Thursday, December 5, 2013

Breaking Up The Band

I've gotten through editing the first three acts of Schism.  This has been the easy part, insofar as any amount of editing is "easy."  I've knocked off about 8,000 words from the 110,000 that was in those three acts, which is less than I expected.  One of the reason is that I noticed I'm becoming a more efficient writer.  I've been able to subconsciously self edit as I wrote the first draft, so there isn't as much to do when I go back in.

That's not to say that things are perfect.  There are still stray adjectives and adverbs, as well as continuity errors that have required rewriting.  Editing remains a grueling process whereby the first two cracks at it aren't very fun since I'm scrubbing my novels rather than enjoying them.

However, it's about to get a lot harder.  Act Four in this book deals with the immediate aftermath of a military coup and how the republic rebuilds itself.  What I noticed, though, when I was writing it was that I didn't give this part of the story enough depth.  I rushed through the material and didn't allow the reader to get drawn into the world before pulling him or her out of it.  Months ago I figured out the only solution I could to do everything justice - I needed to expand on it and split it into two acts.

The new Act Four will be called "The New Order," and it will tell the (brief) story of an America living through a new military dictatorship.  At first, things will appear great - the Second Civil War will be over, crime will be down, and the partisan bickering that led to so much gridlock will be eliminated.  Stuff is getting done and life is getting better, so most folks don't notice or care that their basic freedoms are gone.  It'll only be gradually that they'll figure out what they've lost.

Retaking the country will be conveyed in Act Five, which will still be entitled "Restoration of the Republic," but it will go a little more in-depth on how the junta is forced from power.  I'm hoping to give a sense of realism, and even pride, to the reader.  I want them thinking that the country can come together when most needed, outside of the extremists that took us into the pit.

Of course, that means writing new material instead of editing a solo act(I can't consciously edit and write at the same time - it's too distracting).  This will also expand the novel from around 150,000 words(prior to editing) to around 175,000 words.  I don't see any other way to give the story the breadth it needs.

I hope to start this process next week.  I have a business trip that will involve multiple eight hour plane trips, and life is boring at 30,000 feet.  Why not use my time to bring this project back to life?  I first have to brainstorm more to get a good idea of how to split it and what to add.  I've never done this with a "finished" novel before, and I'm nervous about doing it right.  In the end, however, it'll only make for a better book that more people should enjoy.

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