Part 1 – Drafting
Siege is a sci-fi thriller. Here are some cool things we learned writing Siege, Prologue to the Zero-Point Awakening series. This is what Damian has to say about the drafting process:
Awesome learnings began with Millicent
From the start of the Zero-Point Awakening project, I knew we had to write a novelette to give to all of you wonderful subscribers. We’d just finished writing the first draft of book three when I put my hand up and said I’d write the first draft of an origin story of a character who appears for the first time in book three: Millicent Cuff.
I’m not ashamed to admit I was a little drained from writing three novels back-to-back. I got the first two chapters written over two days and then hit a wall.
Pants are optional?
The thing is, Andrew and I are both pantsers – we barely plot at all when writing a novel. It’s quite good really when combined with writing a book in partnership because it’s more like play, and neither of us knows where the story will end up. (Kudos to you if you can work it out!)
So I let it drop for a bit and got on with editing the stuff we’d already written, practically terrified of continuing with Siege, because, at that point, I couldn’t see where the story in Siege was.
Busting through walls is cool
The mistake I was making though was mostly that I wanted it to be a great read and I was trying to write perfect prose right out of the box, a really tough thing to do. Andrew spoke to me and reminded me I just needed to let the words come because, obviously, we were going to redraft and edit it.
That really helped, and by the time Gunther made a visit to Millicent’s house, I got a good idea of where things might end up.
I was still unsure at the end. All the clues I had led me to believe that it would be a very dark ending. A Titus Andronicus style ending. I’ll say no more about that, but I’m super happy with the finished first draft.
The concern I thought we might have was that it was less representative of the other books in the series than it might be – there was much less humor for sure. But as we’ve carried on writing the novels, what I’ve come to understand is we do have very dark moments where the comedy is necessarily sparse, as well as the lighter moments where we’re aiming for laughs.
All’s well that ends well?
For me, that sums up the Zero-Point Awakening series.
By the time I’d given it a redraft, I was very happy with it. There were some cool things about writing Siege that I’d learned. At that point, I handed it over to Andrew:
Watch this space for insights into our collaborative editing process. Coming up in Part 2 where we delve into the editing of a sci-fi thriller.
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