What to write? What to write?

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  1. #1

    What to write? What to write?

    So I just published a trio of books, clearing my desk for the next novel.
    But it feels strange because it has been so long since I was completely done with all my active projects.
    It sorta feels like there is no gravity--being between projects this way.


    Anyhoo: I have 4 new projects that have been fermenting in my subconscious for a year or so each. I have enough of each outlined to begin writing...but I am unsure which to start with. So I thought I'd post a blurb of each and see which is the more marketable idea.

    So just imagine you are a regular old reader. Which of these would you be most interested in reading if you heard about it?


    1) Bunkered. [funny story] A group of random citizens (including a cop, some frat boys, and a transient) all wake up in a secret bunker deep underground. The back story is that the caretakers of the bunker, Bert & Ernie, accidentally fried the email server so when they got the alert, they could not recall the carefully selected candidates who were supposed to survive the apocalypse (and restart the human race). So instead they go out and use tranquilizer guns to capture 50 random citizens near the local college campus. But when the pockyclypse turns out to be a dud, Bert & Ernie realize they are on the hook for mass-kidnapping, and flee town...leaving the 50 people in the bunker. What happens next would be a mix of Survivor, Big Brother, and the Apprentice all rolled into one.

    2) Unnamed story [serious story] In the future America has created special soldiers who can transport anywhere and kill or kidnap enemies. But during a mission something goes wrong and one of the soldiers gets accidentally sent back in time. His memories are fried, so he is a blank, doesn't even know how to use his implants at the beginning. But after his new host family is killed by drug dealers he snatches the entire cartel, one at a time, and drops them off at the north pole to die. As he evolves he begins to send other bad people to a frozen death, and becomes an internet hero to millions. But then one day he hears a voice on TV, a new presidential candidate, and he knows something is wrong about the guy. Ultimately he finds another member of his team who had been thrown 30 years further back in time, and learns that the candidate was their target that night. So after taking great pains to fix the world, and rid it of villains, he finds out that he was actually the one who puts the 3rd antichrist into power. The rest of the story is him trying to kill the candidate (who eventually gets elected.)


    3) An asshole in King Arthur's court. [funny story]. The hero in this story is a Harley riding, uncouth, heavy drinking, womanizing jerk. So when he gets yanked out of his own time and into the future he has no idea why. But he finds himself living in a place where augmented reality is built into every citizen. Life there is like living in facebook & netflix. You can do just about anything, many people live in life-support boxes and only visit the world virtually. But the downside is that the virtual world has controlled people to the point where they are ridiculously PC. Not only that, but the people are lazy and uninspired because they get everything from their virtual world. The hero meets the AI who manages their world, she seems nice enough. Then he meets the villain, who is an entity composed entirely from the nannites of dead people (a thousand years of dead people). Finally after his outbursts get him banned from the city, he finds other people who show him that things are opposite of what he thought; the city's AI has been holding the people there for a millennia...they were supposed to have ventured out and started a new world after the skies cleared. In the end, the hero, who was a fix-it guy in his own time, removes a few key components from the system and defeats the all powerful AI.

    4) The day the stars answered our call [serious, multi-generational science-based story] In 2016 a group sends a coded laser beam to several nearby stars (sort of the equivalent of the golden disk on Voyager). A decade later one of them replies with their own data-stream. At first humans are awed, then they become suspicious that it could be a trap. Being humans, we twist it a hundred different ways, governments fight over who should be talking to the aliens, religious groups freak out... But since it takes 5-10 years to get a signal back and forth from the star, the story turns into a multigenerational tale as we slowly learn that the aliens are really at the same tech level we are. Slowly we learn to communicate, and as a civilization we evolve. At one point they send us a picture of a 'gray' and ask if we have ever seen this alien species (which we have!) By the end of the book our civilizations have matured to the point that we each send out ships hoping to meet in the middle. The story is really about social evolution sped up by this distant contact. The story covers roughly a century of time.

  2. #2
    4) Has been done. If the Stars Are Gods, by Gordon Eklund and Gregory Benford, treats with this, though the milieu is Jupiter instead of distant stars. It echoes a bit of Childhood's End with a dollop of Known Space. Could be a winnah -- good tropelines and not so sad-puppy. The other stuff is too John C Wright for me, pitched at eyebrows several steps lower than mine. I know that's your thang, but it's not to my taste. Sorry.





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  3. #3
    This is my opinion on why I probably would try to look for an original angle. I am not saying it is something I would read or not read.

    1) Bunkered sounds interesting I admit. But to restart the human race sounds like some plots of destroying the world.

    2)The story without a name needs to be researched a bit. Teleportation supposedly would need to be looked into in a reference work. Because I read somewhere that teleportation would kill human life, animal life, and would not be hard science fiction. I read the stars my destination. It's literary in spirit, it's difficult to say what people's expectations are for the science of that story.

    3)Virtual reality stories have been done a lot. You might need to read some to see what has never been done. It has potential. I own for example a book that has the most well-known authors of science fiction organized and referenced.

    4)The other science fiction story I wouldn't know but I own anatomy of wonder. You could get that as it is cheap, and maybe do some exploring as to what to read if you decide this is the right advice. I know the other encyclopedia is online, I forgot the name but I think Clute is an author of it.

    So consult the references available (online or using books) to see maybe how you could beat your competition by writing a more original story that doesn't seem like it has been done. If that is the case. For example, there is a novel where invisible people are ignored. It's a very different take. Because society is obsessed with celebrity status.

    Just my opinion of course.

    What to write I don't know that is up to you.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  4. #4
    I actually got a pleasant surprise this morning.
    I had actually started #3 but had forgotten that I'd written 156 pages!
    Not only that, but when I started reading it the content was pretty good, and totally fitting for the brand name.
    (a couple of those books would need to be published under another name since they do not fit the Rotten brand.)

    Tis always nice to be surprised by your own stuff.



    So any more readers out there? What I am really looking forward is simply "which would you, as a reader, be most likely to read?"

  5. #5
    I will say 4 or 3. 4 because there are many directions it can probably take. But I like the fact it has a cult, sort of, and that could be interesting for me to read. The religious fanatics can do a lot of things wrong according to their beliefs. Including like in dan simmons book hyperion do what the aliens wish.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  6. #6
    #4 seems to have the most potential

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