I enjoyed Iron Fist, the first book in The Inventory series by Andy Briggs, so I'm looking forward to reading the recently-released sequel - and have been enjoying the blog tour for it! This is a great post by Andy on what he learned writing Gravity.
Writing a new book is always an educational experience for the author. No matter how well you know the characters or the subject matter, there is always something that will surprise you. The life of an author really is one of complete bafflement combined with the wise teachings of hindsight.
The first lesson I learned while writing the series is one that I think all authors should embrace, and it should be the staple of any “How to write novel” manual. It’s this – whatever deadline your editor gently coerces you into, always add an extra four weeks as a “cushion”. This accompanies another pearl of wisdom: never deliver your manuscript to the publisher on a Friday. There is nothing more soul destroying that rushing to make that deadline… only to receive an “out of office” reply almost instantly. At that precise moment you will realise those two days over the weekend were when you would have had that Eureka moment over the plot point you’d been stumbling on.
Specifically, with the Inventory series, which revolves around the lofty world of high technology, it was surprisingly difficult to come up with an amazing gadget or gizmo that somebody hasn’t already attempted (often with dismal success, but they gave it a shot). People were building flying saucer shaped aircraft in the 60s, flying cars have been done already, and a quick check on the internet will show you half a dozen hoverboards. Of course, none of these real world gadgets are quite as efficient or as cool as you’d want them to be… but it just goes to show it won’t be long before we have them in our lives.
In this series, more than anything else I have written, I discovered that you can never really know everything about your characters. In my first series: HERO.COM and VILLAIN.NET I felt comfortable with those characters and over the eight books, I felt as if I knew them very well. With TARZAN there was the weight of history behind these characters, so I had a good sounding board on how they would behave and react. However, with this series I started out with an idea of how Dev, Lot and Mason would be – and they all decided to run in different directions, leading me to some very intriguing character arcs that hadn’t occurred to me while planning the stories. In fact some of the secrets in the original ending of IRON FIST were pushed into GRAVITY – and some of those have since been pushed into book 3 (out next year!) – because the characters ended up taking me on a different adventure than the one I’d intended.
As a screenwriter I diligently plot stories out before I write them. I have to know exactly where each scene is taking me, and that is how I have always written my books. However, when it came to GRAVITY I tried a more ‘freeform’ approach. I knew what the story was, and my final destination – but because IRON FIST had taught me that the characters were now dictating the pace of the secrets I was revealing, I thought I would do less plotting upfront and see where it took me. I have to be honest, I was worried with this new approach – but in the end I found it a hugely enjoyable experience… and something I intend to do again.
Gravity (The Inventory #2)
by Andy Briggs
Eeek! Think that’s a monster? Nope: it’s a person. What terrible weapon could do this…? Errr – well, that used to be top-secret. Problem: it’s not quite so secret anymore. Dev messed up big time the day he let the ruthless Shadow Helix gang into the Inventory. What is the Inventory, we hear you ask? Well, it’s the secret lockup for all the deadly battle tech the world is NOT ready for. Which is why letting it get nicked was a REALLY BAD IDEA. Now the Shadow Helix have Newton’s Arrow: a terrifying weapon that messes with gravity, causing … well, you get the picture from this book’s cover. Dev and his mates HAVE to get it back – even if it means crossing the entire globe. To stop this evil, no trip is too far!
Information about the Book
Title: Gravity (The Inventory #2)
Author: Andy Briggs
Release Date: 6th October 2016
Genre: MG Sci-Fi
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32571679-gravity
Andy Briggs is a screenwriter, producer and author of the Hero.com, Villain.net and Tarzan series. Andy has worked on film development for Paramount and Warner Bros, as well as working with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and producer Robert Evans. With a strong social media following, Andy tours the UK regularly, doing festival, school and library events.
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