Nov 30, 2015
As promised, with 25 preorders, I have uploaded Chapter Three of Shadow Incandescent. I'll upload Chapter Four when I reach 50. The completed work spans 24 chapters, all ready to be released for consumption. As I've mentioned before, an earlier version of Shadow Incandescent was my MFA Thesis, and I've spent the last two years revising and adding to it. But...that's not all I've been up to.
Very soon into writing Shadow, I realized there was more to the story than what I planned on telling in this volume. Shortly after finishing the first draft, I sketched out rough outlines for four planned sequels.
As part of my Thesis defense, I had to present a critical defense of the narrative techniques I employed. Though I had been twitter-pated with unlimited, omniscient, self-aware, metafiction-style narrative during my undergrad, when it came time to write Shadow, I had developed a preference for a much more limited and unreliable narrator. I reasoned that by choosing a first-person narrator, I would limit my influence over the character's development and story, and thereby achieve a more authentic telling of the story.
Thom wants his life (story) to follow a certain path. All the other characters want their stories to follow their preferred path. All exert as much influence as they can in pursuit of their goals, but all have to contend against the others and their goals. Drawing from my high school theater experience, I put myself in Thom's shoes and allowed myself to know only what he could observe about his environment and the other characters. In other words, I tried--as best I could--to let the characters determine the path of the story.
In doing this, I learned that Thom's ideas about other people are flawed and incomplete. In preparation for my Thesis, I had written short stories from the perspective of each of the principal characters. I knew who they were, but Thom's understanding of the others was severely limited. Like us, Thom cannot understand the full context, emotions, or meaning of the words and actions of others.
Consequently, the path of the story surprised me almost daily. Although it still headed in the direction I intended, how the characters got there and which ones survived were completely different than what I expected.
All of this is a very long way of saying that for the sequels, I decided to write them from other characters' points of view. Each continues from where the previous left off, as is typical of a series, but with different characters taking the lead. In doing so, I hope that the readers will be able to appreciate the characters for not just what they have to say about themselves but also for what the others have to say about them.
Book Two is titled Blink Unremitting. It begins about a month after the final events of Shadow and is told from the perspective of a character you won't meet in Shadow until about the halfway point. She's a blast to write. Confident, smart, and passionate, but also deliciously flawed. And we see a very different version of Thom from her perspective. It's progressing pretty well.
Thanks again for your support, but don't keep Shadow Incandescent to yourself. Share it with all your reader-friends.