Ed turns back to novel writing

With the leg work of the Chung Wenyin audio book complete, Ed turns back to novel writing

I hadn’t touched the space opera novel in a whole year, as I’d spent my creative energies on ghostwriting romance. I realised my plan for the ‘corporate espionage’ chapter was, in fact, written a whole year ago, an inexcusable amount of time to leave a project. However, I picked it up, finished the section, which required a lot of rebalancing.

In fact, when I headed into the second draft, I needed to replan all three narratives. I hadn’t written the end, but I knew that part anyway. All three narratives came to me with the conclusion first--the final scene of each was the first idea of each. I wanted to make each narrative free of plot holes, so I had to carefully work through each action and event to make sure what followed was logical or made sense. I also had to make sure I introduced key information in a clear way and early enough on - this is especially important when it comes to the stories’ themes, which are ultimately all interrelated, hence why three stories have been put together. Of course, I made the progression of time and the changes to the world over that time interrelate as well, so hopefully there’s enough reason to read three stories at once.

​ Anyway, I tried to change my writing method for the sake of making sure I could make each book different. Apparently, Stephen King just begins pouring out words, without a plan in mind. This is completely anathema to me. There were so many things I left out because I tried to keep my plan vague, that a second draft almost became a completely new book. Next time, I will plan from the beginning. I have three beautiful plans, all written on A4 paper now, and now I can be content that, even if the prose is wrong sometimes, there is nothing I’m missing out.

The Middle Narrative is complete---military science fiction, as worked out as I could make it The middle narrative is ‘the action narrative’. It embraces military science fiction, and also hard science fiction. These aren’t necessarily my favourite sub-genres. However, I’ve read enough about why dogfights with small fighters wouldn’t really make sense in space combat. Essentially, it is too dangerous, because as soon as you are hit, you are dead (you can parachute out in airplane combat. And one shot doesn’t necessarily wreck the whole system). I took a leaf from ‘Legends of the Galactic Empire’ (which still had ships taking multiple hits!) and had ships far apart from each other, launching volleys of laser fire from distance (the speed of light being, as you might know, quite fast. I also saw something about ‘could laser beams be reflected by mirrors?’ (No, is the short answer).

Don’t worry, if pew pew big space battles are not your thing, there are only two of them. And technology fetishism is acknowledged by the characters in the story. Also, it occurred to me that, if you take the principle of ‘one hit just about does it’, then necessarily the battles are quite short. Strategy thus becomes crucial. This principle actually applies to naval combat too (if your battleship is hit head on, you likely have to bugger off or abandon ship).

Anyway, the vast majority of the writing actually concerns how the characters deal with the military events. And then, of course, there are the whole other two narratives with plenty of other stuff happening.

​ Is there too much going on? Maybe. You tell me. But you have to read it first.