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Personal Entries, The Phi

I’ve been writing!

I’m up to about 26,000 words toward my general goal of 100,000. The story, characters and themes have been evolving, and the book in general is definitely heading in the right direction.

Last night, I wrote an intense battle scene. It’s the penultimate scene of Act I. I’ll be wrapping up that first act tonight.

Since the book, The Phi, has so radically changed from the original concept, and since every few chapters I pull something out or insert something new, I think it’s best not to offer overly specific details about the book. I can, however, offer some generalities for your consumption.

  • The book features a female protagonist
  • The first act centers around the city of Portland, Oregon
  • The plot, in general, concerns humans and extraterrestrial allies facing an incursion by brutal, exploitative alien invaders
  • The outcome of the incursion is revolutionary, in regards to its impact on human culture and way of life
  • The book features more than action scenes, gargantuan alien vehicles and arcane technology–it contains themes of struggle, catharsis, the meaning of consciousness, and the limitations of human perception

These details, of course, are subject to change as the book progresses and forms.

I’ve managed to do a great deal of growing as a writer, and hopefully as a person. Finding the room in myself to write honestly, to allow those words to flow from a place of truth, without pretense–that’s been a struggle. I was worried about that from the outset.

But, I’ve come to see that voice is a learned and acquired thing. The road to reaching your potential, to no one’s surprise, requires sitting down and doing the work. For me, that’s putting the words on paper, no apologies. And learning from other writers.

Speaking of which, right now I want you to head over to this thread on Absolute Write Water Cooler forum: Learning to Write with Uncle Jim. I’m up to page 61, and I’ve learned more from this thread than I could have gleaned from the web in months. Jim has dedicated a lot of time and energy to this thread, and the results are well worth reading from page one.

Even better, sit your butt in a chair and write for two hours! (Then go check out that thread.)


About Benjamin Fenton

30 year-old writer, living in Ohio. I am currently writing my first novel, a cerebral science fiction thriller called The Phi. I hope to share my experiences as a writer, and the things I learn along the way, with other writers and readers of fiction. I blog about writing and my novel at https://benjaminfenton.wordpress.com/


7 thoughts on “I’ve been writing!

  1. Congrats on the progress! Keep choppin’ wood man. I think you are spot on about voice, and I’d add that it changes if you are in different genres, specifically non-fiction to fiction. Stephen King says any good novel is at least 100,000 words, so I guess you are on the right pace.

    Posted by ryan85 | 7 February, 2012, 5:08 pm
  2. I’m just about to release my first book ‘The Artemis Effect’ as an ebook on Amazon, and my little team who have been assisting with final editing and proofreading are finding a lot less to correct the further they get into the book. So I think there is a lot of truth in the suggestion that you develop as a writer as you go.
    Best of luck with it – sounds like you’re on a roll! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by katkasia | 6 February, 2012, 12:09 am
  3. Just stumbled upon your blog and was wondering what your writing credentials were, not that it really matters. I personally don’t think that you need a degree, just a modicum of intelligence and a boat load of research. I’m very interested to see where your novel is headed. I like to think of myself as a writer as well and am currently working on a second novel. Having gone through the whole query process and failing with my first, I try to offer advice and encouragement to other aspiring writers. If you ever need any advice or a helping hand, feel free to message me I’d be happy to help.

    One more question why is it called THE PHI?
    Good Luck.

    Posted by bwtaylor75 | 5 February, 2012, 4:03 pm
    • ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the interest. I suppose my credentials only extend so far as my passion for writing and desire to write novels. I work really hard to listen to writers who have gone before, and to take their advice to heart. A lot can also be learned about the publishing industry in this way, too.

      It’s really good that you’re still writing, despite having not (yet, perhaps) sold your first novel. Have you been submitting to agents, just out of curiosity? When my book is done, I’ll be simultaneously submitting to agents and publishers.

      I figure that the only way to learn to write a novel is to write one, so if this novel doesn’t sell, I’ll be better equipped when I write my next one!

      The story is called The Phi (subject to change like everything else in the book) because the antagonists have a fascination with what we in our culture call “The Golden Ratio,” (represented by the Greek letter Phi), as it is one of the physical connections between both universes. The spiral also plays a role in both plot, theme and motif throughout the story. Thanks for asking!

      Posted by Benjamin Fenton | 5 February, 2012, 7:39 pm
      • Those would be my credentials as well. Yes, I submitted my manuscript to around twenty five agents with mixed results. I haven’t given up on it, just put off to the side. My attitude hasn’t changed, writers write and rejection is part of the game.

        Selling a novel would be the icing on the cake for me. I love the whole creation process more than I would like to sell something. We all have different reasons for writing.

        Anyway, I look forward to your progress. Keep writing.

        Posted by bwtaylor75 | 6 February, 2012, 2:03 pm

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