28 January 2013

Work in Progress Update - Ghost Train

I decided to add a new series of posts to the blog this year.  These posts will detail my works in progress, or WIPs.  I’m not going into details on plot or characters, but I will offer insight into how the story came about, where it may be going, and how close I feel it is to completion. 

Tentative title: Ghost Train

Original concept: Railroad company is cutting costs and chooses to close the round house that supports a small town.  Story follows MC as he fights for his town and his job,

Draft version: First
Present word count: 53,872 (Expected completion - 65,000)

Writing process:
This novel started as an idea I worked for National Novel Writing Month back in 2006.  I’d written a lot of fantasy and science fiction prior to this attempt, so I wanted to stretch my wings and try something different.  As I’d always had a fascination with trains, I took my personal fears of the loss of a job and combined that with the concept of working for a train company.  The idea built itself from there.  When I first started writing, I concentrated on the MC and his work.  The story had one plot line.  It didn’t feel right without an additional conflict to really twist my MC into knots, so I added a wife with a baby on the way. 

I was successful in making the initial fifty thousand words for NaNoWriMo but haven’t pushed the story to completion since then.  I’ve gotten all but two sections completed, one of which is difficult for me.  These cover the bulk of a major stand off between the main character and the police.  I’m awaiting word from the local sheriff to see if I can ask some questions about hostage tactics for the sake of the book.

I have a sound track that I play in the background with songs from various genres based on trains.  Restless Heart, Johnny Cash, and several others that I could find.  My process doesn’t have trouble with lyrics in while writing, but that comes from years of listening to the radio while studying for tests in school.  Not all of the writing is done in my writing room.  Some I wrote while sitting in Star Bucks, Panera Bread, and Barns & Noble Bookstores.  Headphones are your friend in those situations, provided you don’t sing along... which I sometimes did.

Future expectations:

Honestly, I think this is a big step for me, as I’ve completed many short stories, but the completion of the first novel is a milestone.  Sometimes I think it scares me to think the project is done.  It doesn’t help that I have many, many ideas working through the ether to completion and I get back to this one maybe every three months. 

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