Writing is Rewriting – The First Problems

Having written just under 1000 words, I’ve now discovered that those words are… erm… wrong!  No matter – there is an old adage that states that ‘writing is rewriting’.  Sometimes, problems only become visible when an initial run is made on some text and there are two problems that have already come to light…

The Story So Far…

The main character. Drew, gets drunk and visits a large roundabout in the middle of the night…  There, he falls asleep.  He is awoken by a bright light and subsequently witnesses the crash of an alien space ship.  Drew then rides off to the crash site

… and adventure!  Huzzah!

Problem 1

I’m trying to write something that is accessable to a wide audience and, while I personally think that science fiction is a wonderful, imaginative, exciting genre, I’m aware that many others don’t share my enthusiasm.  Milk Teeth is supposed to be a character driven comedy with elements of science fiction, possibly horror, that will serve as a motivating factor in the novel… Milk Teeth isn’t exactly the next Star Wars!

It’s essentially Red Dwarf but with prams and nappies instead of space travel and lazers…  This Red Dwarf clip will give you an idea of the tone of comic dialogue that I’m looking for when all the main characters come into play.

 

I hope you’ll agree that, while the setting of Red Dwarf is very ‘sci-fi’, the actual dialogue is very down to earth and therefore accessable. While Milk Teeth will have some aliens running around in it, my story is set in the very here and now world, with real life people and real life problems – it’s those things that the novel is really about!

The problem with my current prologue is one of tone – the everyday aspect of the story just doesn’t shine through the introduction.  I have set my stall up wrong – with a lot of science fiction elements right from the word go.  My aim should be to excite the casual reader with the story of Drew and get him / her hooked on Drew’s everyday life… then rock the boat a little with some more fantastic elements that will serve as catalysts within the story – NOT as the major selling points for the novel.

Problem 2

The roundabout is an important metaphor within the story, so I want to flag that up from the very beginning.  The prologue must therefore reference Drew on the roundabout, after which chapter one will jump back a week so that we can see Drew in his natural world… This is where the work will be done to make everyone fall in love with Drew enough to want to see him through all that ‘sci-fi stuff’.

Solution ?

The solution seems obvious now…  Simply spend the prologue focusing on the roundabout scene right up to the moment when the ‘alien slug thing’ arrives… Cut really quickly before the reader really knows what this mystery light in the sky is, and we’re all ready for chapter one…!

Roundabout metaphor referenced ?  CHECK!

Early fantasy elements avoided ?  CHECK!

Additional bonus – the prologue creates a great hook for the reader.  What is the light ?

I’m going to rattle on with chapter one now, leaving the prologue ‘as is’ for the moment.  When I’ve finished accounting the week before the roundabout incident, I should be in a better place to rewrite it.

Prologue now available

Hurrah!  I’ve started… and I feel a bit sluggish already.  I love the story that I have in my head but the trick will be getting it out in a readable, exciting fashion.  Please have a read and let me know what you think.

http://milkteethnovel.wordpress.com/milk-teeth-the-novel/prologue/

I’m really not happy with some of the internal monologue but I’ve bunged it up as a ‘placeholder’ until I can come up with something better.  It’ll happen but if I wait then I’ll never get the thing going.  This is something that I’ve not thought about when writing a story in this way.  It’s all very public from day one…  so PLEEEEASE bear with me and just enjoy the process as a fun thing in itself.

…I promise that I will try to as well… ;)

As always, if you love it then I need PAYMENT –  I don’t mean in cash or alcohol (although the latter sounds quite nice…).  I mean payment in terms of support…  I really lack motivation and confidence but if I know people are reading Milk Teeth, being engaged by it and bringing other people in to read, then I can hopefully cvontinue until the full story is told.  Massive thanks in advance!

Loads a love,

Andy

Milk Teeth – Starting the Novel

Drew is a stressed, fortysomething, ‘At Home Dad’ with confidence issues.  He has crash landed into an alien world – the domain of the mum – a place of breastfeeding, bottles, babies and banality.  Now Drew has a choice – either remain an alien male or slowly transform himself into a tomgirl.

As if this isn’t enough, a real alien ship has crash landed and the emerging creatures seem to enjoy sucking blood…

Only Drew can see them.  Luckily, he has discovered an artifact that will enable a few other people to witness the alien menace.  Who should he recruit ?  Will it be his Dream Woman ?  Will it be the local Science Fiction geek ?  Will it be someone from the government ?

The pressure is on…

… the fate of Drew’s small town is in his hands…

…and his daughter Chloe needs another nappy change.

This is it!  My first novel!  And I’m bunging it online as I write!  I’m either really stupid or incredibly brave.  Nevetheless, if I don’t write the novel this way then I’ll give up.  You see, I desperately need the support of readers who will threaten to physically beat me if I don’t continue the story to it’s conclusion.  This really will be a collaborative effort – with me in my underpants, punching random letters into my computer and you showing me a high level of contempt should I ever stop.  It sounds like a terribly abusive situation, so I will also accept glowing praise and cries of wonder whenever those letters happen to line up nicely.  Use carrots!  Use sticks!  Use whatever you can find in your arsenal to keep me doing this… please!  You really will be doing me a massive favour…

In return, you will be the first (if not the last) to see two adventures play out.  One story will focus on Drew, the protagonist of Milk Teeth, while the other drama will surround me and my keyboard as I write myself into corners and write myself out again.  Drew’s story is already a complete tale – but it’s in my head. These things always change from brain to screen and we can have fun delving into the Making of Milk Teeth as I go!

In all seriousness, if you like what you’re reading then please let me know, please tell your friends and please keep me motivated.  This is your chance to help a struggling writer with his own confidence issues… and should the whole story be finally told, you will be able to say proudly that you carried me to the end!

Milk Teeth is a great story with a little bit of everything.  It’s a romance.  It’s a drama.  It’s got a few scary bits and loads of humour.  Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of Science Fiction – the aliens are there as a comedic backdrop to the real story of Drew and serve as icing on an already rich wordcake. Yummy!

Right… fingers at the ready… Aaaaaaaand GO!