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#3 The Beginning Part 3


In 2007, my life of living in the hotel in Crystal City Virginia came to an end and life took another change. I changed companies and moved to Fairfax, Virginia to take a job with a different company. Living in Northern Virginia allowed me to attend meetings with the Navy at the Navy Yards area without having to live in hotels. My travel continued, just not across country. Now my travel was up and down the east coast between MA and VA with other trips around the country.

By this point, I had written a grand total of two pages. Actually I had re-written the two pages many times. With travel, work, shifting jobs and moving outside of San Diego for the first time in my life, becoming the next great science fiction writer was fast going no-where.

The two pages sat on my computer. The story just didn’t make sense.

By 2010, my work was my focus. The team I led seemed to be firmly moving forward to produce two new software products for the Navy. From the beginning of the effort, funding for the work had been a challenge for the Navy customer, but we were able to make significant progress. As the end of the government fiscal year approached, the funding became difficult and I found myself taking vacation time to avoid drawing down on the project funds and allow other engineers to continue working.

As I sat around my home, I remembered my story. I hadn’t looked at it in almost a year, but watching a show on the universe, reminded me of it. Sitting down in front of my computer, I pulled up the two pages of writing and decided it was trash.

First I tried to make an outline, after all, writing an engineering document I tend to build an outline. After a couple of days of trying to make this approach work, I trashed it and decided to start again.

My next approach was a little better. I approached it as an engineer laying out events and seeing where they led me. The structure was better and by applying logic to events, I began to create a story line. By the time I was done, I had a total of twenty pages. Dry, statements of events as if I had written a basic diary of an engineer watching life go by.

Looking at what I had put together, I sat it aside and tried again. This time, I began to get a feel for how the characters might react to the situations they found themselves in.

I was on a roll (or so I thought). By the time October came around and the project funding came in allowing me to begin to focus on my work, I had reached what I thought was a full story line. I was pretty proud of what I had done.

I have two daughters, one I have mentioned that sent me down this path. She had move into a path towards a career in art, but still with a history of reading and writing. My other daughter had graduated in theater management and was involved in a theater group. So leaning on my daughter’s opinion, I sent them what I had written to get their feedback.

Being a lead engineer, I had written many papers. I had learned to both receive criticism on my work as well as bleeding red all over papers I needed to review.

What I received back from my daughters was a massive shock. Little to no character development, no character background just to name a few…draft 1.

I took the feedback to heart and in evenings and weekends began to bear down and go through re-writes.

Next entry I will talk about getting to my first release.

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