Book 2 of Isaac’s Story: London has appeared, like a genie from a well-rubbed lamp. A thing of immense power, yet fragile and helpless in your hands. Its fate is yours to decide, for good or ill.
The Algorithm is about a guy called Jon, who is hired to try and steal data from Wednesday Minds, the largest company in the world and the creators of the digital minds that run everything. He does this and is very happy, until a mad man turns up and starts hunting him that night.
I like Jon. I think he’s a hard working guy, good at his job and proud of his achievements, and he deserves some success. Of course this is the world of Isaac’s Story: London, so he doesn’t get any of that; he gets shot and stabbed and beaten up and chased and loses everything. As you do.
Something in my head went “Nope, not this” and I was lost. I couldn’t figure it out at first, couldn’t see the problem. The characters were all sympathetic and the story of their lives was solid. The redemption of the main character was set up, Chekov’s Gun was in place, but I just couldn’t move it along. I’m sure I could have finished it (I had it all planned out and I can write to a brief), but I didn’t want to.
So I tore it down and rebuilt it, crafting a lean thriller, all action and danger. The characters are all still there, and I think what happens is very cool (and so will you, so go buy it before they’re all gone). It just isn’t the story I set out to write.
What was wrong? Isaac’s Story: London is all thriller. It’s a punch in the face as you a turn a corner, followed by lots of running and fighting. It’s normal people who, though possibly exceptional in their normal lives, aren’t built for this kind of thing. And that wasn’t what I’d written for Jon. I’d written a character study, a deconstruction of certain aspects of my world and of the characters who live there.
I like writing stuff like that. I love a long piece of fiction that doesn’t go anywhere except deeper into the navel of the pretentious protagonist. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t read that sort of thing. God no, of course not. That stuff is boring as church. I read stuff with gunfights and punching and cool cyborgs. But I do like to write it.
So I scrapped what I’d written, which is why this book is only going up now instead of two months ago when I’d intended it to appear. I needed time to let the original idea fade a little, so I went off and wrote other things for a bit. When I came back I was able to pull it apart and put it back together again in a new shape. A shape with a scalpel, and a hammer, and torment, and triumph.
The links will go live in the next 12 hours or so. Remember, reading makes you smarter, re-wiring your brain and allowing you to perceive the world in new and exciting ways. For my books that's especially true; they’re like Popeye’s spinach, but for your brain-muscle.
Feed your brain-muscle. Eat my book.