Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing Update.

After running around sorting out our TV (aerial coming on Wednesday) and also de-crapping the loft, I’m back on course with Zero Point. 2,000 words cleared today and some neat little plot elements beginning to tie off. One character, created in a Chandlerish moment of ‘this is getting slow, need to walk in man with gun’, started to turn into a bit of a loose end. This was, until I realized that he fits into the story like that dusty old jigsaw piece you find under the sofa.

It would be easy to think in terms of predetermination at such a point, but it’s not that at all. I mean, I hadn’t been considering the possible existence of Line War when I was writing Gridlinked. I had written an outline and about 30,000 words of The Line of Polity but, as I’ve mentioned before, I dumped the outline and all but a few thousand words when I came to write it. And at that point I didn’t even know the title of the next book, or the ending of TLOP.

I think it’s all about having read an awful lot, and then having written an awful lot. Maybe the programming is in place in my skull and now all I have to do is feed in the story as it occurs to me. Plot elements, characters, situations, technology, whatever, all get number crunched and results start popping up on the mental screen, and the answer to that perennial question, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ has to be a finger tapped against the skull with perhaps the addition of the words, ‘Fuck knows how.’


Roger said...

REALLY looking forward to your future writings - can I preorder at Amazon already? ;-)

BTW - what are your favorite SiFi Autors? Any tips for a hungry mind?

Rgds from Switzerland

Neal Asher said...

Not yet, Roger.

If you google 'Neal Asher Top 10' that should pull up a couple of lists. But, off the top of my head: Vernor Vinge, Alastair Reynolds, Peter Watts, Richard Morgan ... come to think of it, I must continue doing a feature I did here where I was putting up pictures of my collection.

Jacques Hughes said...

I have to confess, I don't like SciFi at all.
Or I didn't think I did. Then a friend sent me this:

I'd read them all, mostly as gifts from my dad, but really didn't see them as SciFi, more 'ideas' books.

Stopped reading Fantasy after someone lent me Donaldson's stuff. stayed away from both genres for about 20 years.

Same friend gave me a copy of Reynolds' first book, and I was hooked. Mainly because I didn't realise that the SciFi genre had become so fractured. Space Opera and Hard SciFi were what I wanted, and now I can identify what satisfies me. From Reynolds and Banks to your good self and Hamilton, Stross to Ian MacDonald. It's almost as if the fracture gives me more choices, or perhaps more choices to authors, then I want to read them.

Rest assured, I'll be buying your next offering, mainly because of YOUR voice in the narrative. I think we all arrive here eventually, no matter how good the plot or characters, it's the voice of the author we enjoy.

Ooh, did that come across as a bit fanboy-ish? Sorry about that, but I respond to breadth and depth in everything I read, and you can do both.

All the best.

Huan said...

I would like to know more about spearfishing Klader sea-dragons.
That part has always intrigued me.
Mainly because I spearfish, not sea-dragons but more mundane stuff like Bass.I guess you see a lot of that in Crete?

Neal Asher said...

Thank you Jacques. Yes, it is quite often the 'voice'. Zelazny has always been one of my favourites in that respect.

Looking at the book covers in that link I felt the nostalgia kicking in. There's only one there that I have with those specific covers (the Brain Aldiss Hothouse) but the style reminds me of decades of enjoyable reading.

Incidentally, if you like space opera, have you tried Gary Gibson's stuff yet?

Klader sea-dragons hah! Only to be hunted if you're a bored immortal with suicide impulses kicking in. We do see people spear fishing for octopus (in fact one of them drowned this year), but not much else. The Libyan Sea and the Mediterranean are pretty fucked up, around Crete probably by over-use of chemical fertilizers and the 'dead zone' they create. (This kind of thing is one of the reasons why the politicizing of the green movement bugs me - there are still valid targets out there that they ignore)

Ryan said...

Out of interest when did you first come up with the idea of the polity and how?

Neal Asher said...

It started to come together in short stories I was writing in the late 80s and early 90s, Ryan. I wanted a canvas large enough for those stories and any further stories I wished to tell, and the Polity was it.