Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Characters seize the keyboard in drafting of 'The Fracking War'

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - Friday and Monday (yesterday) the characters in my first draft of The Fracking War apparently got tired of waiting for me.

They started moving the story line along so fast I had to shut down Microsoft Word for a few hours while I outlined where I wanted the book to go next.  I was half afraid I might open up the last chapter and find they had added to it!

I retired to a chair on the beach to do some outlining. It was a welcome respite from the dreary winter upstate-New York setting for the book.

The characters hadn't staged a coup by the time  I started writing again. But I could hear their lament: If this book is about a war, where's the freakin' war?

Admittedly, the book is already at 22 chapters (about 15,000 words) and there has been but a single violent death, lots of nasty stuff and some quite classic vandalism. Think: The Monkey Wrench Gang. But there are crusading journalists, evil gas company workers, lots of solid science about why hydrofracking is such a disaster and a dog.

Yes, a dog. It's an old labrador named Belle who showed up this morning with a female environmental specialist/activist from Colorado hired by the newspaper. I didn't say she could bring a dog, but she did.

Novel characters and actors are like that.

All in all, the draft is moving along fine and if I read my outline correctly, it seems that tomorrow the good guys and the bad guys are likely to meet in a serious clash, like matter and anti-matter (with a similar explosion), unless that is happening already while I have been away typing this update.

More next week, with a hot war underway. Maybe.