I am pleased to relate that I’ve completed the first draft of my 11th book, an epic science fiction novel. This book evolved to be sort of a sequel to my novelette The Farr Road, since it takes place in the same universe and even features one of the critical characters. I used the word relate above instead of announce for a couple of reasons. One, nobody cares, since the world isn’t exactly breaking down doors to purchase books, least of all mine, and two, I’ve not decided that I’ll ever bother with publishing it.
Unlike all my other books, this one I wrote solely for myself and the two family members who’ve bothered to read most of my work. It’s an interesting novel in that while it takes place on eight planets, a space station casino resort, and an asteroid beach resort, my focus was still primarily on interpersonal relationships. I’d say it’s my most ambitious work, technically speaking, in that I have six primary characters who jockey for attention. That alone requires my making their six speech patterns unique and interesting enough that they feel like real “people” rather than extensions of the narrator.
I probably had the most fun–besides following the characters’ development–in creating the 25 or so sentient species that appear in the book. It’s a fun juggling act, as long as you remember not to encumber the book with too much in the way of detail. There are a number of shout outs in the work (normal in my books) and an homage or two to certain authors, but I think I’ve managed to blend it all without losing my style in the process.
As always, I’ll let it sit for a bit, likely until March or so. Then, there are more layers to paint, including a “characterization” run-through to ensure the dialog is unique and consistent for each lead character, one to ensure flow and language are smooth, a third (if not combined with the former pass) to add lyricism when it is due in the narrative, and a final “light and dark” pass to ensure poignancy and joy appear where I need it to. Oddly, since I don’t care if anyone not named Bill or Maria ever reads the book, I’m determined, in a way, to make this my masterwork. I suppose that’s why I’m not disclosing the name of the book or the plot, at least for now.
Let’s see how I do.