Sol: Chapter 3 Writing Notes

Starting with Chapter 3, I’ll be publishing notes and thoughts on each of the chapters. 

Don’t read these before you read Chapter 3: Diaspora.


Number of Drafts for Diaspora

  1. I’ve chosen to use first person narration for Sol. That means I have to balance how the narrators tell the story with setting up the scene. There is a constant tension between setting up the scene in enough detail so that the reader has context for where the narrator is in relation to objects. I think it’s especially hard for Sci Fi that takes place in spaces that have little reference to what we all hold as common knowledge. For instance, a colleague at work really keyed in on a very specific description of the screen inside Manhattan Project. Rick describes the wall as 20 blocks long, but how would he know that in such detail. I felt it was important to give a sense for the overall scale, but Rick’s precision pulled him out of the story, so I’ll need to work harder to balance that a bit more.
  2. The first few drafts of this chapter had too much Prime and it belied later plot points which I won’t reveal. I dialed him back a bit so he didn’t become a Deus Ex Machina. I also shifted his personality a bit, which you may notice, but it actually supports subsequent chapters much better.
  3. I had a separate conversation about the first few chapters with another colleague at work and he had some great questions around the story telling. Is Rick telling the story and keeping things from us or does he not know what’s next? I decided after that discussion to loosen up the way in Rick can tell the story. This is also something my wife echoed in her commentary of the first draft of Chapter 3. I gave Rick more free reign to reference his future self in this chapter, and I’m also happier with the flow and ability of Rick to tell his story.

Come back in a few weeks for Chapter 4 where Kathryn starts telling her story.