Once again, I’m not allowed to reveal the cover art yet. *grumbles* It’s slightly my fault, though. I’ve been told that I may share an image of the cover for my clone’s new novel (“What, really? The last one just came out in May!”) as soon as I have finished editing the novel itself. The good news is, I’m about a third of the way through already.
Gods, I love this story.
I’ve known the protagonist’s father for nearly two decades now. Back then, the story was just something my clone and I were making up to pass the time, but somehow it got bigger and a lot more complex. Rather suddenly, too; I never expected our various storylines to merge the way they did. My first glimpse of the novels’ protagonist himself was on a planet called Vesuvius. Lots of action-y action and things going boom, the way you’d expect on a planet with that name, and then…
Yeah, I know what you’re wondering: If Vesuvius is in this novel, why did I know about it before the last novel?
I knew about it before because sometimes authors don’t write everything in perfectly linear fashion, even if they end up publishing it that way. Remember that story I told once (once, he says!) about how there was a SF/F author who was working on a story about some guy who was gathering an army to storm some castle, and then the author realized he didn’t know why this was happening, so he asked the character about it, who he was and how he’d come to be in this situation? Well, it’s not just like that (saying it’s just like that would earn me the ire of several of my own characters), but sort of. My clone had a general idea of the character from The Remnant for many years before he wrote that story, but he hadn’t done anything with the idea. (I’m the one who talked him into becoming a writer, but I accept only some of the blame.) One day when we found ourselves, bored out of our linked minds, making up a story about a guy on a planet called Vesuvius, that old character idea came back, became more fleshed out, acquired a name (surname only, at first), and turned into the character known as Hrothgar Tebrey.
Aside from a few details, the part of the story set on Vesuvius hasn’t changed.
(I want to tell you that I’ve been waiting a long time to write this blog post. As in, from back before I ever thought I’d have a blog.)
I was there, at Vesuvius. Not literally, but it feels that way. I was there when the author began the story that became the seed of the novel I just started editing. I’ve witnessed the whole process, start to finish. It’s a wonderful feeling for someone who is fascinated with how creative things happen.
I know some people believe that editing is always easiest when the editor has no emotional connection to the writing, that being “too close” to it prevents any kind of objectivity and is thus bad. I disagree. Editing requires not being too attached to any specific words or scenes, a willingness to cut or change whatever doesn’t fit with the vision for the whole, but how can you really make a story the best possible version of itself if you don’t care about it? If you don’t love the characters, why would you even bother to make sure they present their truest, clearest selves on the page? If you had no vested interest in the plot, why would you care whether or not the events hang together logically and contain more than empty noise and commotion?
That may be part of why I stopped hanging out on peer review sites and doing drive-by proofreading of others’ writing. 🙂 Just kidding — I never did that except in cases where the author asked for the sort of feedback I specialize in. It’s true; “Mercenary Proofreader” often worked for free, just to get that comma-fixing fix. Eventually, though, I stopped caring. Those weren’t my stories, or even stories from people I had any kind of connection with. I couldn’t talk with them about creating stories because they didn’t care even about their own. The authors weren’t going to pay any heed to my advice (even though they asked me, personally, to do that proofreading and fact checking and whatnot), because it was easier to ignore anyone who said, “Y’know, maybe this still needs some work,” rather than, “i like it keep writing lol!” Besides, I just don’t care about vampire-werewolf-rutabaga love triangles, which seems to be mostly what kids these days are into writing. *sigh*
Anyway. What we can take away from all this is that Tony’s back! No, wait… What I meant to say is that the point of this blog post is about my clone having another novel coming out soon — the title is The Fallen, and he can’t change that now because it’s on the cover already — and it’s even better than the previous novel, if you can believe that, and not only is it going to make our beta reader’s brain explode with the sheer awesomeness of it all, but it’s also a story that anyone who enjoys realistic military space opera (with a twist of strange) ought to read.
Thank you for your cooperation — I mean, for reading this whole post.
And I’m sorry these comic book movie references keep coming out. They have nothing to do with this novel. *shakes head*