Mini Win – And Why does this take so long?

23 Nov

So I officially put the “THE END” at the End of Chimera today. I started it for NANO 2018, and I got to the final act and hit a wall. Not just any wall – shoot, I’m a Plantser – combination plotter and pantser – so wrote the ending, which I’ve had to change a little, but it gave me an idea where I wanted to go.

Basically I had an idea for how they would get to that point, but it didn’t seem smart enough for me. I’m not saying every ending needs to be smart, but what I had was unsatisfying, especially considering the lead up. I didn’t like the climax, and the problem, ultimately, was that I needed to develop the technology of not one but two forces that oppose our heroes. They oppose each other, and I highly expected them to go against each other and allowed our underdog heroes to skirt around them. It didn’t go as planned, but I’m somewhat satisfied at how it played out. More revision is needed, of course, but at 85k I’m sitting at a nice length and I can shorten and lengthen as needed.

The premise of Chimera, is that humanity learned to punch portals in not quite deep space and have been terraforming several suitable planets for a few hundred years, however it’s unknown to the general population. The problem is that there’s factors in these planets that make them not quite great for the general public outside of their biospheres, so it’s easier to start modifying the human genome to make subspecies to inhabit these potential planets. Everyone’s pretty much a cyborg by this time (very minor implants, think of it as having your cell phone implanted and you’re constantly connected to a variety of what they call ‘underwebs’ or grids if you are military) but there’s still many human modifications that are very illegal, as they tend to be invitro or so invasive the general population abhors them. Since several planets have been terraformed, the powers that be can modify the people they send there without real consequence.

My main character, Cheyenne, is sent out for some what she assumes is routine maintenance and she’s there in case the autopilot malfunctions and she needs to take manual control when their civilian-class transport is starting to malfunction. They’re pulled into this other part of the galaxy, and because she’s outside the main transport, she and a handful of other pilots and engineers are able to limp to the nearest life-permitting planet, and the powers that be don’t really care about them anyway. The planet is terraformed and they’ll be okay, but once their shuttles hit the planet they’ll be unable to breach the atmosphere and, they know even if they manage to make it to the portal back to our atmosphere, they’re too far from Earth to limp home with the life support. They know they’ll either be found out and willing to be saved or caught by the local wildlife/free range humanoids and dealt with.

I had to do a lot of research and think about how I wanted to approach it. Right now, the plan is to write book 2 and make it a duology, but I’ll be really honest I’ll probably focus on the NANOWRIMO other projects and get around to this one after I knock Titan’s Ascent down to size.

I know I tend to say each project takes about a year, but here’s the conundrum: Some projects take far less, other projects take much more. I’ve abandoned projects before, I’ve left projects and come back to them. I’m about to revisit and revise a project which, I thought I was just about ready to self-publish at the time (unedited, that would have been fixed) but I was just starting into my paramedicine and that, so I figured I should learn about real trauma, real injury and I’m glad I waited. It sucks because I think with any project, you can look back and go, “Hey, this could be better. I’m a better writer now than I was.” And it’s true, but that being said I think a big part of being an artist is knowing when the project is fit for the public. Knowing that yeah, you might have done better, and there’s no excuse for rushing out a poor project. But, you also need to get over yourself, and think about the next one, and how you’ll improve on your next title.

But in general, I’m feeling pleased with the project and I got more ideas floating around for it’s sequel than Rogue Healer 4, but that being said I haven’t really been focusing on it as much, so I haven’t hit flow yet. The shorts are coming along fine, and the way my tours are split up I’ll have a few days at the end of the month to catch up. I’m hoping to finish early so I can revise Titan’s Ascent, then go revise an older project.

Oh, and I self-pubbed a short story, “Straw Man” on Kobo exclusively for now. I’ll probably put it on Smashwords and other places in the coming weeks. I’m still learning, and my plan is to work on a full size Ebook. I made a few practice, smaller ebooks with ‘chapters’ (Stories with pictures) so I feel confident enough to get it done. I’ll post when it’s all available.

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