The problem with having your head down beavering away all the time is you forget to look up and realise you haven’t updated your blog for a while. Opps! So without further ado, an update on what I’ve been up to and what’s coming up…
Elite:Dangerous launched on the 16th December to much fanfare and has already gone through a killer storyline and tonnes of updates. It’s going really well and the feedback I have seen is pretty exciting.
If you haven’t been keeping up with Elite:Dangerous and want to get up to speed in less than four minutes then I suggest checking out James Vigor’s ‘Speed Summary’.
My novel ‘And Here The Wheel’ is a part of the Elite:Dangerous canon and all the locations visited in the book can be visited in-game. The desert world of Skardree is there, as is the garbage planet Tarlac. You may even hear about the Garry Clan in the Galnet news. There is also a CMDR Garry kicking around the cosmos in-game. Come say Hello if you see him!
As per my last blog post I received a bunch of hard copies of ‘And Here The Wheel, as well as a hard back set of the entire Fantastic Elite Fiction range. This includes Kate Russel’s ‘Mostly Harmless‘, Drew Wagar’s ‘Reclamation‘, Allen Stroud’s ‘Revolution’ and the Tales beyond the Frontier Anthology. This hardback set is now in the safe hands of the Wellington Central Library and soon to join the collection, so if you are in Wellington and haven’t read any of them yet, now you have your opportunity.
I have also started spreading the paperback copies of And Here The Wheel around to reviewers to help get the news of Elite Fiction into New Zealand.
Now, in the stables of Fantastic Books Publishing….With the launch of the audiobook version of Elite:Reclamation, attention now turns to And Here The Wheel, the next audiobook in the queue. We are looking at launch about a month away and once the date is firmed up we’ll be doing a few little competitions to get you excited. I’m still talking to Dan Grubb at Fantastic Books about what we’ll do exactly, but what we’ve come up with already sounds like a lot of fun, so stay tuned!
Now remember, the exciting bit about the audiobook version of And Here The Wheel is that it isn’t just an augmented audiobook with official soundscape direct from the game (provided courtesy of Frontier Developments), music from Allen Stroud and lyrical reading by Scott Ainslie. No, its much more than that. The story itself is more in depth, with enhanced battle scenes and greater characterisation. If you think you know what happened between Robert and Gunn, think again!
The Seed is going well at the moment and I’m already into writing my fourth chapter. The game is full of decisions the player makes and each decision creates a fork and each fork needs story attached to it, which is where I come in. I’m working on my own little section of the ‘tree’ at the moment. I’ve claimed it as my own as I’ll be writing all the content in my ‘bit’ right up to the end of the game. I’m involved in the story making process as well, designing chapters from scratch and rearranging events to make them more ‘organic’, something you will know from previous posts that I’m very keen on.
The Seed is quite fun in that I am able to work it in bite size chunks and every chunk has the full range of writing work. First I do research. I walk around Russian towns on Google Maps, learning the detail of the streets, the types of houses, the state of repair, what the signs and buildings look like and making sure my descriptions are authentic. I’m also on the internet learning about Russian guns, and knives and survival skills, and as one facebook follower commented, firmly planting myself on the CIA watchlist.
Next is the writing, which depending on the way the decisions go, can be anywhere from 4,000 words to 8,000 words. Once the draft is done it’ll get reviewed and any comments will be taken under advisement for the follow up edit.
And finally after all that is done will be publication, i.e the launch of the game. I can’t wait to get this one out in front of the world. Hopefully everyone will enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
And if you need a taster to see if you are interested in The Seed, I hope to have a sample up for you shortly.
Shallow Space marches on. We are still doing a lot of work in preparation for a kickstarter in the next month or two. If you have had experience with crowd funding you will know there are those that come to market with a lot of development done and those that are selling a hope and a prayer. We plan to be in category 1 as that generally leads to better success. It’s going to be a ripper when it starts and hopefully we’ll put on such a show that you’ll be convinced to help us realise our dream. (We have lofty goals, but I’m sure we’ll never match THIS kickstarter)
The political factions now have their logos. The system and ‘galactic’ maps are being converted from my sketch pad to electronic beauty and I’ve started a new piece of serial fiction available over at www.shallow-space.com. Its called ‘The Tale of Samuel Shallom’ and I’m doing something a little different…
Instead of a traditional story, each chapter will be told through a different ‘media’. News articles, diaries, black box recordings, etc. The first part is up already and the second is ready and waiting.
A goal of all the Shallow Space fiction is to introduce the characters and factions of the game to players and provide background that won’t be in the game so as to enrich the playing experience. Learn the motivations of the factions, which of the newspapers are mere mouth pieces for their masters, how the balance of power is divided up amongst Shallow Space and what the technology is that allows faster than light travel between the colonies.
The Narrative of Shallow Space is my big focus and I’ll be supplementing that with free fiction throughout the design phase, including fiction specifically for kickstarter backers’. If you loved And Here The Wheel then you’ll want to be keeping an eye on Shallow Space…
That’s it for this time, thanks for stopping by.