I felt disconcertingly cold towards Balloon Ship Armageddon, both during its writing and in the week after finishing it, until I wrote the previous blog post on its origins, including a silly overblown synopsis. At once I felt a strong new connection to the novel, and a desire to fully feel what it means to end the Jack Commer series. The composition of the book has had its ups and downs, including the realization that I’ll probably have to eventually self-publish it. (Unsure of that yet–more later.) Though novel forces did channel themselves into the writing sessions, much as they’ve always done, I’ve also felt distant from the book during a time of several stressful interruptions from daily life. Unconscious energies seem to have pushed this story in certain directions I hadn’t planned, but in retrospect I welcome them all.
Selected observations written from February 19th through October 6th will now take over in a crude emotional timeline. The notes are usually several days to a week apart:
The vaporware of a Jack Commer 7, which I do want to write but don’t want to feel rushed on.
The 2/20 visionary dream of space wars and empires.
The concept of new writing can be unsettling, because you’re not inside the magic consciousness of the novel yet and so doubt it can be done. Well, it may just be time to start pulling together some notes and just get started. See what happens.
I sense I’m closer than I think to new writing. Not quite ready to jump into a Chapter One just yet, of course, but it may be closer than I suspect. I think JC Seven may be the first one of some new kind of writing.
Now I can feel a major shift: I’m looking to “new novel” not out of a desire to “prove I can do it,” but because I need it to grow.
Okay: the decision has been made (and I leave that in passive voice because somehow that’s how it happened) to start JC 7 as soon as practicable. Even today’s writing session is starting it. There are enough ideas to get it rolling, and even if it’s a failure, so what? But now I’m seeing that the seventh book should conclude the series. The series has no overarching plot, but there can still be a conclusion, and I can be done with the series and characters on my own terms, not just “I wrote six of them and never got around to doing more.”
So more Jack and Amav, and whatever characters I think need some amplification, but this time all expressed in a testbed of new writing and new energy. I want JC 7 to be fun storytelling; just see where it goes. There is also some research on neighboring stars to do, some framework to set in place. Rereading the first books in the series is also probably a good idea.
Some more thoughts and integration-yearning on a Jack Commer Seven this past week, along with the blog post on the Alpha Centaurian stars. JC 7 still needs some great focus, as right now it’s just sort of run-of-the-mill plot. Then again, many of my novel notes started this way. I remember thinking the original Collapse and Delusion notes weren’t that much of a story.
I’m having that “pre-novel malaise,” like the initial feeling of coming down with a cold. But somehow all this seeming negativity is pointing to something uncanny and new.
The main writing news is that I’m happily 12,000 words into interviewing twelve of the characters for Jack Commer Seven, having done six of the twelve since 4/1, and it feels like a mixture of notes and fiction, very therapeutic and with some good surprises. So about halfway done, expecting ca. 40-50 pages single-spaced.