No rest for the wicked! 5500 words so far on “Strength in Numbers”!

StrengthScribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Vance? Yes, Adam Vance’s Artifice went to press yesterday, and there’s little I can do for now to help it. Given that I have no “presence” in the SF community as even a fan, given that I have no clue how to market it, given that I probably need a third installment anyway before I even try and sell the series, and given that $$$NOW is the priority for my industry and energy… Well, I have to see it like the Bitcoins I bought as part of my research for Strength in Numbers – as a long term investment that may or may not pay off, but that’s, you know, fun to play with anyway.

So! Yeah. Strength is underway. I discovered a new writing method I really liked when working on Artifice. I’ve always had a solid outline, but now I’m writing the actual wurdz in shorthand I can build out later.

Pick up right where you left off… Jesse on the table, waiting for “Erik” to come massage him. Maybe I should come along, Marc had said – and chaperone. I tell you what, if it comes to making sexy time, I’ll be sure to call you to come join us. You’d better. Erik it turned out was not a sexy time masseur at all. More like one of Leonid’s meaty Slavic thugs. But he gave a hell of a massage. Finally, at the end, he whispers in Jesse’s ear. “, and password 6, 4, 4, 5, x, pound, star, Z, S, W. You want pen?” No, of course not. Jesse could see it perfectly in his head. And the user name told him exactly what he needed to do.

So if the ideas are coming fast, I’m not slowed down by the need to “detail” every one of them as I go.

The challenging challenge with the whole cryptography and Bitcoin bits is in explaining the concepts in Plain English. This is where having been an instructional designer and tech writer comes in handy – I learned to turn complex ideas into something most everyone could understand. (And, sometimes, to wade through a barrel of bullshit and extract the actual content.)

Technical people write for other technical people, and are often completely incapable of translating the concepts into examples non-technical people can understand, often because they can’t fathom “why anyone would need that, I just explained it to you.”

The goal here is to use lots of physical analogies that anyone can “get.” And, as I cough cough note on my new Novelist’s Research Services page, the important thing is to know what to leave out. Am I going to reread Digital Gold so I myself understand Bitcoin mining and blockchains? Am I going to try and follow the debate about increasing blockchain sizes? Am I going to monitor the news about government attempts to regulate the currency and its traders? Hell yes. Am I going to pump all that into the novel? Hell no.

Doing research as a novelist is like creating character backstory as an actor – you have it all in your head, informing your performance, but you don’t blurt it all out onstage. Hmm, I like that, I should copy/paste that into my Services page…

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