Plot Outline Takes Shape

After a good deal of brainstorming, I’ve created four abstract ideas one of which seems to be taking root and will be the one I’ll use for my NaNoWriMo novel.

In short it’s a sci-fi covering man’s first attempt at inter-stellar travel. The crew sucessfully reach Alpha Centauri but discover that their computer is lying to them and one of the crew has inexplicably died during the voyage. The discovery of an earth-like planet raises everybody’s spirits but the mystery deepens when they find evidence of an industrial level civilisation but not a single biological thing alive. Suddenly they find that they are at the forefront of a race against time to save the Earth itself…

I’m planning to interweave several things that interest me like the nature of artificial intelligence, the pressure of prolonged isolation and man’s reaction to things that he not only does not understand but is actually beyond what can be understood. Since a good deal of the action will take place aboard the confines of the ship (which is to a large extent a character itself) I want to try to lever as much out of character interaction and development as possible.

Not sure I like my current title (Star Shot) but something else will likely occur to me as I go along. Any suggestions on a postcard please!? (or in a comment).

Another question for anyone to chip in on: how many characters do you think one can reasonably keep track of in a situation like this? I’m thinking seven (including the ship’s computer)… Hm… shades of Terry Nation, anyone?