I don’t talk about it too much here, but it does exist.
As of right now, I’m approximately two thirds of the way through it. It is a novel that fits in a larger science fiction series, but may not be considered science fiction as it stands alone. Let us just say that I am writing a speculative fiction novel and leave it at that.
The novel’s current working title is “The City of Light”. The story can be broken up into three sections, and each section works towards a small climax, with breaking interludes between them.
This week I will begin to write the interlude that bridges the second and third parts of the novel before continuing on with the main story towards the novel’s end.
While the series I have in mind covers several sub-genres of Speculative Fiction, the overall setting is universal, and beyond that, multiversal.
There will be high fantasy aspects, sword-and-sorcery, steampunk, cyberpunk, Brit-wit Sci-Fi, comedic fantasy, space opera, space western, mystery, coming of age, creation stories, mythology, all that good stuff.
Within the first novel, which sets the stage for epic reveals in the last novel, the theme is evolution. And the novel begins with the line:
“A man came into existence on the desolate shore of a vast sea of blue.”
I’ve related the entire story to JD several times, including the rest of the series. So its not as if I’m making it up as I go along. I consider that I am on a path in writing this novel, and in the distance I can see landmarks that I’ll need to reach before the climax of the story, which lies far, far in the distance and is shrouded in shadow.
I know the general direction I need to head, and I journey along the path through dense forests of my own creation. There are false paths and pitfalls throughout, but a definite safe path that I can follow through to the specific landmarks I’m trying to reach. I never stray too far.
This first novel is changing as I’m writing it. If you were to read it now, it would not make much sense. I wrote the first third in 2011, and the second third followed in 2012. I made changes to the main storyline in the second third that negates portions of the first third, and this week, I’ll make further changes to the final third that will likely negate portions of both the first and second thirds.
And then … revision.
I have several “placeholder” names for things in the series that need to be resolved. For example, I call a certain sect of characters in my novel “Mages” or “Elementals” but they are not the classic archetypes those names bring to mind. I needed words for them, and those fit for the purposes of writing the novel. “Immortals” is another placeholder, as is “Pilgrim”.
Once I finish the last third of the novel, I’ll put the entire work aside and begin working in earnest on source materials. That involves creating a book-end history for the events in the novel, detailing the events prior to the first sentence, and detailing further events past the last sentence. It also will require a full character bible for each of the main characters, detailed outlines and histories of each of the major groups depicted in the tale, and several atlases laying out the exact geography of the world I have created.
Once that is done, I’ll return to the narrative itself, and begin the first revision. Using the source materials I’ve developed, I’ll afford myself more cohesion in the flow of the story, assure continuity in all aspects of the backstory and the environment in general, and establish a clear cut presentation of each individual character that matches the character bibles I will use as guidelines.
Sound intense? Maybe. I’ve been doing this all my life though – creating this universe. I have spiral notebooks with detailed timelines of distant worlds, evolving maps showing the complete geological history of planets that don’t exist. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am.
In the end, I’m doing this because it is what I do. These worlds exist inside of me, and I would like to give them life outside of me. Evolution requires that a part of the current generation be sacrificed for the next generation to survive. These stories are my children, and they’ve matured in the womb of my consciousness long enough.