samuel x. brase likes to write

New Plans

Posted in novel planning by Sam X. on 5 July 2009

The novella. Well, novel. I have about 60 pages and I can’t deny that the plan is for about 300 pages. That’s not a novella, that’s a novel.

We’ll call it EE for now. In brief, the idea is that five strangers meet after discovering portals from our world to another. They explore this other planet and the alien ruins contained thereon. The twist? When they’re on this alien planet, tentatively Planet X, they have been reverted to young teenagers. Oh, and — they’ll constantly be competing with a group of “lost boys” who have declared themselves the protectors of the new planet.

The reasons I decided to start a new project are many:

  1. With a clean slate, I can practice keeping the scope simple.
  2. As a result, this will be much easier to write than Doveiron.
  3. I don’t want to write Doveiron as my first novel, I want to learn from other projects.
  4. I’m tired of writing short stories for now; while the ones I’ve written flit from market to market, I will work on this.
  5. The project also allows me to put to work a number of theories I’ve been formulating about popular stories.

My idea, as it is coming together (I currently have 17,000 words), feels like a cup of cold water thrown on the face — sigh, I should probably not pitch it that way. The reader is plunged almost immediately into a new world that neither they nor our main characters understand, and the journey of discovery is shared by all.

The heart of the story is simple. I want to put friendship and rivalries under a lens, I want to romanticize exploration, I want to hook lots of people with a fun story and make them smile. Doveiron is a bit of a preachy novel, painting the dark picture of corporate ownership, impotent politics, brutality, etc. EE is about hope and dreams, candy and flowers, butterflies and perriwinkle. No, of course there’s an underbelly — every story needs a nadir — but I’m working to keep the vision narrow.

A lot of my writing is done for me and me only; if other people like it, that’s great. EE is definitely for me, but I’m also writing it with a definite audience in mind. I realize that if I want to be a professional writer, I’m going to have to understand how the writing is sold as well. Who the audience is, what the marketing could be like, plans for further books, etc. To get published, the more you know about how your story can be sold, the better your chances are. If a publisher finds my story and likes it but wants to know if there will be other books, I can tell them right now that we can sign a contract for four more books with the same characters and places.

Everything about the EE project makes me excited for its possibility. I started it about a month ago and I have a fifth of the first draft. I could have the whole draft done by the new year. By this time next summer, I could have a well-edited, slick machine of a mainstream-friendly novel. I think I will set that goal for myself. Have at least a second draft, something I can be proud of, by June 1, 2010. It’ll require a lot of continual effort, but I think the end result could be amazing. I really do. And I’d have it done before I’m 26.

Then it’ll be time to find an agent.

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