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Monday, October 31, 2011

Time to Start Reading Book Four

Well, I didn't see this day coming.  I had a trilogy in mind for Lords of Kobol (once I realized what I was writing was too long for just one book) and once Book Three was done, I was done.  You know?

Two years ago when I was trying to pin down the Lords of Kobol in my mind, I had some cool ideas.  Some really good things I would have loved to put into the trilogy, but given the choices I made, they just wouldn't work.  Over the last two years, the really good stuff kept coming to mind and I couldn't shake it.  Once the trilogy was finished, I decided to exorcise those demons and put those thoughts down on paper.

It helped a bit knowing that some people who read Book One didn't care for my decision regarding the Lords' nature.  They wanted their gods to be more godlike and for things to be much more mystical.  You people should be very happy with this.

So what made these thoughts work now in Book Four when they wouldn't work when I started Book One?  Read chapter one of Book Two.  I'll write more about that in a future post on the theology of it all, but suffice it to say, that chapter made me rethink a bunch of things.

Regardless, Book Four is ready to go.  The language of it all is similar to Tolkien's The Silmarillion (and there are some influences, obvs) so you might have to slow down to grasp it all at first.  It creates an interesting flavor.  Makes it feel old and mythical.  Kinda weird when I had to write about DNA, space travel and computer viruses, though.

As for the story, don't worry that I've just fancied up the words and changed the nature of the gods.  Nope.  Except for the specific things mentioned in BSG that transpired on Kobol, all of the situations and circumstances surrounding these characters and events have changed.  Often drastically.  (SPOILER-wise, the only thing to look out for is a Book One spoiler in the Preface.)

It's a totally new story.  An alternate universe companion novel to the trilogy.

It's interesting and it's actually pretty frakking good.  I hope you like it.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Lords of Kobol - An Incomplete Glossary

In the months before publication, I began to think a glossary might be in order, thanks mostly to all the Greek names and places.  Eventually, I let it slide as I realized my work wasn't nearly as dense as Tolkien's Silmarillion (for which you do need that glossary).

So, here are some of the entries I completed, with comments afterward.  There will be some Book One - Three spoilers.

Read on after the JUMP!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Writing, Part IV: Answering My Own Questions

A few months ago, I pasted the first thing I typed up for LoK: a list of events and facts about Kobol we knew from the show.  Here, I will repost it, line by line, and explain how I tackled each tidbit in my head before I sat down to write (if I was able to).

If you haven't already, download the entire trilogy right HERE for free.

SPOILERS abound.  Also, no Book Four info will be present (I may redo this post later on to handle Book Four solutions to these items).

More after the JUMP.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing, Part III: Deleted Scenes

SPOILERS galore in this post, natch.

I won't bore you guys with why I chose certain things (yet), but I will pepper you with hints of what may have been.  Stuff that I changed mid-writing.

Now Book Four is a whole book of "what may have been," so that's not covered here.

Book Three had a pretty rigid structure from the start, thanks to all the talk in BSG itself about the end of days on Kobol.  Other than the occasional stylistic choice or character motivation, nothing really changed until I was done.

Books One and Two are different stories, though.

(Full examples will follow after the jump.)

Again, SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven't read the trilogy yet, please do so and then come back.

In Book One, the revelation about the gods came much later in the novel.  Also, there was more focus on the makers of the Thirteenth Tribe (Helena & Thersites).  I came to realize that there should be greater attention paid the Lords.  Seems pretty obvious, right?  Well, part of the reason I didn't want to shine the spotlight on them too much was because doing so meant it would be harder to conceal their secret for as long as I wanted.

I decided that the reveal should come earlier in the book, some of the extraneous stuff about Helena and Thersites would be dropped and more gods stuff can be inserted.  (I no longer have the deleted Helena & Thersites passages.)  So I added more chapters focusing on the Lords, but a new problem arose.

A big theme for the gods in Book One is that they're feeling stagnant after three thousand years of dominion.  It doesn't do much for the mood of your novel/show/movie when characters are standing around lamenting how bored they are.  I dropped the chapters relating to the non-central Lords and moved some of their dialogue into scenes with the more important characters.

There's a scene with Hecate that gives some more background for her (wait 'til you see who she was shacked up with), one focused on Aphrodite and her feelings of being "just a pretty face" in the experiment, another with her and her son, Eros and, lastly, a different version of the Pegasus' return to Kobol with Athena and Apollo in attendance (and not Zeus - I later realized Zeus needed to be there).  Full chapters are posted after the jump.

