Archive for Novels

My projects for this year

Posted in Books, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by oneoveralpha

There are a lot of writing things I want to do this year.  At one point, I started making a list of all I wanted to work on, but I stopped when I hit thirty.  Many of those projects are short stories I want to finish or polish up and submit, but here is a list of some of the bigger projects I want to work on this year.

Finish None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky.  This is a novel I’ve been working on for several years now.  It’s set a few centuries after a nuclear war, and some time ago I came up with this one sentence description of it: “Will a treasure from the past be enough to unite the survivors of a nuclear war; or, are arrogance, mistrust, and hatred too akin to cockroaches?” The book contains four parts, and I had finished the first two a couple of years ago.  Last year, I set out to write a chapter a week to finish it.  I had to set that aside after eight chapters to work on the two short story anthologies I self-published last year, The All-You-Can-Read Buffet and Political Pies.  This year, I have again set out to write a chapter a week with the hope of finally finishing it.

Self-publish The Uncapped Pen.  This will be my fourth short story anthology and will contain stories about writing.  Basically, all my stories about writers with too many ideas and unhelpful muses will be in it.

Self-publish “Amongst Us and other stories.” Late last year I put out a five, scifi story minianthology on Kindle, “Brain for Rent and other stories.” This will be the same idea and the stories will all have the theme of aliens on Earth.

Self-publish “The Future is Coming.” A couple of years ago, I started writing a blog series about science fiction elements I believe will – in the not too distant future – become science fact.  The goal was to write up these blogs because I found them interesting, but also to get people to start thinking about the future.  I only wrote one blog, but I had ideas for others.  I’ve revised that one and am working on writing nine more short essays on how these “scifi” things will effect the world.  I’m thinking of then putting the book out for free to hopefully get some traffic to my other books.

Self-publish one, or both of my haiku projects.  I’m working on two collections of haiku.  The first one is Stephen L. Thompson/A collection of haiku/One hundred total.  My plan is to put out 100 haiku for $0.99.  The other haiku project started with the realization that there was a guy named Nostradamus who wrote bad poetry and people are still talking about him centuries after his death.  I figured, I can write bad poetry, and so I’m working a collection tentatively titled Dubiously Prophetic Haiku.  I’m thinking of putting that one out for free as well to hopefully get some attention, and for fun.

Stephen L. Thompson’s December 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletter, Writing with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2013 by oneoveralpha

Howdy,

Welcome to my electronic newsletter, covering December 2012.

* * *

My publication news for the past month:

None.

* * *

This month I wrote 4,832 words, giving me a yearly total of 88,100.  My goal was 80,000 words, so I easily met it.  I also wrote every day of the month.

* * *

Here is my quarterly photo of my story board.

dec

I reworked it recently.  The stories at the upper left are ones that are done or need one more polish.  The ones on the upper right are ones I’m writing, or need major revisions.  And the stories on the bottom are the ones I haven’t started yet, or have barely started.  For right now, they’ll have to wait.

* * *

Now, what will I do in 2013?  First off, I had thought of setting my goal of words at 100,000, but I figured I should really go for a challenge.  Therefore, my aim is to write 120,000 words in 2013.  This means I’ll need to write about 330 words a day, and in 2012 I averaged about 240, so I’ll really need to get my butt in gear.  Also, last year I tried writing a chapter each week of my novel None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky.  I suspended it so I could work on my anthologies.  I do plan on self-publishing one anthology this year (The Uncapped Pen, which I have started working on), but I probably won’t publish it until the fall, so I have no excuse not to go back to working in my novel.  I goal is to finish the first draft this year.  I do have a few other little writing goals, but it would be too confusing to try to keep track of them all.

* * *

An example of one of my little writing goals is to write four haiku each week.  The reason is that I plans for two collections of haiku I want to self-publish on Kindle this year and I need haikus to fill them.  So if I’m writing a bunch of haiku, I shouldn’t have a problem writing one for my newsletter.

