Jay Lake: Writer

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[Process]

[process] Writing is hard, let’s go shopping

So I’ve been working on an as-yet-untitled novella in the Sunspin continuity. As a practical matter, in terms of story action it’s the prequel to the opening of the novel cycle. Though I don’t anticipate including this wordage in the novel manuscript, I reserve the right to change my mind later on. Necessary off-stage action, as well as plot character development, comprising a story in its own right.

But the is science fiction. With, you know, actual science in the story. Or at least as much sciency-stuff as a middle aged liberal arts fart like me can swing. For example, I’ve had to read up on neutrino effects (and the lack thereof) on ordinary baryonic matter. As I write, I keep needing to stop and spot-check issues which are too important to just [handwave inside a bracket for a fix on revision]. Not to mention referencing back to dozens of pages of continuity notes from the existing short fiction in this setting, as well as the unfinished novel outline.

It’s not that the writing on this project is harder than so much else of what I do. It’s just I need to work more to get some things right. By contrast, I recently drafted Kalimpura, where as a third book in series I know the cosmology, the local area of the world, the physical and societal settings and the characters very well. As a result, the prose tended to flow very quickly. I didn’t have to think those elements through as I went along. And the demands of verisimilitude are different in fantasy than they are in science fiction.

This prose, she is not flowing so quickly. calendula_witch assures me it is reading well. But, yeah, not just a gear shift here. More like a transmission swap.

God, I love this stuff.

And, what, you want a WIP?

Sure…

“I don’t have a cause, Lieutenant. This is about the Mistake. Would we be ready if they came for us again?”

“No… It’s a big string to pull, though.” Shinka studied her hands a moment, as if fingernails had just been invented. “I was raised in an Alienist family. We believed… a lot of things. Took schooling, and some years of simply living in the real world, for me to shake that down to nothing more than a bit of uneasiness.”

Cannon knew this. She’d seen the deep files on every live body aboard Third Rectification. “Why did you volunteer for this mission, then?”

“To see if any of it was true. To prove my mom wrong.”

“What will she say when we come back?” Cannon asked gently.

Now Shinka’s voice was flat. “I’ve been gone from home over a hundred years-objective. She won’t have much to say at all.”

Of course she had been gone that long. Once again, Cannon’s elastic sense of time had interfered with her assumptions about the obvious.

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