Milk Run & the Seven Bones of the Story

Hey folks, I’m writing a new book!

It’s called MILK RUN, a science fiction novel about a young captain fresh out of space command school on his first assignment as captain of the DDG-S Princeton, an old destroyer class spacecraft. Earth is losing the war against the Telrachnids and our young captain is chosen to deliver a new weapon to a secret star base far from the front line fighting.   But what our hero thought would be an easy first mission turns out to be a test of his ability to lead a crew much older than he against an enemy that uses new parallel dimension battle strategies to their advantage.

MILK RUN is at the beginning stages of development. I plan to do at least two things differently from what I did with HEAVEN’S ANT FARM.

First is structure. So far, I’ve established the seven major elements of a classic three-act story for MILK RUN—inciting incident, first act turn, midpoint, low point, second act turn, climax, and wrap-up. This is sort of like laying down the bones (as John Robert Marlow calls it) for the novel. Next, I began to put meat on dem bones starting with character arcs for each of the seven elements. I’m now adding story beat lines, which will eventually turn into proses.  When I was writing HEAVEN’S ANT FARM, I used the brute force method—just jumped right in starting at chapter one and kept on writing until I came to a logical conclusion.   At the time, there was so much in my head that I just needed to get it into the iPhone (yes, I do my best writing in trains, planes and a on soft hammock out back). Then I forced everything to fit into those seven structural elements.  That was not easy!  The benefit of hindsight now tells me that was ass backwards, like putting drapes on the windows of a house—before it’s built! This structure first approach probably will not work for all writers but I’m an engineer and I think in those terms.

Now the second change is input. You see, HEAVEN’S ANT FARM (an upside down religious sci-fi) had no contribution from anyone, save for a few close friends. As a card carrying introvert, that’s how I wanted it. But this time, MILK RUN will be more of a “crowd sourced” effort with feedback from anyone who wants to influence the story’s action, themes, etc. Yes, too many cooks can spoil the gumbo but let’s see how this goes.

This is where you come in. Every other week or so, I will post what I’m writing in its raw form as described above.  I invite you all to read what I’ve created and give me your input. Is there too little action or too much? Are the characters believable? Is the science driving the action and story background way off base?

I’m going to repurpose this blog to feature both what I’m creating for MILK RUN as well as continue my musings and description of the science behind HEAVEN’S ANT FARM.   I just love that book! So I hope you’ll follow this blog and join in on the fun! Let me know what you think!

Now, while I make the changes to this blog, feel free to sing along with this little YouTube ditty.

Written by 

Pilot, geek, retired, happy, healthy, loves science/engineering and writing SciFi books!! 🤓

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