A New Arc for Flight of the Condor

Plots and Subplots

I’m excited to report that my current work-in-progress, Flight of the Condor, has taken an important step towards completion.

I have finished plotting the third section of the book and now know how the story ends. 

Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Who would write a book not knowing the ending? But that wasn’t the case.

A ring ship like that in Flight of the Condor
Flight of the Condor is a sciences fiction story that takes place in a dystopian future. It features a colony ship not so different from the one pictured above.

I thought I knew the whole story when I started, but it twisted and evolved as I was writing it. That left me in the middle of the book with an ending that no longer made much sense. I had to stop writing and figure out where we went from there. What did I want to achieve? How will the characters grow? Who lives and who dies? What is the endgame here, and will it fit with the rest of the story?

The broad arc came to me one morning this week while I was lounging in bed. (I get some of my best ideas during this non-structured time where I have no concerns, no appointments, no demands to meet, solitude, comfort, and a clean mental slate.) The next day I filled in some more details and came up with a great new subplot that ties back to the earlier sections of the book quite nicely. 

Any good story has an arc, but I believe great stories have multiple arcs. Subplots within plots, if you will. Tying up most of these by the end of a novel is one of the tougher jobs an author faces. 

World Building

Condor starts in a dystopian future on an earth that has seen portions of the planet left uninhabitable after a nuclear war. 

I had fun creating the world, its rules, the society’s moral code, its religion, how it is governed, and its institutions. I know far more about it the world than makes it into the book, but such knowledge makes the story more real. It’s the infrastructure that supports the story like a foundation supports a house.

Later, the main character escapes Earth on a colony ship and starts raising a family while the ship travels to a new start system. When they land on a virgin planet, we get to see how people who have lived their entire lives in a sealed, man-made environment react to open fields, unending skies, dirt, and mud.

If you have not already done so, you are welcome to read an early excerpt from Flight of the Condor.