Category Archives: Author’s Note
it’s been months and months since i put pen to paper on my story. it has been impossible to write for a number of reasons since last november, and i finally had to take myself away to a different environment and devote myself entirely to my work. i only hope the ship of my daily life is still floating when i get back on.
i have done all these things, and am now waiting for the energy to wait for the inspiration to begin writing.
the task at hand is to put my characters in antarctica, and follow them thru all 7 rings of the antarctica game. this is where a lot of absolutely impossible things have to happen, and i am a realist, so it’s going to be a bit difficult. but i love a challenge.
i will post my notes as i write each chapter, which i’m doing out of a desire to be thorough. there is no research in my notes, because there’s nothing to research. i did extensive research – a year of research – for the rest of the story, because i have no idea how to write a videogame, no idea about the magic of quantum mechanics, no idea of world politics as it changes. i started the story in the middle of the arab spring, and did a big what-if about a global consciousness revolution, and then realized i had no idea what i was talking about, and thus the research. but to write what i’m going to write now – antarctica without the ice – there was nothing for it but to come to iceland, where it used to be covered by an icecap that planed the tops of the mountains flat and scraped the water channels into huge swaths of valleys and hanging valleys and gorges and waterfalls. so here i am, in the arctic, fixing to fake it.
my methods will probably remain the same – i brought a blank notebook so i can scribble it in longhand, and then i’ll type it out as i get to the end of each day, and publish it as a first draft. i think differently when my fingers write and when they type, so i’m going to trust that.
right now the sun is shining on the hanging valley outside my window. the lower slopes of the main valley are yellow green, with lupins adding a dark green and blue touch, and up in the hanging valley it’s all snow, with the blackness of exposed rock up near the ridge, where the slope goes up above 60%. it makes me want to hike up there, and i will surely do that one of these days. but not now. now i’ve got bread fresh out of hte oven and i’m waiting for the residency directors to come over and help me eat it. then i think i’ll rearrange my workspace again. no, just kidding. i’ll probably spend the rest of the evening in a hot bath, finishing the book i brought with me so as to get it out of the way.
i lied. the book still has a couple of hundred more pages. oh well.
Posted in Author's Note
it seems i can only devote myself to writing when i set aside the time to do it. and with this story i’m writing, it seems that i can only do that in november, for nanowrimo. so it is going to take a month in iceland in order to settle in and write some more of this story. which means i’m going to iceland for a month, because i can. real soon now.
i’ve been planning this (and saving for it) for well over a year. i always take a long time to plan my art residencies, these years. used to be i would just luck into one and go, but now i have more responsibilities – a husband, 5 dogs, kids and grandkids – so i have to space my art travels far apart, say every couple of years instead of every couple of months. i wouldn’t trade it, however; i like my life much better now.
why iceland? people have asked me this. it’s because the story is set in an antarctica without ice. and since i can’t go to antarctica, for various reasons (lack of money to buy my way, and the medical history to spoil my chances of being selected for a residency), i searched closer to home, and found a great art residency in the far north of iceland, in the far north of the globe, to explore things like what’s underneath vanishing glaciers and how it feels to experience arctic warming (which happens in my story). and while i have all the research, the maps, videos, pictures, blogs… i don’t know what it smells like near the pole, how the sun balances on the horizon all night, what the moon does at its full. and i need to know these things. so i’m going to iceland. for a month, during the midnight sun when nobody ever sleeps.
a year and a half ago, when i first dreamed up this residency idea, i looked ahead in my writing and saw that i would never be able to reach the point where i needed to experience antarctica. going by my nanowrimo output, and my output in between novembers, i would have needed to do a steady 6 chapters a year, and in 2012 i only did 5. the antarctica part started at like chapter 14; anyway i hadn’t a hope in hell. so i did a bad trick last year. instead of putting out a chapter in a series of draft sections, revised and then published as final chapters, i posted my daily output and didn’t do any revisions, and didn’t publish any finished chapters. i just spat out as much landscape as i could, and figured i’d polish and publish the final chapters between last november and now.
