It seems I’m not doing really well at this “weekly update” routine. Sometimes the story drives me so, I feel I have to take the time to step back and assess. Well, a significant event in the story has left me feeling a bit spent, and definitely needing a momentary break.
It seems that beating up your imaginary friends can sometimes take a bit of a toll on you. There may be minor spoilers in this entry, though I will do my best not to give away the big reveals.
The looming battle between the Brigadier’s residents and the non-naturals heading their way finally came to a head in the draft. Captain Annie spends a lot of effort and time distracting herself from it as the moment of their slow-down approaches. One of the ways she does that is by picking on subordinates, not always in unkind ways. Ensign Flalalay, her “assistant,” as some say, “first mate” to those on the bridge, has one hell of a day leading up to their retro-burn initialization. Feral Vampire Elimination Team (FVET) Commander Ravensworn and the captain go a round over the mouthy son of an admiral that is currently enrolled in FVET training aboard the Brigadier in the lead-up to the big day. Lots of threads circle around each other before it begins.
The angels helping our crew are also going through their own little spats and feuds. Sibling rivalry has never been quite so fun. When they start picking on each other, they know how to get under each other’s skin.
I finally let a tiny little bit of Lucifer’s overarching plan start to come to the forefront. While not going too deep into it yet, there will be hints of his larger goal during book three. While he hasn’t lied to anyone about what he wants to accomplish, as angels are incapable of lying, even the supposed ‘Lord of Lies,’ he’s never really been up-front with everyone else. And even in his attempt to contact his father for a final chance at reconciliation, he manages to do something the rest of his brothers and sisters see as a horrible affront.
Right before retro-init (as the crew refers to it), Commander Stephens is visited by a non-natural entity that is not at all what he’s been led to expect from the non-natural. Friendly, outgoing, and extremely quirky, being in her presence lends him a sense of calm and belonging rather than a sense of dread and sadness as he’s been led to expect. And this entity gives him two gifts that are beyond his comprehension in that moment, both of which he is massively grateful for. Though one of those gifts ultimately leads to a situation he’s not at all prepared for.
When I initially drafted the battle, I felt like I went through it with them. There are a lot of moving pieces, and some time-shenanigans to handle, which were difficult to track, and I’m still not a hundred percent certain I have it perfect, but the more challenging part was having to exact a toll on the characters. You spend this kind of time with characters, and you start to feel like they’re real. Or at least real enough that you hate to hurt them. But without pain, there is no story. Without something to overcome, it’d be a pretty dull read.
I then spent a couple of days drafting post-battle scenes where the fallout of what they’ve accomplished begins to rear its ugly head. It’s a lot to keep track of, and there’s a fair chance that as I edit and revise, most of this may end up in a fourth book rather than the third.
I’m beginning to doubt I’ll have a third book ready by February, as I initially planned. In some ways, I’m not happy with what I put out as book two. I’ve gone through it a bit and seen several spot errors that I either thought I had fixed and didn’t or didn’t even realize were errors. I don’t want to do the same thing with book three, so it’ll be ready when it’s ready.
And I’m still having brainstorms for Bombast Icilise and beyond.
Which brings me to my “take a break from the characters for a bit” project. It still revolves around the books on a certain level. I’ve wanted something to track scenes, characters, places, and things in a fairly specific way. As a programmer/developer by trade, I tend to look at available software for such things and wonder why they have to be so generic. Nothing really fit what I was trying to accomplish: a quick reference with links between characters, places, things, etc. Something I can refer to when I need to remind myself of the little details that are so easy to lose track of when things get past the thousand-page mark, but without having to reread entire books or drafts just to find that one little thing I need to lookup.
So, I created a draft database to drive the web front-end I envision. Once I have the front-end started, it’ll be interesting to see if it ends up being something useful for other purposes. I’m not doing anything that’s “my stuff” specific. Years of my job has taught me you can never trust the project you’re doing today will only be used for what you want it used for. There’s always another purpose.
My hope is, someday, I’ll have this reference sitting out there for anybody to click through if they’d like. A handy reference for any of the various subjects we explore through the books, as well as a good way for me to keep track of my own ramblings.
So, things continue to progress. Until next time. Later, all.