Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two Cent Tuesday: Postage Due

Last Tuesday I finished the Sky Ghost:  Army of the Damned story, which I'd shown you the cover for previously.  It only came out at about 60,000 words, which is pretty low.  Actually on Tuesday last week I pretty much just mailed in the last chapter and epilogue to be done with it. 

I realized when I got into it that I had made a critical decision that completely changed the nature of the story.  When I started out, it was supposed to be a rugged men's adventure story about a daredevil superheroish pilot with an awesome plane that shoots down "air pirates" over an America that's overrun with zombie hordes.  Pretty awesome, eh?

It ended up turning into almost an airplane-related version of "Warm Bodies."  I mean it became more of a YA story about a girl who meets a daredevil superheroish pilot and they fight air pirates and zombies together.  The girl who was supposed to be more of a secondary character became a main character, all because I decided to start out writing it from the girl's POV.

The thinking at the time was that way I could make the Sky Ghost seem more mysterious and stuff.  Whereas if I'd focused on him from the start, it'd have been less mysterious because obviously we'd be in his head.

And then one thing leads to another and you realize about 20,000 words in that things are going completely different than how you expected.  If I were one of those goofball romantics I'd gush about how the one character took over and blah blah blah like she's a real person possessing my soul or some shit.  No, I just focused on a different character and it changed the complexion of the whole story.  That's one of those things that happens sometimes when you're writing.  It's kind of like how one little stone can change the course of an avalanche or a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and it rains in Michigan.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I don't think it's a bad story.  It's just different than how I thought it'd be when I was going into it.  You can read the whole thing free on Wattpad, though it is just a first draft.

I'm thinking what I really need to do is just run with the YA thing and rewrite it in first person.  I mean if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right.  And it'd need a new cover too, so I whipped up a couple of possibly more YA-appropriate ones.

Though I think these first two might give you the idea the girl is the Sky Ghost.  This third one I was just goofing around:
That's the actual plane type the Sky Ghost flies.  Because I always thought the X-29 looked neat even though they never built any for military use.  Maybe I just need to find a picture of a girl kissing some hunky pilot, eh?

Anyway, I suppose since I realized I'd screwed up my handling of the story as much as Obama screwed up the handling of Syria it was easier for me to just mail in the end of it.  It's not something I'm real happy about.  Maybe at some point I'll get around to fixing it.  Or not.  I'd wager on not since I'm lazy about that stuff.


  1. Best sell job, EVER.

    The covers all look like Sky Ghost is a girl, so the kissing thing might be a better way to go.

    I'm interested in why you don't like it. I'll try to read it on Wattpad but I'm not going to make any promises. (I will say I'm reading your Scarlet Knight book and it's excellent.) Was it that by the time you realized you'd hijacked the story it wasn't one that interested you anymore?

    I always figure if a story isn't interesting to me as a writer, it's not ever going to be interesting to a reader. I've dropped a couple of stories -- like "Homer's Oddity" -- because of that.

    I've never tried to fix up an entire ENDING of a story, before. I'm not sure I'd bother, either. I kind of view stories as being like a cake: they either worked, or they didn't. If you've gotten to the end and the cake is all mushy and gross, you don't go back to halfway through, you just try a different cake.

  2. I like the first pic with the short skirt.
    If all else fails just ask Vladimir Putin what he thinks. ;)

  3. I like that attitude. It's done, move on to the next one. I'm not sure any of those alternative covers wouldn't be improved with a zombie or two in the background... you know, just so any potential readers understand there are some spec fic elements to it.

  4. Well, if you're trying to appeal (or going to try to appeal) to a particular audience, you ought to go with the thing that's "in" with that audience.
    Or do two versions, a YA version and an adult version.

  5. The plane in that first picture (girl in skirt) looks rather vintage, like a B-29 Superfortress. The others look much more modern.

  6. I like the covers, especially the way the title looks. Great to see you are having success on Wattpad.

  7. Wow, you're getting good at making covers. I like the one in the middle the best.

  8. The first one has a cool retro feel and I think YA would be an interesting direction for you Pat!



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