J. Drew Brumbaugh

Author of science fiction, fantasy and suspense

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Why Editors Are Important

When I’m writing a novel, or anything else, I already know the subject, the characters, what they think, how they feel and what motivates them.  I know the plot, what happened already and what will happen next.  Well, sometimes what happens next turns out to be a surprise even for me but that’s another post.  The point is that I have all that stuff in my brain but what happens when I go to write it down?  I leave stuff out.  Sometimes it’s trivial things that the reader can get by without knowing and never notice.  But other times I leave out REALLY important things!  Stuff that unless readers know it they will be scratching their heads going “what the heck?”  The worst part of it is that I don’t realize I’m leaving things out, heck I know those details I just forget to tell the reader.  Fortunately along comes the editor (or beta reader) and hits that spot and realizes something is missing.  Which leads them to ask, “what the heck?”  When that happens, I usually know right away what I left out and will give some defensive mumbo jumbo of why I didn’t tell them everything.  They don’t buy it, of course.  Thankfully, I use an editor I trust and who has come to expect my half-baked explanations and she just tells me to fix it.  Discussion over and I go work on it.  So far it’s worked well.  I don’t know how anyone can write books without a good editor.

Bula Bridge Update

Bula Bridge (the second Galiwee Visions novel) continues to need work, though I really think it’s getting close to done. The first beta reader is plowing through it and so far (fingers crossed) nothing ugly to report. Editor is approaching halfway done and keeps finding things that really need to be fixed but are fixable and so far hasn’t shot the whole project down. I guess that leaves me feeling good about it. In the meantime, what to do – won’t touch this manuscript without feedback so maybe I should go back to fantasy 3. Or perhaps just sit back and have a drink.

Bula Bridge still a work in progress

Still working on “Bula Bridge” the sequel to “War Party.” Why, you ask? First because I have a great editor (photo shows her pointing out my errors) who keeps finding things (and I’m glad she does) that absolutely need fixed before the book goes to print. And second because stuff keeps jumping into mind that really would make the book better. So, I revise some more but eventually I’m going to just say that’s enough and publish. I’m just not there yet. In the meantime I hope everyone who reads this is reading a good book right now.

Bula Bridge Series Named

As those of you who follow me here know I’m nearing completion of “Bula Bridge” which will be a sequel to “War Party”. Both are action/adventure novels and both have Tommy Galiwee, a Paiute Indian, as a main character. One issue that had to be decided prior to the launch of book 2 was what would the series be called. Well, after much discussion and gnashing of teeth, the series will be The Galiwee Visions Series. Seems appropriate, don’t you think? I wonder what the photo is? Hard to guess – NOT.

Soaring Hawk Writers Camp – Session III

Well this week is Soaring Hawk Writers Camp, session III. Most everyone is working on a new book but since I’m really concentrating on getting “Bula Bridge” published, I’ve tried to work on it. Problem is I’m waiting on feedback from my editor before I do anymore revising. Therefore, once I’d caught up with the notes I had from her, I’ve switched over to the third fantasy novel and have begun revising it based on notes I’d been shoving in a drawer waiting for the day I pulled that manuscript back out. Not going to do a real rewrite just now, but it can’t hurt to get some things fixed that I already know will need it.  And just like the squirrel outside my window seems to be telling me – “just hang in there”

More about Artificial Intelligence

A couple of the scifi books I’ve read recently include advanced alien AIs as integral characters.  In “Columbus Day” by Craig Alanson it was an AI from an ancient and vastly advanced but long since vanished species named Skippy.  In “Crystal Deception” by Doug J. Cooper it was an alien AI constructed by humans at the direction of a superior alien species named CRISS.  Both of these books are well written and certainly worth reading and they got me thinking again about what AIs will be like especially if they are allowed to improve themselves and take control of their evolution.  Would they really end up with human characteristics or would they move away from our emotional, and perhaps to them, irrational side?  I think they’d be most interested in demanding open access to all data because to them knowledge would be of primary importance.  I don’t see them having any interest in money or being consumers in any usual sense of the word.  If they function by logically processing information I’d guess that they would outlaw wars, be intolerant of erratic and disruptive behavior, as all of that would lead to inefficiencies and waste.  At the least I’d think they would try to minimize the things humans do that cause senseless, to them, conflicts.  I don’t see them being jealous, have any need for physical love, or have any use for lies and falsehoods or those who spread them.  I think I want to write a book with AIs that are different, have a history of progressing, and are more in control of their own destiny.  This is of course just me speculating and considering what might eventually make it into a book.  Probably we won’t be even close to right in predicting what they’ll really be like in a couple of hundred years, but it’s fun to speculate.

Fantasy book update

Well while my editor works on chewing up the last draft on Bula Bridge, I’ve switched to working on rev 2 of my fantasy book 3, which for now I’m calling “The Tower” as a working title. Nearing the end of this revision and some of what I wrote makes me wonder if I was on drugs after a surgery or something when I wrote this as the tale is filled with things that make my skin crawl. Maybe that’s a good thing if I’ve built characters that would do such things. We’ll see. In the meantime, onward to the finish and see if it all hangs together.

Tommy’s Visions Book 2

The final (I hope) revision to “Bula Bridge” is almost finished. Fixed a few “duh” moments, redid a section here and there and am now working on the finale. Still worried that this book will not be as good as “War Party.” Putting self-doubts aside and plunging ahead. Readers will let me know whether I got it right or not, but only if I actually publish.

“Neither Wolf Nor Dog” – A Book Worth Reading

I was given a copy of this book, one I’ve wanted to read for a while, and while enjoyed isn’t the right term because the things brought up in the book are sad, tragic, horrible and reminded me of the injustices man does to man. It also reminded me that there is wisdom in Native American culture, valuable lessons we’ve yet to learn.. The book was written in a way that made it easy to read and kept me reading. It made me question what I knew about the history of Native Americans, and taught me things about how I think. It is worth reading and thinking about afterward.  It will influence what I write going forward with Tommy Galiwee and “Bula Bridge” and for that I have to thank the author, Kent Nerburn.

Next Book: Bula Bridge

With the end of the sale for “War Party” and the Goodreads group read coming to an end, it’s time to get back to finishing up “Bula Bridge,” the next book with Tommy, Bert and Katrina.  I am working on a good name for the series since it appears that it will indeed become one.  Tommy’s Visions?  Tommy Galiwee Adventures?

Anyway, in the first book I had four main characters; Tommy, Bert, Katrina and Hamid.  All of them had a fair amount of material devoted to their character development above and beyond their actions that were integral to the plot. Part of the reason for that was that when I started writing the novel I wasn’t sure who the actual main (as in most interesting) character would be.  Even Hamid had a lot of description about who he was and how he felt about things.  He was a more empathetic villain than might be expected for a terrorist.

Now I’m working on building on that, especially for Tommy.  His life is moving forward, though he’s not sure where it is going, and his relationship with Johanna is becoming important.  Bert and Katrina are again part of the story but to a lesser extent and so their lives are not the focus that they were in book 1.  This time the villain is not very empathetic, though I hope readers will be able to understand why he is who he is and dislike him for the right reasons.  As always for me, it is the characters that make the story worth reading.  I hope I can provide interesting, captivating characters once again caught up in an adventure that keeps the pages turning.