which of course didn’t happen. all sorts of other things happened, and now i’m raising my grandkid and my kid is here at the house to help while i’m gone off to iceland, and i’m leaving a potential disaster to go run off and lollygag on some hillside, talking to trolls.
but okay, maybe that won’t happen. with fantasies and fears, most of what i spend time and energy anticipating never happens, and i might as well dream up something happy.
so i’m going off to the troll peninsula in nothern iceland, as close to the arctic circle as i can get, to this little bitty fishing town, where i hope to write all the chapters involving antarctica.
and for those who don’t know the plot (everyone), the antarctica chapters are when my characters play the videogame they’ve been working on up until now.
so in chapter 14, the two heroes are dumped into their own antarctica game, the very first to experience it in all its empty magnificence. and in the next chapter (which i believe is chapter 16 because i’m interpolating), they are joined by the testers in the first ring of antarctica. the antarctica game is split into seven levels, and each one gets a chapter. the story line is totally different from the interpolated chapters, because these other chapters take place in the real world, and the antarctica chapters take place inside the videogame. and i’m pretty sure i won’t be writing any of the interpolating chapters while i’m in iceland. i’ll most likely wait until november, and spit them all out, if possible, during nanowrimo.
Posted in Author's Note
i stopped writing the story on november 30. i wrote my 50,000 words for nanowrimo, and a few dozen more, and stopped writing at the end of chapter 13.1, which was nevertheless 6000 words or so, a huge bout of investment, where i ignored everybody around me and dismissed all the demands of my daily life and just sat there and wrote. i think i was staying up into the night writing, and getting up after a few hours of sleep to write in my bed with the lamp on.
i’ve been thinking about my story since then, but only as a looming shadow, not exploring it but dreading it; and besides, there were all the rest of the daily demands to take care of. and since this is a residency year, i have a lot of preparations to make for a trip to research the atmosphere of an antarctica without ice. and a child to mind, and paper to make, and all sorts of stuff to dye. so i’ve been busy.
but now things are getting to where i’m ready to start writing again.
so i’m reading the chapters, from 8 to 13. i’ve only written the sections, and haven’t yet put them together as whole chapters and published them. so that’s probably next.
just so you know.
this will be my second year doing ‘adventures in quantum antarctica’ during nanowrimo. i frankly don’t remember last year very well, so…
this year i’m writing chapter 8 online. sort of. i won’t have access to a laptop, and i’m busy upstairs these days and can’t spend 8 hours a day online. so tonight i am printing out the chapter notes, and tomorrow i’m getting out my notebook and a comfortable pen, and i’m going to sit in the rocker in the living room and write. it’ll get put up online soon, hopefully the same day so i don’t lag behind and let it build up.
and you can see it all here, if you like first drafts. so far, my readership has been minor, but i’m not writing it for anybody but me, so whatever. welcome aboard those who are reading me.
i was pretty unhappy reading over the first 7 chapters. they took me over a year to produce, they’re too long, they’re too technical, and they’re tedious as well. but all the actual science research was built into the first section, and from here on out it’s seat of the pants writing, rather than filling in an outline. the research got in the way, and the technical advances of even a year ago look silly in light of what they’re learning now.
but that’s because we’re now in a quantum world, where absolutes aren’t.
well. i’ve completed 7 chapters. manuscript formatting (12 pt, double spaced, 1-inch margins), it comes to 261 pages. and it’s only the first of six sections. so that won’t do, obviously. i’m not writing a sextet, it’s not good enough a story, in my hands anyway. maybe neal stephenson could do it, but it wouldn’t come out the same. probably would be a good thing.
and plus, making a thick tome isn’t what we’re going to do. we’re making a graphic novel. all the struggles i’m going thru in writing the chapters, all the struggles of the past year and a bit, have been only first draft struggles. when it comes time to take it down to a graphic novel, it’s going to have to lose 89% of the verbiage, which can only help it.
