Aaaaand it’s not really becoming something new. Fortunately, I sent the original off to a couple of betas. I just wanted their thoughts on the original, if maybe I was revealing too much in the series too soon. One of the betas got back to me and said…
Originally, I focused on Marq/Luxhomme/Leitman as the mystery. But assuming I have the chance to write the Gelt War Trilogy, I kind of want Leitman to really be a mystery. So I decided to shift the focus to the shady JunoCorp, since Leitman worked for them at one point and has already publicly renounced them in The Marilynists (though he’s still working for them in Gimme Shelter.) My beta liked the overall story but thought it leaned too heavily on the earlier stories and left it in kind of a cliff hanger. I’m still pissed off about Avengers: Infinity War ending in a cliff hanger. Then again, I also nearly swore off Game of Thrones after Jon Snow had a really bad day at the end of Season 5.
So yesterday, I wrote a new outline. It’s essentially the same story, but I decided to cut out a few chapters and verses, take my time on some scenes instead of rushing through them, and get rid of a lot of expos that kind of works but doesn’t help the pacing.
The one thing that worked for the beta was the Orags, transplanted Neanderthals that have evolved their own civilization and mastered bio-overwrite, a technology that renders a human being virtually immortal. Well, almost. They can’t figure out why most of us sapiens don’t take to it but they can render a silverback gorilla able to live three centuries and even learn to talk somewhat.
I was on the fence about this novella. I thought of just cleaning up the original Quantonesia and sending it along to Clayborn Press for editing. But I wanted the Juno plotline instead. Thanks to the notes I got back, I’ve figured out how to do that. But yes, I have to rewrite the novella. At least it was easy to map out all the scenes. So if I get enough time to work on it, I may be able to knock it out before the end of the month, do another “episode” of the Holland Bay follow up (which I hope becomes more urgent here in a few weeks), and turn Storming Amargosa into prose. I’ll likely be on my honeymoon when I start on Exiled. For that and the sheer need to do something different, I’m going to write that one longhand. Wish me luck.