Planning Update

My last few posts have been devoted to more esoteric topics, but today I just want to give a brief update on where I stand with the novel’s planning and how it relates to my original schedule.

First, though, a minor note. I’ve decided on a tentative name for my novel, and even though I’m not entirely happy with it, I’m going to use it until something better spontaneously occurs to me. That title is The Atlas Question. The question, for those of you who are curious, is “what happened to the Atlas?” The most advanced spaceship every constructed, a mining platform, refinery, and expansive habitat all in one, just disappeared one day our around the asteroid belt. That’s the event that starts the story off, and thus I think it’s appropriate that it’s mentioned in the title.

If anyone else has an idea for a title based on what I’ve posted before, by all means sound off.

Now, onto my planning report. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, my idea for pre-planning this novel called for the first week to be devoted to the conceptualization of the story and its characters, as well as the first character overview.

The conceptualization of the story is pretty much done; at this point I feel like what the story is “about” is pretty fixed. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but here’s my one sentence pitch: “An interplanetary conspiracy grips the Solar System; innocents must uncover the truth to recover their lives.” Those innocents are the main characters, and that interplanetary conspiracy involves seeking an answer to “the Atlas question.”

I’ve also got character conceptualization and outlines pretty much done, as I suggested in my previous post. I think that these will call for a bit more tweaking as I get into the detailed outlining, but I’ve already had my revelatory experiences regarding these characters and I’m happy for that.

I didn’t specifically allot time for this in my six-month plan, but what I’m in the middle of now is some worldbuilding. This is my favorite part of planning a story and I’m really getting into it, as you might have gathered from my extremely enthusiastic report on space propulsion systems last week. Right now, I’m working on a Solar System gazetteer, a list of all the colonies and habitats in my setting. I love throwing details in that will either never make it into the story itself or just be mentioned briefly as blurbs; they might not be that efficient a use of my time, but I think that in the long run they add to the verisimilitude of my setting.

Speaking of setting, tomorrow I want to talk about some science fiction stereotypes and how I’m trying to avoid them. Check back…OFTEN.

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