we sat and watched the commentary on the pixar movie brave, which we love, and they were talking about the same process i go thru when i work on a chapter. you try everything, and everything’s either okay or horrible, but nothing is smooth and shiny. and then something clicks, some new angle you hadn’t thought of before, and the whole thing starts flowing. it’s the same process even on a multi million dollar project, as on this tiny project that costs nothing, written in my basement. so that’s cool.
it’s been a real struggle to write these seven chapters, even this last chapter, having made the breakthru in chapter 5, when kurt does a lot of drugs and all that science is turned into metaphor. before chapter 5, i was trying to include the science as real knowledge, as if some team of independents sat down and wrote themselves a videogame, and a true genius took today’s discoveries and put them into a quantum computer. but it was not only boring but preachy, because i tried to work all those political bits and pieces that are also happening now. and this doesn’t work. you can’t possibly reflect the present in such a work, because the whole point is that there is no present you can isolate as THE present. the present moves on, and what you have is an immediately outdated science overview masquerading as adventure fiction. like the celestine prophecy (hak fui).
so it all has to go to metaphor. and, in truth, it all is metaphor, whatever its pretentions to reality. ultimate truths. never mind for now. the story is badly written, and has to be not only eviscerated and resurrected, but also boiled and shrunk down to almost nothing. this whole first section will eventually fit into a 32 page comic book. (22 pages and ads etc.). so, six issues and a final bound graphic novel. that’s what i’m aiming for.
and as i toddle off toward that goal, i have to remember to remember that i’m not writing a thousand pages for my health. no, wait, i am writing it for my health, because if nobody ever sees it, at least i’ve been thru it, and concentrated on these thoughts, and these processes i’m writing about. i’m writing a thousand pages, also, because i’m on a mission, and it’s to say these things because i have to. you won’t understand that, and i’ve written about it in other author’s notes.
i was looking over chapters 8-14 the other day, arranging everything the way i do. i put chapter 7 away, added it to the section one file, and printed the whole thing out for reading aloud to jim. then i got out chapters 8-14 and separated out the individual chapters into their own documents, and spread them out on top of my desktop. then i opened the comments document, where i save all the deleted bits and ideas about the chapters, and the research document, where i keep all the news articles and websites i’ve found that pertain to this story, and looked at all the tidbits i’m going to have to move into the separate chapters. that’s a whole day’s work, so i’m not doing it now, just setting it up. then i read thru the chapters, which is to say i read thru the notes, and the character arcs, and the various political and scientific and consciousness points i intend to talk about.
interestingly, to me, was finding that at the end of section 2, chapter 14, josh and anomia find themselves in the game antarctica, which has been blocked since chapter 9. this is the point when i will be writing about antarctica without ice, which is the point at which i want to be in iceland so i can write about it first hand. as i remember, the game doesn’t start until the middle of section 3, but from chapter 14 on they start to experience the gameworld for real.
section 2 will have a whole different structure than section 1, and i’m not sure how that’s going to work out, because i don’t really remember. i spent a year on section 2, and haven’t looked at my chapter structure for a very long time.
reading the chapters to jim, i am astounded at how quickly they go by. it’s been 3 sessions and then nathan’s portion to read each chapter, and we’re on chapter 6 already. i think it’s clunky, but jim has been amused the whole way along, especially in chapter 5 when kurt made the quantum computer. that’s the wild chapter where i threw science to the wind. kurt makes way technical statements that nobody understands, and jim thought that was hilarious, where i thought it was pompous. and my reader could only barely work thru it. i haven’t heard from him since…
so it’ll be a few minutes until i can get back to the story, dragoncon and all that. but i’m thinking about it.
this last chapter in the first section has been the hardest to write yet. and it should have been the easiest.
