Kind of a good week writing-wise…
In the past few days, I’ve gotten two tentative invitations for new writing projects, though one is much more tentative than the other. I hope they both come to fruition, though. At least, it’s a good sign that I’ve gotten approached twice this early in the year.
Also, today I finally got paid in full for my latest Star Trek Magazine article (well, latest published, but second-latest written), after the first check got lost in the mail.
Meanwhile, my progress on the spec novel has had a bit of a setback, but in a way that’s progress in itself. I realized that just trying to keep as much as possible from the old version of the story wasn’t working; there was too much infodump and lecturing and not enough characterization or emotion to make it work, and at the same time I wasn’t making good enough use of the setting and situation at this part of the novel. I realized there were some things I could do to address both problems at once, so I have to do some major rewriting of this portion and replace a lot of the recycled material with new content. It entails partly reversing a decision I made before to reduce the number of distinct alien races I used in the story, because the old version was getting too cluttered and unfocused. So I was initially skeptical of the thought that including another alien race (indeed, one pretty much recycled from some of my old unsold fiction) might be the way to go here. But it’s okay, because I’ve solved the main clutter/focus problem (by having the central arc of the back half of the novel grow out of an established character and species whose motivations tie into another significant piece of worldbuilding in the novel, rather than tossing in a different antagonist and species that have no connection to any of that), and because I can use this alien race in place of another one that I was planning to use anyway in the final stage of the story (and was on the fence about using at all), so it gives the story more cohesiveness if I set them up here. Moreover, it lets me showcase the setting more, making it come alive as more than just a backdrop. So I think that this time it will serve the story integrally rather than sending me off on a tangent like before. At least, I hope it will.
If nothing else, at least I finally feel my imagination is fully engaged with this project; the ideas are flowing more quickly now and I’m recognizing both problems and solutions that I wasn’t seeing before.