The Constant Seeds of Doubt

I’m still trying to break the back of this novel. It’s the meanest book I’ve tried yet. It refuses to let me in. I’m starting to hate the fucker. Seriously.

The first act is about a ‘school for gifted youngsters’ (not THAT school). So it needs a number of interesting and different students to make it work. And it needs a few villainous types that aren’t impossible to mistake for allies until it’s too late. So far, I have all the character names and abilities/talents worked out, but the characters themselves aren’t coming to meet me, so I can get to know them enough to write them. :frusty: This is making it difficult to get to work on any of the other acts, because I’m determined to open with this story first… at least for now. *sigh*

The second act is about a guy who kills his cheating husband and has to run from the law long enough to create a new life for himself. He’s actually a pretty decent guy, but he couldn’t figure any other way to salvage what was left of their joint credibility rating (which is like TV show ratings AND your personal credit rating all in one). The tricks are, he lives in a huge megalopolis that is a hundred stories high, and half of it sunken underground, and everyone in society pays their bills via lifestyle packages that include 24 hour ‘experiential’ reality show streaming, all inside of your body. Along the way, he tries to find redemption, but it’s a very hard commodity to come by in this novel.

The third act is about a genderfluid waitress in a space diner, who becomes implicated in the death of the leader of a feminist space pirate/biker gang. Yeah, that sounds like a pulp novel plot, but it’s got stuff I really want to explore visa gender and sexuality, for the sequel series.

The fourth act is about a cybernetic spy hunter (think 007, played by Michelle Yeoh with a Bat-utility belt under her skin) who tries to retire to her home village in Chyna, only to learn that all of her friends and family have been hired into the same organization to keep her in harness.

The fifth act sees me returning to a really old, super short story of mine, called Cash Job. I’m fleshing it out, and it’s really got legs this time around. The hero is a sort of private detective, but one whose specialty is insurance claims. You heard that: A future/noir insurance detective. Other than that, it’s pretty straight up, except for his nanotechnological healing factor. I always wanted to write Logan as a private dick, and now I can.

The sixth act (!) is about a transsexual government greenhouse scientist who is being strong-armed by unscrupulous developers who want the land the greenhouse is located on. I’m still trying to get to grips with this plot, but it’s going to involve the Nazca Plains, which is kinda cool, even though damage has been done to the lines recently.

The seventh act (!!) is about a certified bodyworker who is denounced and has her license to practice revoked when she tries to cure the President of a strange disease that is making people into a sort of zombie. The president dies from the procedure and subsequently has to be destroyed, after he rises and goes on a rampage. Meanwhile, she gets kidnapped and taken to a secret detainment facility in the Caribbean, where she must practice her skills to save a group of people, including the late president’s daughter, who has been infected by her dad, and is becoming a zombie.

The eighth act (!!!) is about a futuristic hip hop poet (who looks remarkably like a very famous modern TV actor of diminutive stature) who tries to complete his late love’s symphonic opus, while avoiding her murderers.

The ninth and final act (phew!) brings all of the survivors together on the first of a fleet of environmentally-contained passenger trains, each designed to carry and house over a million passengers at once. And guess what? It’s not a safe voyage.

All this, plus ten interludes featuring a woman who is slipping through time to try to correct the catastrophes that force the human race onto those trains in the first place.

Honestly, if it wasn’t such an amazing piece of fiction slowly brewing into shape, I would just abandon the project and go do something easier. Three and a half years of trying to figure it out and write it is just too long for me. But it might just be the novel that breaks me into the industry… if it doesn’t break me first.

So that’s what I’m struggling with at present… along with a gig illustrating a children’s fantasy novel for a friend. All other projects are temporarily on hiatus until I get to grips with these two projects, I think.

Thanks for reading.


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