Author Moments

The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

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Just created an outline for chapters 1 and 2 for The Assassin III (III stays until Escape has been published – the current title would constitute a bit of a spoiler).

I’d like to say, “Enough! Get back to work on The Assassin’s Escape’s 2nd draft!” but I’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot.

The Excitement of the Moment

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It’s difficult to relate the excitement that this morning’s spontaneous scene development created (for a brief description of the event, read this post). It carried throughout breakfast and still lingers. I smile and laugh for reasons no-one watching would understand. It’s such a significant development that I have to write more about it.

What does it mean? For me, it signifies that the story is once again taking a life of its own. It’s growing in a concrete manner. Without including any spoilers (though readers who have completed The Assassin’s Cradle might have an inkling), the scene is about character development. Specifically, it is about creating a resolution to a conflict whose genesis is in The Cradle and is realized in The Escape. Resolving the conflict is a central issue to the greater story, and I had no real insights into how I would accomplish it. That scene gave me a spark of hope that I can fan into a fire.

What was the problem? I would describe The Cradle as a story of discovery. It’s quite exciting for young Idries to discover: a new planet, new friends, a new love, a new purpose, his capabilities, a new method of realizing his potential. Discovery, discovery, discovery. It’s fantastic, and therefore, was a lot of fun to write because I got to live it with him. The Escape is a really different story. It’s about struggle with change and against indistinct and uncertain opposition. It should come as no surprise that I struggled while writing it since I lived it with my characters. It was not comfortable, and surprise moments, like the one that just made me so excited, introduced new struggles, not new joys. While I should have been excited about the story becoming more concrete, I just felt more besieged.

I really want to tell you more about where the story is going, but some of my early thoughts have already been succeeded by much better ideas. And the surprises that have come along the way have added such significant depth that my vague and skeletal outlines seem ephemeral at best. Of course you could probably intuit what my ultimate story will be like by reading some of my influences, especially the Dune and Foundation series (serious hint there). Idries is going to transform into a worm that predicts the future with mathematics to save mankind from centuries of war (outrageous joke there). The biggest reason I don’t want to reveal too much about where the story is going is that I hope to entertain and surprise you along the way. I’ve already experienced that myself, and it’s a real joy.

Be well.

A Visit from the Future

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Incredible moments in an author’s life:

I was making breakfast this morning when a conversation from The Assassin: Book III formed in my head. I dropped everything and sat down to write it.

I’ve done similar things in the past, and events often made what I wrote useless, but this one just might survive until I start writing Book III.

I’d tell you more about it, but it would be a spoiler for Book II, The Assassin’s Escape.

These are moments that make writing incredibly exciting and some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I’d pay to have fun like this.