Another big thing with Book One.  Once the revelation about the gods came, the focus shifted exclusively to the gods with the occasional Thirteenth Tribe tidbit thrown in.  Yes, there was Aurora and the Iole Cylon, but not much else.

That's right: the second Iole Cylon, Tydea, was not in the first pass.  Nor was her realization about the Lords or the Cylon beach massacre.  The Thirteenth Tribe was, as a whole, pissed at the gods and the Draco were bombing stuff, too.  Very disjointed.  I had to reread it a few times to pinpoint the problems and add in the intrigue with Tydea.  Looking back, it's hard to fathom why I didn't do this from the start.  I mean, one of Zeus' greatest fears was that the Olympians would be found out so why wouldn't I have one of his "cousins" figure it out?  Stupid author.  Hey, at least I recognized the problem and fixed it.

On to Book Two.  Posted below you'll find a one-off chapter with Hermes walking on another planet in the last gasp of Kobol's space program.  I dropped it because it just felt like a bit of unneeded fluff.

Now here's the big thing with Book Two.  This is one of those where I got pretty far along in the writing before I realized the error of my ways.  Originally, Larsa was going to be a planet on the far side of the galaxy, and Kobol was a planet they knew about that they would be jumping to.  So, I typed and typed.  It wasn't until I got to Zeus' big speech (outlining the "Experiment") that I realized why this wouldn't work.

I'll get into the rules I set for myself in a later post, but here's a preview.  I wanted to preserve the uniquity of much of what we knew from BSG.  It was almost too late before I realized that I had violated this rule.

Baltar says in "Daybreak" while viewing the early humans on the plains of Africa that these people, on a world so far from Kobol, indicates a divine hand.  OK, fine.  In my first pass, I would have had humans on Larsa, Kobol and then Earth II.  The absurdity of this crept up on me while Zeus is in that meeting and Prometheus is trying to tell him about God.  Having humans on this planet, too, should confound Zeus and it would have given more credence to Prometheus' position (convincing more than just a few to go along with him).

Why didn't I see this before?  Frankly, I was obsessed with maintaining Pythia's cycle.  Humans make Cylons; Cylons and humans war; survivors flee the planet and start over somewhere else.  It didn't occur to me at the start that the planet they flee and start over upon could be one and the same.

There's a sample passage from the old way posted below after the jump (no need to post full chapters, since most of the rest is the same as the published version):

Another Book Two bit.  I really liked this one, but I got rid of it because it was too long and at the very end of the novel.  Once Ares finishes off the Draco and we see Zeus slump in his chair as he can't shake Hades and Leto from his thoughts, we need to tie the bow with Kaladen and the Draco's revenge and get the other side of the bookend with Apollo and Acastus.  The Zeus chapter you'll find after the jump was interesting and includes lots of cool tidbits, but it just wasn't necessary.

So.  If you want more Lords of Kobol, click the JUMP and start reading.  Thanks again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coming Soon - The Fourth Book in the Trilogy

Wait, what?


Don't get me wrong: the story I wanted to tell in Books One, Two & Three is wrapped up in those three books. However, years ago as I pondered the Lords, I had several unused thoughts and concepts.  Once I went with the Lords being (REDACTED), there was no way those unused concepts could be adapted.

So, for two-plus years, I've had some good ideas banging around in my brain trying to be used.  Even as I edited and made ready to publish the trilogy, those concepts were screaming inside and became nagging doubts.  I thought the best way to exorcise those thoughts would be to put them down on the page.

Thus, Lords of Kobol - Book Four.  It does not supplant the trilogy in any way.  It acts as an alternate universe version of the story.  A sort of "road not taken."

I'll get into the style of the book later on, but suffice it to say: this one is very different.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Time to Start Reading Book Three

So, it's come to this.

In Book One, we learned the secret of the gods, saw the Thirteenth Tribe's exile and witnessed the splitting of the Olympians.

In Book Two, we were told about the arrival of the Lords on Kobol, discovered who and what Prometheus and the Draco were and did, and sowed more seeds for mankind's exodus.

Now, in Book Three, we see all of these things come to fruition.  The Cylons rise, the gods fall and the messengers of The One ensnare everyone and everything on Kobol in their machinations.
It's a rather epic conclusion.  There's action, drama, compelling characters ... the whole nine.  A few of my favorite bits: getting to know Acastus, Walter Mithras, the message sent to the Cylons, Fort Acheron, Apollo on the road near Delphi, the afterward ...

In the coming weeks, I'll be posting more on the writing of the trilogy, how I puzzled some things out, why I made certain choices and so on.  Even after you've read it, keep coming back here for more.

In the meantime, DOWNLOAD IT HERE!