Good news this week: Out of the Darkness has been approved by Frontier. That means it stands alongside the contents of the game and the other fiction as part of the official canon, the Elite universe as envisaged by David Braben and brought to life by the Frontier Developments team. After a year and a half, this feels incredible—to have contributed something to the ever-growing epic that is Elite: Dangerous. But how ‘Elite’ is Out of the Darkness? I know what I think, but you’re going to want evidence, aren’t you? Tweeted questions (not mine) about whether David Braben has read any of the fiction go unanswered. Emailed hints, submitted alongside legitimate scene content queries, about whether Michael likes what you’ve written are studiously not acknowledged. (Yes, mine. Sad? Maybe, but writers want to know what any reader thinks, and doubly so when that reader has the power to require a re-write!) Does … Continue reading →
What’s the Novel About? If you’ve been wondering, here’s the current blurb: Moira Dolan, an investigator for The Proteus Collective, is forced to take on a dead-end case. How did an elite pilot, his family and their ship disappear in a well-policed star system? With so few leads, it seems her boss wants her to fail. And where is her loser brother, Keagan? Torn between her only family and last chance for a career, her journey between the stars reveals more of herself than she ever wanted to know. As the pieces fall into place, Moira and some new-found allies uncover a conspiracy: mankind is no longer the galaxy’s apex predator, and a plot to destabilise human space could cost of millions of lives… Approval How much of the blurb will remain relevant depends on the the approval process, which is ongoing. I’m hoping to hear something back later … Continue reading →
The Good News Out of the Darkness lives! It’s a real book; Elite settings, characters, plot, themes—it’s all in there. The first gamma draft is complete, and pretty polished. The Scary News It’s very existence in in great peril. The book is currently with Frontier for approval. Death can come in many forms… can Out of the Darkness survive? If so, will its soul remain intact, or will it be torn asunder, rendered a mere shadow of its former self? Only one man knows… which side of Michael Brookes’ personality will the novel draw out? This? Or this?! We should know in a little while… So, backers and would-be readers, as we wait, let us focus on the positive, make optimism our banner, and raise our heads and sniff the roses… the Roses of Success! More Good News We have a proof-reader—qualified, experted an’ everfink! I want to thank the awesome … Continue reading →
Why does a later edit, where you attempt to finesse and polish a story, take so long? Because a sentence isn’t just a brick. In school, aged four and up, we start the process of building. Bricks are functional; they carry information:
Submit! Quotation rumoured to be from an internal Frontier draft memo, ‘Maintaining Correct Relations with the Minions’, Chapter Two, ‘How the Writers MUST See Us’: ‘Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic… regarded this earth us with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.’ H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds. As other Elite: Dangerous writers finish with editing and prepare to face Frontier’s vast and cool and unsympathetic intellects, the forums echo with the sounds of rejoicing. Yet, the reverberations are falsely hearty, covering the drip, drip, drip of insidious fear and slight loss of bladder control.
What does a writer do to avoid going loco during editing? Find a friendly human face to talk to. Marko Susimetsä, an avid gamer and bearer of an awesome hat, invited me over to the Hooked Gamers’ website this week to answer a few questions. We talk Elite, ships, writing, problems, and the upcoming novel, Out of the Darkness. Thanks for having me, Marko and your round, pointy-handed friends. We’re at: Just click the piccy to come and join us. ‘Hooked Gamers’ name and logo don’t belong to you, so don’t steal them. (I’m not a lawyer, but I know you don’t want to meet one. Copyright is a tricky beastie—stay safe.)
Is it the multi-media event of the decade? Probably not, but it is the first time I talk about my novel, Elite: Dangerous the game, and the upcoming fiction. WRITER’S INTERVIEW 009 – T. JAMES Just click the piccy (You can download it from the playback screen. Right-click in a PC browser, or do the equivalent on Mac/mobile.) ∞ Many thanks to John Stabler for hosting and editing the podcast. ∞ Image Credit: I don’t know if ‘Lave Radio‘ is copyrighted, trademarked, or anything else legal, but don’t be a scum-bucket and use it without a credit. Audio Credit: As a creation of Lave Radio, this podcast is automatically copyrighted under UK law. Just be glad they are nice people and let you download it if you want to.
The never-ending story ENDS! Yep, after over 116,000 words and half-a-million characters, I’m done, ecstatic, and done-in. Today was a marathon writing session. I set a new personal record of over 3000 words. The rough first draft is roughly finished. The ending summary has been provisionally OK’ed by Frontier today, which is great because it’s epic, or at least I think so. I’m nervously awaiting the reaction of my first readers. It should all be there: action, adventure, mystery, romance, twists, turns, memorable characters, familiar aspects of the Elite universe, new takes on the same. If you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it then I think you’ll be Happy-Backers. I don’t know if there will be Elite literary awards, but if there were then I may stand a chance in the ‘Most Improved’ section. From a promised 25-30K, it’s (pre-edits) at around four times that. That’s … Continue reading →
'Elite: Out of the Darkness is available now to buy - just click on the picture. :)
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23/08/14, Editing finished and the book was released to backers and made available for purchase (Kindle compatible apps and eReaders). YET TO BE COMPLETED: Epub files for backers; other formats released to alternate outlets; paperback formatted and released.
1st Draft Progress in Pictures
23-09-2013 The first draft was finished today. MOOD: BIG CHESSY GRIN.