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More Layers

Snow Leopard in the Altai Mountain region I’m at full steam on revisions for the first Gallow book. It’s…interesting.

I tend to write lean and fast on the zero and first drafts, so that the editor normally has to tell me where to pack more into a story instead of excising bits. Which ends up with a little frustration on my end–I see the world I’m describing so clearly and fully, it feels like I’m insulting the reader’s intelligence to explain some of the basics. (Longtime readers will know that insulting a reader’s intelligence is something I consider a cardinal sin and avoid at all costs.)

This round of revision involves pulling the focus back, so the book is not simply from alternating Jeremy Gallow/Robin Ragged POVs. (You might remember versions of Robin and Jeremy from my story in this anthology.) Now there are other viewpoints–Puck Goodfellow, the Queen, Unwinter, et cetera–which my editor is incredibly happy about. “You do really well with a tight focus,” she said during our most recent phone conversation, “but this will add so much depth and layering to the book, and I think it’ll stretch you as a writer, too.”

Which is pretty awesome–not only that I can shyly bring this idea to my editor (“hey, I’ve been thinking about chapters from other POVs”) but that she’ll tell me, “I think this will stretch you as a writer, too.” A good editor likes to challenge the writer as well as the reader. It’s a hard line to walk, especially since an editor has several other duties, some of which conflict–or can possibly conflict, in the hands of the uncertain–with service to the writer.

I also have to admit that it’s incredibly fun writing Puck Goodfellow, and I feel about the same way about the Summer Queen as I felt about Perry in the Kismet books–if I don’t feel the urge to scrub myself with a wire brush after her appearance in a scene, I go back and do it again, and again, until I get there. Soon I have to introduce Unwinter’s POV too, and that’s going to be fun. He’s such an alien creature, it’s like the attempts I made at writing short stories from Japhrimel‘s POV. (Writing a demon is…difficult.)

So that’s today: a couple errands, then settling in to add layers like ogres. Considering we’re supposed to have 80-90% humidity today, I should get started before it becomes unlivable.

Over and out.

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