolutionary, I know). I am going to set myself the target of writing 1000 words before my next post – that doesn’t sound like a lot but I figure it’s best to start with an easy goal.
Is there anything that you have found particularly distracting whilst working on your own writing? Thanks for reading, and I will leave you with the description of the ship that kept me so preoccupied. I’m sure it will change again at some point!
She was a hodgepodge vessel. Long and slim, measuring in at just under 150 meters. Her shape, combined with her many protrusions, masts and antennae reminded me somehow of a wingless dragonfly. A backwards dragonfly with the widest point, the engines, at the aft.
In a former life the gently curved upper section atop the ship as well as the lower fuselage containing the landing legs and boarding ramp had belonged to a trans-atmospheric ferry. Originally designed for moving passengers and cargo between a planetary surface and a nearby station or moon, the ferry sections gave us plenty of internal storage space and the ability to land anywhere instead of being restricted to orbital anchorage zones.
Despite the useful salvage, the ferry did have its issues. Some horrific accident had put her in the junkyard and whatever it had been, she seemed to have been totally gutted. Passenger with a firearm and no trigger discipline leading to explosive decompression was my guess. Nik reckoned satellite strike or something involving mirrors – we found a lot of glass inside that didn’t seem to belong. Either way, incredibly inconsiderate on the part of her former crew. Even worse, the ferry had not originally been equipped with a Drive unit. We’d stripped out what was left of the trans-atmospheric engines and spent days trawling through the junkyard trying to find replacements better suited to our needs. Nik had eventually come up trumps, finding the rear half of a decommissioned naval corvette. Admittedly, we’d lost a noticeable chunk of our cargo capacity by the time we’d finished mating the big cylindrical corvette hull and it’s oversized engines to the ferry components, but I was happy with the trade-off.
I’d also made sure we salvaged as much of the armour plating as possible from what was left of the corvette – everybody had complained about the extra work, but I’d insisted. Having first hand experience of just how much damage an unarmoured ship could suffer during raiding and boarding actions, I wanted as much protection as possible.
That had left us with about 60% of a ship, although without much in the way of avionics systems, only one working airlock, no lifeboat and a large hole in the front of the corvette section where the warship’s prow and main weapons systems should have been. An old and very unlovely heavy-duty space tug had solved these issues; becoming the donor for most of the missing components. With the long framework, reinforcing spars and the main tractor array from the tug mounted to cover the gap up front, we finally had not only a complete vessel but one that could take hold of other ships with considerable power. A perfect boarding tool.
She was fast, armed, armoured, able to grab hold of prey and had plenty of space for storing ill-gotten gains. Practical. A pirate’s dream.
She was also ugly as sin.
Here’s a link to the lovely artwork.