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Fractal Peace: First Steps

I've got as far as I can with Two Earths Are Better Than None for now. I've submitted it to a selection of literary agents to see if there's any interest. In case I don't get any bites over the next three months or so, I've prepared it for self-publication on both Amazon and Draft2Digital, I've even received the proof copy of the paperback edition, and everything looks good.

That means nothing is stopping me from cracking on with my next novel, Fractal Peace. I've previously outlined my first thoughts on this, and nothing too much has changed in the story since then. I have filled in many more details on the world and characters, although there's still a way to go. However, I have everything I need to write the opening chapter and the first standalone story, "Gori Ghul Flay's Tale".

As I usually take a step back and reevaluate after the opening section, I've decided to go ahead and write those, then come back and have a rethink, filling in the missing gaps of the other societies that will be important. I'll be starting on that today.

As part of my planning, I wrote an early attempt at a blurb for the story to get things into focus. I thought I'd share it:

The century-long Fractal War – a battle for supremacy over Fractal Space, an artefact of an ancient and long-dead race – was over. On paper, the Olvin and their Falki partners emerged victorious against the ruthless Ungeleth and the subjugated Enella, but the war only ended due to an internal Unglath uprising. It was up to Earth to maintain the fragile peace.

Earth had remained neutral after entering Fractal Space fifty years earlier in the midst of the conflict. They form a reconciliation commission to bring the sides together and uncover the story of what happened from all perspectives. Only through truth and understanding can peace be maintained.

Everson Polk heads a reconciliation session comprising a key representative of each race involved in the Fractal War. It was no surprise when the first murder occurred. More of a shock was celebrity detective Valerity Novak appearing to investigate.

Irritated by the intrusion, Everson persuades Valerity to let him continue with the reconciliation session. The story each participant tells will answer her questions and uncover the truth.

The murder turns out to be the least of their problems.

Following on from my experiment with Two Earths, I've used AI image generation to create pictures of some of the key characters in the story. I've found this useful to help get them into focus in my mind ahead of writing. And yes, there's a reason why all of the aliens look like variations on a theme.

The first two, Polk and Val, are the primary and secondary protagonists. The next four (Onga, Gori, Skri, and Amina) are the members of Polk's reconciliation group, one of whom is already dead when the story starts. The roles of the rest will be revealed as the story progresses.

I'd better get on with it then. I'll report back when the opening two chapters are complete. I may have a few thoughts by then.

P.S. Yes, that's another cover that's unlikely to stick for long.

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