Okay, so in the several weeks since my last Un-update, I haven’t exactly carried out the plan to work my way towards editing and readying my next book. What can I say beyond sometimes I get distracted, very, extremely, horrifyingly distracted. I did write near 600 kilobytes of yet another somewhat directionless and massive free-writing effort, (For layman that’s about half of one of my normal sized novels) otherwise known as 87,000 words. It is in similar veins as Wandering Steps across a Starry Sky in that it was never designed to have a purpose beyond entertainment. But rather than being focused on creating a complete image of a select group of characters this new potential book is mostly focused on world building. As is often the case with my efforts that story has been pushed off to the side and will likely in some year down the road get a serious revisit and will be added to my catalog one day.
However that partial story is not why I am suddenly back ‘on record’, breaking the pattern for my silences by saying something well ahead of my normal months between Un-updates. After I set aside that other story I stepped back into my archives and shockingly enough finished something else, achieving as I so rarely do a completed rough draft. And perhaps even more shocking to those who have listened to me rant on and off for some years, I finished something I’ve been promising for quite sometime. The book that will formerly be known as the Sixth Strike, has achieved that much venerated status of being shifted into my ‘Completed’ folder. I say ‘former’ because after two read throughs and something of a struggle to restart that stalled project, I feel strongly that a change of identity is needed.
As was mentioned in some of my earliest posts the Sixth Line of Defense was a near complete re-write of an older story. The book I published at the start of my ‘un’-professional writing career contained ‘most’ of that original story leaving out about 1/4 of that original dialogue dangling. Originally when I rewrote the story into its’ new embodiment and planned for its’ second coming, the next book was supposed to be an action packed continuation. One that really piled it on while introducing an expanded world and some other things that would be spoilers if I listed them here, hence I entitled that concept as the Sixth Strike. However it proved itself to be a very hard seed to sprout, much less grow beyond two dozen pages. Amusingly enough I had five false starts before my little mutant of a novel really started to grow, which laughably enough makes this recent effort number 6. If I was a little more crazy, I’d call it kismet, but will leave the declarations of it’s true nature to the historians to decide.
Of those many false starts, including one that was lost in a great tragedy of a computer that was only ‘mostly dead’ several years ago. Though that particular version, and it’s great potential, was lost, the story I had been writing stuck with me. It and its’ four siblings were a heavy influence on me, I won’t lie about that. Often enough when I start a story there is some singular idea, concept, or scene that I find far too entertaining not to shoot for. And this was the case for all the scattered false-start pieces, now discarded, for what was supposed to be the next in the Forgotten Children Series. All of those potential books had some element, some way of expanding that world that I liked very much, so in the ironically apt 6th attempt I combined those various elements. The book that came of that effort is deeply pleasing, at least to me, and one that definitively plays out the wish to expand upon the first novel, however the results of those efforts are not an action packed romp across the colonies.
So, in essence, calling the new book The Sixth Strike would be false advertising, the book itself needs a new name, one more in line with the true nature of what those pages contain. At this time the title that rings the most true is The Sixth Movement, a title which for me calls up mental images of grand orchestrative efforts, complete with violins. Which suits my whims quite well since this book has now in fact to come to be the soft notes in between the moments of greatest drama. I had considered seriously The Sixth Revolution, since the less mature among us would have less opportunity to equate that title to something that vaguely rhymes with GM. However a Revolution much less a Sixth one sounds far better, and much more fitting as what might potentially, in the far off future, be the fourth book of this series. The title The Sixth Strike has since been pushed back to being third in the line of succession. Where the title will in fact meet with the idea, since the second book sets it up rather nicely for that part of the expanding story.
As well as changing the title of that now much closer book, the completion of the rough draft puts me into a position where I feel my better option would be to move ahead with the editing and publishing of the series I have often lamented as being an only child. That other still unnamed book that would have been my next novel, is far better off being given a stay of sentence, since it will take more work to see finished nice and proper for publishing. While the cover art for The Sixth Movement will likely not be any less troubling a task to fulfill, what’s beyond that page is a much quicker and easier fix in terms of editing. (Not to mention it’ll finally give me good reason to give up a repeated lament.) So at this time my next (little) big thing will be the continuation of the Forgotten Children Series. But this won’t likely begin until I’ve had some face time with the real and actual inheritor of the name The Sixth Strike, since the beginning of that next book was half the motivation for the finishing of its’ sibling. Once I’ve gotten at least some of that out of my system, it shouldn’t be too much longer before I find the kick in the pants necessary to make me get to work.