Enjoy,

Steve

 

deep blanket of snow

covers the yard – all is still

time to be writing

Novels in a few sentences

Posted in Writing with tags , on November 7, 2012 by oneoveralpha

Here’s another little gem I found in my old writing notebooks.  A few years ago, I heard somewhere that a good exercise for creating pitches was to describe your novel in three sentences.  So I tried it with two of my ideas.  The first is for None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky, which I’m half done with and hope to finish next year.  This one I did in only one sentence.

Will a treasure from the past be enough to unite the survivors of a nuclear war; or, are arrogance, mistrust, and hatred too akin to cockroaches?

The second was for Damocles, something I’ve only done a little bit with, and is three sentences.

Most people go through their day-to-day lives worrying about “important” things: career, money, marriage.  But what if one morning everyone wakes up to learn that in four days there will be destruction on an unprecedented scale killing tens of millions and there is nothing we can do to stop it.  What becomes important then?

It’s a cool exercise, but I think I need to spend more time finishing my novels than trying to describe them.

G is for Grandiose Plans

Posted in Alphabet, Writing with tags on February 21, 2009 by oneoveralpha

A project I’ve just started – and I don’t know when I’ll finished it – is to go through all of my notebooks and see how many ideas for novels I’ve had. I would be very surprised if the number is less than 100. (Most have – at best – a one page outline.) I know I’ll never be able to write all of them. Therefore, some years ago I picked three that I would work on as my first three novels. Last year I bumped it up to ten. These were picked to demonstrate my range. I think if I could write these ten, I’d be able to die happy. Though I’d prefer to write all 100. 😛

#1 – None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky
I’m almost half done with this one. I set up a MySpace profile for this, but I haven’t really done much with it. I can sum this novel up in one sentence: “Will a treasure from the past be enough to unite the survivors of a nuclear war; or, are arrogance, mistrust, and hatred too akin to cockroaches?”

#2 – Damocles
Remember the asteroid impact movie craze of the late 90’s? Asteroid and comet impacts are a threat to the long term survival of humanity, so it was nice to see movies about it, but did they have to be so scientifically … wrong? Damocles is my “as scientifically accurate as I can make it” tale of a small piece of a comet that will impact the western Pacific … in about a week. It won’t wipe out humanity, but there isn’t time to deflect it, so it will hit. The main story is about the evacuation of Hawaii which will be devastated when the impact tsunami reaches it.

#3 – Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.)
I started writing this, but I set it aside to focus on Color of the Sky. This novel is set in my Human Republic Universe. It follows René Pomeroy from ensign to admiral, from his graduation from Tsiolkovskiy to leading the fleet in The Battle of GDI, the final battle in The Milk Wars. (The Milk Wars are a big event in the history of the Human Republic and were key in turning the Human Republic Navy into an effective fighting force.)

#4 – By Petep’s Boulder
Long ago there was an alien monk named Petep. The monastery where he lived was near a large sinkhole. One evening as he meditated, Petep reached such a state of perfect being that all the evil in him split out. Petep pushed this evil being into the sinkhole and rolled a boulder on top of it so it could never escape. For generations, his followers came to the sinkhole to toss away their sins by writing them on a piece of paper and wrapping it around a rock. The world would end once the hole was filled with their sins. At least, that’s the story.
The novel starts with a team of archeologists excavating the sinkhole filled with rocks and the occasional skeleton. The novel contains, maybe ten parts, each set a few centuries before the previous one so the story of the religion made by Petep’s followers is written backwards. Part 1 deals with the “end of the world” while Part 10 tells what really happened to Petep that evening.

#5 – Mediocre Insanity
I started writing this novel in college, but I realized I was biting off more than I could chew at the time so I set it aside. The basic plot is this down on his luck writer inherits a house in the middle of nowhere from an uncle he doesn’t remember ever meeting. The story is him dealing with all the strange people he meets and his slow descent into madness. I put every strange thought I could into this, so it is filled with dream elements, things drunk people have said, and things I thought of when I had too little sleep. Case in point, one of the major sub-plots is that alarm clocks are trying to take over the world and their main base is this house. “Looking down upon its pitiful victim, the alarm clock barked out its vile laugh.”

