Sunday 16 November 2014

Log 2014 Nov 16th: Bad Dog 5th Draft

I finished, for some definitions of finished, the fifth draft of my current novel Bad Dog on Friday evening - in a spurt of creative enthusiasm that comes when the end is in sight.  Of course I've now shot myself in the foot by getting Scrivener to produce a PDF, which I'm reading, and finding stuff I want to polish.  Still, for definitions of finished it's something.  This draft is structurally close to my original first draft, but a world away in terms of the writing, characterizations and setting.

Looking back at my files it took me 18 weeks to write the first working draft, which ended up being 93,075 words.  The second draft took five weeks with a total of 90,970 words.  I spent 20 weeks reworking the third draft, and ended up 87,999 words for my effort.  The fourth draft only took three weeks, and ended with 88,908 words.  My fifth draft took five weeks, and looking back at my records I cut about 8,000 words out, but ended writing extra scenes, which brought the total back up to 82,317 word, but this draft is still the best part of 10,000 words tighter than my original work.

I can only continue working to tighten up the text, reduce repetition and try to add more drama to the story.  This is all uncharted territory for me, but that has been true from day one.  I remind myself that being able to write a good story is 99% blood, sweat and tears, with the remaining 1% being a combination of talent and inspiration.  Though it can be argued that the latter is what makes a good novel great, but at this point I'm aspiring to be just good – great can come later.

Things I've been watching, or have watched, but forgot to mention - Edge of Tomorrow, which is the film adaptation of the manga All You Need is Kill, and for the Blu-ray release has the title Live. Die. Repeat. added in front of the original title, because the film didn't do well at the box office.

I know that a lot of people have mixed feelings about Tom Cruise, but given the likelihood that I will ever hang with Tom, or any other Hollywood star is less than one, and I really don't pay much attention to the tabloid gossip, none of this matters to me.  But that said I have been avoiding the film, because I knew that the plot is very close to that of Bad Dog, and it features power armoured troops fighting aliens.  As they say there is no such thing as an original plot, but Bad Dog's similarities are all surface level stuff, and the MacGuffin driving the plot is different; as in mine is based in real science and Edge of Tomorrow is just pure Hollywood razzle-dazzle.

Besides that Emily Blunt is brilliant and Tom gets killed a lot, so all is right with the world

Other films we watched since last week were Iron Sky: Dictators Cut, which is a Finnish B-movie that people either love or hate.  We loved it, because Space Nazis from the Moon invading Earth in flying saucers, what's not to like?  There is a sequel being made, and the trailer features Adolf Hitler riding a dinosaur called The Coming Race.  Finally, we also sat down and watched the Europa Report.  A found footage movie telling the story of the first mission to Europa, I don't think I'm giving any spoilers away by saying it doesn't end well for the astronauts.

So that's it for another week of internet raging where the old adage of you reap what you sow has never been more true.


  1. Must write up my Europa Report review one of these days.

    Good news on the 'Dog – I look forward to the published version.



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