Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Gathering momentum

After the silly season I’m getting back into serious redrafting mode on the (so far) two books of the Lenticular Series. I had excellent feedback from my crit group buddies at Serapeum and from Stephanie Smith. The key elements of the story are working but I need to up the human element more and also cut a lot of backstory, all of which is fine.

The way I wrote the first draft was pretty much stream of consciousness – although I had an overall plot structure in mind, ie I knew where the characters were going to end up. As part of that process I was creating and writing myself into the world as I went. That means there’s a lot of stuff I’ve written that doesn’t really need to be in a second draft, but which I needed to work through to develop and understand motivations and implications. That also accounts for the human element needing more development. My focus in draft one was to create the Kresh society and the worlds of the Lenticular. The Earth-based Hegemony took second place, but my secondary protagonist (who is human) has a key role to play as things develop (and in fact will be the main protagonist in book three) so with the Kresh stuff sorted away in my mind I can look at expanding the human side of the story. There are no blacks and whites here, just shades of grey. So it’s important the humans don’t just come over as ‘big bads’ because that’s too simplistic a view for the story I’m telling.

Some writers hate rewiting, but I actually enjoy it because your honing the language and cutting away the dead wood and, because you actually know how the story functions and how it ends, you can also work to make individual elements of the narrative focus more on that.

In the meantime I’m also reading through the submissions for the first issue of Dimension6. I want to bring the very best stories I can find to D6 readers. That means I have to read a lot of submissions, because past experience tells me that only about 10% of subs will make it through the selection process. We’ve had over 50 subs so far, so I’m certain I’ll find enough for one or maybe two issues in this batch.