#6,7,8 – The Mysterious Fleet, Spreading Cracks, Fall Into Darkness
This trilogy is my response to the Star Wars Prequels. I – like most people – was extremely disappointed in them. Sometime between the second and third one, I started wondering how I would have done the prequels. I came up with what I thought was a better story, but what to do with it? Well, change some details and write a trilogy. Instead of Jedi I have telepaths, and instead of clones there’s … well, you’ll have to read to find out.
For centuries, the telepaths have kept the peace by going into the minds of evil doers and making them stop. The navy is little more than glorified taxies for the telepaths. But then this fleet of pirates starts attacking and when the telepaths go out to stop them, they can’t break into the mind of whoever is commanding the fleet. Since the telepaths can’t do anything, the navy gets a huge influx of funds to start building up.
There are then incidents where it looks like the telepaths overstep their bounds, and the public begins turning on them. This leads into the subplot of a young telepath who turns against the others as well as a mysterious person who seems to be pulling all the strings. In the end the pirates are defeated, the telepaths are disbanded and mostly wiped out, and there is a very strong navy who only follow the orders of one person.

#9 – Cup of Joe’s
While Mediocre Insanity isn’t scifi, it is weird. But Cup of Joe’s is just standard, run of the mill fiction. It’s the story of a guy named Joe who opens up a coffee shop not far from a university. He tries to make it very student friendly, holding poetry readings or having a band play almost every night. There is a love interest – the President of the Poetry Club who he hires to be his event coordinator – and there is a secret which he keeps out of fear it could ruin any chance he has of finding true love.

#10 – Self Defense
I came up with this idea during one of my astronomy classes in college. The professor was talking about asteroid impacts. There are some groups that want to develop the technology to deflect asteroids, but there are others who fear some Bond villain could use the technology to deflect an asteroid towards Earth. The professor said that was just silly. Twenty minutes later, I had this idea worked out.
A small asteroid hits somewhere and kills a few thousand people. A massive effort is set up to find and deflect any other asteroids and for decades the people who do this are heroes. Go forward about a century. All potential dangers have already been deflected, all the equipment is fifty-sixty years old, and the people who now work there are misfits who can’t find better jobs. So this guy thinks of a way to regain the spotlight, to make them heroes again. Everything that could hit Earth in the next thousand years has already been taken care of, but not so for Mars. So he and some accomplices divert a small asteroid to hit Mars. They’ll discover it – just in time – and save the colony. Everyone will cheer, they’ll get more funding, everything will be good.
Then the Martians declare independence. The guy – way ahead of schedule – goes to his superiors telling them there is an asteroid heading towards Mars. His superiors just shrug and say, “Sucks to be them.” Does he tell everyone what he has done, or stay quiet?

#11 – Extra, title TBD
As an extra bonus, here’s maybe my eleventh novel. As I said I want to demonstrate my range, so this one is my stab at YA fantasy.
For several cold, winter nights, this kid hears a hammering coming from his bedroom wall. When he goes into the bathroom next door, he hears nothing, but the hammering in his room gets louder and louder until the wall collapses revealing a stone tunnel and several men. The men run away, and the kid follows them and comes out of the side of a hill. As he walks around the spring meadow, the men – who didn’t see him – dynamite the cave so he can’t return home. When they see him they run in fear. The kid wanders around, runs into a wizard, a love interest, maybe a few others.
The people of this land are being terrorized by Erds. These flying beasts used to only be found in the deep forests, but they have been spreading. Whenever an Erd senses fire, it lands and lets out a mist which puts out the fire and kills anyone too near. When the Erds come to an area, the people can’t cook or heat their homes without an Erd crashing through their roofs. And the people can’t do anything because it is against Tel law to harm an Erd. Tels are the very tall, flawlessly beautiful people who “benevolently” rule the land, even though they are rarely seen.
The kid things it’s stupid not to harm the Erds, so he takes a bow and starts hunting them. Whenever he hits one with an arrow, it explodes. He becomes an outlaw hero, and after many adventures, makes it to the Tel city where he discovers the Tel’s terrible secret.

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