it should have been easy because i realized at the end of chapter 6 that i was going to have to completely rewrite the first section, so it should have been easy to just knock it out. and the 7.1 did almost flow out of my fingers. but this last part took forever. of course, it goes all the way to nathan’s family, so i guess i shouldn’t complain.
it was hard because so many other things got in the way. my out-of-the-studio responsibilities have doubled since march, and all sorts of shit happened since the beginning of june, which, since i didn’t write it down, are gone now.
mainly, it was realizing that i needed to trash the first section and start again. that puts my schedule in the can, and means the first draft will take more like five years to write. at this rate, i’ve done much less than one chapter a month. because it’s a year after i started with chapter one, and i’m still in chapter 7. i don’t know whether to stop work on the rest of the novel in order to go back and fix the beginning, or to plow on toward the end and fix it later. all the writing advice in the universe says to keep going because it’s only a fucking first draft anyway. and after sitting with it for a month it’s plain to me that all that advice is spot on. but the emotional push to abandon everything and fixate – well, that’s a heady thing, but fixating is the same thing as stopping, and my energy needs to keep moving forward.
of course, in the end, it’s my personal process in writing this story thru to the end that is important, not whether anybody else reads it, not whether it achieves any of the lofty aims that i imagine while i’m letting the fairies write it for me. i have the same lofty, ambitious thoughts when i’m painting a picture. the ambitions are simply a side effect of the energy needed to do the task, the emotions that allow me to get the piece finished. they’re not real plans, and they fade when the task is over. the mistake is to think the thoughts, the plans and ambitions, are the point. the point is seeing the job thru, the thoughts and feelings you have along the way are essentially meaningless. you can take an ambition and run with it, but it’s just the next task, not really connected to whatever you did before.
one of the distractions has been my decision, in february, to go to iceland and see what antarctica without ice will actually look like. it had always attracted me, but never occurred to me as something i needed to do for this novel until then, and once i decided i wanted to do it, and could do it, and then arranged to do it, i have been busily getting involved with the place, and diverting my energy to it. this is another one of the reasons for the slowness in my writing. at first it was just finding out about the place i’m going to be going – in another year. studying maps, reading reviews, listening to icelandic tv in the background, following icelandic writers on facebook, stuff like that. but then i realized i wanted to do something while i was there, something other than write my novel. i began to dream up public art projects. and found something i could do, and started doing the research, and contacting people about it, and there’s a real plan developing, with proposals and estimates, and everything to be done long distance except a very small part when i’m there.
but anyway, i need to finish my chapter. nathan’s family awaits. and then i’ll print out and read all 7 chapters, but still continue with chapter 8, while i’m digesting what have i done.
boy was it a rough slog. i worked on this chapter for several months, and all sorts of things got in the way. i feel like i’ve been working on it since january, and in fact posted the outline january 29th, so it’s been 4 months on the one chapter.
and it didn’t help that halfway in the middle i discovered that i’m doing it all wrong. i was spending all my time trying to fit the research to the plot, trying to get the very latest research into every paragraph. but this is all wrong because the research keeps going right on, and my timely writing is outdated as i’m writing it.
and not only that, people are used to thinking in science fiction themes, and none of these new discoveries bothers anybody with its newness. people expect time travel, multiple universes, mind over matter. in fantasy and science fiction. and by god that’s what i’m trying to write, so i need to take a lot more for granted, instead of trying to prove all my advances.
i started doing this when it came to chapter 5, when kurt developed the quantum kernel. practically everything about the science behind the quantum kernel escapes me, so i was forced to turn to metaphor, and write a drug-induced fantastic science/art making session headed by two famous cranks who could be expected to say anything. and that kind of worked. better than the boring science stuff, which even my dedicated reader (who suddenly went blind and can no longer serve) couldn’t get thru.
if that’s the only way it’s going to work, then i’ll do that.
this, of course, will require a complete rewrite, but that’s okay, because my chapters are way too long as it is, and once i get used to the act of deleting great swathes of text at once, i’ll feel much more bloodthirsty about it. it’s actually fun, once you get into it, chopping a story to shreds. taking one last look at a nice sentence and then exing it.
