Writing updates: the end of March

News for those of you who’ve been waiting for Stars’ End: First, it almost certainly won’t be titled Stars’ End. Second, it will be the next-to-last book in this series, which means you’ll get a fifth book, too, eventually. Third, Paul and I have been talking about this book a lot in the last few days, and that really cool scene I’d dreamed about, in which one of my people almost gets killed by a giant purple hexapodal otter-person, is probably not gonna happen… (Yes, I can describe anything to make it sound weirder than it is. It’s just this talent I have.)

We also talked about what book to bring out after the novel formerly called Stars’ End. Paul has a couple of contemporary novels (currently titled Providence and The Eastern Witches’ War, but who knows what we’ll be calling them by the time they’re published?), both needing only a round of light revisions, that are connected to Project Brimstone through one of the characters. (Michael Delling, a major characters in Providence, appears briefly in an early chapter of Project Brimstone.)

…And Paul is once again talking about writing a prequel to “that novel.” I’m all in favor of that. (Nevertheless, it may have been a good thing that I was drinking tea instead of coffee when he mentioned it.) So either we’ll end up integrating Natalie’s story into that book, or there will at least be a reason for me to finish the short story about Dahl & Sons, scavengers a salvage company going out into the ruins to look for pre-War stuff that someone may want to pay for. The prequel to “that novel” — if we write it — will focus on the Roald Amundsen‘s mission to alpha Centauri. (Yes, describe it that way — say nothing about the Amundsen‘s captain being the primary viewpoint character…) If there’s gonna be a prequel, obviously that pushes back “that novel” yet again.

Then there’s Changing Magic (so very much not a “shifter romance,” no matter what some people are going to think), which is on my mind at this moment because of online discussions about how to write certain types of characters without them “overwhelming the other characters.” I could offer several workable suggestions for that, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets, and these kids wouldn’t listen anyway. They already know that the stereotypes they like best are the only way to go… and as my dear clone-sibling pointed out a little while ago, if they think it can’t be done, that just means Changing Magic will surprise everyone. (My elves aren’t inherently magical nor even haughty and hedonistic, my dragons are small and don’t have any kind of breath weapons, my wizards are actually just scholars, my princess is neither a rebellious badass swordswoman nor a spoiled and indolent fashionista, and my “fantasy” novel is low-tech sci-fi. I do everything wrong, don’t I?) This one will have to be published out of sequence, in relation to the rest, but I have an “in-story” excuse for that: the setting has been cut off from everywhere else for a long time, so there was no chance for anyone (not even Drake or Jon) to know what was happening there. Readers have already met one character from that setting, though, and will soon meet another.

[types and then deletes something about feeling relief that the title Stars’ End is being dropped: much blather about backstory and ‘would have happened’ and something going boom]

Well, it’s half past seven now, and I need to go find something to eat. (I like to do that every day, since I can.) Then I’m gonna drag my clone-sibling out of his lair hobby room and talk with him about writing sci-fi. And tomorrow I may blog about the results of that conversation.




About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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5 Responses to Writing updates: the end of March

  1. alicegristle says:

    Out of interest, how many writing projects do you have going on at the same time? On average?


    • That depends on what you mean by “going on at the same time.”

      I suppose the short(-ish) answer to your question is, Always at least two, but I can’t give you an average number, because I don’t make a habit of counting them.

      If you want to know how many stories we have at least partially written, with the intent to finish and publish them eventually… *opens writing folder on computer, counts files* there are currently eighteen that I can identify by working title. This does include five old — finished but in need of some polishing before publication — short stories about Hrothgar Tebrey, plus four short stories about Alandra Kade, only one of which is complete.

      Right now, Stars’ End (still calling it that until I find out the real title) is the most “active” WIP, but there are degrees of “active.” As I mentioned in this post, Paul has a couple of novels that need only some light revision before being ready for publication. (These novels are actually the first he ever wrote, and in the beginning he lacked confidence to deal with the subject matter in as much depth as he would have liked.) “That novel” is more than half finished, and we’ve waited mostly because we need to get one of the characters caught up, chronologically, before moving forward. (Geoffrey Meeks, currently a “supporting cast” character in The Awakening series, first appearing at the end of The Fallen and continuing through the current WIP fourth novel, will also be a major character in “that novel,” which is set quite some time after The Awakening, so we have to wrap that series up first.) We have very little of Changing Magic actually written: maybe eight to ten thousand words, total, and although it’s somewhat outside the main sequence, we still need to publish it before we get to the sequel for “that novel.”

      We don’t do purely linear, finish-one-thing-before-thinking-about-something-else writing. Everything we write is interconnected somehow, so we often have to “choreograph the plotlines” and add a little bit here and there to different stories as we go. It’s not a common method for writing a single series, much less multiple series, but it works for us.


      • alicegristle says:

        Interesting! I think you guys are pretty unique! I mean, most (all?) writers get some assistance with their writing, but I think few work as a duo! How does that work for you? I mean, pretty well apparently, but do you ever hit any snags because there are two of you working together?

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are sibling writing duos (Dani and Eytan Kollin, for example), but I don’t know of any twins who write sci-fi books together. Greg and Tim Hildebrandt did sci-fi/fantasy art, not stories. And the Duffer Brothers, who are identical twins, write screen fiction, not novels.

          If by “How does that work for you?” you mean how it works… I don’t know how to explain it. I could, joking-but-also-serious, tell you that it’s because Paul and I are mindlinked. I could tell you that, from the day we met (at the age of 23), we knew that the stories in my head were compatible with the stories in his, even before we set out to deliberately merge them. I could tell you that any two writers who love the same stories by other people have a better-than-average chance of being able to write the same sorts of stories together simply because they’re drawing from the same pool of inspirations and influences.

          We do occasionally hit snags where one of us has different ideas about where a story ought to go, or what should happen with a specific character. On the other hand, Paul really likes my idea for that scene between the “giant purple hexapodal otter-person” and the one with intermittent wings… Yeah, that’s a minor plot spoiler for the current WIP, but anyone who knows about the Homndruu at all can guess that Vend finding out who Deegan is and why he’s an expert on the Achenar cannot go smoothly (’cause you kinda expect someone whose ancestors were subjected to horrific biological experiments to hate/fear any member of the species responsible), but it is necessary if these characters are going to work together anyway. Paul even likes the fragment of dialogue in the aftermath…


          • alicegristle says:

            Oh. I guess I just haven’t stumbled onto enough duos. I stand corrected. 😀

            I think I get the “mindlinked” bit. It’s not uncommon to be “in tune” with people who like the same things, think the same way, have a matching sense of humour, are equals in intelligence, etc. And I’d say having those things is more common in twins! 🙂

            Also, now that I think about it, wouldn’t you say hitting snags now and then is beneficial, too? I mean, a little bit of friction keeps things interesting. Agreeing on everything would be boring! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

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