16 March, 2011

The feeling so far

Well if I judge myself by the traffic to this blog then I am worthless. However it's good to get this out of me.
Yesterday I finished re-reading the whole of SFAP and started work on the next book. At the moment it has the working title The Tyranny Of Convenience, but that could well change, since the working title of SFAP was Newbie Drive, you never know.
I'm tempted to give a snippet of that first section that I wrote since I have to have that first section of the next book explain how I left SFAP to any new readers. It was quite fun to find a way to tell the ending events of the last book in a few hundred words. Of course I have been left with a problem that in my story outline for SFAP it required ending with certain pieces on the chessboard in one set of positions and very quickly in TTOC I have to move them into another set of positions and I spent a lot of last night trying to figure out how to do that. I think I have a way to do it, but how to do it in a good narrative, that I have yet to work out.
The exercise in re-reading SFAP before starting on TTOC was well worth it, although it has made me re-think how I post SFAP. Chapter 2 worked quite well if read in one go, by Chapter 9 I couldn't stop until I reached the end, but there was a lesson there in getting the world established and the pace of the story up. I don't fancy re-writing SFAP in light of this, but I'll certainly bare it in mind going forwards.
I have been thinking this that SFAP has a number of aspects that are not explored as much as I'd like. Without spoiling too much I'd like to explore life on the habitat more and there's a whole set of issues around morals, money and crime that I can only hint at. As usual I could fix these problems but I want to get this story out of me, I want to tell this story and in many respects exploring these peripheral issues while fascinating to me and the most interesting part of the thought experiments that create this world scenario are hard for me to find a way to tell convincingly.
I worry that I am sacrificing quality of telling, the quality of novel to satisfy the driving force that gets me to write this - that of getting the damn stories out of my head. I worry that at the moment though it's all plot and exposition and very little character development.
I'm reminded of a character building exercise, describe the character by their characteristics not by their role. That is a strong character would be described as a rogue, a romantic, a lovable scoundrel, a warrior poet; a weak character would be described as a senator, a pirate. I know this is important because unless you care about the characters then you don't care about anything else that happens but I know I'm not great at building them.
Ah well something to work on going forwards.

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