That Which is Known is a five-minute, weekly podcast by author Michael Coorlim, in which he presents interesting facts on topics of research relevant to what he’s writing. Recently he put out an open call for others to produce guest episodes with the same format, and I volunteered to record one on the topic of alternate universes, with a tie-in of course to my work on the Reintegrators.
The episode is up now at the TWIK site (and on iTunes and what-have-you):
A small, blog-only “fun fact”: I was familiar with the many-worlds interpretation of Q.M. when I started writing the Reintegrators, but the “ultimate ensemble” idea (which Kevin explains to Teddy in chapter 5, though he doesn’t name it as such) was something I came up on my own, and that in turn led to the genesis of the entire book. It wasn’t until later that I found out about Dr. Tegmark’s work, and was quite pleased that an air of authenticity had thus been laid over the whole thing ;P.
Anyway, check out the podcast if you want to hear my sultry radio voice. I also recommend Mr. Coorlim’s fiction for fans of steampunk mysteries. I’m considering doing more stuff like this in the future, so if you’d like to see more, let me know in the usual places.
The time has come again for self-reflection. After a year of work (which includes various breaks for revising Aetheria’s Daemon more than once, writing shorts, and various other things), this month I completed the first draft of my third novel (title still pending; I’ve probably mentioned the working title on this blog before if you’re curious enough to dig into it, but no one seems to like it so it’s stuck in limbo at the moment).
Continue reading I Finished Another Book
The following is a compilation of ideas I’ve had recently about how to write effective opening scenes for a novel or short story. The usual caveats apply: I’m an idiot, this is not a secret formula, a great writer can make anything work, etc. Use, ignore or argue with at your leisure.
Continue reading Thoughts on Opening Scenes
Ah, big science fiction conventions. So exciting, so exhausting, overflowing with possibility and inevitable disappointment. Dragon Con 2014 is over, I’ve had a post-trip nap and several showers, and the feelings I’m left with are…mixed…
Continue reading Dragon Con Post-Mortem
Swords and Sorcery is an online magazine published by the inimitable Curtis Ellett, and this month I’m honored to have been chosen to have a story of mine published there.
(note: if The Yardstick is no longer in the current issue when you read this, click the Archive link and search for Will Weisser to find it).
A little more background for those who are interested: during the very little downtime I had at Worldcon last year, I felt like I needed to write something, having been inspired by the presence of so many great creative types. I free-associated a bunch of random titles in my notebook, most of which will likely never amount to anything, but one that did catch my eye was “The Yardstick.” I have no idea why I wrote down those words, but the idea of a measuring device implied story possibilities to me. What if this yardstick wasn’t regular, but magical? What could it measure? A person? What about them? Perhaps if they were brave enough, strong enough, worthy of some title or distinction?
Over the next couple of weeks I fleshed out the rest of the story without any planning, just making it up as I went, which is not my usual M.O., especially since I rarely write short stories anyway (I’m not nearly brave enough to try and write an entire novel that way). I think it turned out pretty well, and although not everything I start ends up so good, after 4 years I feel like I’m definitely making progress at writing fiction thing, as evidenced by this, the first time someone has paid me up front for my work.
So, please enjoy, check out the other stories on the S&S site, and blog, tweet and otherwise share the fruits of Mr. Ellet’s (and the author’s) labor. Now I’m going back to work on some ideas for my third novel…
As of last night, the second draft of Aetheria’s Daemon is complete. Smug self-satisfaction levels are at an all-time high, though no other super powers have yet developed.
In all seriousness, I feel I’ve come out of a bit of a battle. This book did some serious ballooning in length from my original plan of 100k words, and ended up a bit over 152k. That might not be a lot for some people, but it was for me, and the sheer amount of work to get it into its proto-complete state was grueling and may have even left me with some lingering health issues.
But still, I finished the revision. The ending was even better than I remember when I first wrote it (of course, adding some foreshadowing and callbacks during the second draft may have helped with that). The book is ambitious, a sprawling but intimate adventure fantasy with elements of science fiction and steampunk, in a world unlike any you’ve seen before. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, though that could change depending on whether the early readers say I’m a deluded fool or not.
So, I’m handing off Aetheria’s Daemon to said beta readers for now, and turning my attention to other things until they’re done with it. I have a short story which needs polishing, and I need to help edit my father’s next book (you didn’t know my dad writes books too? And my mom also! What a family). I have some reading to do, including research which might influence which project I undertake next. And most of all I need to take it easy and recover from the pace of editing so many words in a relatively short time. And eat some celebratory cookies. Many, many cookies.