Work on the eBook is coming along well. What started as a long short-story is starting to feel like it’s truly expanded into a novel. Previously, the story was going to start in the middle of the action, with the characters embarking on a suicide mission. Now that I’ve decided to start the story much farther back, I have the opportunity to explore the characters further and widen their arc as their motivations and desires become clearer. The story now starts in a slightly more subdued fashion, building up as the protagonist and his friends find themselves involved with a galactic conspiracy. This will hopefully make the later action more satisfying.
In addition, I’ve been working on being as descriptive as possible. Not just of the scenery though, but the setting. I want to bring the universe to life with a variety of locales each with their own unique culture and flair. It’s still primarily “military sci-fi” as far as genre classification goes, but now it’s more of an adventure as well. Here’s a short excerpt from one of the chapters. I wrote since I started expanding the scope of the novel.
In this scene, the protagonist, Harold Conrad, ventures into the seedy underbelly of Tau Ceti Central Station, where he and his friends Karen and Richard are to rendevouz with their commanding officer for a less-than-legal clandestine operation.
From beyond the “gates of Tartarus” they passed through the tunnel that connected the central ring of the station – Asphodel – to the lowermost region of the spherical aspect of Tau Ceti, the Tartarus district. Once a more scenic avenue, the tunnel eventually gave way to consumerism as businesses from all over the galaxy petitioned to set up shop in the tunnel. You couldn’t enter Tartarus without being shouted at by dozens of vendors, traders, shopkeepers and other such scum. As demand for space increased, three other tunnels were connected from the Asphodel ring.
Above Tartarus was the Bronze District, which housed most of the businesses and what few manufacturing facilities that had on-station. Of course there was no way to access Tartarus from Bronze or vice versa. The Bronze businessfolk preferred it that way; Tartarus accounted for approximately one-fourth of the space within the central sphere and about four-fifths of its crime.
Harold, Richard and Karen walked alongside one another with the most nonchalant mixture of confidence and non-committal they could muster. In a place like Tartarus, the trick in getting from one place to another without being stabbed or worse is giving the impression that you always have somewhere to be, but nowhere terribly important.
Karen’s body was bathed in ambient red light. There was no day or night in Tartarus, only a constant bustle and flow from which the residents took a break for short intervals of several hours before returning the throng. She considered herself lucky to not be so downtrodden she’d need to live in a cramped ghetto like Tartarus, even with the crime in Arcturus Prime being what it was.
Richard looked around, almost as if he was in wonder at the city’s piss-soaked, grimy splendour. “Man, I can’t believe a place like this actually exists in Central Station.”
“Yeah, there’s always been talk of dismantling and even moving Tartarus. There’s been a big push to clean this place up, but Tartarans always find a way to push back. In the end, things stay the same because the higher ups in Elysium know what’s what. Business is good here.”
Karen didn’t join the conversion, instead eying the throngs around them. The densely packed narrow passageways of Tartarus always made her feel claustrophobic. It was nothing like the open spaces of Arcturus Prime.
And as you probably noticed, Apocryphal Son is no longer a novella. As of a couple hours ago, it has officially surpassed the word limit for a novella, breaching that novel barrier. So I suppose I’ve actually written a novel, in all technicality. If only it were that easy.
Current total word count: 40, 995