Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Novel, Let Me Show You It

A pillow conversation with The Mrs. a couple nights ago got me to dig up my first two novels, Senses and Visions, intended to be two-thirds of a modern horror trilogy, dating back to 1991-1992.  Totally unrelated to that conversation, my friend Hans mentioned the stories during a Champions Online session.  Thinking there must be something to it, I went hunting for the novels yesterday, found them, and in skimming them made the following observations:
  • The first book (Senses) is uncomfortably bad.  The prose is pedestrian and the plotting awkward.  I was 23 and hadn't found a writing "voice" yet.
  • What passed for "modern" technology in the early 1990s is hopelessly mundane or irrelevant now.  I find that both fascinating and amusing.
  • On the up-side, the characters and dialog are compelling.  It reads like a screenplay.  There could be something here to salvage.  I don't like throwing away a good idea.
  • The second book (Visions) is exponentially better.  A voice has been found, descriptions and prose are more dynamic, and the characters and dialog are now worthy of being read by a more general audience.  It flows well.  The action sequences are Steakley-esque, probably because I was reading Vampire$ on a monthly basis and absorbing John's flair for stream-of-consciousness-right-smack-in-the-middle-of-the-fucking-action style by literary osmosis.
  • Unfortunately, the story is only readable after the events of the first novel occur.
  • The second book ends on a cliffhanger and there is no third installment.  With a file drawer full of agent and publisher rejection letters, I think I felt I was spinning my wheels on the horror/action thing and moved over to urban sci-fi, which led to my third novel, an epic cyberpunk stew called Shihodo, being optioned by Time Warner Books.
  • The great characters and team/mission based action really lend themselves to a game or TV series type of product.  It was briefly on our slate of RPG products back in the early days of Deep7, and it also survives as a videogame design doc (probably from the days when every disgruntled employee of Boss Game Studios was plotting a side project and/or splinter company).
  • Might be worth an overhaul, to make a single novel.  Or just skip that and go directly to screenplay.  See where it goes.
  • After I've got Arrowflight Second Edition out.

1 comment:

TigereyeSal said...

Great stuff- good to hear that creativity is oozing out of you.