The first one or two times I make editing passes on a book, scenes tend to get longer. This is because I’ve found that if I keep going back and fleshing out earlier scenes as I think of more stuff, the book never gets finished. Here is an example, from a scene that introduces a character new to the story in part two of Shards: Brennendah, a scientifically-minded Rittandic whose job is to study the Æther, also known as the void, which is gradually consuming the region where the Rittandics live. (This loss of territory, known as the Unraveling, is what gives the territory—the Ravels—its name.) Here is the original paragraph, followed by the revised version:
The votes are in and the readers’ choice for the next scene of the month is Dragon Stones. Flipping randomly through the pages, I stopped at this scene, in which the kidnapped oracle Tolaria makes good her escape.
This week’s random rejection is brought to you by the “Know Your Market” department:
The poll results are in, and this month it’s a blowout — 81% for an excerpt from Dragon Stones. It looks like my advice to “vote early, vote often” was really taken to heart by readers in April! So, without further ado, here is a randomly-selected scene from Dragon Stones:
Dragon Stones is now available direct from Lulu.com! I’m still putting the finishing touches on the formatting before submitting it for distribution via the usual channels, but at this point I think that further changes are unlikely. (And if I do change something after you buy it, then you will have a rare limited edition copy!)
As I’ve mentioned, Dragon Stones is a fantasy novel, so anyone who’s been a little squeamish about reading A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder or Long Before Dawn or (especially) Night Watchman needn’t fear — the goriest thing in Dragon Stones is a swordfight between a couple of the characters (but I won’t spoil anything by saying which). If you enjoy fantasy novels, check it out — I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
In other news, I’m still editing and formatting my ghost story Father’s Books as my next release. Although it’s a horror novel (again), it’s not nearly as, um, intense (*COUGH* gory *COUGH*) as Night Watchman or Long Before Dawn, so even the squeamish might be able to read that one. I’ll have my wife look at it and report back; nobody’s as squeamish as she is!