Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Working on Spires Edits

Sooo, my Agent and I met face to face for the first time ever last week and we sat down together and he showed me the things in my Spires of Infinity Manuscript he thought needed changing. For the most part I agreed with him, when he pointed things out it was very clear to me that they needed to be changed. For the most part he was very impressed with it, calling it by far the best thing he's seen from me. I showed him what I've got of The Path so far and he likes the idea for the story and the new characters I'm adding, he thinks that if he can get a publisher on board with Spires, he'll be able to get a package deal for at least 4 books out of it, with an option to renew for more.

That he flew out to Utah just for this meeting with me gives me a really good feeling about his ability to sell Spires. I don't think he'd have bothered coming out to meet me in person if he wasn't absolutely sure I was about to make him a crapload of money. I'm getting pretty excited over this one. I think my time to be published has finally come.

Anyway, most of the changes he suggested were small things that you'll probably not notice unless you do a word by word comparison, but there are two big changes that will be pretty noticable. First of all is that in at one character's ultimate triumph over adversity I was telling that part of hte story from someone else's point of view, and it will have a much bigger impact from his point of view. And the second is that I used a bit of a lame plot device as an excuse to have a fight, what people in his profession call a "McGuffin" or a completely pointless object or event added only to lead to something cool and then be completely forgotten as though it was never there, where the something cool should be able to just happen on it's own. So i'll be tweaking it to remove the McGuffin and make a more realistic flow of events in the ending.

And when I get those edits done I plan to finally get around to posting the final draft on my site ^^V

The reason I haven't posted much lately, and haven't continued work on The Path is that I've been working on my agent's suggested edits to Spires. I should be finished with that this week so he can start pimping it out to publishers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WTF moment

So, being a mailman and all, I tend to see a lot of magazine covers. There are magazines for things that you wouldn't believe. You know all those TV shows and movies that you see making fun of the ridiculous magazines that people subscribe to? They're all true, and, in fact, they're a little on the conservative side. For instance, there's a Korean guy on my route that gets a magazine titled "WDW2BB" Which stands for "White Dudes Wanting 2 Be Black". Which is a double WTF, first of all, there's a magazine for retarded white dudes who want to act like black dudes? and second, why is a Korean dude subscribing to this...?

Anyway, There is a magazine called "Pregnancy Magazine". Anyone who has ever subscribed to a magazine before knows that on your last 2 or 3 issues of a magazine they glue a notice to the front cover that says something to the effect of "Your subscription is up in xx months, renew now!!!"

So, in my 9 years of delivering mail (jeez, I've been delivering mail for 9 years *mindblow*) I've seen "Pregnancy Magazine" come and go to many different houeholds across West Jordan. I would imagine first time mothers are pretty freaked out by the prospect of what's to come, so there's no big surprise that there's a magazine out there devoted to helping women through a rough and downright frightening time in their lives. What makes me laugh is that the people who publish it, also send out the "renew your subscription for another year" notices.

Ok, first of all, a normal human pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. There are 52 weeks in a year. Assuming you start your subscription at the moment of conception (not likely) that leaves 12 weeks, or three months, that you're getting this magazine, and don't really have a use for it. So why, then, would you want to renew for another 12 months? It can't be for all the parenting tips it has in caring for an infant, there's other magazines for that, (and none of the previews on the cover give any indication that there is any young child parenting advice inside at all) and, though it does happen occasionally, most women are not going to jump right back into having a second child the moment the first one is born. In fact, in my experience, the women I know who have children never want to have another ever again for at least a few months if not years after the first because it's such an ordeal.

Anyway, I just thought that was amusing. But then again, I am easily amused. Gimme an unlimited supply of legos and you'd never see or hear from me again. They'd find my body amidst a sprawling lego city within my apartment beautiful enough to make angels weep.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Path Prologue and Chapters 1-4

I've finished the prologue and chapters 1-4 of the first draft of The Path, and they can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Ok, this book is a direct sequel to Spires of Infinity, picking up pretty much exactly where Spires left off. These chapters introduce most of the new characters for this book. The cast of characters is larger, and the scope of the story is a bit more expansive than Spires. The rest of Team Evil and Team Good make their appearances and the main storyline of this book is set into motion.

Cain is plotting his own death, and has a new Subject that he's given great power to. And his partner in crime Stark makes her first appearance here. Stark is a very fun character because she is completely, over the top insane. I mean, who wears a black wedding dress to murder people? She and Allie are each one half of the personality of the little girl Allison. Neither of them are the complete consciousness, but both of them have enough of it to function as free thinking beings.

