Steelgods Book Two, Editing, and me wishing I had graduated already.

on Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Editing is going well. I've officially finished the first act (as in, finished it five minutes ago. Yay!) and am moving on to act numero dos. I've made a few minor alterations, mostly clearing up stuff and refining things. I've found an interesting phenomenon I'd like to share.

I discovery write. This isn't news to anybody. Something interesting about discovery writing is often I drop hints at things or terms that I think would be cool, with the intent to pick them up later. In Steelgods, I can do this a lot because I'm hinting at future books. Of course, this means I have to remember everything that just popped out of my head at any given time.

As you can guess, this leads to a lot of loose ends, or just random drivel that I thought was neat at the time and later discovered wasn't relevant. All my books tend to have a lot of this: I go into some cute little detail about the world that I think is totally fascinating, but it holds little relevance to the plot minus just being interesting.

And, I have to axe them. Like trimming a tree or a hedge. Yes, they are part of the world, but they are just poking out. They are still part of the "hedge," sure, but they make it look disorganized and scattered. So, even though it hurts, it has to go.

I remember having to do this a lot in Paradise Seekers. I even cut an entire character arch/scene (that nobody ever saw, not even my wife) because, despite being totally cool, it just didn't matter at the end. I was padding a word count, or fulfilling self-indulgences regarding the story. So it had to go.

That's mostly what my editing has been in Steelgods, aside from general spelling/grammar/sentence structure. Even now, I'm thinking of cleaning out a term that I use at the beginning and never re-use (or maybe I'll use it again), even though I know it'll be relevant in future novels.

Speaking of future novels, I've been doing basic brainstorming/idea dumping for The Gears of Anbar (Steelgods 2), and I like where it's going. I have another love interest lined up for dear stupid Cevan (don't cringe! It's going to be good), as well as some cool ideas on how to both develop Cevan as a character and the world as a whole. While Steelgods was certainly fantasy, Gears will jump it further into its true steampunk...ness. I mean, their gods are steel. Of course it's going to have a lot of steampunk in it. Because steampunk is cool. Even if I never do the "victorian era" that usually has to be tied with steampunk. Screw that, I don't know anything about the victorian era, and I never thought it was that interesting. Yeah, I'm ruining steampunk. Whoops?

Anyway, I'm excited. This is usually how ideas work: I have a title and a general idea, but no plot. Then I start getting little bits of things I really want, scenes and what not that I think would be cool. Very often only about 1/2 of these actually make it to the book. Then, a plot arises from all these points and the underlying point, including the ending that usually is the point of the novel. Once I have all these basic bits, I can write.

So I have a weeks before November to figure that out. We'll see how it goes.

Also, I'm deciding if I'm going to write Gears and then leave the Steelgods series for a while, or keep going. It's intended for six books, but it seems silly to write series when the first book isn't published...then again I'd like to have three down so I can present them to someone if they ever ask. Can't hurt, right? Especially if I pump them out every month.

Effulgent Corruption is still on for Sanderson in January, though its going to take a bit for me to get back in the groove. I was thinking it over yesterday, and it was weird how much I'd forgotten. I remembered it eventually, sure (and I also remembered how much I like it), but it seems a bit distant now. Going back to it will be good. I'm considering scrapping the 20k I have so far and starting over, though. It was decent, but hardly up to par with my usual stuff.

That's it for me. School consumes everything. Not necessarily time - I usually manage to have a bit of free time - but totally all my energy. I get home at 5-6 every day, totally burned and ready to just do my homework and play video games. Which is why I should start writing again. :P

STEELGODS. I'll post the call for alpha readers soon, hopefully at the end of this week. I'll be doing the "collection of printed and bound copies" thing I did for Paradise Seekers, for those who hate reading on the computer. So if you are local, you can get a hard copy! If you aren't local...uh...I could ship it to you if you really wanted. Maybe.

That's it. Time to go write a paper.


Anonymous said...

I had a dream we were in writing group on a day Sanderson was with us, and not only did I not read, I didn't submit, and I felt really stupid.

Then I woke up.

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