The "Moon Crater" Write-Up, Week # 10 - "Adjusting the clocks"

# “I don’t remember... much of anything... of those years…” – Anya Marina

The grand plan: to finish the novel I've been working on for about 8 years over a period of 5 months! All of the planning, plotting and preparation is over, it's time to just get down and write the blighter! Hopefully along the way I’ll be able to pass on some tips for other first-time writers as I discover them myself! So with a working title of Moon Crater, this is my week-to-week experience of its creation to complete-draft stage... Chris G. Allan (May to Sept ‘07)


3 things that I've achieved this week with my writing:
* I’ve passed the three-quarters mark of the 1st draft! Only 6 chapters to go…
* I’ve worked out properly the “paper trail” game of the hunt for the Missing Reel for my main website…
* I’ve made some interesting research notes for a future “historical” series of stories that I want to write after Moon Crater

A sentence from the new chapter of "Moon Crater":
Billy and Jo ran their fingers across the etching on the old tree stump – this, like most other things they’d recently discovered, had been right in front of them all along – this particular message, though, had been waiting for them for a very long time...

It seems mind-boggling to think it but about a year ago this week it was panic stations and busy-busy-busy in my life as I was preparing to get married at the end of July... This weekend, then, is our wedding anniversary and we’re planning a short trip to London to celebrate in style. Apart from the main happy feelings associated with this milestone event, this past week I’ve been musing on what being married has meant to my writing. I think that it’s provided much-needed stability and a base to write from, as well as making readily available a fantastic critic and proof-reader in the form of my wife, who being so close to me, can say pretty much anything about my writing, without fear of upsetting me too much. It’s a cliché but having now “settled down” and feeling more content in my personal life, I think my writing life is much more settled and content too – it’s certainly been noticeable to me that in this past year I’ve become much more focused on the kind of writing I want to do, instead of flitting about from one half-started story to the other. So I’m looking forward very much to more years of married bliss – not least because my writing should hopefully mature with the ensuing years too!

"Time" and the advance of it is very much at the forefront of my brain-type-thinking this week – as I’ve already said, it’s amazing how fast this past year has gone – but also, “time” as a theme is very, very important and relevant to the story of Moon Crater, and is brought to the forefront of things, whether the characters like it or not, in Chapter 20... My ancient laptop that I write on is so old that one of my early morning routines when I first turn it on is to adjust and amend the clock in the bottom right-hand corner to keep me right for the hour I have to write before my "day job". It never keeps good time... So time permeates through all parts of my writing and also my daily life – as well as my craving to write, there’s never enough time for my family, my friends - time is of the essence both in my “real” life and in my “fictional” life of Moon Crater’s story. You go cross-eyed if you think about it too much, but time, both past and present, as well as theoretical and literal, Billy and Jo begin to realise by Chapter 20, is so essential to them that they begin looking at their time in the place they live and come to learn it’s sort of a waste of time trying to adjust time... (maybe a lesson there that I should give up on my laptop clock too!)

OK, after that rather cryptic paragraph (even I'm confused!), Chapter 20 itself is a sort of “mirroring chapter” as it takes the reader back to the beginning of the book in a number of ways... I’ve said before that the story takes place over a typical (or not so typical!) week in the lives of Billy and Jo, and this new chapter is the turn of that week – so the events of Chapters 1 and 2 are mirrored here (Monday to Monday to be precise) and it’s fun to play on that, as well as it being pivotal and essential to the plot that some “routine” things are repeated because it’s exactly a week later...

Only one main piece of "Moon Crater" news this week:
It’s the time of year for anniversaries, it seems, because as exactly one year of my official site going live after it's holding page disappeared and the veil of mystery of what findthemissingreel.com is, was lifted, I've been developing and mapping out on my big sketchpad what the "hunt for the missing reel" actually means (not that I didn’t have a clue this time in 2006, by the way, it’s just I didn’t know how I wanted things to play out – but now I do...) So... “Come, WINTER 2007, prepare for the TRAIL for the MISSING REEL to be picked up ANEW with lots of puzzles that once solved, will lead to... (drum roll, please) ...the ACTUAL TITLE of the BOOK!!! Isn’t that worth becoming a super sleuth for? I think so, and I hope you do too... For now, of course, until the wait to Christmas, the initial "taster" puzzle in the trail has already begun – the key words and wordsearch on my official site "puzzle page" has been running since may (see below for this week’s key words) and will end in October – there’s still time to collect all of the words to solve the wordsearch – just backtrack through the archives here from the beginning of May and make a note of all the key words to use on the wordsearch grid... Happy hunting, trailblazers...

Books/writing I'm reading/looking at this week:
Gmail Behind The Scenes Video - I like this “chain” kind of idea for a fun internet game, but there’s not long before the closing date to submit your own video of the traveling e-nvelope… I’d love to do something like this for my main website – maybe a “reel journey…”?
A Battlestar Galactica Fanlit Site - a cool fan page of stories from the new “re-imagined” universe of Battlestar, of which I’m a huge fan… Shame the series is ending in 2008 but at least it’ll live on at sites like this…
The Creative Writing Coursebook - I’ve been reading a lot more of this book, which I bought a little while ago and has sat on my writing shelf for too long, unread. I'm currently looking at the section on “re-writing” with a view to the second draft of Moon Crater for October onwards…

Next time: Our intrepid investigators stumble into a van-load of trouble while seeking the truth about two mysterious strangers, and not only that, they get more than they bargained for when it's revealed that an otherwise innocent character isn't so saintly after all...



* Moon Crater key words this week =
"Mars" & "valley"

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