Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why This Is Taking So Long

Over the holiday weekend, I did some major surgery on B8P2, moved some sections around, excised some others. I think it makes the pace a little more rational, and reduces the phenomenon of characters jumping in and out of the story, which I thought was getting too distracting. The story is more linear now, although it was hard to make some of the pieces fit, and I think the seams still show from where difference parts of the story were previously. I am optimistic it's on the right track now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Restructuring and the Hot-Cold Motif

I didn't get a chance to write yesterday, too much to do at work, also had to go to the MVA to register the purple car I bought for my son over the weekend. But I did *think* about writing, and worked out a couple of things in my head.

- The nature of 'the island' in B8P2 will become clearer in Book 9. Book 9 - Gethsemane - is even more metaphysical than Book 7, and I expect to begin chapter-by-chapter outlines next month. Unlike Book 8, it will not break easily into parts, so I'm working out whether to wait the full year it will take to write the thing, or put it out in three or four parts throughout the year.

- The addition of the 'Winter' flashback threw off the pacing in B8P2 in a big way. There's going to have to be considerable structural re-work now. But what's neat is that, without realizing it, I had worked in a hot-cold-hot-cold motif in Atlantic's flashbacks. When he flashes back to EdenWorld, he's remembering a hot setting, then he flashes to Winter and its a cold setting. Aurora - hot. Chapultepec - cold. Yronwode - hot. The only one that doesn't fit is ... well, the one I previously described as the most juvenile thing I've ever written. Kind of blows the motif, but I'm leaving it in. I may even post it as an entry here.

Back to the mines.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Joy of the Home Stretch

Right now, WA B8 P2 is 40pp of story in a 60pp. Editing is my favorite part of the process. Everything is there, everything has been created, it just needs to be fixed.

Except when stuff needs to be created.

I structured the story with Specialist Atlantic flashing back to his role in other missions, other stories. This was my way of looking at past events from a new perspective. He has flashbacks to EdenWorld, Aurora, and Yronwode. There's also a thread through these memories concerning his crush on Specialist Brainiacsdaughter. In order to better develop both these themes, I decided this morning to add a flashback to Winter. Now, I gotta look back and get some character names that I forgot about a long time ago.

Also, Atlantic has kind of become a Forrest Gump character on the basis of his proximity to events that shaped the overall Worlds Apart arc.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Woke Up This Morning...

... and immediately re-wrote a major exposition point in Book 08 Part 2. The change amounted to half a page, and it's all in the exposition, but it's a big shift. Previously, the explanation for the collapse of Fallon's civilization had been internal, and based on a fanatical environmental movement that forced a move away from industry and technology. The new explanation blames the collapse directly on involvement from the Kariad.

My concept of Kariad was of a powerful alien race with benign intentions that manages to screw up every human civilization they touch. (Read into that whatever commentary you want.)

Anyway, I'm in the last four or five pages of the story. With a little bit of luck, I can adhere to a Thanksgiving timeframe for delivery.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hello, Mr. Dolby

Just changed a character's name. Mr. Panzetti is now Mr. Dolby, because I always had Thomas Dolby in mind when I created him anyway. Actually, he's kind of a cross between Thomas Dolby and The Tenth Doctor.

Some notes on the character. None of this is in the story, but this is the background. Dolby was a stowaway on the Pathfinder Ship Olympic. Olympic was never heard from again after departing the Sapphire/Republic systems. At some point, Olympic passed through the Fallon system, and Dolby left, or was forced to leave the ship, taking an Accipiter that crashed on the island where the crew of the Aves Leo. He was captured by agents of The Empire State and held in a research facility on the island. Eventually, he escaped and lived on the planet for many years as a fugitive before the collapse of the planetary civilization. At which point, he led a group of refugees back to the island in a stolen submarine ("One of Our Submarines") As a result of previous time-travel (owing to the Pathfinder Ship Olympic being "unstuck in time"), he knows that the refugees from Hellfire will eventually arrive at Fallon and help rebuild the planet's civilization.

But, in the story, he just appears as a weird guy who tortures Specialist Atlantic for no readily apparent reason. OK, there is a reason, but that reason *is* actually in the story, so I can't spill it here.

Maybe there is a use for Spam

Maybe someday I'll write a book in which all of the people on the colony planet have the phony names that appear next to the To: in spam for artificial hard-on products.

Like today: Madhur Hopkins

Friday, November 9, 2007

~10 pp to go on Book 08 Part 2

The story is approaching it's anti-climax and wrap-up. The story doesn't have a big climax, or a big twist, or anything like that. It's pretty much shaping up as the dim-witted Lost-Lord of the Flies - Jurassic Park - The Prisoner- Every Island Story Cliche I could think of parody I had envisioned it would be. It works as kind of the dessert to the meal that was Book 08, which was one of the stronger books, plotwise.

In about 10 pages, I should have it pretty well wrapped. One of the things I wanted to do with it thematically was see how the major characters ... like Keeler, like Alkema, like Change, like Lear ... look from the perspective of a minor character. When I started writing, the minor characters I chose for this story ... Atlantic, Brainiacsdaughter, Savagewood, Herrald, and Aramburuzubala ... were ciphers. As the story progressed, it became more necessary to flesh them out... especially Atlantic. Now, when I re-write the story, I have to make it a point to emphasize those personalities and quirks of behavior.