Tom Petty was wrong. You do have to live like a refugee, at least here. So far, I’ve pretty much wiped out life as our intrepid colonists know it with the rest of the human race blissfully unaware of anything more than “Hey, why ain’t we getting alien mammal jerky anymore? The shelves are bare at the Seven-Eleven. Find more! Chop chop!”
There is, of course, a question of how much power remains on the planet. If some of the characters can get a train rolling by plugging solar farms and windmills into the track, how much power would a remote mountain town have?
Other things I need to know before the next draft. I lifted a town name from Lord of the Rings. Homage? Or copyright infringement. Already, there’s been mention of a “Barsoom,” the native name for Mars in the John Carter novels. Already, a couple of characters “not from around here” are noticing that people age and that they get infections. Hey, that’s not supposed to happen. It’s the future! But if you can’t walk into your doctor every five years to make sure you never age past thirty on the planetary equivalent of any mid-sized city you could name, is it realistic to believe the fringe colonies wouldn’t have set that up, especially when they have some decent sized cities?
Yes, I foresee a Holland Bay-like rewrite for this one in which the plot, though headed in the same direction, takes on a vastly different shape. How do I know? At 40,000 words (Sunday morning’s tally), I’m not even a third of the way through the story. Now it’s possible the rest of the novel can move faster, but there are moments I’m pretty sure I’m flailing.
I would like to be able to write a Laura Lippman-like 2000 words a day. Laura does this full-time and is married to a man who, among other things, writes for a living. I won’t say it’s easy to get those words out, but it’s not competing with a full-time job and night school.
Beyond this, I am also going to have to come up with material to whet potential fans’ appetites. I’ve been busy putting together the alter ego’s platform, reserving social media space and a web domain. He (I) will need photographs, and they’ll have to differentiate his Dick Bachman from my Steve King. So will his blog, his Twitter feed, even his Facebook page. Just because he’s me doesn’t mean it has to be obvious.