Nearly Ready
Nearly Ready

Nearly Ready

I have a big sub­mis­sion com­ing up and have been quite pre­oc­cu­pied with edit­ing, revis­ing and gen­er­ally get­ting it as close to “per­fect” as pos­sible. Two weeks ago, Dark Elf’s War­ri­or had about 122,000 words. Thanks to much hack­ing and slash­ing and harsh cri­ti­cism from my writer friends (look out you guys when it’s my turn to look at your work!) it is now under 118k. It’s pretty hard to take at first, but I was ready for it. The words, “This scene does­n’t accom­plish enough,” and “This really slows the pace,” are, in a per­verse way, music to my ears. (Thanks Colleen). If cut­ting these bits, no mat­ter how fun they are, means pick­ing up the pace of the story and adding to the ten­sion… then I’m all for it.

The lovely amus­ing scene wherein Aidan, the over­bear­ing pro­pri­et­or of the inn in Pat­erak, feeds the party aver­age food, pushes Kyer and Phen­nil togeth­er, and hopes for a sale of some of her ghastly paint­ings (to goof­ball Phen­nil, of course) is GONE. Who knows? Maybe I can bring it back at anoth­er time in a later book, but it truly is not neces­sary here. And how fas­cin­at­ing that to keep Kyer and Derry on horse­back instead of stop­ping to rest elev­ates the ten­sion? In spite of mak­ing vir­tu­ally no changes to the dia­logue, the scene is much more inter­est­ing all of a sud­den. Kind of mind-blow­ing, really. I love this process!

Jonath­an told me the dis­cus­sion about the war between Valrayker, Kien and Gov­ernor Lyn­don was too con­ver­sa­tion­al. So yes­ter­day I worked on step­ping that up, giv­ing each char­ac­ter a firmer motiv­a­tion behind their words. Funny how a lot of the dia­logue remained the same, but I switched them around so Kien says some­thing that Val used to say…that sort of thing.

I read my sub­mis­sion to hubby over the last two nights. Now, he’s been involved in the story since day one, nat­ur­ally, so he noticed huge changes in the pace and all. He did­n’t think his com­ments on it were very help­ful, but that’s not true.

See, each read­er who cri­tiques for me has a dif­fer­ent per­spect­ive, and there­fore has a dif­fer­ent type of com­ment. Colleen was big on the pacing, which was abso­lutely neces­sary at this point. Jonath­an is very nit-picky about words, rearran­ging them, los­ing unne­ces­sary dia­logue tags, that sort of thing. Kathy is not a writer, but loves to read and is cer­tainly an intel­li­gent per­son… She poin­ted out where things felt awk­ward or con­fus­ing to her, and it is up to me to fig­ure out why. Hubby’s com­ments are sim­il­ar. “I don’t get that,” works just as well. I’ve only just sent this chunk of chapters to Ron… I’m afraid!

I think my friends will be just as upset as I will be if this sub­mis­sion gets rejec­ted. It’s good to have friends.

It’s not sup­posed to be a writ­ing day. I’m sup­posed to be bak­ing so the kids have things for snacks in their lunches. Bet­ter get back to it.