I have crossed another mile stone while penning this first draft of Shady Palms. I am happy to say that I have completed the second part of the book and added another 12,000 words to the manuscript!
Tentatively Part Two of the Story is entitled “Furlough” as it deals with a new main character and her release to work at the Shady Palms as part of a crooked work furlough program. In the original screenplay I had hinted at some of the struggles this character had been challenged with through her life but not I have the liberty to explain things a little more and flesh out my characters motivations a little more.
As of right now, I have written approximately 1/3 of the story. In the end I think I will have a total of five parts in the book, each one dealing with a specific time frame in the story. As I look back at the original screenplay and look forward to the development of the characters in the novel, I have often found myself using the former work as a skeleton to build the muscle of the story on.
As I conducted research on radioactive materials used for medical treatments, I found that I would have to go back and tweak parts of the story so they were clinically correct. I have also been spending tome researching the long term effects of radiation on a quarantined zone in Chernobyl. At first I was just looking for hideous photos of genetic mutations of people and animals but I ended up coming across information at was a great benefit. As I had discovered, fallout from the Chernobyl Accident, not only caused thousands of cancer cases, it may have also grossly mutated insects in the fallout zone. Some people still debate this, but scientific evidence points to the fact most of these mutations were caused directly by exposure to ionizing radiation. I was thrilled as I consumed all of the information I could on the subject. After all, I am writing a story about killer bedbugs mutated by radiation.
I am greatly appreciate the words of encouragement some of you have been sending me. I am trying to add a few thousand words every week to the story. Thanks to the fact I have some extended time off this summer, I am finding that I have more time to spend working on the novel. At times I am extremely optimistic about my progress. I may even complete my first draft ahead of schedule…that is if I don’t suffer a hard drive crash or a FarmVille relapse.