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Revision Update

That revision I started? Doing better. Much better, in fact. I've mostly finished revising the first three chapters (or about 50 pages), and according to my readers that was the part that needed the most intensive rewrite.

It did. Once I got the comments under my skin and got the problems lined up, I started seeing the things that needed to be shown in a different way.

The most pressing problem was that I had so much information I wanted to include that it was more of a wiki than a novel. Well, that's slightly exaggerated, so let me rephrase: The reader would need a wiki to parse all the information.

The solution has been to rearrange the information in longer scenes and make some hard decisions. The result is that: 1) I've cut a lot of background information and setting - places, names, non-human races, etc. The places etc that I kept now play a more integral part of the story and setting. 2) I narrowed the number of enemies down in the beginning and made notes for introducing them later along the way. 3) I changed the point of view character in one scene to give my outlandish magician the time and space to introduce herself coherently. 4) It should now be much clearer what problems the characters are facing, and what they're keeping from each other.

There's still a ton of work to be done (about 300 pages to go, for instance). But the story is off to a better start, and if my readers are right, the story flows better after the first four chapters. 

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
glynisj
Sep. 24th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
That's a lot of hard work you've done. I have a feeling that it's going to greatly improve your story. I have found that when there's too much background information I lose interest in the story. Recently I put a book down because of this. The story line was good but the descriptions and explanation seemed to go on and on forever.
jakobdrud
Sep. 24th, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
I love explaining to my readers. It makes me understand what I'm writing ;-) But I can see why the readers prefer a developing story instead. I may even end up cutting more from the beginning, but I think I have to revisit the beginning when I've been through the whole story.
glynisj
Sep. 25th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
Just something you may want to keep in mind (my opinion though)=
I read the book, Red October. The beginning is chalked full of explanations. I trudged through those pages instead of just putting the book down because I had been told how wonderful the story was. And it is a great story. The explanations were actually needed to understand the story as a whole.

You're probably going to have to second-guess what your readers need to know and need explanations for. I can't even imagine how difficult this may be. I wish you luck and success.
paulwoodlin
Sep. 27th, 2013 06:00 am (UTC)
I think if SF wants to be more profitable, they should read, and write, more books like Red Octobor and Jurassic Park.
paulwoodlin
Sep. 27th, 2013 05:59 am (UTC)
This morning I went back and forth on which of two chapters should be the first chapter. I think I've changed my mind every time I've tackled it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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