Chasing my tale

I’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I’m going to stop talking about Evernote so gorram much. Not that I don’t still think it’s made of AWESOME, but I have a lot more interesting topics to cover.

The bad news is that I have a lot of more interesting topics to cover. My relative silence recently is nearing an end.

So, in the interest of “What personal life? I have no boundaries, I’m a blogger!” here’s what’s on my plate.

I’ve gotten hooked on the best-damn-writing-podcast-I-should-have-founded-but-didn’t, The Dead Robots Society. This is a group of folks who talk the talk about writing on a regular basis. They’re serious about writing but not serious about themselves, which means they avoid the pretentious puffery so common in writing discussions. It’s a fun, insightful podcast even if you write something other than SF.

(I even dig the name, so similar to the writing critique group I’ve led here in Denver for ten years now, the Dead Asimovs Society.)

And since the Robots and their guests do a lot of podcast fiction, they’ve inspired me to give it a shot. I will be podcasting “Do Over!” first, since it’s only 17,000 words, and then if that works out without starting any major wars with third world nations, I’ll be podcasting my first novel, Between Heaven and Hell. BHH will be produced semi-weekly, with new episodes every Monday and Thursday. This will give me three 10-week seasons, one for each section of the book. I am NOT updating the book into the present day. The events in the novel take place from 1997-2000. This means they were before Google. Before 9/11. Before YouTube. Before smartphones and before Twitter. It would be a very different book if it were set today, less than 15 years later, and I don’t have time to write such a book unless, of course, a paying publisher really wanted me to.

A few notes about the podcast. While I admire the work of podcast novel pioneers like Scott Sigler, JC Hutchins, Phillipa Ballantine and Mur Lafferty, I’m not going to do what they do. A lot of podcast novels border on full-on audio dramatizations, with sound effects, voice actors for each part and well… production values. That’s not my style. I’m a total audiobook junkie and was hooked on that style of audio fiction before the term podcast was even coined, much less applied to fiction. So what you’ll get from me will be more of the Nathan Lowell-style straight reading of the text, just me, a microphone and whatever ambient noise makes it into my car (which is the quietest place I have access to in order to record). If I get really fancy, I might splice in intro and outro music. Maybe.

But that’s not all I’m doing. I’m also going to try to finish the first draft of Ghost Ronin by Halloween. This is an less an updated and expanded novel version of the “In Shining Armor” screenplay on my blog as a new novel loosely based on that screenplay. Lots of new stuff, new characters, new motivations, new ending. I hope I can pull it off because I’m doing some interesting stuff with it. I’m about 20k words in, and hope to get to 75-80k by Halloween.

Why finish by Halloween? Because the day after Halloween is the first day of NaNoWriMo! This year for NaNo I have a pretty interesting project. It’s a story set in the Unification Chronicles universe, long after the events in Between Heaven and Hell. The novel will be about a lone human trying to survive stranded on an alien homeworld in the middle of a civil war between the male and female aliens. In addition to being a cool story in its own right, it’s a trial run to see how the setting works. I have lots of ideas for this setting down the line, a galaxy united by war against a common enemy and then torn apart once that enemy was defeated. The story of that war, the Nemesis War, is a trilogy I had abandoned, but am now using as backstory for this much richer canvas. I actually stopped writing the first book in that trilogy 80k words in, just a few scenes from finishing it, and learned much about the aliens—the Sendeni—we’ll see in this Sins of the Mothers.

(yes, I’m bloody well aware of the pattern you see here, and I’m working on it)

And finally, when I’m done with NaNoWriMo, completely finishing the first draft no matter how many words over 50k or days into December it takes, I’m going to finish the first draft of my NaNo ‘06 project: Homeworld, my Mars book. Every SF writer, it would seem, eventually has to tackle Mars, and this is my take on the subject. The elevator pitch for it is “Bill Gates goes to Mars,” but there’s a lot more to it and I’ve had a blast getting as far as I’ve gotten, maybe halfway into the third act.

Lastly, I’m going to try to take this blog back to the old days of Writing On Your Palm, and by that I mean a new article posted every Monday. Topics will be the usual suspects: mobile technology, writing, publishing and other items of interest to the gadget-obsessed writer.

This should leave me with three novels in first draft form, and halfway through a podcast novel around New Years. Big plans for 2010 include lots and lots of rewriting and getting my own apartment. Also, naps. I’ll talk about the process of all of it here, in the hope that I might at the very least serve as a cautionary tale for some of you.

So that’s me. What are YOU writing?

4 thoughts on “Chasing my tale”

  1. Dude.
    Let’s hear more about naps.
    Seriously. Maybe a podcast even.
    Napcast vs Maccast. Big fun.
    Siglar hooked up with Mevio back when it was Podshow and audiobooked and audiopromoed the HellBetweenHeaven out of his stories and apparently there is or soon will be a podshow/mevio press pinching out deadtree media editons of the siglarsphere-Siglarverse? So maybe you could hitch your audio wagon to that and see if it pulls in some dough or a bigger fanbase at least.
    Good to hear you are writing fiction again.
    I have had the same bad Chipotluck from the burritos and sought one bowl not the other bol on numerous occasions afterward.
    Had to give it up.
    Bull Gates goes to Mars is not a good pitch to me.
    Where’s the struggle or conflict?
    Bull Gates goes to Mars and- finds aliens who only speak Mac OS7. Now that’s a story with a built in struggle nee conflict as the DOS Father tries to comprehend and then convert the masses.
    Less Twitter, more Type. Keep at it.

  2. That’s just the elevator pitch. The story is much more complex than that, and gets really interesting once they get to Mars.

    I’m planning to use for distribution, they’ve already contacted me about it. I just have to set that up and see what their standards are.

    And, as you’ll see by Monday’s column, one of my projects has already been deferred until after NaNoWriMo. There’s a disconnect between my ambition and my practical ability, but I’m doing better than I have in the past.

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