Aug 23, 2013

And we’re off!

Thank you all for the enthusiastic support over the launch of this website. It was great to see how many of you ‘turned up’ (if that’s the right word for an online meeting!).

Google seems to be sorting itself out. I had a to do a series of ‘301 redirects’ (no detail, it’s dull, honestly) in order to preserve page rankings and point all previous links back to here. The old sites will stay running for six months, hopefully giving people enough time to check their own html!

Book progress? Very little this week. I’ve been on holiday so have been spending time with the family, enjoying my birthday (no longer 42 – the answer to life, the universe and everything!) and building a treehouse, complete with a zipwire escape route… almost as good as an escape pod.

Normal, book writing, service should resume from Tuesday after the bank holiday… back to work, back on the train.

But I hit a goal, that significant 100k barrier. Trouble is, I’m not entirely sure how much I still have to go at this stage. I have actually written the ending, and all the set up scenes are done. Bits of the ‘final confrontation’ and its aftermath are done, but not finished, nor are some of the last minute plot twists. That’s essentially what is left to do in terms of the final draft. My guess? 15 – 20k words, which puts me a little behind the schedule I was hoping to hit.

Tweaking here, tweaking there…

After that, some serious tweaking will be in order. There are plenty of areas where I’ve read through and thought… that’s weak, that’s trite, that’s just plain awful. So once I’m done on the draft, it’s going to be upping the general tone of the manuscript; injecting more excitement, ratcheting up the tension, fine tuning the dialogue and scene setting.

All the authors will need to get Frontier approval for their manuscripts. A small ‘chicken and egg’ problem here. Michael Brookes (at Frontier) only wants ‘final’ drafts, not unreasonably. Trouble is, we can’t get to ‘final’ without some of the detail being available from the  game, which none of us have yet seen and it won’t be available until the Alpha in November, 3 months away.

What I do know is that the galactic chart is currently being worked on, hopefully the writers will get to see that shortly, which will allow us to plot our routes and stabilise the settings. Knowing where all these star systems actually are will be a very useful addition.

We’ve seen some of the ships that are confirmed for the game, but little on capabilities and nothing yet on in game weaponry. There seems to be an emphasis, so far, on ballistic ordnance rather than beam weapons from the in-game shot. We’ll have to see what is available.

Writer’s forum? Remains quiet, though a couple of new guides have made their way out of the editorial gates. One is about Galcop, the organisation that existed in the era of the original Elite. Suffice to say, it’s long gone now, but it does have a legacy…

Time keeps ticking…

So I’ve got to keep going, thrusters full. At the end of August there will be only 6 months until March 2014. That isn’t very much time at all. I still don’t have any details on when the game launch will be, so my own launch is equally vague.

There’s a mailing list option now, on the the far right. Kickstarter won’t last forever, so if you want to stay tuned for more occasional significant updates, drop your name and email in there. No spam – I promise.

Thanks for all the questions so far – plenty for the video update when I get the first draft finished, so look out for that.

Don’t forget your competition entry – “Why I can’t wait for Elite Reclamation” – signed copy of Status Quo available to the lucky winner. (Drabble, poem, vid, artwork… just have fun!)

See you next week when I kick back into book writing…



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