Post-NaNo Update: On Moving Pieces in Edits

Currently on p. 140 of about 248 in the Seeds of Blood rough draft. I got about 2/3 of a particular problem area resolved, then wrote a bit that is going to need some buildup to ring best. Rather than keep beating my head against that bit right now, I’ve skipped ahead a little to after one of the major chaos scenes in the story to fix a different problem.

Which is… interesting.

Not to give away too many details – in the original rough, “what is that thing?” was clarified waaaaaay too early. Yes, Myrrh had run into that particular kind of monster before. Myrrh’s over 17 centuries old. She’s run into a lot of monsters.

(Hmm. Shades of Ciaphas Cain, there. He’s run into – and tried to run away from – so many of the Imperium’s enemies, he sometimes has a hard time sorting out which one he’s up against this time.)

So. I rewrote places I’d been too specific, but first I copied and pasted those too-specific pieces into a separate file. Because now I’ve hit a point in the text where that Reveal has been made. Meaning I can take those pieces, shake them up, and rewrite them into “okay, this is what we know now that we know what it is.”

That’s what I’m currently working on. Because one of the things I’m trying to do with these stories is show human strengths against monsters. And one of the biggest advantages we have, ever since we first tied rocks on sticks, is not “more power!” It’s, “Okay, Thud, Grok; that big hairy thing with the swinging trunk takes time to swing around and trample people. So if we lure it over here where people can scramble up the slope, and then just harry it so we can force it to keep switching directions….”

Information. Strategy. That’s how humans beat any dragon.

And the consequences of not having information… well, they get in here too. Ouch.

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10 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: On Moving Pieces in Edits

  1. And even though Cain might not be exactly sure what it is he’s facing, he’s got lots of transferable skills that help him stay alive while he’s sorting it out!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Because she’s like a Grandmaster level hunter and so she’s got the spoons to focus on keeping people alive as opposed to having to put all resources into research and keeping her team alive?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Precisely. Myrrh’s powerful enough, and knowledgeable enough, that most things are just not going to kill her without a lot of effort. So she can focus more on, “Do I absolutely have to kill it, or can we work something else out?”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These insights into what you are doing and why you are doing it are like getting a Master’s level course in the mechanics of writing a good story. Far back in time when I was a lowly English Lit major we did a lot of “what did the author mean by this” (always a fun guessing game) but I don’t ever remember a lesson on story mechanics. It’s fascinating. I may never write my own stuff, but I’ve changed how I view and read stories. Thank you very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Though I keep just hoping to reach the level of “good story, keeps people reading.”

      BTW – I strongly recommend “No Plot No Problem” and “Wired For Story” as books to help poke at what makes a story work. Because epic prose, subtle story arcs, Themes – none of them make a difference if the brain goes “Yawn. Bored now. Zzz. TV?”

      And if you’re willing to have your brain eaten… there’s always the TVTropes site. I’m listed there as Vathara, for various fanfics.

      (It’s addictive. It is. But it’ll tell you a lot about what we recognize in all kinds of stories, and why, and gives loads of examples!)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I started reading TVTropes because of Count Taka and you, you evil person! My real work continues to suffer…

    As far as I am concerned, you’ve gone far past “good story person” and, yes, I know Vathara. Have I told you how much I enjoy your Saiyuki fics? And “Tatterdemalion?” and “Witchy Woman?” Okay, stopping here in case I come across as a stalky person. (Although “Stalky and Company” got me through a tough adolescence.)

    Thanks for the recommendations. I will poke. I’m familiar with “Yawn, bored” although my trigger tends to be more “WTF? OMG, you can’t possibly be that f**king stupid!!! Goodbye.” Throw said book against the wall. Happens more often than I like these days. I tend to latch on to authors that don’t *do that!*

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I dunno, Dorothy Parker has eloquence; but for sheer horror my favourite is still ‘I’d say it should be burned but that would be an insult to fire!

        Liked by 1 person

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