Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bulletproof

For those of you who think that once you make a sale you are thereafter bulletproof, insofar as your writing being shot at, let me disabuse you of that notion here and now.

You are not.

My agent didn't like our doorstop fantasy.

She didn't exactly say that in so many words, but, being a writer does teach you how to read between the lines ...

Some of what she had to say trips the "Did we tell the story we wanted to tell? Rule," so we won't mess with that. For us, the technology is part and parcel of the tale, and the dreadnaught and guns and the tanks and balloon have to be there. Pretty much, it' s a boy's book, and if we can get Neal Stephenson's audience? We'll be happy. We like to think of it as a magical technothriller ...

Some of what she had problems with we can see, since it echoed some other comments from our Faithful First Readers, so we are going to make another pass, the end result of which will be that the book will be a bit shorter, mostly in the first third, and perhaps easier to follow when it comes to character viewpoint shifts. (The general rule, which we seemed to have somehow mislaid, is when you shift characters' VPs, you need to identify the new head into which you've shifted PDQ. I've redone them so those are all in the first line.)

We are also going to eliminate one viewpoint character, so as to be a little less clutter. Much of what he says and does is still in the book, only from somebody else's view. (For those of you who read it, Dor is somewhat diminished.)

After that, we'll take our chances. If we get a sale and an editor wants more changes, then we'll see how that goes.

It's always something ...

2 comments:

Dan Moran said...

Nobody knows anything. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, nobody wanted Gone with the Wind or Dune, either.

Or, as writer friend of mine said when I told her, "So fucking what?"

Still, my agent is a passing bright and clever woman, and I owe her as much respect as any other reader.

I coulda fixed it before I shipped it -- I got that same echo from a couple other readers, but I'm big on the Rule of Three.

So now it's fixed. More or less ...