The path to Galaxy Bound

31 Aug 2020 - Vidar Hokstad

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When I first started planning this series, I had no idea it would take this long for it to come to fruition.

I intended to self-publish from the start. That was not the problem. The problem was that I started writing without a plan. And roughly 10k words in, I ground to a halt. I struggled my way past another 6k words, but then got nowhere. To those of you with no concept of how long a novel is (that was me before I started writing as well), the bare minimum for a novel is around the 40k mark. My novels are now aiming for between 65k and 75k. That's 65,000 to 75,000.

It comes easy to me to write shorter texts. 3,000-4,000 word articles is something I've written many of on technical subjects. But a novel is a different beast.

While some people can just sit down and write, or even insist it's the only possible way, some people swear by writing long dispositions ahead of time.

So I tried that. Didn't work for me.

As a result I put my project aside for other things for several years.

Then earlier this year I just had to try again.

This time I tried a new approach: I planned out characters and gradually expanded on the plot, and I put together a spreadsheet. It seems so totally counter to the idea of writing as a creative endeavour. But it worked.

I planned out scenes and assigned word counts, and instead of this one big monstrosity, I had a list of smaller stories to tell, that needed to get somewhere to move the plot forwards, but they were small and bite sized.

And then I sat down with what I had and gutted it. Suddenly I blew past the first 16,000 words, and before I knew it I had a full manuscript. A rough first draft, mind you, but a complete novel that was possible to read, though messy.

That's when the hard part started: Figuring out publishing. I'll tell more about that journey later (frankly I'd rather be in a space ship getting shot at, like my characters).

Want to discuss this?

You can try posting this on /r/galaxybound on Reddit (I'd love it if you post about it on other subreddits too, but /r/galaxybound is where you can be sure I'll see it), or connect with me on Twitter.

It's 2144. In a year the Earth-Centauri gate opens. Some predict it will be the end of humanity.

Out Now: Galaxy Bound Book 1

The Year Before the End

What would you do if the only way to stop an alien invasion was to break into one of the best defended space stations in the solar system?