A change of scene and an announcement…

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Progress Report

Not only did we crash, we crashed on the wrong damn planet!

A short update today. Work (real life) has been very busy and the writing has been fraught with a few difficulties again.The numbers tell a reasonable story. I’m at 65,360 words against a target of 64k. So far so good. However, another 2,000 words hit the cutting room floor this week. Why? Bad scenery.

Without giving too much away, in the course of my tale, one of my spacecraft crashes on a sparsely populated planet occupied by some backward types. I had a whole bunch of neat descriptive touches to use. It was to have been quite an arboreal world, a sort of Amazon type place. (Amazon as in South America, not Amazon as in online haberdashery sales phenomena.)

The reasons for it being sparsely populated are historical, but as I worked it through I could see that it wasn’t going to work with the Frontier provided information that I had. In short, a habitable planet like this would be too valuable to ‘waste’ on indulging the whims of what are effectively a bunch of space hippies. The economies of the galaxy wouldn’t allow it. Habitable planets are just too rare and valuble.

That meant I had to change the planet around quite a lot. The forests are gone, replaced with arid desert. That meant quite a lot of changes to subsequent sections in Chapters 9 and 10. The story arc is still the same, but the scenery isn’t. As it happened this allowed for a more interesting minor twist, so it wasn’t all bad, but I’d written near to 7k words this week and only have just over 4k to show for it.

Such is life however. We’re still on track.

On to something more interesting.

Click for details…

Next Saturday (29th), as many of you know, I’ll be attending the first ‘LaveCon’ after being …er… persuaded into going by the hosts of Lave Radio. From a small start as just the Lave Radio hosts meeting up for a beer and pizza, it’s now become a full fledged ‘event’. Parts of it will be recorded and available to listen to via Lave Radio afterwards.

This promises to be a fascinating event for lots of reasons, not least because of who is going (Michael Brookes and Kate Russell will be making an appearance), but because it’s an opportunity to actually meet some people I’ve only ever corresponded with via email, forums and Skype (in some cases for several years). That is a little intimidating. I’m no shrinking violet, but a room of 40 or so ‘strangers’ does give you pause. Reality can be rather different from your anticipation, particularly when all you have as an identity reference is an obscure forum avatar.

Without being totally mercenary, it’s also a marketing opportunity. Everyone present will doubtless be aware of Elite:Reclamation, but it’s a chance to wave the flag, blow the trumpet and use the odd cliché. 🙂 What could I reasonably provide for the event?

I thought this one through, and with the agreement of my publisher, I’m going to be providing a ‘contribution’. So…

I will be doing a reading from Elite:Reclamation for the attendees, a recording of which will be available on-line shortly after the event. I’ll link it here as soon as practically possible.

This may appear a bit presumptuous and I know that some of you will be keen to avoid spoilers. With that in mind, it will be clearly signposted so that you can avoid it if you so desire. In an ideal world I would host it here first, but I don’t have the expertise that the Lave Radio crew can deploy in terms of recording and editing, and it will reach a wider audience through that route.

The section I’ve selected is from the prologue. It is not plot critical, it also does not contain any of the major characters aluded to in the artwork you’ve already seen. It contains no elements of the overall story other than a  ‘there’s obviously trouble ahead’ sense of tension. Think of it as adding a little flavour to the teaser video you’ve already watched from my Kickstarter.

The Imperials fascinate me far more than any of the other factions in the game…

The prologue is, as you’d expect, a bit of background scene setting. It’s actually set in the year 3297, two years ahead of the story proper, which is set in 3299, just before the time you’ll be jumping into your Sidewinders and heading out to the stars come March next year.

Given my story is mostly set around the machinations of the Imperials, the prologue will give you a taste of how I see the Imperials and give you a flavour of the type of story I’ll be writing. This section has already been well edited and whilst not ‘signed-off’ formally, is unlikely to change much. In short, I’m happy it’s of good quality and is a compelling piece of story telling.

I’m very excited about being able to show this to you and I think you’ll enjoy it. It should only leave you wanting more… for which you really will have to wait!

See you next week.



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  1. Thanks for the shout out Drew! Looking forward to seeing you next week!

  2. Another great post Drew. Don’t let the odd set back… erm… set you back?

    You’re doing great, we all have an idea of where you are and where you’re going and I for one will be playing Lave Radio in the office throughout the whole weekend to catch your bit.

    The reading (which I’m lucky enough to have read already) is wonderful and you guys are gonna love it!

    Keep battling on Commander,



  3. Drew, that cartoon really made me laugh! Thanks for that.

    Nice update – with deserts and jungles I’m left thinking of Tusken Raiders and Ewoks …

    Regarding your selection for your reading, why not start with page 1 from the Prologue, and do it like Amazon do with their Kindle titles (“download the first chapter for free”)? It can sometimes be frustrating to dive in somewhere after page 1, and then when you later get the book, go back to an earlier point in the story


    • Hi Matt,

      Choice is mostly due to length to be honest. Even a short-ish section takes longer to read than you’d expect. I’ve had to choose something that can be read in 10 minutes or thereabouts to fit in with the Lave Radio show.

      The first bit of the prologue doesn’t provide much ‘Elitey-ness’ either, whereas the later section does.

  4. Just another reason I’m now going to be Greener than the grass of Tionisla. Oh well, I’ll just wait for the radio to air it.

  5. Hi Drew,

    Binning decent writing can be gutting, but your reasons are good ones and it will maintain the plausibility of your story. You are here by commended and honoured for your courage and integrity, Commander Wagar.

    As for the ’40 “strangers”‘, they are all rabid Elite fans and many will have helped in your Kickstarter – they all want you to succeed. It will be a bit nerve-wracking, and that’s only natural, but you won’t be playing to a hostile audience – quite the opposite.

  6. Another excellent update Drew. I look forward to listening to your reading from your upcoming blockbuster new novel. You can pick yourself up off the floor now. My curiosity got the better of me and your assurances that there are no spoilers has won me over.

    Enjoy yourself at the gathering!

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