Sunday, August 15, 2010

The joy of hitting "send"

Yesterday afternoon I finished my book 2 rewrites and emailed the manuscript off to my editor. This is joyful news! However, I'm so "close" to this book now that I have no real idea what state it's in. I need to wait a couple of weeks and read it fresh, to pick up any inconsistencies or repetitions or just plain awkward phrasing.

The rewrite was a much bigger task than I expected, and not just because I have so much else going on right now. A suggestion to put a secondary character more front and center, or to make certain other characters play a larger role in the plot, might sound fairly trivial, but in this case it meant rewriting most of the first two-thirds of the book. Even if the scenes are basically the same, they now have different characters in them, a different "plot purpose", a different emotional level, and they're in a different order. And when you boost one part of the story, another part has to give way. That meant simplifying several plot elements to make room for emphasizing others.

I murdered several darlings in the process, but I think it's a better book.

7 comments:

Mardel said...

I am very glad you've finished your second novel. I loved Song of Scarabaeus, which I wonder how to pronounce. (really, I'm not sure) I asked a while ago how to pronounce Scarabaeus.You must have been too busy writing your next novel, which of course, is way more important. :)
So, how is Scarabaeus prounounced?

And as soon as I see your next novel on the shelf, it's being bought by me right away. With Song of Scarabaeus, I had seen it on a least three different shopping expeditions, and finally on the fourth trip, decided to go for it and buy it. I was hesitating because for a while, it seemed I was being disappointed by some of the debut books that I picked out to buy. Your's was great, and well worth buying. :)

Sara Creasy said...

Sorry I didn't answer your question last time, Mardel. It's sca-ra-BAY-us. (At least, that's how I say it!) Pleased to hear you liked book 1. Book 2 should be out in early April next year.

Steve said...

It's like you plucked that right from my brain!

A bigger secondary character? Sure, no prob, that'll only affect EVERYTHING. And I envy you if it only takes a couple weeks away from your story for it to make sense again, for me, the words actually start to squirm. And hiss. :)

ann said...

Thank you Sara, for Song of Scarabaeus. I found it on the "free" shelf of paperbacks at my library. I often look there amongst the many romance and murder titles to find only the rare science fiction offering. I only take it if it appears to have a good human dynamic story line.

WOW! It was a special gift. A real page turner!! I willingly sacrifice hours of sleep to keep plunging into the next chapter. I love how some authors are making sure to put interesting, plausible-sounding science gets into 'science-fiction'.

I am really looking forward to your future work, especially Book 2. I only wish I didn't have to wait until April '11!!

You have an excellent gift/skill of really fleshing characters out in a small amount of space. I notice that sometimes I get lost/disengaged in some SF&F due to the incomplete feeling I have about the character.

Thank you for creating and sharing this story! It's a keeper.

Sara Creasy said...

Really glad you enjoyed the book, ann!

Wolfy said...

I cannot wait for the next one. But I have to admit, I was bit disappointed that the book ended with so much unresolved.

Will you be able to give us some hints or snippets for the next book?

Also, I would really appreciate some recommendations of some of your favorite authors. You are one of the only SF authors I've read. I'm primarily a UF reader, but I found your book so engaging that it didn't much matter that I didn't understand half of the techno talk. I'm itching for more SF now. Thanks!

Sara Creasy said...

Wolfy, I think I'll write a post about unresolved endings. I felt I only left one thread unresolved, but from reading people's comments I think readers expected a few more neat bows to tie things up.

I'll post something from book 2 in the near future. It starts pretty much where book 1 ends, as you might expect considering the so-called "cliffhanger".

As for sci-fi authors - right now I'm reading C.S. Friedman's This Alien Shore, which is fairly tech-y but has no romance. For romance and galactic political intrigue I suggest Linnea Sinclair. For action-adventure romance try Ann Aguirre's Grimspace series. For sociology-based science fiction (not tech-y) I always loved Vonda McIntyre's books from the 70s, or her later Starfarers series for realistic near-future space travel. For straight-up sexy space romance, you can't go wrong with C.J. Barry.

Hmm, all women! ;)