Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tortoise-Like Progress

So, Episode 6 of my science fiction serial, Thieves' Honor, has started trundling along again, after being stalled over Christmas and the first part of January.

The series isn't meant to be too deep--not what might be called serious literature--which is a switch for me. There's more banter and more witticisms in this effort than in my other writing, the stuff where I try too hard, beat my head against multiple walls in an effort to push the story forward. That happens sometimes with Thieves' Honor--the fourth and fifth episodes, for instance--but for some reason I'm more relaxed about this story than anything else I've written. This story, on display to the world, whether or not the writing's any good, whether or not the plot has holes or the characters are interesting.

It's kinda goofy, too. For the readers who are geeky enough to catch the references, I make allusions to other science fiction, written or filmed, and even included a couple nods to Veggie Tales in Episode 4.

In this episode (still in search of a title), the crew of the Martina Vega first contend with the constabulary searching the cargo hold, then--before the law is finished--Governor Bat'Alon arrives with his men and demands to know where his daughter is (being a passenger, she's been gone for hours); and then, interrupting the governor's threats, the extraction team arrives, guns drawn, to collect the Vega crew and the rest of the bounty offered by the woman who put out the contract on Finney, the pilot, whom the team has already captured. Across the city, Captain Zoltana, an ordinarily intelligent officer of the law, is about to do something really stupid with her career.

Now I just have to choreograph what happens next. Problem is, I have no idea what happens next.

As for other fiction, a friend is still reading the incomplete manuscript for my second fantasy novel, and sending along her comments. There are some chapters coming up that dive off into territory that makes me nervous, but nervous might be good. It might signal that I'm finally tapping into reality, or it might mean that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.


M. L. Kiner said...

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.


Um, did I just get spammed?

Phy said...

Comment spam?

I know what you mean about struggling with the serial novel - I've been stalled with the next chapter of The Adventures of the Sky Pirate since mid-October. I've written a strong beginning scene, and have hit a wall, my first of the series, the first in two and a half years. This chapter is meant to be a crossroads, but is beginning to make me think it's a dead end.

I'll figure it out eventually, but I'm running out of time.


Yeah, comment spam. Looks like this Kiner person is spamming all over the place, "commenting" wherever such an option is available. I suppose I could just delete her, ahem, contribution to my blog, but she might just make another attempt.

I re-read the past couple episodes, and I shook my head, wondering what I was thinking. I'm stuck now, though, with whatever I wrote then, so now the challenge is how I can redeem that material in future episodes.

I didn't want to extend past 12 eps, but that's before I actually started writing the series. Now I realize that the story arc won't wrap up neatly in that short of a span. Ay-yi-yi.

Phy said...

I'm afraid I can't give you any help. 12 chapters just introduced Cooper Flynn as an orphaned teen and took him through a career as a privateer, saw him enter the Haddiron Naval Academy, save them from a pirate attack, and wash out for the same kind of unorthodox methods that made him a hero. Essentially, the first twelve chapters just introduced the character and brought him current to the events I wrote about in the original NaNo novel from 2004. I'm taking a total of 36 chapters to tell Cooper Flynn's story - I certainly won't begrudge you more to finish the story arc you have in mind! (And, frankly, TH is better. Take all the time you need!) ;)