Revised date for Lord of Midnight availability

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Progress Report

Folks, A quick update on the arrival of the Lords of Midnight novel. Been in conversations with my publisher (FBP) this week on the timing of editing, cover production, typesetting etc. Unfortunately, we have a further short delay. Editing, in particular, can’t be rushed and needs to be done properly. Apologies for this, but it’s a combination of workload and a few other events beyond our control. The birth of books is never a straightforward thing! We are now expecting the book to be available at the end of May this year (rather than March) about an additional 8 weeks. On a more positive note, my wife is reading the draft at the moment (she’s particularly good at spotting plot-holes) and so far we have a thumbs up. She likes it more than my previous book, Elite Dangerous:...

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Lords of Midnight – second draft complete

Posted by on Feb 10, 2018 in Progress Report

Another milestone today on the road to the next book. The second draft is completed! This is an essential point on the road to getting the book ready. We’re not quite done, that’s the third draft, but we’re a ways along from the first draft. 🙂 So what do we have at this stage? Simply put, Chris and I have fixed the major continuity issues, we’ve sorted out the pace and the structure, we have an end-to-end story that works. All the lore aspects have been checked and adjusted where necessary. This is the biggest concern at this stage, particularly as Lords of Midnight is very ‘lore heavy’, there’s a lot of detail that needs to be right, both for this book and for potential future ones. Much of the stuff that is mentioned in the Lords of Midnight foreshadows the events of the other games in the series, and we want to be able to write those books too. Thus we’ve planned to ensure there is an ongoing continuity to the lore that will straddle several stories. Hopefully we will see the events of Doomdark’s Revenge, The Citadel and the Eye of the Moon. So what’s next – that would be the third draft! The second draft gets sent to professional editors, who sort out all the detailed ‘writing craft’ issues; POV, typos, repetition, overused adverbs, clichés, dodgy dialogue and so on. Basically tidying it up and making the scripts punchy and tight. It makes a massive difference to the quality of what you end up reading. All those changes come back to me for review. Typically I agree with about 95% of them. A few I will reject (usually because the editor doesn’t understand the lore in depth and they’ve picked on on something lore specific which looks odd) and a few will be just because I prefer the original. After that? It’s proofreader time. I have a bunch of folks that will read my book with a view to eradicating any remaining typos (they are tricky beasts to get rid of!). Then that final version goes back… and it’s turned a...

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At the Winter’s Solstice, the First draft of the Lords of Midnight

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Progress Report

Yesterday I reached a major milestone in the production of my latest book, The Lords of Midnight. The first draft is complete! Those of you who have followed this blog for quite some time will know that this is an important step, it means there is a ‘story’ end-to-end based on the original plot and direction and that the greater bulk of the writing itself is done. Yet, in some ways, it’s just the start! From here the story has to be tweaked and fettled. I do edit quite a lot as I go on, so this draft isn’t as rough as many fellow authors’ would be, it’s probably more akin to what most writers would consider a ‘second draft’, but it still needs a lot of work. From a pure editing perspective there will be typos, grammar issues, clunky sentences, insufficient character differentiation, repeating words and phrases, too much or too little description, continuity errors and bad POV changes and scene transitions. This is quite tedious to fix, but I’m fortunate to have an excellent editor with her red pen poised to wreak bloody havoc over my manuscript… However, before that, the story needs to have its lore, characters, situations and overall feel checked by the LoreMaster himself; in the case of the Lords of Midnight this is the inestimable Chris Wild who is both the expert and the ultimate decision maker on the lore as it relates to Mike Singleton’s world. As of yesterday evening a draft is with Chris for review and comment. Thus there is an awful lot of work still to do, we may have won a skirmish, but the battle continues! However, having skim read what we have already, I’m confident we have a good foundation to build upon. For me, after the event, it’s fascinating to see the differences between the first draft and the final edit. There are massive changes in some places, minor nips and tucks in others. It’s all aimed at ensuring the book, and the story it tells, is of the highest possible quality. This book was original promised back in 1984 by Beyond, the company that published the original game – they failed in that particular quest. 33 years later we’re on track to close that circle – but we want to ensure that we do the best job we can, making something that Mike himself would be proud of and that lays a solid foundation for future books if this one is successful. For now then, a brief hiatus as the year draws to an end. The Solstice is here, but before long glad hearts and minds will turn to longer days and the promise of spring. A new dawn for Midnight...

