Good morning, afternoon or evening friends (whenever you’re reading this). I hope all is well with you as it is with me. Life is good: Family, friends… all are wonderful. My little girl is about to turn two (where the hell did the time go?) and she’s showing all the tell-tale symptoms of a forthcoming bout with The Terrible Twos, a bout which I’m sure will take up more than its fair share of both mine and my wonderful wife Nicole’s time.
I haven’t posted anything on “Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman” in quite some time. It’s not that my creative output has slowed. Quite the contrary: My ongoing rewrite of “Endworld: A Novel” is going incredibly well. 110+ pages in as of the writing of this blog post. The first 100 pages or so were forwarded to my editor this passed weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing how much my writing has improved (or not; I leave that for you to decide, Amy) in the decade since I last rewrote it. While the overall framework of the story is relatively unchanged–it has the same parallel story structure start to finish that it had when I completed the first draft sometime around my 21st year on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence–it’s definitely… um… well, the best way I can describe it is fatter. ‘Kinda portly like me.
Consider: I’m about to write of Roland MacNuff and Maria Markinson’s first encounter with Alex Parker in Freeworld One. Those of you that read either the original manuscript or the rewrite I did back in 1998-1999 might remember that said event occurred around page 50. The fact that it’s happening on page 110 now means that I’ve added roughly 60 pages of exposition to the story arc. Trust me when I tell you that–at least in my opinion–said exposition was imperative to making “Endworld” more of a novel and less of a story (or a self-evaluation of my psychological state at the time: I leave that for you to decide). Fact: “Endworld” isn’t just a story. It never was. It’s a whole world that has existed in my brain for almost 20 years. I want to do that world justice this time; I want to tell not just Roland’s story but the story of the world he runs through in the beginning and… eventually… fights for in the end. Hopefully 60+ pages of exposition doesn’t impede the flow of the tale. That flow was one of the original novel’s seminal strengths per those that read it and it compensated for the overabundance of plot holes that my immature mind invariably created. How many times is he (Roland) going to get knocked out? Why the endless supply of cigarettes? Are the machines really THAT stupid?. Well, friends, I locked down the first two plot holes and explained the third. Hopefully when I do finish this and get a copy in to your hands you’ll agree but that day is still a little ways off.
Some have expressed interest in reading what I’ve written so far. One or two people have criticized my latest “Endworld Rewrite Project” as nothing more than a false promise to the people that have been hearing about my supposed trilogy of novels for almost 20 years. I assure you that this is not simply another empty promise from a guy who, for a time, was accused of making many. This is the real deal, guys. At the 100 page mark–when I unexpectedly killed off a main character from the original manuscript (as for who I killed offyou’ll have to wait and see) and introduced another that will, eventually, become my hero’s arch-nemesis–I realized that I was, in poker terms, “pot committed.” For better or for worse… good or bad, “Endworld: A Novel” is going the distance. And after that? “Children of Endworld” and “Heaven and Endworld” are going to get the same treatment. Maybe I’m delusional. Maybe “The Endworld Chronicle” doesn’t have the scrote to survive in a world of real literature and real authors and maybe it’ll never make it further than the posts on this blog/those of you reading this who desire a copy’s hands. But I’ve always believed that if done properly (and not overly reliant on “The Terminator” and “The Wonder Years”) it did. 110+ pages in and I’m still confidant in that assumption though I refuse to allow myself the latitude of losing my humility. Until I get a letter telling me that something that I’ve written is “published”–“Endworld” related or otherwise–I’m still just an everyday Joe Schmoe who works as an Office Manager/Inside Sales Rep for a hydraulic and pneumatic distribution and manufacturing company.
But I continue to dream forward. I always have and I always will. That said, I will be taking a self-imposed break from my latest “Endworld Rewrite Project” but not for long. I don’t anticipate it lasting more than a few days but I need to rest my brain for a bit lest what I’m writing starts to stagnate. I’ve realized in the subsequent years since I first wrote and completed “Endworld: A Novel” that one of, if not my greatest failing as a writer was not stopping when I started to wear down. Writing a novel isn’t an all-out sprint to the finish line. It’s a marathon, and completing a marathon successfully entails knowing when your body is beginning to wear down and conserving your energy for when you need to sprint. As it was then and as I envision it now, the last 30 or 40 pages of “Endworld: A Novel” is an all-out, balls-to-the-wall sprint for the finish line both for Roland and Maria and for the person tasked with telling their story. In the now twice revised story structure of the novel that sprint begins in about 80 or 90 pages. In the time between a lot has to happen. More so now despite the untimely departure of one of the main characters and the “introduction” of a new one that is crucial to the eventual outcome of the trilogy. I want to be fresh as I write it. Henceforth the “Summer Break” that I’m imposing upon myself. To be continued.
That’s all I’ve got, folks! In closing, let me simply say this: Renewing many of the ideas and inspirations that originally… um… inspired “Endworld: A Novel” has been both a joy and a daunting task. But looking at it with a 35 (going on 36) year old’s perspective and not the perspective of a lovelorn 18 year old has been enlightening to say the least. At it’s core “Endworld” is a love story and a tribute to my friends and family. But beneath it all? It’s actually pretty dark. Is it believable Sci-Fi? I leave that for you to decide when it’s done. Enjoy!