Totality

The End of an Era

No, the Totality series isn’t over yet! But I did reach an important milestone. Back in 1999, when I started writing the original incarnation of what would become Totality, I imagined I would finish it in a couple of years, planning for about 100 installments and publishing one per week. In reality, I ended up taking several breaks, and my motivation petered out right around installment #90. Though I had an outline written up for how the rest of the story would go, I never actually wrote the individual chapters.

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What's a Protagonist Good For?

The central character of a story can make or break it. Sometimes breaking it is better. In lieu of telling the entire story again, I’ll sum up: William Pearson, the protagonist of _TOTALITY: The Militiaman_, was originally a straight-ahead, unambiguous hero. This was back when I cooked up the series in 1999, before leaving it on the shelf for many years until I felt it was time to revisit. Now? He’s a “potty mouthed Andy Griffith,” as one reader told me.

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Finding Emotional Truth and Resonance

This one is a little unusual for me, so buckle up! Totality is a sprawling science fiction and fantasy epic, with a lot of space opera elements. It is easy to lose sight of humanity in such an endeavor–the human elements can be subsumed under all the fanciful, fantastical aspects. But I’ve always wanted this series to be driven by genuine human emotions, to have people react in believable, faithful ways to the many amazing and unusual events that transpire.

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Divisive Characters

One of the things that surprised me when I had friends read Totality: The Militiaman was how divisive a particular character was. I hadn’t anticipated it and I had to spend time figuring out how I felt about it. That character was Linda Pearson. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know she is William Pearson’s ex-wife. (And if you haven’t, rest assured that that is no kind of spoiler!) Her inclusion in the story was always interesting to me because she didn’t tend to fit into the typical expectations of a sci-fi novel.

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How The Militiaman Got Made

It took a long time to bring this book to fruition! In all fairness, the amount of time it took was probably excessive, as novels go. The basic idea originated in 1999, the summer before I was to start college. I started writing it almost immediately after, about one chapter a week. The process, back then, was pretty simple. I would write a chapter, then give it a couple quick editing passes, then consider it ready to go.

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The Particulars of Colonization

How do you colonize another planet, anyway? The fact that settling on planets other than Earth remains science fiction should tell you a thing or two about how difficult it is. Although we’ve been sending humans to space for over half a century, our only attempts at semi-permanent habitation beyond Earth’s surface have been in the form of space stations, most notably the International Space Station. The longest period anyone has spent in space is a year and a few months–a far cry from the lengths of time that would be required for settlement of another planet.

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Building Lexin: Part 2

Did you think I was done talking about Lexin? Nope! There’s more. **Some mild spoilers for *Totality: The Militiaman* follow.** Early into this first book, it should become obvious that a lot of noir tropes are involved. The original iteration of this story was actually much less noirish–it was more akin to a police procedural, tonally. But as I revisited the story and fleshed out Lexin, a darker and grimier world took shape, and the futility of William’s fight against the mining conglomerates that dominated his world (and paid his salary) got put into stark contrast.

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Building Lexin

This is the first in a series of posts elaborating on my novel series, Totality. Today, I will go into some of the details involved in creating the first fictional world introduced in that series: Lexin. It’s worth mentioning that the Totality series was conceived a long time ago. The first drafts were worked up starting in 1999. Many of the specific details of Lexin, as a planet and a culture, originated then.

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