and as this gets done i’ll replace the chapters (by changing categories so they show up as dailies rather than chapters). and then i’ll be able to start in on section 2.
however, chapter 7 is the last chapter in the first section, and it should go like the end of a book. i should be writing three books out of these 42 chapters, and so this should be a climax and a resolution, but what actually happens is that they’ve put all this effort into building a videogame, and have succeeded at that, but nobody is getting along, and the game is a crappy, shitty game and nobody is going to want to play it at the beginning of the next section (which is the climax of the first section, in the beginning of the second section. which tells you how much i know about novel construction. another reason to review what i’m doing before it gets too late.).
so basically, i don’t have a chapter 7. i could write it up in a couple of paragraphs and include it with chapter 6. and then move chapter 8 back to chapter 7. chapter 8 is the second dragoncon, where they introduce what they have so far. so maybe i should consider doing that before i put up the outline for chapter 7, which is my next move here on this blog.
anyway, i’m not sure what to do, so i’m going to go look at the next section and see if it warrants disruption at that level (the whole 42-chapter structure is at risk here).
well, i’m not messing with the chapter structure. it’s too complex. i’ve been messing with it unconsciously by moving things that belonged in chapter 6 into chapter 7, because i couldn’t seem to fit them in. so i’d better round them all up and deal with it. i suspect that when i’ve got it all down and am ready for the second draft, then the structure won’t matter as much because i’ll have an existing story to shape, and won’t have to work so theoretically.
it’s becoming more and more apparent that i’m going to need to completely rewrite the first section, and that makes it difficult to concentrate on finishing this last 2 chapters.
i was reading about trilogies, and at the midpoint of the trilogy, there is despair (at the end of the 2nd star wars, there’s han solo getting frozen, and luke losing his hand. all is lost). unfortunately, that’s pretty much the scene at the end of the first section of this sextet. otoh, my story, broken into three pieces, the beginning of the videogame is when the good stuff starts. and by good stuff, i mean that the first half of the story is background. making the game, tinkering with the game, background and science. so why don’t i just write playing the game? and never mind all the preamble. or do it like they did star wars and write it backwards, the game first and all the preamble second.
so of course there are now a million things to distract me, most of which are because i left the door open for distractions. however, this is a year of the sudden golden opportunity, so i’m not going to be a fool, i’m going to drift a little. i’m still writing, still thinking about my story.
one of the distractions i have assigned myself is going to iceland. for research. to write the game part of the story. once the maps came out for inclusion into the story line, i spent more and more time with the maps (i just adore maps), and did my usual thing. looking at the contour lines and the rivers and mountains, i see the three-dimensionality of it popping off the page, and then i’m down there swooping thru the glacial valleys thinking about what path i want to take to the top. it happens every time. i get as close as i can to walking into the landscape, and i can spend hours doing it.
so anyway, i started thinking about going to that landscape, which of course i can’t because it’s currently covered by a mile of ice. so i was looking at the next best thing. which is to take an artist’s residency and hang out as close to the poles as i could get. so, to avoid a long story, i applied to a place at the very north end of iceland, where the land looks very similar to what antarctica will look like once all the ice melts. so this ends up being a novel about global warming, too, i hadn’t realized that at first. it is, in fact, to do with the icecaps all melting, and there are lots of consequences to it, even tho it’s not the central theme of the story or anything like it.
as a distraction, an artist’s residency is wonderful. you have to start planning for it a year in advance, and it can take up lots of time, there’s lots of research to be done, blog posts to be written, correspondence to be struck up, and time spent looking with longing at live feed webcams. the planning is endless, and i’ll be chronicling it on my travel blog. but of course it takes me away from the difficulty of writing something even i can see has to be redone.
