I could give away the ending, but even that wouldn’t help you know what’s next.
I could also start quoting areas of the book that only my early backers could read before the book was out. Actually, I may do that.
There are three things that I’ll touch on:
- Stuff that just seemed to happen for no reason
- How to write a sequel to “The Silent Invader” when the antagonist is gone
- Who are these people in the Epilogue?
We won’t get to all of these this week, so let’s cover what we can throughout this month. By the end of the month hopefully, you’ll see why I wrote what I did.
Why did that happen?
There were a couple of things in the story that happen to Richard with surprising regularity. So surprising that even his best friend found the event out of place. It is because of what you read here that I bring this up:
She glances over to Richard’s ship. “I notice you don’t have our new Earth Eurasia parking permit.” She quickly yanks out an application.
Richard suddenly gasps in horror, raising his hands defensively before the raised sheet of paper. “Listen, I told the last girl I am a diplomat of the Tyberian Empire. Certainly you have record of this?”
She slides the application to Richard. “I’m afraid the captain’s yacht of the recently decommissioned Viking series of battle cruisers in the Alexandrian naval fleet is not on my registry of official ambassadorial shuttles.” She smiles at Richard with a piercing, overeager look. “If you can just fill this out, and if I could have you relocate your ship to the commons, we can have you on your way!
Richard looks over to Joe. “Is it public knowledge on your world when we decommission ships?” Joe shrugs. Richard turns back to the pleasant girl behind the counter. “I am not sure how you have come to have such information regarding my ship, but I do want to know why you are not aware of who I am.”
She looks at Richard, wondering what he means by this remark. “Sir, I assure you we make every effort to have your stay at each of our interstellar transit centers as pleasant an experience as possible.” She points to Richard’s ship. “However, I can’t allow you to park in an area designated for the Alexandrian royal family. Please understand we want to ensure our center is convenient for all our travelers.”
Joe shakes his head. “Sorry, I didn’t know. Did this happen at the last transit center?”
Richard folds his arms. “In much the same manner.”
Richard is observing a change in demeanor towards him that seems inconsistent with how he thinks the people of earth perceive him. I will volunteer that his ‘contact’ with people on Earth was limited. But, this does point to the idea that this seems off to him.
This is made clear by this observation in a conversation with his father:
“…did you notice anything unusual about the behavior of any of the Terran females you came in contact with?”
Richard folds his arms, thinking for a moment. “Well, not really…” he mutters. Then laughing, he says, “Well, except when I would land at the transit centers. They would always give me a difficult time about the Spartacus not being an ambassadorial shuttle.” Richard pauses. “And it did seem strange that they always knew that it was from the decommissioned Thor series.” He looks up at his father. “We do not make public such information, do we?”
By only reading the first novel, these events are meaningless and even superfluous, given they don’t seem to forward the story.
But, you are only reading half of the original book. So remember, there is more.
There are a few other things that could seem like self-contained anecdotes. Encounters with a particular party, casual conversations that seem to run off the rails, people who seem to have issues, though what they are is not clear. I will admit some of these things didn’t resolve well when I split the book in two, because elaborating would’ve created new issues, and removing them would remove plot points referenced later, or even change the story adversely.
There is also a long arc that the story is starting with this first book. In St. Louis, I made a point of telling people the novel is an introduction to this world, and as such, it doesn’t dive deeply into everything that is there. Even with the Clouds of Thought, there wasn’t a need to put on display everything this ability can enable Becky to do. Her explanation is concise and doesn’t really hint at what will be seen if a person understands it well in even the next book. And it also doesn’t touch on what (if any) limits there are on the Clouds of Thought.
There is also the interactions between various parties in the book. When I was plotting this all out, I think I was trying hard to have certain characters retain personality traits of the people I had associated them with when I was growing up. When I took a hiatus from writing and returned (it was way too long, yes), I couldn’t remember the personality traits I wanted to be associated with each character. Or rather, which ones were most important to associate. After reading it through, I did observe certain dominant traits, but I also realized that there was definitely more there with many that weren’t being brought entirely to the surface by events.
Even when most of the characters meet with Richard in a group setting (you’ll have to read why this happened), I introduced conflict between certain characters, without there being a reason why they were upset. I thought I needed an explanation, and I resolved many of these things when I addressed the ending of the book.
I’ve mentioned that before, that I got stuck while writing this book, and set it aside for a while to resolve that. What I haven’t mentioned previously is where that was in the book. Taken as a whole, it actually happens after the portion of the original text that is now ‘The Silent Invader.’ As such, it means you’ll have to keep reading to see what I needed to overcome to continue the story.
It’s interesting to think that if I put more of the details in, I could likely have 4 or 5 shorter books, as opposed to the two it became. And I resisted even splitting this book because I didn’t care to divide the book and create a new transition. The point where I did separate it was one the book actually allowed for, and it happened that it left the two books pretty even in word count. Not a critical measure, but I think splitting it and having a 180k/50k split might set up some unrealistic expectations about the books.
Next week, let’s focus on who the “Silent Invader” could be. After all, I’m implying that it’s in both books, and I’m indicating the antagonist was defeated. Am I having my cake and eating it too? Stay tuned.
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