Monthly Archives: May 2011

Post 2-Why is the story so long?

This the most common question…and for some reason, it sounds like a complaint.

Why should the length of a book need justification? If a reader derives satisfaction, not from the number of books read, but from the entertainment value of each story, a book’s length is not relevant. Thus, my answer is simple. It is as long as it needed to be.

The plot of “Field of Orbs” is a puzzle, which builds through combining eight original storylines. These independent stories introduce the key characters and show their interaction with their universe. Through a common disaster, the lives of these characters combine into a single thread.

The story examines the personal interrelationships of the characters under various conditions. New friendships form and old friendships are tested. Tragedy and terror test their resolve. Trust, love, hope, passion and betrayal manipulate their lives and the emotions of the entire world. Altruism rises from despair, only to suffer the challenges of survival.

As with any book, by the time the story plays out, that is the length it becomes.

Nevertheless, when I read a book, I sometimes reach the end and feel a bit cheated. I close the book, wishing I could still experience the story. Longer stories don’t have quite the same degree of that feeling, even when I didn’t want the story to end.

While writing “Field of Orbs”, I hadn’t read much of the story for several years. When I completed writing the final chapters, I read it from beginning to end with no breaks.

On finishing the story, I found I didn’t want it to end. It was fun and I noticed I missed the feel of being involved in the lives of the characters.

So, though it looks like a long story due to the total number of words, “Field of Orbs” is simply an anthology of several converging stories that become inseparable as the main plot grows to a fever pitched adventure.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment.


Post 1-Answers (Repeat of the Tabbed Page)

A number of readers have asked me questions about my book, “Field of Orbs”, relating to the characters and story. My hope for this blog is that I can answer those questions (when they don’t spoil the story) and provide insights to the process I used for writing this novel.

If you haven’t read the book, I’ll give a quick summary here.

The story begins at a key point in the exploration effort of two of the main characters, “Digger” and Sharon Krolier. They are searching the Amazon Jungle for the location of an ancient civilization.

An archeological artifact they stumbled upon earlier is their only hint of the existence of the place they are certain exists, yet they have only a vague idea where to search. Digger is driven to find the location because, judging by the sophistication of the relic, he believes they will find ancient ruins that contain the remains of the advanced civilization, a civilization he assumes perished long ago or everyone would know about it.

The quest to find the truth behind the relic leads them on a frustrating, yet amazing journey that ultimately changes the way they view their world.

The approach to developing “Field of Orbs” as a Science Fiction story was to keep the science low-key and a normal part of everyday life.

The technology moves ahead of technology available in 2010, only enough to enable some of the goals for the story. Many of the technologies were in their infancy, or were a natural evolutionary next-step, from when I researched for the story. Given that constraint, the adventure follows the lives of a number of characters as they experience exposure to multiple challenges.

The science aspect becomes more apparent in the next chapter when an Explorer is arriving at a planet for research. This introduces a few of the key technological accomplishments that support the rest of the story.

His personal logs contain insights to the torture of long duration spaceflight, his interests and his reason for being an Explorer. He explains much of the state of space technology and indicates, through interaction with his ship’s computer and video feeds from home, some of the social aspects of his home planet.

He knows little about the planet at this point, even with earlier visits by other Explorers. Previous attempts to land robotic probes were tantalizing, yet disappointing. The consensus of the researchers back home determined that a manned mission with newly designed probes could be more successful at such a distance.

All the information on the Explorer’s visit to this planet is from his personal logs, which is the method I used to present the entire story.

After that, we drop in on other lives to discover what they do and how they relate to their world. Some of them are making new discoveries that affect everyone on their world. The plot is how they deal with those discoveries and their success.

Thank you for your interest. Tell your friends.

Find the book at

Select the “Smashwords” button to read 20% free.