My clone is still fighting pneumonia, as he has been for weeks. That’s a fairly good reason for me to have taken a few days off from blogging, isn’t it?
Also, I experienced a sensory-overload ‘flare-up’ a few days ago. It was awful. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even read. I suspect that lack of adequate sleep may have been a contributing factor. Or maybe not getting enough electrolytes in my diet. Who knows?
Anyway, I’m back. More or less. Posted here twice yesterday, which feels like a bigger accomplishment that it ought to. Had a conversation this morning with the clone about cover art for his current WIP, and he emailed descriptions of a few ideas to the artist he’s been talking with. (I’ve only seen some of her black-and-white drawings, not any of her full-color paintings, but she’s good. I’m much looking forward to seeing her concept sketches based on those descriptions.)
Even though my clone has not finished the draft of The Madness Engine (because pneumonia), he’s already thinking a bit about which writing project he’ll focus on next. (Alas, it is almost certain not to be the sequel to The Madness Engine. As he told me yesterday, he thinks it would be best to ‘make the readers sweat a while’ after reading that novel before giving them more of the story. His top choices for next WIP to tackle are Project Brimstone (or whatever we end up calling it — that title really works better for the second book in that series), Providence, and “that novel.”
Brimstone and Providence are both contemporary thrillers with varying amounts of science fiction elements. (Remember when I said that everything we write is interconnected?) An older version of Providence and its sequel were also the first novel-length fiction my clone ever wrote. The story is already laid out — no having to figure out the plot or characters or setting. On the other hand, the original version is in first person, and he thinks it would work a lot better in third, so it would require major revisions. He had literary agents express an interest in Providence, so we know it’s a good story and may even have broader appeal than his straight-up futuristic sci-fi. Expanding one’s audience is always a good thing, right? Considering some of the things my clone has been feeding his brain lately, though, I would not be surprised if he decided to work on the Brimstone story next. It’s more obviously science fiction than the other.
I’m not sure which I’d choose… I want him to finish Brimstone so he can get to the sequel and the characters he borrowed from me can get more ‘screen time.’ I want him to rewrite Providence and its sequel so he can write the third book in that series, because I contributed at least one character to that story (and, to be honest, I really, really want that third book to be written because Blue wouldn’t like it, and messing with Blue would make Grace happy) besides the ones from the first two who were partly my ideas — including the primary antagonist. I want him to help me work on “that novel” (which could end up being not one or two but three books — Murphy help us!) so we can continue integrating it with the rest of the mega-story-arc.
(Certain backstory elements for Providence make me want to do a really, really sarcastic warp-quote of the title of that weird poem that is never actually heard in So I Married an Ax Murderer. If you’ve seen the movie, you know which poem I mean.)
In other writing-related news… We have a new name for the ship in “that novel”! No, I mean the other ship; the Betula is still the Betula and always will be. Don’t have a title for the novel yet, but that can wait. The reason for the choice of new name makes perfect sense in-story, plus it comes from something that I tend to think of as a ‘functioning metaphor’ for other stuff. (And hey, now Grace will have an excuse to make that oriflamme-like thing she’d talked about.) Jon probably won’t like it, but Jon isn’t here; we’re letting that character take a century or two off so he can pretend to have a normal life for a while. (I must say, sometimes it’s nice to have a character who doesn’t complain about not having a lot of ‘screen time’ — or in Jon’s case, any ‘screen time’ with the exception of an uncredited cameo in a short story. On the other hand, I did let him pick his name himself…)