The Apostle is set free of Cain's influence by the Northern Sage, and as payment she is sent back to the Council on the World Closest to Perdition to be judged and punished for her failure and betrayal. I really wanted to resurect her, because she's an interesting character, and I did it in a way where I don't actually have to explain how she managed to survive. Though she was the antagonist for most of the first book, she did change sides in the end and if she can get out of her current situation she will return as a good guy.

The Lords of Time are a council of en and women that govern over time and they are pissed at Gabriel for his paradox. This is a bit of a nod at Doctor Who. I thought that it would be a little funny to toss something like this in because of Gabriel's worship of the Doctor in the first book. Of course the Council of Time Lords is completely different in this story, both by the way they do things, and thier actual intentions. Arthur is a very interesting character to me as well. Something happened in his early life taht he blames himself for, though he was not entirely at fault for it. He's been searching for a way to make up for it ever since, and he serves the Northern Sage now as the only uncorrupt Lord of Time.

And Christina has been chosen by the gods of her world to complete an impossible task. In order to accomplish it she must join the crew of a pirate ship captained by the father that she's never met. To join the crew she must masquerade as a boy, something she is loathed to do as she, like many 8 year old girls, does not have a very high opinion of boys.

Though it's not explained in this chapter it will be explained later in the story. The Gods of Pathia are mortal, and though they lead much longer lives than normal humans, they still die and need to be replaced. Therefore, the gods are always searching for the right replacements. Replacements must be tested before they are chosen. Each candidate is branded with a Pathan Brand which gives them a portion of the power and increased mental abilities that come with being a god. They are then given a vague and often nearly impossible task to complete. If they succeed they are given given the choice of either remaining as they are as pseudo-gods and going back to their lives, or obtaining the full power of a god and joining the ranks. If they fail the power that has been given to them can't be taken back, so they are turned to stone. Needless to say, Pathia is full of extremely lifelike statues. The Pathan King has gathered them into rows outside of his castle in a place he calls the Parade of the Fallen.

As with the first book, this one does not exactly play out in chronological order. I've placed the chapters in the order that best keeps the story flowing without causing too much confusion.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The amazing disappearing me.

Haven't been doing much lately, as you might have noticed due to the lack of activity on my blog. Way back in 5th grade my dad gave me a book to read called Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. I was blown away by it. It was awesome, about a boy my age saving the world from aliens. The author admits that he never intended the book as a children's novel, but currently it is required reading in high schools, and most fans of it are either young, or had read it when they were.

I was rearranging some books on my shelves to put in some new aquisitions and I found my old copy of Ender's Game, and thought to myself, "hey, I loved this book when I was a kid, I wonder if it still holds up now." I read Ender's Game, and it's three direct sequels, and then a side series which is also four books long staring with Ender's Shadow. And another book that just recently came out that takes place between Ender's Game and the second book Speaker for the Dead. That's 9 books, which has kept me busy for the last couple weeks.

When I was younger, I tried reading the sequels to Ender's Game, but they are very different from the original. The first book was about a kid trying to cope with the fact that he's the only person on earth with the right mindset needed to learn how to command Earth's fleets against alien invaders. The next three are very deep and very philosophical, delving into the reasons behind life, what makes a person a person, and other such things that a 12 year old kid just isn't going to get. It's easy to sympathize with a guy your own age struggling to get through life. When that same guy is 30 and wandering the universe under the weight of a horrible sin he can never forgive himself for, desperately seeking some way to make it right again, a 12 year old boy tends to lose interest fairly quickly.

If you've never read Ender's Game, read it now. You're missing out on one of the best books that has ever been written. Be aware, however, that there is a huge difference between this book and the next 3 in the series. Being older, I found that i enjoyed these books a great deal, but for completely different reasons than I enjoyed the first book. They're very heavy on philosphy and if that's not your thing, feel free to skip them. But you definitely have to read the first one.

The second series, beginning with Ender's Shadow, is also pretty fun. It's not quite so good as Ender's Game, and the first book is basically a retelling of that story from the point of view of another character, who then goes on into his own adventures for three books later. While Ender is exiled from earth for his crimes, this character stays on earth and helps Ender's brother take over the world. It's not as heavy with the philosophy and stuff as the last three in the first series, and they're a little less on the sci-fi side too, but still a good read =)

This is a fan made movie trailer for Ender's Game taking clips from other movies. Orson Scott Card has it posted on his website as "the most beautiful thing he's ever seen". If it doesn't fit on your screen just click the text in the window and it'll tak you to the youtube page where it can be watched.

And, now that i've taken a few weeks to do absolutely nothing but read, I think I'm going to start work on The Path tomorrow. And I still need to get around to putting up the final draft of Spires of Infinity too.