Saturday, 31 January 2015

REAPER (free planet #3) - manuscript is one year old today - and still growing

so, today I wandered off for my usual 5-6 mile jog, ended up doing a quite decent 7.5 miles... just kept running and running, felt great. Anyway, on the way round, I experienced another bout of Jog Dreaming. As explained before, Jog Dreaming is where a weird 'haven't died yet' vibe seems to be rewarded with intense dream-like auto-resolutions or channelings (a term and concept I really don't like as it implies that 'my work is not my own') of novel content from the point where I'm currently at in any given project.

I've just banished myself to bed with my trusty old laptop while the girls watch The Voice and (firing up the February 2015 version from the relevant folder) I've just noticed that the 33,000 words Reaper (free planet #3) document is one year old this month. Happy birthday to it, happy birthday to it, Happy birthday dear document, happy birthday to it. LOL.

"One year old and only 33,000 words?" as true as that might be, remember I did write Kumiko (war world #3) to first-draft i.e. about 66,000 words while I should have been (had promised to be) working on Reaper through 2014. Anyway, a bit more research on the real age of the Reaper document takes me back to an unused novel treatment from March 2013 called Extinction Level Event that I was gonna use as the core or basis of what this third free planet novel was going to be. Most of that got abandoned in the writing of Reaper but a blind-archaeologist character from ELE might just insinuate himself back into the final free planet novel. He'll probably succeed way things are going with the story.

But ELE goes back even further than that, I was working in the games industry in 2009 when I first came up with the eye-porn idea. I know this because I remember sharing the guts of the narrative with one of my colleagues at the time. So that locks the origins of the Reaper novel way back in 2009 before the Free Planet novel-cum-series even started. ELE went into limbo, got time-capsuled, or mothballed. Strange how these things take so long to brew - luckily it'll be a nice dark vintage by the time it's done. Dark and dangerous, for you the reader and your enslaved souls. The Ninety Billion.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Reaper (free planet #3) - Please don't let me die yet - Crying Insane Assassin.

both due by end 2015
it's a thought I had regularly while writing the 2008 Silverthought Press releases Bukkakeworld and Planet of the Owls. I am forever grateful to Paul Hughes of Silverthought who had faith in these strange disturbing adult novels to publish them in the first place - they're not an easy read. At the time, I suspected these books were the reason I'd been born on this planet and they'd contain some sort of Legacy Material that I'd eventually become famous for. I'd be happy to die if only they were out, for public consumption. And that happened. And nothing happened. Anyway...

Fame is not why I write, one can achieve fame by pulling one's tongue out on Breakfast TV or dropping one's trousers on Late Nite with Letterman. That's not (personally) the Creative Path I'm travelling down. I'm an egotist; yes, as an artist it's important that the journey one takes is a personal one and the audience are dragged along in the turbulence of the output. And this applies to the writing process too.

2010-2013 was the time period in which I thought quite hard about, blog'd furiously about then finally wrote the devil's-advocate Free Planet novel Custodian. It was always intended as a one-novel project called Free Planet, but then (just prior to publication in early 2013) I realised there was an opportunity to extend the narrative out with MIDDD or Military Industrial Dogma Double Dealings that told the 'real story' of why Free Planet (Custodian) happened. But then, you see, Free Planet #2 (Liberator) hinted at the concept of a War World and the fact that everyone living today is still at war, it's just that it's now a for-profit war, a patent-protect war, a non-disclosure-agreement war. But we're still at war.

Late 2013 saw the first release of the tandem War World series. As it stands today, books one and two of the projected six-book series or double-trilogy are out in paperback, ebook, Kindle etc via Chimericana Books from Amazon, B&N and all the usual online book-buying places. Book three of the War World series (I'd like to think trilogy would be enough, I'm sure it is) Kumiko is mostly finished at 66-70,000 words or so and I'm hard at work on book three of the Free Planet series Reaper - 30,000 words and rising daily.

All the time, I'm thinking, "Don't let me die yet, don't let me die yet," and it's not as if these works are VITAL or IMPORTANT in any way, shape or form that can save mankind or otherwise alter his future. It's just a daft northerner having fun with words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, character, voice and ideas. It's a writer goading a reader to think, at the very worst. But it's the feeling that I've put so much into these six books, these parallel trilogies, and (even with the page after page of copious and contradictory notes in the unfinished manuscripts that I don't always adhere to) I'm the only who can finish this. Sometimes a character's narrative journey is more important than the story he's adopted into. So, let me do it. Let me finish it. Don't let me die yet.

WEEK LATER UPDATE: not only is Free Planet falling to bits, not only is the story racing to its breathless climax, but there's now a CRYING INSANE ASSASSIN on the loose, and he/she's taking no prisoners. Watch out, Custodians, you're on his/her list. And you deserve all that's coming to you.