Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Book Creeps Closer

Like a horrific, million year-old abomination from an H.P. Lovecraft story, the book version of The Curse of Future Tom is slouching toward the gateway to our reality, cackling maniacally and waving its tentacles around.

It’s taking its time – there was a shocking lag between sending the manuscript and getting recognized in the system and assigned a design crew, but they are working on it now, and it’s not a particularly complicated book.  There are no pictures except the cover, which seriously I don’t want to alarm you, but in my opinion it’s a pretty hilarious cover.

In the meantime, traffic on the site is steady and the vast majority of the people reading are folks who have found their way here through some other means, as opposed to the chunk of supportive friends and family members who have been here for nearly six months, and that’s a good thing.  Eventually, people I don’t know would have to start reading otherwise the same hundred people would have to buy a book every single week – Bill Vaughn might do it, who knows?

Also, I’m tending toward some strange new categories, so I’m going to tell you again what’s going on with them so you know what I’m doing and so you can avoid the posts that don’t interest you and read the ones that do.

The Opposite of Homeless – I can imagine as Rebecah said that this is a fairly frustrating story, since I have only a vague idea where it is going and I’m writing it eight hundred words or so at a time.  That’s not normally the way I would go about something like that – I’m an outline kind of fellow.

But what can I say, three kids, wife, bills to pay, work to do and I can’t post an outline of Future Tom, so I thought that’d be a nice, experimental way to keep writing fiction when I’m having trouble finding the time to really concentrate on it.  Fiction is something I enjoy considerably more than angry rants or television shows.

So eventually, I suspect The Opposite of Homeless will turn into Chapter One of a longer work I’ve been kicking around for a while, so we’ll just see how it goes. 

The Paperback Project – This is similar, though not much of the actual writing will appear here since this is a science fiction paperback novel I’m writing, which I will then push for publication in the relatively easy Scf-Fi market.

When you’re writing a total fantasy novel like that, something that is essential is worldbuilding.  I started with a planet for the novel to be set on, put some humans on it, and then thought up a decent reason for them to be there and a fairly original method for covering the distance from Earth.

I’m having an absolute dorktacular blast with it, by the way.  It’s exactly like sitting around on the floor playing Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of weird dice and a stack of books, and it’s also exactly like an epiphany – holy Christmas I said to myself, I never had to stop doing that at all.

People still get paid for sitting around thinking up stories on other planets. 

So anyway, the way worldbuilding works is I have to figure out everything about my planet.  For example, how long is a day?  It’s not 24 hours, that’s how long it takes for Earth to go around the Sun, not this planet to go around its Sun, while being towed and bobbled around in its orbit by a much, much small sun.  So you have to figure out how long a day is, and how you’re going to talk about time without saying “TEN OF YOUR EARTH HOURS!” or anything like that.

Same thing for years.  For all lengths of time.  Then speaking of that, what are the seasons like on this world?  How cold does it get?  How hot?  What kind of life?  What kind of terrain?

Then of course there have to be civilizations and life forms on the planet – so I need to figure out the history of it.  The more detail I can come up with the better.

And the reason for all that craziness is consistency, the same thing I’m always complaining about in movies.  You figure all this stuff in advance even if some of it or most of it is never going to come into play.  Because down the road, there’s an army of little Future Toms who are going to be reasy and willing to point out how things don’t line up.  You figure all that out so that the descriptions and settings and conversations and characters are all consistent.

So when you see that title, expect to read about some worldbuilding.  I’ll be doing that right up to the point I actually start writing it, which may not be until next April, when this Write For The Blog Every Day thing has passed and I can issue a new challenge to Future Tom – that paperback novel will probably be it. 

Also, more television shows – I like writing about television shows because it’s easy.  All I have to do is watch television.  But also because that’s been the most successful method I’ve come across of connecting with new readers, so that’s that. 

Anybody out there have any suggestions?  Complaints?  Comments?


Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Future Tom To Ground Control


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