Thursday, August 26, 2021

unraveling the explanations opens opportunities

I have a lot of fun figuring out the logical side of explaining my fictional worlds. I leave so much out of my books, although I try to offer some minimal explanations to at least give the reader a better understanding of what things are. That's the trick of making up science fiction and fantasy worlds--keeping the science/magic plausible, whether that involves ecosystems, governments, magic systems, or even the technology of a starship. The balancing act is not boring the readers.

I was just thinking about something today. I had already figured out how the shield systems worked on the starships and the limitations of those systems, but I hadn't quite unraveled how Vel and Shen are able to recalibrate the shields of the Iludrin to withstand more than their standard limitations. In THE DESTRUCTION OF WALLS, I came up with a way for them to hold out against the Issan, but I let the technical explanation go without too much thinking. I had a vague idea and didn't get into any great detail.

In book 12, they're at it again with shield systems. Again, I hadn't given it much consideration how. I just knew that these two--a skilled mechanic and an educated engineer (and expert in inter-dimensional physics)--would make it happen since they had already come up with the method in book 5.

Today, exactly how that worked opened to me. It was there but never fully realized until now. Learning this reminds me of how excited I was when I came up with the whole ecosystem of Inar'Ahben back when I was writing STARFIRE ANGELS, the very first book of the Starfire Angels series (or, rather, when I was writing its predecessor, which was rewritten into SA). Follow the logic and the answers will reveal themselves. It all makes perfect sense to me.

Now, I know exactly what Vel and Shen are doing. It's pretty detailed and I may use it one day if Vel ever feels like divulging that in thoughts or dialogue, but for now, It's a nice chunk of page in my growing Forgotten Worlds wiki file. Someday, I may reveal that too, but for now, it's my series bible with everything I need to know about characters, species, worlds, technology, ships, history, militaries, events, and even synopses for the books to come, as well as other details and clips from what is already written. (I'm always updating it.)

With half the series now written, it's a lot of detail to track and the document is only going to grow. (48 pages total with 29 pages of detailed references of this universe, and counting. The other pages are the synopses of books to come, some rather lengthy, or ideas not fully developed.)

I now have a deeper understanding of how shield systems work in my FW universe, one more logical explanation so that I can keep the tech consistent throughout the series. And I may use what I've developed to create another problem for the characters at some point. (Cue the maniacal laughter of a writer enjoying the creation of difficulties for their characters.)

The better that you can logically explain things, the more plausible the situations of the characters in that setting will be. Also, you'll have far more tools at your disposal to create challenges for your characters to overcome, and isn't that the fun of reading--to cheer on your favorite characters to success over whatever challenges or conflicts they face?

I now have a better understanding of what can go wrong when shield systems are tampered with, and that is giving me ideas... 😈

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Forgotten Worlds Book 12 ... DONE!

It is done, or at least the first draft is done. The first draft of Book 12 of Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds is done around 45,000 words.

Technically it's not done done, but it was only a few lines from done when I decided to change a detail about the final battle which would eliminate the final scene I was writing. I had an idea while walking (walking, showering, or driving--always the times when those "Aha!" moments hit). I realized that I had introduced something early on that was not fully utilized.

It was brilliant! I had introduced a piece of the puzzle without realizing it. I love when that happens.

As L'Ni tells Nya, "Use everything."

The best part is that this book means that I'm about halfway done with the entire series. I expect it to be 24-25 books. I keep getting inspired with more ideas, but I don't want to stretch it out too much. It is so much fun to write, though!

Now, I need to rewrite that space battle scene and figure out a new final scene. Then I get to read through and rewrite and add in whatever else I feel the story needs.


Only then will I go on to finish editing Book 10 for a September release. Watch for more to come on DRAGON AND FURY!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

almost done

Book 12 of the Forgotten Worlds series has proven to be a challenge to write, but I have persisted. I enjoy this series and am eager to write certain parts of it, which distracts me from what I am currently writing. There will always be challenges in writing. Focusing on the same characters over such a long haul is one of the hardest, except that as my life changes, they ware also changing throughout their adventures.

The story is currently at 33K words or 3/4 to my end goal word count, the minimum to be categorized as a novel (40,000 words according to SFWA standards). I want to keep these in the short novel size. This hasn't been my best progress since I last checked in almost a month ago, but I'm making progress. Every book has its difficulties. I knew that when I started, this story would be tricky. It had a purpose assigned before the story came. I'd rather write a story and let the purpose find itself. Writing within a tight frame is a challenge for me. I've also had to deal with some other things that made it hard to focus at times, but I keep going.

Part of what has made this difficult is being anxious for the next two books. Actually, there are a number of books I dearly look forward to writing in this series, but there are some expected events that are particularly distracting. I can't wait to reveal things to you readers, but it wouldn't be any fun to ruin the surprises. I have only revealed what I can without giving those "Aha!" moments away. Many seeds for what's to come were planted early in the series. Secrets will be revealed and your patience will be rewarded.

For now, you can rest assured that I almost have the first draft of book 12 done.

ps--This book will require a lot of editing after the first draft, but at least I will have a first draft. You can't edit nothing. Before editing this, however, I will be working on the final edits of DRAGON AND FURY (book 10) to publish in September. Some big changes are coming in book 10!