Good Morning, everyone!
Well, my deadline is about 80 hours away right now and it appears I’ll make it with no problem. Suffice to say, this has been one heck of an experience. Writing under contract is an entirely different animal. Once your signature is attached to the document, you’re on the clock, and suddenly there are a dozen new responsibilities aside from writing that also need to be met. I’m glad it’s coming to a close soon and I am definitely looking forward to a couple weeks of quiet and the opportunity to rest and recover. I will miss the beach house though. 😊
Over the weekend, a follower of this blog asked me on Twitter if the novel will be a separate story from the blog. He wasn’t sure if he was spoiling anything by reading the blog first. A fair question and one I should’ve addressed earlier and in detail. Since the manuscript is just about wrapped up, I thought this would be a good time to briefly explain some differences between the blog and the plot of the upcoming novel.
In short, the novel is a separate story from the blog. It covers the same conflict and follows the same timeline. However, unlike the blog where I’ve tried to cover each theater in detail, the novel is decidedly Central Front-centric with considerable attention paid to the North Atlantic and Northern Flank as well. Fighting and events in other theaters are mentioned, and in some cases described with a degree of detail wherever appropriate, but not at the same level as Germany and the other two. This is a big change from my original manuscript as well, which had a number of characters from NATO nations aside from the United States, as well as some belonging to non-Soviet Warsaw Pact nations. Unfortunately, along with the new publisher also came a new set of guidelines. I had to make changes to bring the page count down by around 100 pages or so. This meant killing a number of subplots and then restructuring the ‘script to fill the subsequent holes in the plot. In short, a lot of rewrites and time spent in front of the laptop.
As mentioned above, the novel timeline remains the same as that of the blog. Gorbachev is still deposed in April of ’87, tensions still rise and the balloon goes up on 9 July, 1987. One area of difference between blog and novel will be in the use of historical character. For the blog, I had a relatively free hand to use real people from the era. From Romanov and other political leaders to military commanders on both sides, I stuck to the real-world figures. This held true for the first manuscript too. Unfortunately, with the new publisher came change. The legal department in New York was concerned that portraying some of these people in a bad light could provoke their families to take legal action. We went back and forth and finally I agreed to simply use titles instead of real names when it came to Western figures. Substituting fictional characters was never really an option in my view. So, for example, in the blog where I discuss NORTHAG’s commander and give his name quite frequently, in the novel he’s just ‘NORTHAG’s commander or CINC-North.’ A bit of a difference for Soviet commanders and politicians. There I used fictious names and modeled them on their real-world counterparts whenever possible.
Later in the season I’ll talk more about some of the other differences between blog and novel. The ones mentioned above are the big ones though. I wanted to mention them while the thought was still fresh in my mind.
Oh, and I’m still up in the air about the title. The publishers have labeled my project Red Storm 2.0 (no pressure there, right? 😊) but I’m leaning towards something a bit more original. Red Blitz, perhaps. Or maybe Red Blitz ’87. There’s still time to decide.
I’ll figure it out eventually.