4/17/05: Harder and easier

Editing hours: 46.4 | Since last entry: 3.6 | Percent complete: 79% Continuing to make Jason’s life harder, and even harder still, after Remembrance Day. His current situation diverges more and more from his situation in the previous draft, making the work more difficult, but I only have to do this for one more chapter, and then he’ll be in a completely different place both literally and figuratively. I also touched briefly on a Clarity chapter between the two post-Remembrance-Day Jason chapters, but that was pretty easy. I only had to add a couple of sentences to close off a possibility that I knew wasn’t open but never actually stated. I also made it clearer that Clarity is taking control of the Corporation — again, only a few sentences changed. A lot of the changes I’m making are subtle. One lesson I’ve learned (I forget from whom, probably Elizabeth Bear) is this: take away all references to food. Food is comfort. Characters who are eating are not serious about whatever problems face them. One lousy frozen burrito can suck 25% of the tension out of a scene. The parts of the book I’m editing now are in the best shape, because they’re more recent, and they benefit from everything I learned in the previous couple of years about how to write a novel. Editing this part is easy because it’s fresh in my mind and there isn’t that much that needs to be done. The parts of the book I’m editing now are in the worst shape, because they haven’t been edited and re-edited through several previous passes. Editing this part is hard because it’s fresh and I don’t have enough perspective on it.

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