Yesterday I took the day off. I figured that a solar eclipse was a legit reason for a science fiction writer to skip out on writing. Other good reasons to take a day off writing SF: alien invasion, giant meteor heading for earth, rise of the machines, rampaging triffids, or somewhat less unlikely possibilities like humans going to Mars, or NASA returning to the moon. (If we went back to the moon, I wouldn’t just take the day off, I’d throw a party!) Today I’m back at work on the book!
This turned up in my feed over the weekend: Dig Into Nearly 30 Years of Free Classic Science Fiction, with a link at the bottom to Three decades of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine on Internet Archive. Wow! You can download pdf/epub or use their online book reader. I love classic SF and I’m just delighted to have these magazines to browse and download!
Because I know a number of writers follow me here on this microblog, here’s the latest on my author blog:
On the Process of Draft and Revision
So here’s what’s been happening this year (and it’s kind still happening, though I’m working on the book manuscript again). I’m hoping to post more frequently here in this little “miscellany” microblog because we all need more nice small things in our lives, don’t you think? 🙂 In that spirit, have some Blueberry Muffins (which I veganized & yes, they’re still wonderful)!
Right now my author site isn’t very mobile-friendly, and for that I apologize, but it’s out of my hands (at the moment).
Wednesday I rewrote a scene and realized that I’d made it both better and worse than it was before. Yesterday morning (having slept on it), I awoke with an epiphany about why. The scene is better because there was stuff that I hadn’t thought of before that needed to be mentioned, dealt with, accounted for, etc. The actual science they would be doing needed to be handled better and things I should have thought of before now needed to be incorporated into their agenda. Two things in the previous sentence should tell you everything about what’s wrong with the scene, why it was worse after the rewrite: “would be doing” and “agenda”. I wondered why the scene was so awful and dead when I’d added more science! Science is good, right? Well, yeah, if they are actually doing science. Adding things (good things, necessary things they must do, how they will do the science) made the scene apparent for what it really had been all along: a data dump. There are some small character development bits, but not nearly enough to justify the scene, and the information doesn’t justify the scene either. This book and these characters do not need this scene: I needed the scene because it laid out for me what they needed to do and how they needed to do it. This scene is very early in the book. Those paragraphs belong in notes or outline, not in the book. The important things can be dispersed into scenes in which they are actually doing the science and interacting with each other. Which beats the hell out of a scene with everyone standing around while the author dumps 2757 words on the reader. I had, in an earlier draft, flagged the end of the previous scene as a possible chapter break. It works perfectly. I cut the scene, saving it in a separate file. The science and character-oriented stuff will be incorporated into other scenes; the “trying desperately to inject life into a moribund scene” parts will die a well-deserved death. The result of cutting this big chunk of text will be more rewriting on later scenes, but it will make the book significantly and conspicuously better. So today there’s a kind of “this is great” rush going through me; I feel much better about the book.
PS: my author site is down right now. Techies have been alerted and the problem is being worked. Sorry for any inconvenience.