Thursday, October 12, 2006

Who Comes First?

Sort of finished ch 29, after spending the day working out one thing and then another. It had a raid on a villa in it. The raid is gone, the villa abandoned and the chapter fairly coherent except for the end which right now is just a sketch. It's about 700 words longer than the original which doesn't make me happy, even as reason reminds me that the original was full of holes. Anyway, I left it rough because I want to get some distance before I run through it one more time.

That one on hold, I turned to the beginning. Originally I'd started the book with Abramm. My editor thought maybe I should move Maddie's first chapter (3) up and start the book with her. That would mean I'd have to do some timing changes, but it would, she suggested, hopefully provide more suspense as readers wonder where Abramm is and what his circumstances are. Well, I tried. For the last two months I had Maddie first and Abramm second. But today when I went to deal with the changes in Maddie's scene I felt more and more certain that it needed to be the way I had it originally. Hopefully now that I've cut a lot of the "telling myself the story" portions my editor will agree. Besides, I asked a test reader today if she thought waiting through a chapter of Maddie's doings would increase the suspense about Abramm and she said that readers have been in suspense about Abramm for nearly a year and don't really need any more.

At this moment I'm in the middle of chapter 3 (formerly 1) and wondering if I can just cut the scene that makes up the second half entirely. I'm very tempted to do it. After all, I still have quite a few words to weed out of this thing and I think much of the scene's content is covered elsewhere.

Hmm... tune in tomorrow for the decision...