What I’m working on now: This Monstrous Heart

The last time I posted, I talked a little about the novella I am currently working on, This Monstrous Heart. Today, I thought I’d say a bit more, partly just to share, partly to document my process for myself, and partly because I need to figure out a way to talk about it (I am terrible at back-of-book length blurbs and elevator pitches).

This novella has really developed out of a series of classes, which only reinforces my terrible weakness for being a student.

My initial ideas were:

  • Perhaps the star is a danger to a nearby inhabited planet
  • Or artificially blowing up stars using the same/similar mechanism
  • Harvesting uranium snowflakes

So I thought about the article a lot and ended up fixating on the last idea, harvesting uranium snowflakes. And about a month later I had a rough idea of the story.

Once I had that idea, I knew that it was probably novella length in its scope.

The comments were useful, but it was really the commitment I had made to myself to post the 2000 words a week that helped me get the first 15 000 words of the novella done.

My outline at the beginning was a bit vague about the ending and, as I wrote, I adjusted the outline to accommodate new ideas I had.

The first draft, which I finished in late August, ended up being around 23 000 words.

So I am now editing and it is going rather well. I did an initial edit of the full manuscript and made notes on larger issues I wanted to address (partly coming from the comments I received from Kate).

I have 4-5 weeks left to finish and I think it is going well (fingers crossed and all that).

The brief ‘elevator pitch’ description I wrote in early June still captures most of the story: 

With the star at the heart of the ancient Dyson sphere-like structure they live in no longer able to provide the energy they need, Terra thinks she has found a solution. But for her partner, Arolin, it is no solution at all. As Arolin and Terra struggle to identify a way forward, they discover they are both mistaken.

(It’s all mysterious about how they are mistaken.)

I need a better description than that for my own sake, but it will do for now.

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