On Friday past, I finished the first draft of the second book in the Zarulium Chronicles series. I finished the rough draft over the previous weekend, and then spent last week reading and correcting small details. From here until I publish, the book will undergo a rigorous edit that will involve my editor.
My editor is Alice, who is also my wife, and who has far more education of a relevant nature, than I do, when it comes to writing. One might say, I have the ideas, and she makes sure that those ideas are legible before a reader undertakes the challenge!
Alice suggested that I blog about once per month, which is entirely agreeable to my way of thinking. I doubt, for example that I could 'tweet.' Even if I grow to be tremendously famous one day, you can count on me not to become a 'tweeter' even then – I consider the smaller details of my life to be . . . small. In fact, if I found myself behind a closed door, then presumably I might be in a washroom, bedroom, or a car, and none of these places seems conducive to a good 'tweet' place-to-be: would you want me to report about anything while in such places?
Blogging though, sounds to me a thoroughly appropriate concept, if used sparingly. I admit that when I heard the term initially, I imagined it as a new winter Olympic sport. You know, 'He climbed aboard his blog and made his way down the snow-covered hill in record time for a blogger.' At some point, someone switched-on to today's world informed me that a blogger was a form of electronic journalistic witness: a photographer of words. Bloggers were witnesses to events both planned and random, but who offered a viewpoint on their experience.
I worried that what had been responsible reporting could become a trashy downgrade of journalism. I frequently thought of the idea that 'just because you have the means to write, does not mean that one should.' That was a few years ago, and I am glad that I waited to give blogging a second chance.
And so, here I go, explaining some of the writer's process, for my second novel in the Zarulium Chronicles stories . . .
When I developed the idea for the series, I saw the first three books as a sort of 'teaser trilogy.' I would introduce characters and let them develop for the reader, by pacing them through some early adventures, all with an end game in mind that eventually, during the second trilogy, these characters would have made the sort of personal advancements necessary to assist them in succeeding in the final trilogy.
So, right there, if counting is one of your specialties, you will be expecting the Earth to succeed or shatter in the series, by the end of book 9. True, nine is many stories. In fact, nine is three more than the Star Wars chap has done so far, and two more than the Harry Potter lady did. (Based on that final movie, at any rate, I am assuming she has done with Harry.)
In Days of Discovery, the first novel in the series, I planned to introduce characters, and push them through a plot that set them up for time travelling in book two. Alice commented after reading the first draft of the first book that there 'wasn't a lot of sci-fi' at least not at the start. I rationalized that the sci-fi elements grew as the story progressed, and while she agreed; nevertheless, I had to respect that I needed a better promise of things to come later as I began the first novel.
That would explain, for example, 'Anton's Video Diaries' being positioned where I positioned them – near the start of the story. I am making the reader a sort of promise that I will progress to the time machine stuff – in time. Of course, by the time I had 450 pages or so of Days of Discovery written, I had yet to present the reader with much time travel action at all, and yet, I felt the need to stop writing.
I think of the joke that Dr. Malcolm makes in Jurassic Park when no dinosaurs have appeared after a goodly part of the tour has passed, he comments "Now, eventually, you do plan to have dinosaurs on the tour, right?" I belief John Hammond's aside response is, "I really hate that man."
Therefore, to avoid my readers hating me, I deliver plenty of time travel activity in book two, Misadventures in Time Travel. Obviously, I do not wish to divulge plot at this point; however, book readers can take solace in the title of the second book alone. That is, if they need a time travel fix, then this book delivers that.
What I focused on within the specifics of time travel, was an examination of the various theories that experts agree and disagree on – I find it fascinating that highly learned physicists and creative sci-fi writers are equally as stymied and potentially creative where it concerns this area of science. For example, when we speak about the 'Novikov Self-Consistency Principle', we are talking about a physicist's theory regarding time travel. Novikov has no proof, just the well-considered theory of a highly educated and brilliant mind.
As compelling as his theory should be then; nevertheless, anyone else with a different theory could be right– even a lowly creative writer – while Novikov could be wrong. In fact, the 'Parallel Universe' theory (of which there are 'multiple' theories – snicker, snicker) describes a scenario oppositional to that of Novikov, yet one or more proposed by physicists of his equal.
As laypeople, most of us respect that if two teams played a sport, then one would be a winner while the other lost, and yet, we would find people betting on either side before hand. In the case of a time travel bet, no one can pay out the winners – because the game is constantly afoot: it has not ended, nor will it, until humans unlock the time travel case, and discover the secrets inside it.
Alternatively, another race – an alien race – could show it to us . . . Naw, just pulling yer leg!
Moving on from the many time travel stories that I introduce in book two, I expect to receive some criticism about the number of characters I deploy. That is, I grew the dramatis personae in book two – I did not shrink it. In defense of this choice, I will say simply that, "In order to go 'Epic' with 9 books, well then there are going to be many characters!"
As an interesting related thought, I read criticism of Martin's Throne series, which complained about his seemingly ever-growing list of characters, and reasoned that if, after 5 books in the series, his list was still growing, (and that it may have in the 6th also?) then he may yet be a long ways from finishing. Whether he is certain of that or not, I would not know. From my perspective, in defense of an author's work (I have read only Martin's first book, thus far), I will say that it is hard to give up characters, once I have taken the time to discover and develop who they are myself.
That said, I do not plan to keep every character alive through the course of my series; but probably, most will survive. This means – as it is an Epic storyline – that my list will grow also – I just hope that some characters will diminish, and then reappear strong, while others will appear once and once only and still others will be there from almost start almost to finish.
I hope that explanation is suitably vague. In other words, I do not want to give away more than I need to at this stage!
It is my plan to have book two available to download in December 2012, at a cost of $2.99 at Smashwords.
I hope you all enjoy it, and please feel free to respond to this and other information I have at the website.
I will try to blog again when I have a download update.
Cheers and happy reading,