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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

#Outpost Salamander

Usually, I don't have the title when I start a new novel. However, the next novel I'll be working on has already a title: Outpost Salamander. The story takes place in the universe I created in the trilogy 'Lizard World' (Epsilon, Epsilon City, and Raptor's Tooth), of which 'Outpost Epsilon' is the forerunner. Actually, I started writing this one as 'Outpost something' and I wrote 1,700 words. That's when the title came to me. I also have already some kind of outline, which is quite early into the story. That doesn't always happen, either.

I've always been fascinated with stories of lonely outposts on an alien planet. I haven't read many by other writers (that was the time when I used to read most of the time), so I created my own with 'Outpost Epsilon'. Anything can happen on an outpost. Actually, I have a short story from my earlier writings  that also plays out on an outpost. The story is called 'Luugus'. It was one of the stories in my anthology 'Tapestry of Dreams', published by Melange Books.

Terrex Stonewall, who was the main character in Outpost Epsilon and in the Lizard World trilogy appears again in Outpost Salamander. However, he is now 58 years old. The main character in Outpost Salamander is Bret Grayson, who is Terrex Stonewall's nephew.

The book will stand completely on its own, but reference will be made to Epsilon, the planet populated by dinosaurs. The complete series is under the umbrella 'The Spider Wars', and I'm hoping to write more books after this one.

In a way, writing a story where the background has already been created, is easy and yet difficult. I have to make sure I get all my facts straights. I'm talking about people and places I've created in previous stories. This means I have to go back to notes I made when I wrote those stories and it also means reading  some of the stories again, if only just partially. It's like doing research, only it is researching my own creations.

I took a holiday for a couple of weeks to get away for a while from the cold winter and the snow, but it didn't mean I took a holiday from writing. I had planned to read some books, but my mind was filled with ideas for a new novel, so I began writing it and just kept on writing every moment I had. Lying on a lounge by the beach is fine, but doing nothing but just staring at the water or into the sky only puts me to sleep. So I kept busy with my writing. The surroundings were relaxing and inspiring. A good thing my wife likes to read.

I didn't have my laptop along, so wrote the old-fashioned way like I used to do: into a scribbler with a pen. I filled one scribbler and part of another one. Now I have to transfer everything onto my computer. That's when the first editing begins.

I found it more difficult to write this way, because as the story progressed, new ideas popped up and I needed to change some earlier paragraphs, add some new ones, and do some rewriting. It is so much easier when writing on a computer. I have so much respect for the writers of years gone by who never had computers, only typewriters. How they managed to write so many books, some of them wrote a hundred books in their lifetime, it is difficult to believe. They didn't have word-spell, automatic corrections, and all the other perks we have now. The only way they could make multiple copies was with carbon paper. And they couldn't  afford to make typing errors. They were difficult to correct. I remember writing my stories like that. It was frustrating. I still have my old typewriter...on a shelf in the basement.

I will have to take a break again from writing Outpost Salamander, because I still have to do more editing on my novel 'A Matter of Integrity'. It is finished but needs more polishing;  and then comes the formatting. I still don't have a cover picture. That is the most difficult part, but it will happen.
The writing is the fun, the getting the story ready for publishing is the work, but it needs to be done if I want to share my story with others.

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