Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
My greatest gift is to see the connections between things. It's not just seeing the big picture, it's knowing where the big picture sits in relation to the rest of the pictures in the art gallery.
So I'm increasingly changing the way I write. My first series, 'Fire of Heaven', was closely plotted. I decided to do things differently for the 'Husk/Broken Man' trilogy, and plotted the story much more loosely, relying on my ability to make connections to tie it all together. And I really believe it worked.
With my new SF story - the first part of which is tentatively titled 'State of Flux', I have done virtually no plotting at all. There are a few basic scenes, a list of characters with interesting backstories, and a conclusion I have in mind. I'm writing the story to see what happens. I hope readers find it as exciting as I do.
OK, enough ranting about selfish behaviour on the roads. What have I been writing?
Lots of stuff. I've written 50,000 words this year of a new sci-fi story I'm very excited about. While I dearly love fantasy, science fiction is my first love, and I've always wanted to write it. This is a near-future story with a myriad of twists, some hard science and some very interesting characters (including one actual, real, well-known living person who won't go away). It's the first spec fic story I've read to have a Samoan POV character. I'm having a great deal of fun writing it!
I've begun to plan a new fantasy series. This will be set in a completely new world, with different rules for magic. The scope of the series will be enormous, beyond anything even Erikson or Martin have done. I intend to paint this on the largest canvas I can find. This will be true epic fantasy, nothing held back, with characters who are lovable, bizarre, venal, heroic and exasperating. Two of my POV characters will be twins, and I will be exploring the bond between twins (my youngest brother and sister were twins, and they exhibited an uncanny bond when they were young).
I've begun writing my cartographic magnum opus, the book I've had in my head for twenty years. Provisionally entitled 'Radical Cartography', it explores the notion of what maps we'd have if for the last 500 years we'd spent trillions of dollars collecting data about things important to people rather than to governments, the military and colonial powers. This won't be a huge moneymaker, but it will be an intense labour of love. I intend every page of this lavishly illustrated book to be perfect. I have no idea if it will find a publisher, but that's not the point.
I'm working to finally finish the Bahrain atlas - there have been serious editorial and data holdups as the Royal Court reviewed the first draft. I'm hopeful it will be finished soon.
So that's that, apart from University teaching. What are you lot up to?
Today in the Russell Universe a law was passed called the 'Impeding Traffic' law. All vehicles with clear road ahead but at least four vehicles trapped behind them must pull over at the earliest safe opportunity and let the trapped vehicles past. Failure to comply will result in instant confiscation of vehicle.
The inhabitants of the Russell Universe cheered.