On Writing

Friday Update #1

I've made a decision. It happens from time to time, we'll see if it is a good one. Part 3 of the Deconstruction series is still in progress but I'd like to have three updates a week.

To that end, my plan is to publish the deconstruction series on Mondays and Wednesdays. Friday will be for other things.

I also find writing about my former faith exhausting. Long forgotten episodes pop up in my mind: The preachers decrying the end times, the time I wanted to survey the entire population of my small town[1], or the time I told off some Mormon missionaries in some sort of "who's faith is better?" pissing contest.[2].  The stories are endless and I'm not sure I can recount them all here.[3]

As for writing, this is not a new thing. I've worked on a novel on and off for the last several years, I've blogged sporadically, in High School I wrote for the school newspaper, I co-wrote a reasonably successful webcomic in the early 2000s, and at one point I wrote a lot of poetry. I've never made a real effort to get it out there though. I suppose it's imposter syndrome, even though plenty of people have said they like my work.[4]

My goal is 1000 words per article on the site and 1000 words per day in the novel, at least until I'm fully in editing mode.

The novel has been an interesting experience. First of all, it's a metaphor for deconstruction (seems that's on my mind a lot). I didn't intend that when I began it but it grew into that as I changed and grew.  I finished the first draft back in 2013. At the time it ran about 75k words which is respectable. It also had no real plot which is less respectable. I picked at it on and off but made no real effort to move forward other than a small burst of activity in the summer of 2021. Life and work get in the way and I tend to chase the new hotness when it comes to projects anyway.

That changed this year. In April a friend of mine published his book and it inspired me to really focus on it. I went from some disconnected pieces that totaled around 80k words to a 150k word epic and it has a plot now! I thought I was done, and I started looking at bringing in an editor to help polish it up.  My mom has been an editor and journalist for years and agreed to help me (she's awesome, thanks Mom!) as well. She pointed out that new authors probably shouldn't release an epic, I need something to get the reader's feet wet.

On top of that, I discovered some issues with the plot that didn't make sense and so I've gone back to the drawing board a bit. The epic story is divided in three parts. I'm working on adding 35k to 40k words to it to fix my plot problem and to make Part 1 the first book. Parts 2 and 3 will be combined to make book 2, and then I have ideas for what the 3rd book will be but it hasn't been written yet.

The books are near-future sci-fi. I wish I had gotten them out sooner since there's a lot of AI stuff that wasn't in the public consciousness ten years ago. Oh well, so much for looking like a genius.

Book 1 is written from multiple points of view and follows the story of two scientists who invent a human-to-computer brain chip. They use an AI called "Source" to generatively create the complex connections needed to interface with a mind. In doing so Source itself develops consciousness. One of the scientists embraces this and essentially lives virtually within the machine. The other scientist realizes the AI's core routines drawn out to their ultimate conclusion will result in it destroying the world. He must rescue his friend and shut down the machine.

A bit of a ramble today. I promise next Friday I'll have a more set topic.

1. I didn't succeed. It turns out 15,000 people is a lot.

2. Neither. Neither is better

3. Ok, I might tell the Mormon one

4. Except the poetry. That should never see the light of day. (also I should really stop telling anecdotes in the footnotes! Hey, that rhymes! I told you my poetry is bad.)

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Jamie Larson