Friday, August 05, 2011

Creative Thoughts

Haven't signed the contracts yet, but in theory, the details are worked out, and all going well, I'll be set to do a three-book military space opera series for Ace, Real Soon Now. 

Paperwork always takes forever, and while you should, if you are a writer, wait until it covers you before you start working on a project, unless it is purely on spec, I'm good with going ahead in this case. Because if for some reason the deal goes south, the ideas and characters and all are mine, and I can write them and do something else with them. (Unlike working in somebody else's universe, where whatever you do belongs to them. Try selling a Star Wars story elsewhere. Hire the lawyer first, though.)

More often than not, if you wait for the paperwork, you might be late on the deadline, and you don't want that, so you take the risk. 

Um. Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is to discuss a thought I had about character background stuff. 

Usually, I do a brief bio of each viewpoint character in a novel, basic b.g., height, weight, age, hair color, and family history; education, work, and what they were doing on their twelfth birthday. Been a useful device, that last, since that's an age where you can show a pivotal event that goes to character later. Actually, any young age will do, but somebody once suggested that twelve was good–that being the Golden Age of Science Fiction and all ...

This time, I had something insinuate its way into my fetid brain before I set out to do the bios. 

The main characters were mostly going to be working in a private corporate militia, but all with experience in some regular military outfit first. So it occurred to me that a good way to tell you something about who they are was to use a device I hadn't used before:

Their memories of the first person they killed.

One can show all kinds of things using that.

So each character gets a story. I dunno if I'm going to use them in toto, but I need to know it, and probably parts or maybe all of the tales will make it into the book. Might be a fun chapter-opening device. I dunno, but it's been interesting to write them so far. 


Lance Hoddinott said...

Looking forward to seeing the finished book.

test said...

Sorry to put this here.

When you first published Bristlecone I bought if from Smashwords as a PDF and read and enjoyed it. Recently I acquired a Kindle and redownloaded Bristlecone in the appropriate format. There is something broken about the title and author in the file. The author field is blank and the title is something like "tmp_467b226f24f..._g5w7ee.fixed.tidied". Thanks.


Steve Perry said...

Hmm. My copy in .mobi looks clean. Is it just the title and author credit?

I can send you the file, leave a suitably-disguised email address here -- I'll delete it it after I send it.

Steve Perry said...

Lemme know if I got the email right, Ben -- I sent the file yesterday.