Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

By now, I've gotten far enough into Scylla and Charybdis - and I know enough about the rest of the cycle - that I can make a tentative estimate as to its final length. I'm saying between 140 - 150k. (For the layman, the upper limit @ 600 page book.) Grant that I'm only halfway there now, so it could change ... but this gives me a good idea how much cutting I'm going to have to do. I think, to be saleable, it needs to be more in the 125 - 130k range.

The good news is, I'm sure that when I go back through it, I'll see unnecessary descriptions, overly wordy sentences, and potentially whole scenes that don't need to be there. (I'm toying with the notion that the entire chapter I just wrote falls into that category.) As I did for Journal, I'll be doing a first-read outline so I can see what's where and why it is. This isn't just a point-by-point outline: it's a list of the purposes the scene serves. For instance, the same scene could move the main plot forward - and also advance the romantic subplot and fill in setting details. Some segments might only serve one purpose but still be necessary.

The OTHER good news is, I should be finished with my first edit of Journal well before I'm ready to start editing SaC ... so I will be able to get a gauge, by how much shorter the second draft is (first draft clocks at 114k), how hard the above editing is going to be.

I'm on the home stretch with the first Journal edit. Kind of excited about it. It still really seems to hang together well.

Due to my sale of The Winter Queen, I'm prepping another story for submission. I had planned to send it out yesterday ... but as I started editing it, I noticed I was making a lot of changes, not to the fundamental structure of the story, but filling in little holes, expanding dialogue that was too quick, cutting bits that were unnecessary. As I know my editing is weak and feeling like I know what I should change is rare, I'm going to keep plugging at it for a while. Currently in the middle of a second pass; if I do a third and I'm only making minor changes, I'll send it. Otherwise I'll wait a few days. It may be - gasp - as late as next week before I get it out. Augh! My queue is halted.

I'm a little concerned about Balance of Power just from a niche / market standpoint. It's an adventure-style story. That's not to say it's complete fluff: there's a lot of elements in it about choice, freedom, compulsion and a little sprinkle of duality. However, they don't create an arc so much as musings throughout. So you definitely have to argue that the romp is the point of the story ... we'll see, I suppose.

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