Number Two

The second draft of Daughters of Darkness is complete! Now for more work!

Not right now, I suppose. Summer is coming (actually it’s here now), it’s a holiday weekend, and it’s time for me to honor our veterans the only way I know how: by drinking nonstop until my liver gives out, or I have to go to work again, whichever comes first.

But the next step in my editing process is going to be something I’ve never tried before. I plan to read through each POV character’s chapters contiguously, looking for consistency of voice and other character traits. I’m going to try to ignore most other issues I see, except for grammatical errors and things like that, focusing on the details of each character.

I’m not really sure how long I expect draft #3 to take me, but I’m optimistic it will be much quicker than draft #2. I started the initial read-through in late March, and just finished the last fixes today. Two months is too long for this pass, as I’m hoping to start querying in late June. That’s been my goal since near the beginning, though I’m not super confident I’ll be able to do make that (soft) deadline anymore. Even after the next draft is done, I still need to do at least one more pass to deal with anything I let go this time around, and to give it some polish.

But it’s the weekend, and I’m getting thirsty, so I’ll deal with all that come Tuesday. Bottoms up…

Even Tough Dudes Cry

During battle scenes, I mean.

Ok, no, there doesn’t need to be crying. But fight scenes need emotion of some type. For me to enjoy a fight/battle scene, I need to connect with the characters.

During my current editing phase of my book, I recently went through a fight scene where my warrior dude takes on a number of lesser talented guys and wins. I had imagined this scene long ago, and in my head it was totally awesome. But as I read it, it was…not so much.

First problem, it was very much lacking in clarity. I think I fixed that problem, but it’s still not great. It turns out to be too easy for the guy (he’s pretty good at this), and it’s nothing but a sequence of swordplay, kicks, broken bones, acrobats, stuff like that. I know, I know, sounds pretty awesome, right? But it gets boring quickly.

Seriously, I think it’s important that we see real character emotions during these kinds of scenes. Dear reader needs to feel something, some danger, some risk. Some connection. Otherwise why does she care?

Without character emotion, it’s just a long sequence of words on a page. I like action as much as anyone else, but I’ve read some battle scenes by authors that I think are really great, and I’ve found myself zoning out. Painting a picture of awesomeness is cool, but I still need some connection.

This doesn’t need to slow the pace or hamper the action in any way. It just needs to make the scene more immersive, more impactful.

So those are my thoughts for the day. I clearly have a lot more work ahead of me on this book. And I think I need some more cold medicine, or possibly whiskey. (Probably both)