Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It's been over a month since I completed my last novel, and I've taken some time to get my head screwed on straight again, discovering along the way that it gets easier and easier to not write.  My goal is to write a few short stories before starting my next large project, mostly to do something different, but also to start getting stories together for the short story anthology.

My challenge is that I've started getting that itch that all writers can sympathize with - the itch to start writing that next novel.  If it was only in the abstract, it'd be a piece of cake to ignore.  However, I've known for a while now what I'm going to write my next book about, and the general framework has already made it into my head.  Once that happens to me, it tends to consume me until I get the story out.

I started my fascination with writing by reading science fiction.  I loved the far away worlds and fantastic technology, and it always made me dream about the possibilities of "what if."  I've had a fantasy running around in my head for some time about our world being attacked and us fleeing the threat(yes, I know it sounds a little like Battlestar Galactica at this point...just give me a few seconds to run with this).  We find a far off world that we re-settle, but we never stop dreaming about returning to reclaim our home.

The idea I have is set about 5800 years after we've left Earth.  Our species, once down to just over 12,000 at the point we landed on the new world, has grown to over 850 billion scattered across almost 400 worlds and outposts.  We ran far(don't worry - I'll explain how far we went and how we did so during the course of the book), and we crossed several galactic strings to put so much distance between us and the enemy.  One of the things we did was cross the territory of an empire that was at war with our enemy, and even though we should've been on the same side, we didn't part on the friendliest of terms.

The human race has to cross back over that territory and use it as a supply line to push our fleet back to Earth, meaning that we'll have to come to some kind of understanding with our not-so-willing allies.  At the end of that, we have to fight a menace that every child in the new Terran Confederacy has been taught to fear since birth.

What does all this build up mean?  It means I'll focus on the impending war for all of about two chapters...and then I'll move onto the real story, because a war in space isn't what the book is about.  The real meat happens after we reclaim our home.  In my timeline, we couldn't take everyone, so we had to leave folks behind.  Those left behind developed an entirely new way of doing things in the absence of the rest of humanity, mostly because the reason we were attacked was that we possessed a different form of technology than our conqueror.  As a result, what remained survived by becoming feral and developing an inherent distrust of all technology.  The retaking of our world and dealing with feral humans is the bulk of the story.

There's also a side story involving a contingent of humans that we left with the aliens we passed through on the way to our new home.  One of the bones of contention between our races was that the aliens agreed to house whoever wanted to settle in their territory, but those who did had to agree to live life by the way the aliens dictated, and nearly 6000 years of doing so has so radically altered their culture that we're left to wonder if they're really human anymore.  It introduces a dynamic that should create friction from a new angle.

Much like with Wrongful Death, I plan to write this from a first person limited perspective.  I intend to do this through a series of journal entries based on the observations of one of the Soldiers who is involved in the Reconquista of Earth.  I wanted to try a new technique to see if I could challenge myself with a different style.

I still want to hold off until August before I begin writing, but I might have to start mapping this out sooner just to satisfy the itch.  I'll be on several business trips in the next month, so I'm hoping to write my short stories on the airplane, but I know that this new adventure will be calling my name the whole time.  Can I ignore it until I feel really ready?

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