William A. Hainline: Reality Engineer

The Blog Of A Science Fiction Writer Living Just A Half-An-Hour And Some Change Into The Future . . . Sci-fi, fantasy, politics, visual arts, writing, more writing, literature, comics, music, movies, and madness in general. NSFW. Probably not safe for YOU, either. But don't let that stop you.

The go-to site for fans of science fiction writer William A. Hainline. Also the go-to site for non-fans, or anybody else who wants to follow what this curmudgeonly weirdo of a writer is currently up to in the depths of his mad science dungeon.

"Ready For . . . Another Lesson?"

So I started working on the Second Draft. I put that in capital letters because it's not just the second draft . . . it's more like the Fourth Rewriting. It's not just an ordinary "second draft" of a book, which is where you go in and you write the same book over again with a punch-up of all the things you did right and you take out the things you did wrong. No, this is more like a ground-up rewrite of the same story, but done completely differently. I kept the characters the same, and yes, the story has the same general shape to it, but I completely changed key aspects of the plot, even key aspects of the characters themselves. I did a revamp of the story's atmosphere and pacing, and did a number on my prose stylings, as well, trying to make my prose more efficient and more to-the-point, as well. I also changed major aspects of the overall tone and feel of the story, as well as the basic "gist" of the story, too. I focused the plot more, and changed-up some of the characters' goals and motivations, both internal and external. In other words, I'm now writing a totally different book, folks. Where this process will take me I have no earthly idea. But, I'm confident it will take me where I need to go. Because what I'm turning out right now is far better than what I did in the past. What I'm turning out right now makes what I turned out before look like baby shit in comparison. I think that somewhere after I finished the last draft of the book, somehow, my writing took a quantum leap forward in terms of its sophistication and level of quality. Not sure how that happened, but it did. Maybe finishing the first draft, maybe just the act of getting through it and doing it, made me a better writer. I dunno. But whatever happened, the prose I'm churning out now is much better, much more focused and polished, and much cooler than anything I've ever written before, and I'm very happy with it. I can't wait to see how the new draft stacks up, once I have more of it written.

Right now I'm on Chapter Six. That's another thing I changed — the organizational structure. So far I've written Chapter One, which is where a Vampire named "Jetta" (also known by her 'nym, "Akasha") arrives at Con and makes some new friends who she might or might not decide to eat, and becomes possessed by an alien life-form on a mission. Then there's Chapter Two, where we meet Gadget and Gygax, our two main heroes and friends; Gadget is bipolar, and is an inventor, and Gygax is a software engineer who lives with him and their roommate Trillian. Gadget has invented "the Mind-Weirding Helm," a device that gives him psionic powers, and Gygax is working on a thing called "the NeuroScape" for a company called Mjölnir Dynamics, which is going to be like the OASIS in "Ready Player One," except that it can hook into your nervous system like the machines in The Matrix. (Sounds fun, right?) Gadget figures out a way to combine the two things. Chapter Three is where we meet our main heroine, Dizzy, an ass-kicking mad scientist femme fatale in an Exosuit who is fighting another mad scientist in an Exosuit, a man named Dr. Ravenkroft Eviolutor, the alter-ego of the mild-mannered (and also mad scientist) Dr. Viktor Fearneurovolt. In Chapter Four we meet the Dr. Trillian Deschaine (who is also, arguably, sort of a mad scientist), Gadget and Gygax's roommate, who gets mugged by a bunch of Vampires and who is saved by Dizzy, who then gives Trillian the offer of working for her on a research project involving a crashed alien spaceship that her company — Mjölnir Dynamics, which she runs the Special Projects division of (she is in fact Gygax's boss) — has recovered from the Arctic . . . along with helping her defeat Ravenkroft, and keeping away from him the thing he wants most: A piece of alien technology salvaged from the alien ship. And in Chapter Five, the last chapter I have completed, we go back and visit Gadget one more time . . . this time, in a dreamworld he inhabits inside the NeuroScape, one generated partly by the machine, and partly by his dreaming mind . . .

It's been great fun to create so far. I can't wait to write more of it. I'm super-psyched to have come this far. I'm still working on it even right now, in the other window. So far the word count is around 80,000, and soaring. And that's just the first six chapters! We'll see how all this shakes out  . . .