Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hacking the book.

I'm starting to get feedback from Lara, the professional editor I hired, on NEARLY HUMAN.

While she's improving the writing, compared to the RELUCTANT WIZARD and DEATH OF AN IMMORTAL,  the writing feels stiff to me now.  Bulky, awkward.

So since I've already decided that I won't publish the book in its current form, I'm going to take a knife to it.

Do one final rewrite.  Not so much a rewrite, as a recutting.

I'm going to start with the plot.  Begin where it begins, and go from A to Z, cutting anything out that doesn't fit, or slows the story, or doesn't work.

Only then will I look at the flashbacks and decided where and how or if to incorporate them.

Right off the bat, this means cutting the first two chapters -- one a flashback and the other the original tone setting chapter that inspired me to write the rest of the book but which now feels superfluous.

Thing is, the book is 120K words long.  I could cut a third and still have a book.

So I'm going to cut drastically, and then decide later whether it makes sense or whether I need to put stuff back in.

All of this is what I should have done in the first place -- plot first, and above all.  Plot derived from characters, not ideas. 

Story above all.

I'll keep the previous version, just in case it doesn't work.

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