The Daedalus Rises

I’m writing this blog to show the journey of my novel from idea to publication.  So let’s start at the beginning with how this book came into existence.

This book started, as many things do for me, from Star Trek.  At some point after watching Star Trek Into Darkness, I got thinking about my favorite character, Scotty.  I was happy that he had a very important part in the movie, but it got me thinking, “What if Scotty was the captain of the Enterprise?”  This idea bubbled around in my head.  Knowing that this might be met with excommunication from the Church of Star Trek, I thought about other worlds where this idea might apply.

And steampunk came as a natural parallel to the world of Star Trek.  Air travel, through the use of airships, is a new frontier in the early 1900’s and the ships definitely require a engineer to keep the machine flying.  As spring rolled into summer, I kept the idea bubbling along and eventually fleshing out a story outline that combined history and fantasy into (what I think) is an interesting story.  The setting, in a sense like Star Trek, is the airship, His Majesty’s Airship (HMA) Daedalus, the flagship of the British Air Service.

I waited for National Write a Novel Month (NaNoWriMo) in November to start.  NaNoWriMo challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel starting November 1 and finishing at 11:59 PM November 30.  I had first found out about NaNoWriMo the year before in the middle of November, so it was a little late to start.  I had wanted to participate and now with The Reluctant Captain (the name on which I eventually decided), I started out.

Let me tell you, 50,000 words is a large number of words! November meant that I watched very little television because every spare moment not working was spent working on the book.  I spent all but two days of the month writing.  In the end, I average about 1,762 words per day.  It doesn’t seem like much until you actually have to sit there pulling them out of your head and onto the page.  The good news was that I hit my 50,000 word total two days before the deadline;  the bad news was the novel wasn’t finished.  I pressed on at a slower pace through December and January (because of the holidays) and on January 25, 2014, I finished the first draft with 103,423 words.

For a while, I’ve let it sit so I could have some distance from it.  Now, I’m doing the painful job of proofreading and revision.  It’s very tedious work and is in many ways worse that the act of writing.  I have identified for myself spots where I’m just not happy with what I wrote and have to fix it.  Of course, if I knew how to fix it, I probably would have written it that way!

In the days to come, I hope to write more about my novel and the progress towards eventual publication.  I hope you will come aboard the HMA Daedalus and join me on this trip!


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