Dave Dobson

Author

The first draft of Daros is finished!

Woohoo! The first draft of my new novel, Daros, is done. I started it back in July 2016 while I chaperoned marching band camp at Page High.

I finished tonight, at 112,322 words, 88% of them written since last August.

I wrote 5,925 of them today, which is a new daily record for me.

Now for the rewrites, and to fix everything I’ve screwed up. But this feels pretty good.

Nearly there

I’m nearly there with the first draft of my sci fi novel, Daros, begun almost five years ago during chaperoning for marching band camp, then left to sit for four years. I always liked the opening few chapters, so I came back to it again this past August. November and December were a little rough, but I am back on track to get it finished soon.

Contrary to my usual style of not knowing what the hell the characters are going to do next, I’ve got a chapter outline for each of the five remaining chapters, plus the one I wrote tonight. I needed that scaffolding to bring it home safely and to resolve a bunch of plot threads in a way that makes sense and is satisfying. I hope.

“The End” will feel good, but it won’t really be done. Not even close. More like the version of done where you get to start the massive and daunting process of rewrites and edits. But a milestone nonetheless. I’m excited about what it’s become, and I hope others will enjoy it once it’s all knitted better together and polished to a shine. Also, mixed metaphors rule.

Visualizing characters

I love messing around on Artbreeder.com, and in particular I enjoy playing with their face visualizations. I got a character picture I kind of like for one of my main characters in my Daros book. Her name’s Brecca, and she’s 16, and in pretty far over her head in a tough situation. Not sure this picture is right, and I don’t want to mess with anybody’s ability to imagine the characters for themselves, but it’s fun nonetheless.

df3bf359a72c7497.jpeg (2048×2048)

UPDATE: Nobody much likes this one but me. Here’s one that I like that seems to garner a little more support:

Visualization of Brecca Vereen, main character of Daros

Racism in a sci fi universe

I’m getting close to finished with the first draft of my sci fi novel (tentative title is Daros), and I’m starting to think about cover design. I’ll get actual artists to handle that for me, but one fun part of that is deciding whether to represent the characters on the cover or not. On the one hand, you can create an appealing cover with some kind of action or character represented. On the other, once you provide a picture of a character, you inhibit people’s ability to imagine them how they want to. That includes complex issues like race.

In a book set on Earth, physical appearance comes with a whole bunch of social baggage (and often prejudice and discrimination) that comes from our current society. In a future space-faring setting that still has humans, a few things seem likely:

  • racial categories that are present on Earth won’t mean the same things that they do now
  • the physical characteristics that people present will be more homogenized than on Earth now (we’re already seeing that in the 21st century as migration happens and as love overcomes barriers against cross-boundary partners that were stronger in the past)
  • people who’ve adapted to life on different worlds will potentially be more different from each other (both physically and culturally) than the historical racial and ethnic categories in Earth’s current population (unless there’s tremendous connectivity, uniformity of media, and easy travel)

If all of that is true, then probably bias and prejudice would still exist, and some of it may be appearance based, but it would be addressed toward people from different planets rather than people from regions or nations.

I’m not sure of any of this, and I would hope that a technologically advanced society would leave a lot of this behind, but it’s interesting to think about.

The Outcast Crown is free for a short time

Book Cover for The Outcast Crown

Until October 13, you can get a free copy of The Outcast Crown for Kindle via Amazon. Enjoy the second story in the Inquisitors’ Guild series. This novel introduces some new characters and carries on the story of some of your favorite characters from the first book.

It’s not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy the second – it’s a stand-alone story, full and complete. However, you might enjoy starting with Flames Over Frosthelm if you want to read them in chronological order.

A new story

I’ve been working on a new sci fi novel. The tentative title is Daros, which is the world where a lot of the action takes place so far. In doing so, I’m departing a from the subject matter of my Inquisitors’ Guild books, which have been fantasy adventures, while this is more of a space adventure. I’m hoping people will enjoy this too.

I’m also trying some new things in terms of writing style. I have two perspective characters in the book, both characters struggling with their own challenges but coming from very different places. I’m writing in third person instead of first, which is not hard, but it’s a little different. I’m keeping the perspective tightly fixed on what they can see, hear, and feel, and I only share their thoughts, so that part is similar. But I am jumping back and forth from one to the other, telling each story in pieces, and that is a lot of fun along with being a little harder to craft.

I haven’t figured out if or when they’ll meet. I think they might, eventually, but I need to work out how, and if that’s actually a good idea, and how they’d respond to each other. They share a little bit of personality and initiative, so that might help bridge the gap between them, but that gap is pretty wide.

As of now (October 1), I’m at about 25,000 words, and I’m anticipating this will be in the 80,000 to 100,000 range. I’m hoping to get a first draft done by the end of November, maybe as a NaNoWriMo project, depending on how long the story ends up needing to run. That would put the book out potentially in early to mid 2021. I’ll post more updates as I get farther along.

Daros
Phase:Editing
53.6%

Flames Over Frosthelm is Free

For the next five days, August 12 to 16, the ebook version of Flames Over Frosthelm is free on Amazon. Click here to grab a copy, or share the link with somebody you think would like the story.

Marten Mingenstern and Boog Eggstrom are provisional inspectors, fresh out of Inquisitor’s Guild training. Assigned a mundane task tracking down stolen jewels, they instead uncover a mysterious cult set on destroying the city. They earn the enmity of a vicious noble, the Chief Inquisitor gets bought off and goes rogue, barbarians seize them, and they are sentenced to death. Twice. In a race against prophecy, they face terrible forces long buried.

Free book link

Release Day!

I am releasing The Outcast Crown, the sequel to my first novel, Flames Over Frosthelm. It relates the further adventures of the young investigators of the Inquisitors’ Guild in Frosthelm. This one is told from the perspective of Boog, the partner of Marten, the narrator of the first book.

Here’s the over-dramatic back-cover blurb: “Boog is back, helping to train a new apprentice inspector, Zekra Kalem. Together, they investigate a mysterious phenomenon afflicting the city – a troubling manifestation, always accompanied by a buzzing sound, sometimes taking almost human form. As they search for clues, they come across a murder of someone who should probably already have been dead and find hints of treachery and intrigue from a far distant land. The city they love may be under a threat as dire as it has ever known, and they are thrust into the twisting machinations of an ancient, deadly mistake and a curse that afflicts an entire nation.”

I hope you’ll enjoy the book. If you’d like a free copy of this book, or of the first one in the series, I have some promotional Amazon ebook codes I am happy to send your way. Just let me know in comments below.

My sincere thanks go to my friends and college classmates who have been so supportive as I’ve embarked on a mid-life writing adventure.

The Amazon book link is here:
The Outcast Crown

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