Saturday, July 13, 2013

Writing Progress: So What's Next on My Agenda?

       For a while now, I've been playing up Fathers and Demons as the next book I planned to publish, but now I've changed tactics.  I mentioned that Fathers and Demons was a big chunk of my WIP The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, too long to leave within the boundaries of that book.  I've long been thinking that I might never get around to making MWFB publishable, and Fathers and Demons somewhat summarized the plot of the longer book, thus at least getting a bit of it preserved.
I published this drawing once before
but I thought you ought to know
what Robbie looks like at the time
of Fathers & Demons.
       But working on the shorter book rejuvenated my interest in MWFB and I realized that F & D was going to play the spoiler for the parent book if I do publish it.  It reveals an important plot point that I'd rather people didn't know before they read Man Who Found Birds.
       So I've decided to delay publication of F & D until I approach the point in MWFB where the Jewish section occurred.  I had already formatted it completely for CreateSpace, but so what?  It will just sit there in my computer until I'm ready for it.  I hadn't done the Kindle and the Smashwords, so I'll put that off.  I apologize to the people who have expressed interest in Fathers and Demons and in my future Jewish history.  I assure you that sooner or later this piece will get published.
       In the meantime I've begun the daunting task of restructuring and reworking and especially abridging MWFB.  I won't tell you how long the original MS is, and it isn't even finished!  However, the first chunks are readable in and of themselves, so I'll at least plan to publish those.  Even at that, it will have to become a series.  But I think I can work it out so that each volume is self-contained and not too long.
       Some of you know that I've been posting chapters of MWFB (I'm up to Chapter 12) here on this blog.  I get a lot of pageviews on the chapters, and I had hoped that I would get feedback comments, but I've hardly had any, except from one person who has fallen in love with this book and impatiently begs for the next chapter!  I want to thank this very loyal fan for his support!  It's really gratifying and it played a part in my decision to work on the book.  I had never planned to continue publishing chapters forever, and I'm about to stop.  I mean to complete Chapter 12 and I do plan to post Chapter 13, because it finishes something left hanging in Chapter 11, but that will be the last.
       One reason for stopping is that I'm restructuring the book, eliminating the flash back/flash forward organization.  I had originally thought that I could do the whole book that way, but I ended up running out of material for the future part and extending the early part almost endlessly.  So a straight chonological organization will function better and help to shorten it (I hope).
        So how would I characterize The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars?  It's a fictionalized biography of the spaceship Captain Robbin Nikalishin, who commanded the expedition that made first contact with extraterrestrials.  With my usual intent of keeping the future context, I set it up as a piece written by an Oxkam Professor in commoration of the fiftieth anniversay of the Captain's death.  Personally, I like that ploy, and I'll probably keep it, adding an extra title page from the future, the way I do with the Ki'shto'ba series.  This future author will not be narrating the story, however, and there will be no footnotes or other scholarly apparatus -- just a straightforward, mostly omnipotent-narrator piece of storytelling in the third person.  It should be eminently easy to read, at least until the aliens appear (when the conlang they speak becomes an essential part of things), but that's so far off I'm not even going to think about it now.  We have to get through the many problems of Robbin Nikalishin's early life first!
       I'm going to leave the Prologue (the martial eagle story) intact, and then pick up from that, calling the first three sections of the book "Eagle Ascending," "Eagle Falling," and "Survivor." 
       (Disclaimer:  Any and all of the above is subject to change at any time!)
       I also may work occasionally on The Valley of Thorns (Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head, v.3).  The text is pretty much ready, but the cover is only about half done and the map isn't ready at all, except as part of a larger map.  And that reminds me -- I don't have any cover art for MWFB, or rather, I have a cover but it's no good -- one of my hopeless attempts at figure drawing.
       That sounds like I have a lot to do, doesn't it? !!  I guess it's time I quit dithering and got busy!


  1. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate...good luck in getting it all organized!

    1. Well, this is what I live for! LOL Thanks for stopping by, Susan!