Flight Blade Update – In Which Stamets Gets A Craving For Mushrooms On His Pizza

Shirtless Mark TwainExcept for a serialized novella intended to parallel Storming Amargosa, this week marked the beginning of the end for the Compact Universe series. If there’s an opportunity to continue it with a major press or a larger small publisher, there may be more, but Flight Blade is the final novella between Second Wave and Storming.

And it got off to an inauspicious start. My intention was to write the first draft by dictating it. I’ve tried it before and really wasn’t thrilled with the results. Instead, things went from bad to worse. Siri is not a good medium for writing a novel. I began last Monday by stepping out on the back deck and talking into Google Docs on my phone. I talked about this last week. Siri could not handle character names and pumped out an incoherent mess into Docs. Plus I scared the hell out of my wife, who heard a voice coming from the back deck she wasn’t expecting.

I experimented with Dragon a couple of years ago. It definitely can be useful. Just look at all the writers who swear by it. But it wasn’t for me. I do want to try again someday, maybe when my production schedule is lighter. By then, Dragon will be more up-to-date and robust. But for me, it’s typing into Microsoft Word.

So what about the novella itself? How am I doing?

It’s a challenge because my wife and I now work at the same company. Which means I’ve lost my lunch hour. Hey, gotta have quality time with the Mrs. Lunch hour is the best time for that. But it also means we ride into work together most days, so I have to be ready to go when she is. And on mornings where I can’t write before work, I have to find time to do it in the evening. Well, sometimes, that happens on days where evenings are not an option. So it’s a balancing act.

The story itself: Flight Blade concerns a pilot and a special forces soldier, both from aristocratic backgrounds, assigned to Hanar as the Compact finally investigates what happened to Gilead. A little late now, considering that, in Tishla, humans and Gelt on the planet no longer need the Compact or the Realm. But they are a mismatched pair. Our pilot thinks he’s the second coming of Chuck Yeager while our spec force operative is an uber-serious woman who’s good with a sword. And we get to find out what happened to JT Austin after the events of Second Wave.

The first chapter is going long, so this one might take a while to finish. I was hoping to do it in a month. Might take two.