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Friday, December 13, 2013

What I‘ve Learned – H. Peter Alesso

Thank you for allowing me to discuss some of my ideas about writing my book, Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space.
I’ve learned some interesting lessons through writing a novel. I’ve found that the craft of writing requires the author to become invisible to the reader; a task not as easy as it sounds.
When you read a story by one of your favorite authors, you often find yourself immersed in another place, hopefully undergoing an exciting and thrilling vicarious experience. The characters bring to life the emotions and choices of this exotic situation. If you are too aware of the author’s craftsmanship then the story is broken – like an actor talking to, and looking at, the camera during a movie. It destroys the illusion and spoils the story.
Only the best of authors can truly achieve invisibility. Some of my favorites, I. Asimov, J. Campbell, A. E. Van Vogt, etc. have accomplished this for me. However, when I go back and look for the craftsmanship of their works I can recognize it. I look for clues on how they achieved their special effects. For example, when they ‘set the stage’ at the beginning of a chapter or section, they tend to offer long slow elaborate descriptive prose, rich in adjectives and superlatives. For action scenes however, the sentences are short, crisp and emphatic. When involved in conversation, the individual characters each achieve their own ‘voice’; that is they demonstrate a distinctive characteristic of speech, or language, so that they can be picked out of the dialog. Of course, the arc of the main story must be seamlessly inter-wound with the subplots so that the reader doesn’t trip over the narrative. As a result, the reader is engrossed so completely in the story that he is unaware of his actual reality, he has been transported elsewhere.
I find that there is beauty in expressing your thoughts. So find your words, tell your story.
In Midshipman Henry Gallant, I present a young man’s heroic epic journey. He doesn’t travel it along however; he has friends, mentors, rivals, and enemies, and one more essential element, romance. I hope you enjoy this story while I disappear from view.
H. Peter Alesso

As the last star fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to Mars. With the United Planets’ fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens. With so much uncertainty about the aliens’ capabilities and intentions, analyzing the captured computer equipment in Gallant’s possession could prove crucial. The fate of Earth could rest on the abilities of Midshipman Henry Gallant. Unfortunately, it is his abilities that have been much in doubt during his tour of duty.
In an era of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space service.
Only bright and attractive junior officer Kelsey Mitchel has shown any sympathy for him. Now as his navigator on the last fighter in squadron 111, her life as well as a good many others, depends of Henry Gallant.
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Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author and the book
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


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