Book 3 Update
Given I only moved over a couple updates from the old blog, I figured it was time for a current update. It's going smoothly. If this book is as long as the other 2, then I'm about 1/6 (16.6%) of the way. If it ends up being longer....well...you know.
Since the multi-perspective fight scenes went over well with Ammit (book 2), I'm going to continue to do that. I'm glad that it did, it was fun to write and made for much longer battles. Not to say it's a good way to fill pages, but that I like my battles to be meaty. It irks me when I'm reading a book and I KNOW there's a big fight coming up and it lasts a paragraph.
I've also decided to show M's perspective in this one. Before now the scenes were either shown from someone elses POV, or in 3rd person (the gas station scene in book 2). To spice it up a bit, I've given his thought processes a bit more dark, edgy, noir vibe that teeters on sounding a bit like the old batman tv show. What I mean by the old batman show is that sometimes rather than fighting a giant robot, he may call it murdering mechano-man, or something equally silly. So far, I like it and I'm doing my best to not overdo it.
Beyond that, this book has them dealing with normal people, which neither Thomas nor M do very often. So, there is some social commentary, but it's pretty light hearted and silly. If I do end up tossing out some deep thought it'll probably be so buried that I'm the only one who sees it...unless you're a thinker and analyse what I'm saying...but it's fiction, so why would you :P
The Silliness of Fact Checking Fiction
This isn't so much a complaint as it is an observation I've made in the past week, or so. I've been checking out reviews of other fiction writers, mostly in contemporary fiction. I've noticed a few reviews here and there that state the author was incorrect in their statement and they needed to check their facts, bla bla bla.
I don't know what the author said, if it was sound, or stated falsely, but I have to wonder - who reads fiction for facts? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, most of Star Trek is based on working (and not so working) theories, but was that why any of us watched it? If the theory on Warp Drive on Star Trek differed from the real theory does it matter? I believe it does not. So why critique a piece of fiction based on that?
Let's say this little piece of information is key to some major part of the story. It's still fiction, it still does not matter. That would be like getting upset that a martial arts movie has people floating around in the air and fighting. "It's not possible!" You know what, it's not, but we aren't watching a documentary, we're watching two guys beat the piss out of each other with swords and somehow never die. I won't lie and say I like the floating around fighting, but it isn't because it's fake. It's because it's slow and a little stupid (to me).
Back Stories and Bad Timing
This example might fall on deaf ears, but I'll explain it because I cannot ask for a better example. There's a game for the PS3 called "Metal Gear Solid 4:Guns of the Patriots" that has a TON of cut scenes and in a lot of cases, at the worst times.
One such example that sticks in my head is at this point in the game where you're getting ready to sneak into this compound to do bla bla bla. Well, a nice little voice in the character's ear tells you to follow a bulldozer in that's about to bust the front gate down. Simple enough and oddly convenient let's do this. Oh, cut scene time...alright, let's have a video chat now....I guess.
This cut scene lasts a good 10-15 minutes and it's mostly about how your boss (more or less) is now married to the widow of someone you knew and she's a psychologist for soliders and bla bla bla who cares. All the while I'm watching this, I keep thinking "wasn't I supposed to be following a bulldozer in to that compound? That bulldozer was right in front of me when this video started...5, 10 minutes ago?"
It's things like this that bother me in books, games, everything. I appreciate a good back story, don't get me wrong. I understand these things are needed to give the world some depth, to explain some things that need explaining and sometimes just to add a bit of filler. I get it, no biggie. What I don't like is that sort of thing interrupting a good plot. Don't stop in the middle of a huge battle to tell me about something that may or may not be important. Furthermore, do the audience a favor and figure out a way to allude to it and give that info later, when it's not distracting. This way, it doesn't just add depth, it also adds a bit of suspense.
For those of you reading (or have read) Book 1, I want you to be aware of what I did here. Chapters 1 and 2 bring up some "Mad Baker Incident" a few times in conversation. During those 2 chapters, all I give is that it's somehow important to what is going on. Chapter 3 is that incident in its fullest. This happens again -chapters 4 and 5 give a main plot and 6 explains things that didn't make a lot of sense. I did it this way for 2 reasons.
1. The back story is NOT interrupting the main plot. In fact, it's written in as a segue to the next set of main plot.
2. If you go back to re-read the book at some later date (this is looking to be a 10 book series right now, I know I re-read long series like that) you can completely skip those back story chapters and miss out on ZERO main plot.
There you have it, it's a bit of an experiment, but it seems that those who have read it and gotten back to me have loved this idea and its execution. Hope you enjoy it as well. :-)
Technology in Science Fiction
There are points in my life where I'm completely aware that I think too much. This topic is one of them moments (really...the past several blog postings, but anyways).
Something I've always enjoyed in Science Fiction are the gadgets. From the replicator to the light saber, its all pretty neat. For the most part, these gadgets are taken for granted as working standards and they neither enjoyed nor interesting to the main cast. Really, that's fair. I have a 3 year old computer sitting next to me with a 12gig ram drive that i dump games on for load-less awesomeness...not terribly exciting anymore.
What rarely happens in shows are the prototypes. Sure, once in a while an episode of something will have a fancy new prototype that just happens to work exactly when they need it to and now the plot is complete. yay, roll credits.
I don't want to see the first prototype, where it explodes the moment they turn it on (okay, once in a while I do). I want to see the first working prototype, something that is just so odd that it doesn't even resemble the end product for a science fiction show. So, I bring you replicators...more or less.
I tend to ponder a lot, if you hadn't noticed. At some point I wondered what the first replicator would have been like. Surely they weren't the in-wall unit that exists in Star Trek. If it's like everything else in this world, it would have been massive, clumsy and next to useless.
Given certain elements in my series, I decided to come up with a similar solution to food. However, since this story starts in modern times, I started the technology at the prototype level. Food is processed in large vats where the core elements are broken down into a sludge. Then, through the magic of behind-the-scenes, the vats of sludge are broken down into atoms and recombined to make basic foods. all the while, the scientists involved in this project take turns running the kitchen, to make sure foods tastes the way should. when they dont, they can tweak here and there and taste again.
Is this how replicators in star trek work? i have absolutely no idea. I just looked at the idea, realized that it was the ONLY reasonable, logical idea for long distance space travel, came up with my own concept and then set to writing it from the beginning. I also plan to do this with a great deal of other things.
A couple reviews and some interviews
I'm going to end up linking these on twitter a few times...but to make life easier I'll post it here first and just tweet this post! YAY LAZY...actually it makes for less twitter spam this way.
There's more out there, but these are the most recent. With book 2 on the way, there will be plenty more soon enough.
The writing of book 3 is coming along at full stride now. I've gotten some initial feedback on Ammit and so far the style of the writing is going over well. I have a lot of ground to cover with this book in order to complete this first trilogy, so I don't know how long it'll be or how long it'll take to write. Given there was 3 months between books 1 and 2...i dont see it taking more than 6 if it gets long. I also don't see any of my more interesting fans (you know who you are) saying anything about a slightly longer wait that before. Given most authors, I think that's what I am now..., write 1 book a year, I think I'm doing pretty well.
On a side note I decided to spend a small portion of my day working on a side project, completely unrelated to the series. The working title is "Sunnydale" but that may change. All I can say is that it's a "Grindhouse Horror." For those who are wondering what exactly that means is that it's going to be completely over the top when the action happens and it'll have a gory and, at times, supernatural approach to it....and probably crazy scary. There is no timetable on this one as I'm more interested in completing the Chronicles first trilogy. If I had to give a time it would be sometime after Book 3 comes out and maybe before book 4 does. We shall see.