Unlike just about everything I’ve written and posted here before, this book is long enough to have a few different viewpoints represented, so keeping the chronology straight is more of a challenge than I’ve faced before. It’s a fun one though, and I learned a lot about my personal writing process in doing this book. I’m definitely doing another book next month. And I’m definitely pre-planning it this time.
I’ve finished working up a final outline for the edit of The Price of Demand. The work I’ve done so far with the dialogue has really helped point me in the direction the story needs to go. A lot of elements I had in there originally are going on the scrap heap, even more than I’d suspected. That’s okay though. They didn’t need to be there in the first place. The new revision of the story should be much tighter and should make far more sense, with motivations that make more sense.
I’m a little sad to make some of the changes. Electrite becomes little more than a footnote in this new version, it’s not really playing a part in motivating anyone besides Altman and Kaylene, who need to keep it a secret. I suppose that’s okay though. It plays important roles later, as regular readers know, and it doesn’t really make sense that it should be central to EVERYTHING that ever happens.
Okay then, I’ve resumed reworking The Price of Demand, including the first setup of a new resolution to the story that will make Mitchell less of a Generic Black-Hat Badguy. It’s interesting working on it as pure dialogue, though I expect it to get a little confusing figuring out what exposition goes where when I have to reintegrate it into the text.
Earlier today (okay, sort of yesterday) I posted a revised version of The Price of Demand draft 3, this time with everything except dialogue stripped from it. There’s no context, no description, not even any proper dialogue tags. I simply identify each character before each line.
This is part of an experiment to see if I can make editing a bit easier. I’m hoping that:
- It’ll make consistency of voice easier.
- It’ll make weaknesses in the story easier to spot. (I already know the ending is dreadful and I’ll be rewriting that whole section.)
- It’ll improve dialogue flow.
- It’ll reduce redundancy in the text.
- It’ll help me cut down on exposition.
- It’ll help me show rather than tell.
There’ll be some challenges in doing the editing this way, starting with the fact that I’m forcing myself to work from two documents instead of one. Possibly three documents; I’ve been toying with the idea of a similar exposition-only version as well, though I think that’ll break a lot more than dialogue-only did.
Once I’ve gone over the story as spoken only by the characters, I’ll have an easy way to block out the structure of the story, identify areas where exposition is really critical and where it’s difficult or impossible to convey it through dialogue. At that point I can go back and begin working the exposition back into the story again. I expect this’ll be the most difficult, or at least the most time-consuming part of the process.
Wish me luck!
The Price of Demand edit is ongoing; I’ve got outside help assisting so it’ll be a bit longer yet. I have LOTS to fix. I love the story, but there’s a serious price to be paid for writing it as quickly as nanowrimo demands!
The Fast and the Dead is causing me some concern. I could almost literally keep that story going on forever. It’s at over 14,000 words now, which is huge for a short story. I may have to break from it for a bit and figure out a faster way to get them to the ending I have in mind.