Post Mayan Apocalypse, Year 4

njord

Plotting a sequel, a worthy sequel, is far from an easy thing. In my case, very little of the first book is being kept. Sure, three of the protagonists make a return, as does a valuable plot device and a few villains.

But everything else is vastly different. The setting has drastically changed, there’s less fighting and more survival and travel. Fewer bits of history and a larger share of myth and lore. The desire for vengeance is now overshadowed by the need to protect loved ones: familial, platonic and romantic. There’s no law to uphold and crime to condemn anymore, just the realpolitik of might makes mine.

The world is no small stage.

When you factor in all these changes, is it really a sequel anymore? I don’t know. My tale is but a gaiden, a side story, that happens on a beach before the storm of a greater epic. My characters are children squabbling over seashells, too preoccupied to notice the tsunami’s crescendo behind them.

Let others write of the work of gods. I deal mostly in men.

And men make many, many small things. The grand, sweeping myths of gods and creation are often strangely simple. But men are more prone to thousands of tiny dots that can be traced together and recognized as some grander shape, a design caused by our very lives. Some interconnected magnum opus that we cannot see until we’re old and cold.

Our own saga.

If this is a sequel, it is the last one. Not because there won’t be more story to tell afterwards, but because that which connected it to previously is fading away. Such is wyrd.

Happy New Years folks.

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Revolver

Six sci-fi stories, I decided.

Six tales of various themes and ideas. Various locations, characters and concepts. Draft, rewrite, retell. Six great stories. Then load them up and fire them at the publishers, one at a time. Careful, calm, steady. Until I finally hit the mark.

Normally, I’d like to think that a great story is all there is to it. But there are things the editors aren’t communicating. Maybe next month’s magazine has a theme they’re looking for. Maybe there’s some element of your tale that bugs them, or maybe someone already published something similar.

Themes. Themes are great. It’s awesome when they have an idea of what they want and can tell you. I’m fairly aware what’s been done before, what’s cliché. I love twisting old ideas into new ones. Hell, that was the beauty of The Black Wind’s Whispers. Old monsters, new tricks. The old is what crafts the new. History writes our future.

My previous publisher spoiled me by flat out telling and explaining what he was looking for, theme wise. And in knowing, I was able to craft tales to his specifications.

But publishers don’t always want to give the game away. I can’t say why… maybe they’re afraid it will stifle creativity. Or they’ll get rehashed with the exact same story by different authors. Black box requirements seem to be the most common aspect of the publishing business.

So six stories. I got one, need five more. Going to organize my stories, sit down and jot up some fresh tales after I finish this fantasy themed tale that’s almost done and due in a week.

Rise

If you fear plot spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises, and yes there is quite a plot to spoil, begone.

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