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As my publisher would say… onwards!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Announcements

A little bit of a milestone today – signed off the official Elite Dangerous forums for an extended leave of absence, after a 5 year stint I’m leaving that universe behind me and moving on to pastures new. I’m not involved with the game content at all any more – so please don’t ask me about the v2.4 narrative or the Thargoids – nothing to do with me! Oddly enough, I played the original Elite for about 5 years (from 1984 to 1989) when I headed off to university, so it feels like a good time to move on after a similar timescale. I’ve uninstalled the game from my PC (along with a few other games too) in order to focus all of my spare time into my own creative endeavours – no distractions – though I’ll obviously be popping along to conventions and community events where I can. In its place comes the space simulator “Space Engine” which provides similar, and often even better looking, space backdrops with the advantage that I can ‘go anywhere instantly’ and programmatically alter the contents with a bit of scripting. I’ve also acquired a commercial license for it, allowing me to export and use videos from it without having to worry about royalties. That gives me huge flexibility and creative control I didn’t have with ED. Alongside this I’m also learning some 3D character animation software – I rather liked the ED character creator, but it was very limited, now I’ve got the opportunity to create animated characters all of my own. With the combination of these two elements, a truly compelling narrative, some music and a lot of work, I’ve got all I need to make my own audio and video stories. These will, naturally, be based on my books – the bread and butter of what I do won’t change – hopefully I’ll be able to crank them out faster. What I have decided to do is expand the Shadeward universe quite dramatically. Shadeward is set in a semi-post apocalyptic setting, but the event that precedes the Shadeward series of books is only alluded to, never detailed. I plan to go back there and write books about that, but also go forward to alternative worlds that are concurrent with Shadeward, and tell other stories. Whereas the folks in the Shadeward series suffered from regression in their technology, other worlds may have advanced in the same time frame, leading to the possibility that worlds not too far away may have very advanced technology. In short this gives me the ability to write a space opera in the same setting, combining the best of what I did in my ED books in a new and more consistent universe where I don’t need to worry about ‘retcons’ or the limitation of gameplay. I can also stick to ‘real’ physics too. What I plan...

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Book of the Month

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Announcements

Rather pleased to announce that my latest book, the official novel Elite Dangerous: Premonition, won ‘Book of the Month‘ over at KindOfBook.Com. Premonition was selected as a nominee amongst 12 other books that have recently been published and was the only SF novel in the mix. One of the other novels was (and is!) an Amazon bestseller, sitting in the top 100 ebooks sold. Another was by a New York Times bestselling author. Frankly, once I saw that I didn’t think Premonition had a chance, but I was honoured to be included. After a few days Premonition had pushed itself into a credible third place, unsurprisingly behind both of the novels mentioned above. However, with a few posts on social media, the FDev forums, reddit and a mention in the FDev newsletter (Thanks to Ed and Zac!) the word got out and Premonition’s share of the vote began to climb. Soon we were in second place, and a few days before the end of the competition, the combined might of the Elite Dangerous community and the fanbase for my stories pushed Premonition into a commanding lead, 15% ahead of the bestselling Amazon entry. To be frank I was a little gobsmacked by the result, but I shouldn’t have been. Time and again the Elite Dangerous community has proved its worth, it’s ability to mobilise and come together to support things. This was also brought back this week in a different way. The charity I support with 10% of the proceeds of my books suffered from theft compounded by an arson attack. They pretty much lost everything as a result, utterly devastating. They’ve been working for years to support young people who’ve fallen out of school and college and need help getting their lives back together. My family and I set up a JustGiving page to raise a few funds to help them get back on their feet. We set a modest target, and cracked it in a few days, but then the word got out to the Elite Dangerous community once more. In fact, the community got behind the funding before I had a chance to ask them. Lave Radio, Obsidian Ant, NatScrambles, Malic and DJTruthSayer were already on the case. As a result funding has skyrocketed to over £2,000. An amazing, humbling and astonishing result. The page is still live if you’d like to donate > https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/andrew-wagar Once more, I can only say a big thankyou. The Elite Dangerous community has supported me far more than I could ever have hoped for. You’re all brilliant. Right on, Commanders....

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