Editing hours: 10.6 | Since last entry: 1.8 | Percent complete: 14% You know that cartoon of the guy driving in the golden spike where the two train tracks meet, but the tracks don’t actually meet properly? You know, the southern Westbound track connects with the northern Eastbound track, leaving two tracks unconnected? Ever see that happen to a novel? Having written the scene where Clarity sees Vigor collapse at the UN, I felt the energy dissipating as soon as Clarity got bundled up by Security and hustled away (which is what they’d do, despite any protestations of hers to the contrary). So I decided to amp up the emotions of the collapse and then end the chapter right after that. Not a bad finish for the first Clarity chapter. But the following bit introduced Raptor, plus some other key concepts (which used to be at the end of the Moses Lake scene, but I cut them from there to send Clarity to New York instead), so I moved that bit to the beginning of the following Clarity chapter. Where it collides with the beginning of that chapter, which is currently Clarity arriving in New York from Moses Lake. The first couple of scenes of that chapter are going to have to be substantially rewritten to match the new set-up. And if Clarity’s in New York when Vigor collapses, there’s no reason for her to not see him in his sickbed shortly thereafter, which means the following press conference scene needs to be exchanged with the scene where she sees him in bed for the first time, and switching those two around will probably create other continuity problems… I have this horrible vision of having to completely rewrite the entire book, or at least all the Clarity chapters, to iron out all these wrinkles. (No! There will come a point there the seam can be hidden. Sodesuyo!) I’m also not completely happy having the second Clarity chapter begin in the same calendar day the first chapter ends. In general, I don’t split days across chapter boundaries. Though, come to think of it, that might not be a bad change to make in terms of keeping the reader hooked from chapter to chapter.
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.