Geneslave, the next book I will publish, was a long time in the making, and required a lot of research. Mostly, I wing the fuckin’ book, making up shit as I go along, but this book is special.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Before I do ANYTHING, I develop characters and any kind of tech, gadgetry, or terrain that the characters might come across. I LOVE to draw. Being good at it isn’t the point (I’m not) but the development is. Drawing characters and attaching stats, and trying to understand this fictional world I’ve created helps me develop and write a full length novel.
Right out of a role play game, I like to create character sheets for the different beings I create. Here is a picture of John Tolin, the villan of Geneslave taken right the fuck out of my notes:
See how basic it looks? How rough? Whenever I have an idea, it helps me immensely to put it on paper as a picture. Things become clearer, more easy to write about. I assign a face and a personality with the character, and then the book writes its fuckin’ self, I swear to Christ.
Tolin was fun to write as. You hate and admire him at the same time. Killing isn’t even like breathing to Tolin, it’s…it’s more than essential. It’s a part of him. You watch him commit horrific atrocities just to protect his own interests. He is a unique character, and is a disturbing mix of unerring logic and calculation splattered with the brutal violence of a rabid animal. The next picture is some concept art of Ben Sayner, the protagonist that is hunting Tolin:
With Sayner, I wanted to create a person with a….oh fuck it. Sayner is my favorite character ever. I love this motherfucker, and I wish he was my friend. He is everything I want to be: powerful, determined, caring, and really sarcastic. There is a lot of me in Sayner, and if you know me personally, you will see it immediately. He also commits atrocities, and makes mistakes that he regrets in the heat of the moment. I wanted to add a more vicious side to show the reader that good people can be evil if the circumstances are just right.
Here is some concept art for the prologue of the book, where Tolin is first introduced (he tears a regiment of freedom fighters in the Amazon rainforest apart with his bare hands). I wanted to have a better idea of what the area looked like so I could accurately write about him slinking around in the shadows, breaking men into bloody shards.
Now that you have a better idea about my two favorite frenemies, I want to tell you more about creating them. Sayner and Tolin represent the basic need for good to destroy evil, and vice versa. However, their struggle is anything but typical. Tolin has a motive that no person in their right mind could ever conceive, and his passion to achieve this end carves a bloody path through human dignity and respect for life. Sayner, on the other hand, kills just as horribly as Tolin, but his slaughter is more directed. They are two sides of the same coin. They will always be different, but will always be the same. God they were fun to create and to write. I miss them, I really do.
Now, to completely shift gears.
In the next couple of posts, I want to talk more about the conception of Geneslave itself, before I go on to describe the ideas I had for developing the technology and plotlines within (lots more concept art to come). But before I even describe the book I wrote, I had to introduce you to my boys. Get to know them. They are more than characters to me, and as I proofread Geneslave to get it ready for the market, I feel them inside my head. I miss writing them.