Editing hours: 23.1 | Since last entry: 5.7 | Percent complete: 29% As mentioned earlier, I’m taking a writing retreat for the three-day weekend. No television, no internet — everything just the same as I would do if I went to the coast and wrote, but staying home. So, apart from going out to the gym this morning and for pizza tonight, I’ve been editing all day. I spent some time following Clarity forward for a few chapters, then backed up and worked on Jason chapters for a while. I turned the telepathic conversation between Honor and Clarity at the first Council meeting around so it was her idea to go along with Raptor’s plan to name her as CEO. I added time cues to the beginning of each chapter I touched to help nail down when they occur (though I might still put the time maps back, since many people found them invaluable). In several cases I cut or moved the anticlimax of the chapter so the chapter ends on an emotional high point. Some of those anticlimaxes were among my favorite paragraphs — I think it was because I was trying so hard to keep up the level of excitement despite the fact I’d passed the actual climax. In particular, I lost Jason’s reminiscences of the sex scene with Sienna (only two paragraphs, told not shown) in favor of cutting off right when she bites his earlobe, and similarly cut the paragraphs of Jason driving out of Seattle after breaking up with Chris. I tried putting the sex paragraphs elsewhere, but by the time I’d edited them to fit in the new location all the sex was gone and there was nothing left but musings on why Jason couldn’t tell Chris about Sienna. That was needed, but it’s too bad about the sex stuff. (Oh well, the seduction scene before that is much hotter, shown not told, and that’s still there.) Something else I cut was Jason’s jealousy over Flea’s relationship with Sienna. Many people objected to this, on the grounds that it’s hypocritical given Jason’s many relationships with men, women, and aliens, but the first Jason/Flea/Sienna scene is pretty flat without the jealousy. I could cut the scene completely, but I think it contains needed information. I’m going to try to do the “co-sweeties who don’t like each other” thing instead of the jealousy. Needs more work, that. There’s a certain amount of worry that I’m making things just different instead of better, or that I’m breaking something that was okay before. I’m trying not to listen to that. If this were the Colonyhouse I’d probably be talking with other writers until the wee small hours, so I think it’s legit to take a break from editing now. More tomorrow.
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.