i’m also beginning to plan my kickstarter campaign (another distraction), and here is the first mention of my thinking on it. everything is tied in to the eventual publishing of this novel. it’s the first novel i’ve written that i’ve felt needed publishing. the others are things i might could edit and polish and get published, but this is one that i feel should be read. which is the main reason it’s all going up on the internet as i’m writing it. and nobody’s going to read this early effort, because it’s stabbing around in the dark, and no serious author guarding their reputation would let anybody read this early effort, because it’s shit. but i want to leave the whole trail, both as a cautionary tale, and as an example of how to write a novel. i do want to have people following the progress, i do want to engage readers, i do want a dialog with people who are thinking about these things. but not with this level of writing. and i know that. so i’m not expecting readers now. when it’s worth reading, then i expect people to find it and read it.
the point of that was that my efforts of this probable ten year period will be directed to creating this novel and seeing it out into the world. and this is a very long time to be working without success. a long time to suffer the opinions of friends and family that i should get a real job and never mind this digital masturbation. but i keep ignoring them, because inside i’m convinced that i’m doing what i should be doing, and that all i have to do is keep doing it, and miracles will happen.
the kickstarter campaign will begin by bringing in enough funding to get me to iceland, and around iceland, and back from iceland. this is the first stage. the second stage will come during the production of the graphic novel, when we will have to cover printing and marketing costs. as incentives for the first stage, i will be producing an artist’s book while i’m in iceland (yet another current distraction, as i source icelandic fish leather for the cover), and donors will get pages of this book. incentives for the second stage will include originals of the graphic pages. all of this will be covered in my art blog.
so this is a year and a half into a multi-year project, doing this research, writing this novel, illustrating it, publishing it, and marketing it. it may well come to nothing, but i believe in it – rather, i am compelled to do it – and i’m going to go along with it as well as i can.
this is the report i received from my reader, and it outlines some very important issues in the story so far.
So far, the character development in the Antartica novel does not equal that of “Mom“. I want to care about the characters in the new work but so far, only Nathan really holds my concern. Well, I like his mother, too. As I said a few emails back, Dad is a piece of work and sis is a spoiled beastess, but they hold up well when in the family dynamic.
When the novel drifts back to the creation of the video game it becomes much more tedious in my view. Damn, that sounds rude and I don’t WANT to sound that way. It’s just that I have too much love and respect for you to sit here and write out some glowing amateur review of ‘Antarctica’ when I just don’t seem to be able to get into the story. As I said some time ago, I really enjoyed the book about Mom’s revenge. It got your attention right away and wouldn’t let it go. This newer work just does not compare.
My advice on the new book is that you consider scrapping the whole thing and going back to square one. I don’t mean that you should give up the idea of the novel. Just consider going back and starting with more character development before jumping so much into the technical aspects of the book. To me, a good book is one that grabs the reader’s attention right away. That’s integral in my opinion. I do not read many books although I do read a lot of stuff on the internet. MSNBC, TIME magazine, etc. But I can give you the names of three authors who, in my opinion, excel at grabbing and holding onto the readers emotions and interest. Of course, you know who Stephen King is. Second is Elizabeth Kostova, she of the brilliant Dracula novel “The Historian”. That is likely the most beautifully written book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Reading it was like walking into a beautiful tapestry and taking up residence. However, even that great work does have passages that go on too long. Still, to me, it is a great book. The third author is Nevada Barr. She is writing a series of novels about a national park ranger named Anna Pigeon. Barr herself was once a park ranger so she knows about what she writes. Her fictitious adventures concerning Anna Pigeon seldom disappoint.At the beginning of ‘Antarctica’ when the boy and girl are on the roof of the Atlanta skyscraper, something should be done to get the reader to invest emotionally in the two characters. Are they lovers? Just friends? It’s a bit of a shock to learn that they are actually young adults. And they bicker too much when they are in their new realm. I would want to see them enjoying themselves more before they start to build their new world. By the time they come back to our reality on the roof of the building, the reader should be really into the adventure they just had. Instead, I felt like I was on the outside, looking in, and trying to understand what just happened.
