New Direction

Hello again, dreamers.  It’s been quite a week, as my writing has taken a surprising and exciting turn.  As of this week, Pathfinder, the new novel I’ve been working on since finishing Wide Horizon, has been shelved indefinitely.

Now, that may sound grim, but I implore those of you who’ve already read parts of Pathfinder to take heart.  Neither Randall Holmes, nor my beloved Dotiverse, are going anywhere.

Perhaps a brief recap is in order…

Back in 2012, when I first began work on the series of novels now known as Pale Blue Dot, I had not intended Pathfinder to be the first published installment.  The story now known as Pathfinder was originally intended mostly as backstory; a prequel to be released later, if at all.  The first novel, originally titled The Colony, was to take place decades after the events of Pathfinder, and follow the efforts of a group of several thousand colonists to build a settlement on the fourth planet of the Phecda star system.

After a year of banging my head off The Colony and getting nowhere, I grew frustrated, and from this frustration and the subsequent search for a new direction, Wide Horizon was born.

Nearly three years later, Wide Horizon was nearing completion, and I felt myself ready to begin PBD.  Still wary of The Colony, I chose to make Pathfinder the first installment.  The first several chapters went very well, but after that the story began to drag.  Something just didn’t seem to click, and work stalled.

Well, it appears things have come full-circle; after a flash of inspiration, I resumed work on The Colony this week, starting by discarding all I’d written to date (a frightening experience).   However, after churning out nearly 4,000 words in two days, I really began to feel this story, far more strongly than I had felt Pathfinder.  As such, I’ve decided to run with this novel, which I have since renamed Samarkand.

Samarkand begins in 2122, fourteen years after the events of Pathfinder.  By this point, Randall Holmes is something of a living legend due to his exploits during the Pathfinder 7 mission.  Though he resents his newfound celebrity status, he has embraced his role as an influential figure, becoming a prominent critic of terraforming.  Now, he has joined the Samarkand Expedition, hoping to help a group of raw colonists build a new home far from Earth.

Perhaps most encouraging for me is the way this novel has consumed my thoughts.  Not since Wide Horizon have I felt so compelled to write one story exclusively.  And while Pathfinder may not be the first installment after all, the work I’ve done so far on the novel, combined with my vast pages of notes, have helped me to better frame Samarkand.

I plan to post some background on this new story in the coming days. In the mean time, big things lie ahead.  So, as always, dare to dream.


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