Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Writing

I'm working on a follow-up to CassaStar right now. (So I hope the book does well this fall, or it'll be an exercise of imagination on my part.)

I have the characters defined, and the beginning and ending outlined and ready. What I'm still searching for is the overall story arc.

CassaStar centers around a war with another race, so I want the next book to possess a different threat. Space pirates is way too hokey! An alien probe from another galaxy laying a path of destruction? Hmm, Star Trek IV anyone? The discovery of an ancient race that creates a crisis? Damn, I watch too much Stargate! How about an ancient technology unleashes a deadly probe or weapon? Perhaps internal conflict within the Cassan race?

Still haven't hit the right conflict. Any suggestions?


On a less confused note, Beth was sweet enough to give me The Sunshine Award. (And she rather embarrassed me with her nice comments!) Thanks, Beth, and please visit this wonderful lady at Beth: A Work in Progress

I'm going to pass this on to Shannon and Yvonne, because both ladies are always so full of joy!

32 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thank you Alex for the award I feel honoured you thought of me.
Good luck with the book,though I have a vivid imagination I can't come up with any suggestions for you.

Take care and once again Thank you.
Yvonne.

Will Burke said...

All of the plots you mentioned have been done a lot BECAUSE THEY WORK! If you come up with something completely original, then be prepared for a Nobel prize, because that hasn't happened in hundreds (thousands?) of years. I guess it depends on what you want to further define; the Cassastar community (internal conflict), their galaxy (external or beyond your galaxy), or their hisrorical context. Or, what would it be the most fun to write about?

Matthew Rush said...

Hmm, I have no suggestions but you do mention a few intriguing ones ...

I will have to visit these bloggers you link to.

Mr. Stupid said...

Nice work with the book. Those are some great ideas. Try mixing them up.
Take Yoda in Superman's costume to avoid the conflict in the Cassan race! LOL

Toodles!:)

DEZMOND said...

why does it have to be a conflict, Alex? I'd love to read a peaceful sf novel, in which some brilliant alien race would come and spread love and positive energy all around, or maybe we could do the same on some other planet?

Congrats on the Sunshine award. Truly deserved :) Beth probably hasn't heard you playing metal so she still thinks you're a sunshine :PPP

Eternally Distracted said...

Great ideas... I think I need to start watching Stargate!!

Falen said...

haev you read karin Lowachee's War Child? There's some awesome space pirates in there.
hmm let's see. It's hard since i haven't yet read CassaStar.

Illness? Space virus?

Summer said...

As long as someone yells, "Khaaaannn!", I dig. ;-)

Maybe more of an internal conflict for the MC, rather than a really complicated space/world conflict? You could make the space/world conflict something a little milder, but really amp up the emotional levels in your MC. Didn't you mention something about introducing a female character?

But good luck deciding, whatever you do. That's definitely my least favorite part...

Sugar said...

Oooh good luck with that!! Internal conflicts are awesome, but proving hard for me right now ugh!

JLStratton said...

Well, I too must admit that I have not read Cassastar ... YET ... but I will soon.

But maybe you can ponder this. We, as humans on our home planet of Earth consider ourselves an advanced civilization, but yet we still keep sending messages out into space looking for other intelligent life forms that might answer the call.

Stephen Hawkings has said that he disagrees with this because, If any living thing is able to receive our message and formulate an answer, they are undoubtedly much more advanced than us ... and not necessarily friendly.

Maybe in your next work your race of beings could be cruising through space and pick up some sort of signal. Upon investigation, they might find that the people of that world are of a simple and barbaric nature. the decision would have to be made to go ahead and use the planet against the will of its inhabitants for natural resources.

Oh, wait. I think I just described Avatar. Anyway, the concept seemed good at the time.

Tara said...

Sorry, no ideas - althought internal conflict sounds promising.

Good luck on your writing.

Christine Danek said...

I like the internal conflict idea. Congrats on the award!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are welcome, Yvonne.

Will, that's very true - there's nothing new under the sun. I'll continue to play around with ideas and find something fun.

Mr. Stupid, that would be unique!

Dez, always spreading the love!

Falen, hadn't thought about a virus - thanks!

Summer, I'll remember that!
And in CassaStar, there's major conflict externally and internally. I've got the internal all lined up - just need the external.

JL, you're just a little late with that one!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One conflict could lead to another...

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

My imagination stumbles in the sci-fi genre, but you've gotten some great suggestions already. So, I'll simply lend my voice of encouragement. Best of luck with it!!

Jamie Gibbs said...

I think we'll need a copy of Cassastar for us to help you out on a sequel ;)

I agree with Falen, a virus sounds pretty good. Maybe they make planetfall somewhere and the virus that they catch allows them to acclimatise to that particular environment, but in doing so it also begins to mutate some of them after they leave the planet.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My poor little mutant characters...

Beth said...

Well ... I'm already planning to buy a copy ... and send it to you for an autograph (not sure if that will be before or after I read it). How cool to be working on the sequel! Looking forward to hearing more details as you figure them out!

And thank you for your kind words!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Aw, thanks so much, Beth!!!

Cheeseboy said...

Looking forward to the release. Beth is very sweet!

Jemi Fraser said...

Hmmm... maybe an omnipotent being named R, or a new race of 'aliens' who turn out to be twisted humans, or ... Yeah - you're probably better off on your own. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks anyway, Jemi!

B. Miller said...

Good luck on the new book. Hmmm... I love time travel stories. Any chance you could include some of that? Also, I've always thought the way plants live and reproduce would be creepy if you turned them into sentient alien beings... just something to think about.

Laura Marcella said...

Great ideas! I like the ancient technology idea. No one would know how to work it to stop that deadly probe, right? Plenty of conflicts would come out of that, I'm sure.

I'm currently reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and she suggests that characters make the plot. Since you have your characters planned out, ask them what they want to do in your novel!

Have fun! :)

Ellie said...

Interesting, perhaps neutron stars
that are going to mutant the planet..my son's idea. I think something from the past that is open, Pandora Box style that changes the path of their history. A link
to something that this race would
never want to be related to...

India Drummond said...

I know how you feel! I haven't been able to stop myself from working on a sequel to a book that hasn't sold yet either.

I can't help it! I like the story and the characters.

Personally, I think the confidence and passion you're showing is a good thing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

B. Miller, that would be creepy.

Laura, I'm leaning towards that one. And one of my characters just want to do his thing and be left alone, so I need to prod him to action!

Interesting ideas, Ellie.

India, thanks - I needed to hear that!

arlee bird said...

I'm in the time travel camp. I never get tired of time travel.

Lee
May 17th Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites

Michele Emrath said...

Will Burke makes some great points here.

The only thing I might add is that you concentrate on the external in the first book...Looking INTERNAL in the second would be interesting. Whether that keeps you in the present or goes into the past could add another dimension.

So much to play with in SciFi! Again, can't wait for the book to come out!

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Michele!
There's quite a bit internal in the first book as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Michele!
There's quite a bit internal in the first book as well.

Glynis said...

I hope you get your 'I've got it' moment. It is frustrating when you think of an idea, then realise it was like the movie you watched last week.

Have fun with it, and good luck.