Saturday, June 09, 2007

Why Yes, I am up at 2am, Writing about Writing.

As mentioned previously, I'm currently in the throes of rewriting my first novel Ghost Dancer - again. This is the second or third major rewrite, depending on how you count. Since I've never done the serious editing thing, each time I try something new, I'm fumbling through, trying to figure out how this thing goes.

The first time I redid the book, I had a new plot twist to add. Despite coming early in the book, it proved fairly easy to insert. So easy, that I suspect that it was hiding around in my hindbrain from the very beginning. There was even foreshadowing already in place! So I slipped in the two new required scenes, altered a few references later in the book (to people as living that were dead in the new version), and voila! Good to go.

This time is proving a bit trickier - which is odd because the revisions are actually more minor. I've had a number of discussions about the GD universe and politics with my writing buddy Ledasmom, and consequently I now have a much more in depth and nuanced view of exactly what the bad guys are up to than I did when I first wrote the book. The changes aren't major - they still do the same things, just for more complicated reasons. They've switched from fairly stereotypical evil-overlord wannabees, to people who want something for good reason - they merely want to so badly they're willing to commit atrocity to get it. But to make this situation clear without resorting to a substantial infodump, or worse several "As you know, Bob" sessions, I have to drop little tidbits of background everywhere. Plus a few new characters to illustrate the opposing points of view with people more sypathetic than unrepentant mass murderers. As of last count, I had added two new scenes, and about 1500 new words, with at least two more new scenes to go. Fortunately for my ultimate total word count (trying to stay under 100,000), I'm also finding plenty of opportunity for tightening elsewhere.

I know that no book is ever perfect. But when the heck do you know it's ready?

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