Sunday, January 31, 2016

Update and Thoughts About Writing in Eras.

(This picture is from the new Battletech game HBS is working on. It's their's, I'm just borrowing it because it looks good.)

Okay, I dropped two more stories into the slush pile, so that's now five I'm waiting for word back on. I'm also waiting word on another story I have, to see if it's still a viable story (It has been on my HD for a while, as one of those things that goes on behind the scenes cropped up just as I was finishing it....) The special project has been sent somewhere else for a look-see, and I'm sitting back and looking at what to do next.

And I've noticed a certain discussion that pops up on the forums --- playing in eras. Some people are firmly planted in 3025, and no father. Others stake 3050 as their go no father point, while others play Jihad and beyond. I'm not here to discuss what games era is best for you; that is your decision. What I am going to talk about is writing in different eras.

Most of my stories have been set between 3025 -3090, in part because there was a lot of background to work with during those years. Until recently, the Amris Civil war and the earlier Reunification War were broad-stroke events, with little detail for a writer to grab onto. Catalyst has rectified that, as well as laying out the exact structure of the SLDF and the House forces around the time of the Amris Civil War. I intend on generating story ideas based on those eras and see what happens.

But writing in different eras means a slight change in the approach. The Star League era has differences in technology and political situations to take in account that the Jihad era or the Reunification War era. It's digging through TROs to make sure the BattleMech or vehicle you want to use actually exists in that era. It's checking to see if there's been a change in the rank structure for a military force, and the world in question is actually part of the state you want it to be at that time period. I have to be aware of the political forces at that time (I am well aware of what the politics are post-jihad, but pre-Amaris Star League politics are a different kettle of fish).

For example, I had a Reunification War-era story I am currently writing. I need to know what 'Mechs and vehicles were around at the time and who had them. That also means I have to have the right variant of said 'Mech, and know the difference between the two. (Example: the 1N Rifleman is very different from the 3N model -- the 1N is 10 tons lighter, and has only paired large and medium lasers. Ironically enough, it also has slightly more armor protection than the better-known 3N.)

I also had to dive deep into the politics of the era and the military movements. I needed to know the which planet to stage my story on, who was fighting who, and what happened. I have to fit the story into the established narrative seamlessly. A different set of details to make it stand out from later stories.

So, I need to get back to this story......



Sunday, January 24, 2016

And Two More Away!

Earlier today, I e-mailed my first two Battlecorps story submissions of the year. One is a sequel to a previous Battlecorps story, while the other is in a Battletech era I haven't written in before. I have no idea how they'll be accepted, but there's no time to wait.

There are other stories in the pipeline -- one will be published soon, and three (including the two I sent today) I'm waiting word on. There's three more stories near completion, and that special project is near done.

As for behind the scenes --- it's been quiet as Catalyst takes a breath before diving into the New Year. Things are moving at the upper levels, but the freelancers will know when we're giving our marching orders. Right now, a bunch of the freelancers/staff are digging out from the 2+ feet of snow they had dumped on them, so they may be a few minor delays as they recover from shoveling a lot of snow. . .

It's a short post tonight, as it's close to 3am here, and I need to get some sleep.



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Swiming Upstream

I haven't blogged the last two weeks, because there isn't much I can say at the moment. A few things have happened behind the scenes that I can't go into detail about (Mostly because there are no detail to be had at the moment.)

On the personal BC front, the first C&C has come back on the three stories I sent to the workshop and I'm beginning to go over them. I don't want to rush them, as I want as much C&C as I can get on them before the final draft and submission. So, It's small steps on that front.

Most of my time since the last blog entry was spent working on another, related BT project (NOT a novel!) and beaten into shape. I'm just waiting on some minor detail and I'll start the process of submitting it.

Again, nothing new on the new Battletech novel front. Things must be happening, but they're going on at a level much higher that I have access to. Catalyst lets me know what I need to known, when I need to know it. I find out when things are published the same time as the fanbase does. I have no problem with this, because I don't need to know what's going on at the management level. I'm not management, I'm not making management decisions, and I have no say in the management of the company. I'm a freelancer --- I'm given an assignment, I complete it, and enjoy doing it. I then move onto the next assignment. Right now, my "Assignment" is to write more Battlecorps stories. If something comes up and I've a new assignment, I will do that.

It's a new year and the future is still unwritten. I will try to write some of it, and I hope you come along.



Friday, January 1, 2016

Gearing up for 2016

2015 was a bit of a wash for me when it came to Battlecorps stories -- only two published stories in the last twelve months. I do have a good excuse --- I was co-writing two techno-thriller novels for a large chunk of last year -- a combined 145,000 words between the two of them.

But now both of them are out of the way, it back to Battlecorps business. I've dusted off and revised three BC stories, which are now in the hands of the workshop and plan to do the same to two more completed first drafts. I have another story I'm waiting to be published, and just submitted another story before Christmas, so the ball is beginning to roll.

The goal, has it has been for the last several years, is to have six stories up on Battlecorps this year. One hopefully will be up before the end of the month, which leaves five to go. I am combing through my drafts, looking for ones that can be finished, or have a story seed I can use in another story. I will keep you apprised of my progress.

Nothing on the Battletech novel front. Most of that is happening way above my pay grade, and I will probably find out the same time you guys do. Being a Catalyst Freelance writer allows you a glimspe into what's going on behind the scenes, but rarely do you get the whole picture. And even if I did know what was happening,, NDA are in full effect.

Still, I have thrown a few BT novel pitches at the editor handling them, so we'll see if anything comes out of that. If not, we'll see if I can forge another novel idea. Until, it's Battlecorps stories and other stories not related to Battletech.

As I mentioned in my other blog, my goal is 5,000 original words a week, not words from rewriting, outlining, blogging, or anything other writing except story writing. Some will be Battlecorps writing, some of it won't, but the goal is 5,000 words a week MINIMUM.

To everyone out there, I leave you with this I wrote a while back and bring out this time of year.

To all those present, I give you a Toast!

May the coming year be full of joy and light,
May friendships and romance survive more then a night.
May you find strength, peace and health this coming year,
May no darkness, hate and sorrow fill your soul with tears.
May life grant you everything it can,
May you find the grace to help your fellow man.
With this toast I do say,
May this year be nothing but brighter days!


Stay well, everyone and let's hit 2016 as hard as we can!