Wallowing in the Mire

Contentment Mark Robinson via Compfight

I confess that I haven’t been writing much these past few weeks. I wrote the first quarter of my WIP and then started looking back on it and wondering if I had the right pieces in the right place. I’ve been floundering around in what spare time I have, trying to get all the parts in place for my first turning point. I only outlined a few chapters into the second part of the novel and have not given any thought as to just exactly how I was going to end it.

If you are a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants, i.e. as they go along) you are probably saying so what? Just keep writing and it will all fall in place as you go. Well, not for me. I’m too anal I guess. I have to have a pretty decent outline before I can write. Otherwise I start wallowing in the mire and my productivity, as measured in word count, falls like mercury in an antarctic thermometer.

I started reading Larry Brooks’ latest book, Story Physics and re-reading his last book, Story Engineering (which is marked up and worn from use) in an effort to figure out the important elements of my story and get them into an outline form. From there, I can usually knock out a pretty decent story beat sheet or outline of each scene per chapter. This is where I’m at right now on The Rising. Thinking hard about plot and character arc and writing single sentence scene descriptions and then a chapter description that summarizes the action.

This novel has not been easy to get my mind around. It started off as just a short novella about a trial and has since been expanded into the second book in my Space Opera series. Now the original idea is but a central plot point, but there are many more things going on than just a trial. Many of the characters and situations that were explored in Starforgers are moved forward in this sequel. It’s not just another shoot ’em up Space Western. My main character has more change forced on her and she is getting older and accepting more responsibilities. Going from a Squadron Commander to a starship Captain in training. Not to mention still having to deal with the consequences of her actions in book one.

Then I have a cast of bad guy characters whom my hero would normally be fighting, but because the main plot line is more inward than outward looking, the hero doesn’t engage with the villains directly. But they still have to be plotting against the good guys, even though they are also looking more inward in their plot line. Typical Space Opera in many regards, but also a bit different in presentation.

I have just three books in each trilogy of the Star Saga to show my main character’s arc. So the reader can expect some change in every book. The hero changes, the bad guys change and so does the whole geopolitical environment. The whole story arc of the saga marches onward over time. I hope this results in a series that readers will enjoy reading and that won’t bore them. Only time will tell about that.

My current plans are to finish book 2 and then spend next year completing book three. After the first trilogy is complete, I plan on taking some time off to write a different novel. It might be SF, might be something completely different. But I need to get my mind off this series before coming back for the middle trilogy.


The Star Trilogy Explained

The Star Trilogy is a trilogy in that the books are connected in thematic ways, but they are not related in characters, at least not for the most part. Confused? Me too. I’ll try again.

The main characters in Starforgers are both human and android or my specifically sentient androids called Silicants. Humans don’t live forever, but Silicants can. So some of the Silicant characters introduced in Starforgers will come back in Book Three – Starveyors. But the main focus of the story is the start of a millennial war between the humans and the bad guys, the Votainions. So Book One is about the start of this Great War.

Book Two, Starstrikers takes place nearly 500 years later or about mid-way through the Great War. The human characters in Starstrikers are not related to the characters in Starforgers. The war has raged for 500 years and the whole Alliance is structured to make weapons and fight in this interstellar war. Therefore we follow the lives of warriors in Starstrikers. There are very few if any politicians or non-military personnel. It’a all about fighting and countering the newest weapon in the Votianion military arsenal. There are no Silicants in this story. (This is not an oversight, but I don’t explain why there are no Silicants. That will be revealed in the next book set in this universe – XiniX.)

In Book Three, Starveyors, the Great War is nearing an end. The Alliance has already started absorbing the planets once ruled by the Votainion Empire. The Empire is shrinking and so is their warship armada. The main characters of Starveyors are peace makers, trying to bring about the peaceful end to the long, bitter war. It’s about 500 years after the events of Starstrikers. The galaxy has changed. The Silicants have returned and are insisting on being a part of the peace process. Some of the same Silicants we met in Book One return in Book Three. There are revelations about Humans, Silicants and Votainions in Starveyors that I can’t reveal right now. But you can rest asure that it will be interesting.

So even though characters change for each book, all three books are related in that they act as a kind of book ends to the entire universe that I created for the stories. The only common thread between all three books is the war itself. In Book One, we see how it starts, in Book Two, we see it being fought and in Book Three, we see how it ends. As a trilogy, these three books are kind of unique in that they are so different from each other.

I’ve created a vast universe from which to write in and there are many books planned in every time frame, pre-war, mid-war and post-war. Once you read the trilogy, you will understand the overall framework of the universe. So when I start writing the filler books, it will all make even more sense and become more interesting. There is one such filler book available today and that is Tyrmia. Tyrmia is set in the same time period as Starveyors, so it happens after the Great War.