Man Made is a science fiction thriller based on the premise that in the course of a single day, everything manufactured by the hand of man vanishes from the earth as a mysterious and inexplicable “line of dissolution” moves westward around the globe starting from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich and then returning to the same point from the east twenty four hours later.
As it has evolved, the story moved beyond being a simple nail-biter to encompass social satire, political commentary, cutting-edge science, philosophical exploration, gripping human drama, sardonic humor, spiritual issues, and all in what ultimately became an action-driven travelog across the planet.
I’ve been working on this project for a couple of years now. Originally I had planned it as a single book but as the story grew to explore how people prepared, how governments and societies reacted, and the cultural and psychological effects of such a devastating event, each successive chapter got longer until I realized it might ultimately be more than a thousand pages in length and take years to complete.
I didn’t want to wait that long to share what I think is a truly intriguing idea, so I decided to release each of the chapters as a book unto itself – basically an installment in a series with an overarching theme.
So far, I’ve published six slim volumes ranging in length from long short stories (something of an oxymoron) to novelettes. Each one advances the events through one hour of time so that when all twenty four planned volumes are assembled, the final book will cover one day of story time.
In format, each of the twenty four books is made up of about a dozen short scenarios that explore different aspects of the story as it progresses that hour. From time to time I publish these sequentially as episodes in The Event Series in order to share the fun things the story covers and also to generate interest in the books.
Every episode has required extensive research into areas I previously knew little or nothing about. And each has been a creative wrestling match between me and a story that will not follow directions and insists on going its own way (often to my joy and surprise).
Yet even after two years and hundreds of pages, it did not occur to me until just this morning that I would very much like to share what has gone into this project so far, and to document the development of all the new material the Muse continues to provide.
Being a teacher of creative writing and story structure for the past third of a century, it also strikes me that aspiring authors might find it worthwhile to see the process behind the finished work.
To this end, I offer this record of the creative path I’ve taken and continue to tread as I strive to finish the twenty four volumes that complete the narrative of this world I’ve created.