I hope people had fun with the introduction and backstory of Bob and Frank. It was fun, and before I start writing book 2, which will be numbered chapters 2.1, 2.2, etc. I figured I’d leave a space between books for me to collect any thoughts on the first book.
Several things have been brought to my attention, and several things I’ve noticed myself.
1) Frank gets confusing when he talks out loud. I’ve experimented in chapter 17 with making his speaking voice both italicized and underlined. I don’t like the process of using that mechanism though, since the basic editor in WordPress supports underlining, but there’s no button option for it on the visual edit page. I’m probably going to start putting Frank’s external speech inside [ and ]’s in order to set it apart in a way that WordPress easily supports. He’s also been a bit more talkative than I wanted him to be.
2) When I get tired commas and quotes have… issues. I found 11 commas in one sentence the other day, which ended up turning into four sentences and two commas after I cleaned it up. I caught that one. I usually find at least 5-10 missing quotes and a few extra commas on the first reread after posting, and typically find more later. Help finding lost quotes and extra commas would be greatly appreciated!
3) I’ve got a tendency to heavily use a few words. I think I know my problem words and I watch for them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more.
4) I’ve been starting to mix in some popular culture things that I think the characters in the book would like, but I’m not entirely happy with how I feel about most of them. I’ll probably mostly avoid popular culture things unless it’s hard to write something without them. What I consider to be popular culture is probably a wee bit dated in any case.
5) Found a couple logic errors, like Guiliard saying that drones are known to sometimes, but rarely, use ventriloquism – while elsewhere saying they don’t speak at all, ever. Guiliard didn’t know what he was talking about. It was the concussion. The record has been expunged. Any sightings of more glaring inconsistencies would be appreciated.
6) I think I spent a bit too much time bouncing around from place. I was trying to give the sense of being fugitives, but I am not sure how that balanced against the rest of the story.
7) The last chapter somewhat irked me in that I couldn’t give much screen time to more soldiers. I don’t much like writing about large numbers of faceless people. Unless they are faceless goons that are getting the stuffing beat out of them, then it can be fun. I’ll probably avoid large groups of non-goons in the near future, unless it’s clear that none of them should be interacting with Bob & Frank. Walking through a crowded group of people at the mall or something is fine. Working around 21 soldiers for several hours and only really communicating with four of them and learning the name of one more who marches to the beat of a different drummer. That sort of felt empty in a way.
8) Taking away from it all, I’m probably going to keep Bob and Frank moving, but not many times per book. I’ll also be keeping Frank a bit quieter I think, and keeping the number of meaningful characters lower.
9) A serious concern is that I need to take a hard look at why Frank wouldn’t use his abilities more aggressively. The way that I’ve described his abilities, he’s got pretty absurd limits that he could stretch to fit. I’m thinking that his new operating system gives him greatly enhanced security at the cost of greatly limited scalability. After his total controlled biomass reaches a ton or so, including biofactories and constructs, he starts to have problems. Biomechanical supplements might help, but with diminishing returns. Frank will not become NewAkira. Even with that limit, there’s some pretty crazy things that could be imagined.
10) I’ve actually been trying to think of what sort of media I soaked up over the years that led to Bob and Frank. I’m going to have to watch myself fairly closely to keep Bob and Frank from walking in the shadows of certain characters who I find to be fascinating.
There probably won’t be a real chapter today, unless it’s a small one, and I can’t really see myself starting off a new book with a short chapter. If I get really caught up in an idea it might happen though. When things click 1000 words per hour is doable.
Well, enough staring at my navel here. Time to get started on 2.1