it looks like i’m going to have to do a complete rewrite on the first section, the first 7 chapters, the first year of my story’s timeline. i realized a couple of days ago that not only does a few months make a big chunk of my cutting-edge research irrelevant, but that science fiction long ago surpassed these developments, and if i’m going to be popularizing science, i should write articles, not fiction. so, since i don’t want to abandon the story after i get tired of working on it, and since i think this topic really needs to be read, i’m going to do what i need to in order to make it readable.
i’ve only got one more chapter until i finish the first section. there are 42 chapters in 6 sections of 7 chapters each, just so you know. i finally have a reader who is struggling to get thru these first chapters, and so i’m seriously considering changing this first section to make it more readable.
i haven’t gotten a report from my reader, but i expect that the criticism has two foci. the two main characters are not interesting, and the whole thing is too technical. about the only part of the story that is interesting is the part about nathan and his family, a typically dysfunctional all-in-the-family-like setup which spirals down into tragicomic farce in the end.
however, this is a fictional story dealing with real scientific facts and speculations, and making use of actual developments in modern technology. and as such, there’s a learning curve, and there are facts and basic explanations, and advanced explanations, and superedgy explanations i don’t begin to understand. you have to learn physics to follow this, for example. and that’s not going to fly because i’m not that compelling and followed a writer for anybody to want to slog thru dry physics primers before getting to the action.
and unfortunately, the action doesn’t really start until the videogame starts, in the 3rd section. that’s chapter 21. who’s going halfway thru a dry textbook to get to the good stuff? not me.
so what do i do? come back to the dry stuff later? intersperse it thru the good stuff? abandon it?
but i can’t really abandon it, because it’s quantum physics, it’s not like what we take for granted about the world, it’s hidden knowledge that you expose in stages. i suppose you could call it the definition of occult knowledge. and it’s the whole point of the story.
the lessons of quantum physics are about to be absorbed and used by the regular populace of this world that we’re living in now. that’s the next paradigm change, we’re in the middle of the beginning of it, and what i’m trying to write (i said teach at first) is vital information for adapting to the new quantum age. so i can’t throw that part out.
i can make a metaphor for it, which is what the story itself is, really. but i could further sublimate the actual knowledge into the metaphor. and that’s what i decided to do in chapter 5, where kurt creates the quantum kernel. and i did that because it’s too much for me to understand myself, so how the fuck could i tell you? and i had to work in metaphor, in drug-induced dreamstates featuring the geniuses nicola tesla and wilhelm reich on a bender.
i thought it was effective, but my reader skipped entirely over it and went on to nathan’s family.
hmm. so what do i do?
when i put the story together in outline form, i interwove the story of the game with the story of what’s happening in the world in its struggle to change/not change. they don’t run in the same time period – the game can be played in a matter of hours, the real world timeline goes on for 3-4 years. but i run them concurrently. and because one of them is a videogame, that’s okay. everyone understands the change in timescale from one chapter to the next (partly because they’re consistent – gameworld/realworld/gameworld/realworld).
if i were to interleave the technical stuff into this already woven structure, what then?
then we could start with the game, with action. and then move to the game development (in the realworld)? and then into the realworld (at a much later date)?
at this point, the events of the game development way precede other events in the outside world that if i ran them together would be happening at the same time. and i can’t see that.
my other alternative is to eliminate most of the first 7 chapters about the development of the game. that would mean encapsulating a year’s worth of the team’s effort, and minimizing all the details of not only game development but quantum physics and modern scientific achievements. which would put this story on the level of the dan brown and the celestine prophecy, when i was hoping for something more like a popular book on quantum physics that stops just short of equations and dwells on the consciousness connection.
this is my current dilemma. i’m not going to actually do anything about it until i’ve finished the first draft of chapter 7, and then i’ll print it all out and edit it. at that point i’ll make any major course corrections. hopefully it won’t come to that, tho. that would echo too precisely what happens in my story.