I made it to Episode 6 last week, then realized I ended short. Hey, it happens. I had intended each installment to be 2000-2500 words. But Farno said goodnight after finding a “pit stop,” a sealed cave along Barsoom’s sensor highway. And he decided to spend the night in it. So I went off to work on Tishla rewrites.
Then I reread 6 and thought, “Wait. Did I finish this?” I finished it. I just stopped at 1500 words. Oops. Well, you won’t see it for a couple of months.
I then started on Episode 7. And John’s getting a bit loopy. Because the world may have ended, and everyone you know and love is dead, but survival and grief still needs a day off. Hey, it’s a job. A demanding one. And just because thousands have died doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to relax once in awhile. Who’s gonna complain? You?
I’m also going to start jumping ahead a few days or even weeks, depending on what the story calls for. The almost hour-by-hour format of storytelling seldom lasts in this type of tale. Not just The Martian, but all the way back to Robinson Crusoe, to which every story of this type owes its existence. It also is a time where I need to write out an updated timeline of all the stories I’ve written so far, even “Headspace,” which doesn’t have a volume number. Barsoom’s destruction barely gets a mention in the other novellas and novels, but that doesn’t mean what’s happening here isn’t affecting events 40 light years away. Farno just doesn’t know it yet.