Friday, March 18, 2011

Spires of Infinity Chapters 26-30 Draft 2

I've finished chapters 26-30 of the second draft of Spires of Infinity and they can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

In this story there are three separate storylines that come together in the end. Due to the nature of this story these storylines are told out of chronological order to keep things moving along. Most of the characters are moving through both time and space, and rather than putting everything in the right order for continuity's sake, I took liberties and mixed them together to keep the story flowing along without spending too much time on the same character. These five chapters are when that ends and all three storylines come together in the same place at the same time. All of the heroes and villains are now assembled for the final climactic confrontation, as it were.

These chapters have changed greatly due to the fact that my edits to the first half of the book have created many continuity errors in them. All of those have been fixed, and everything flows along smoothly now. I removed a few of my more retarded ideas from the first draft and replaced them with some much deeper elements of character developement as Gabriel begins to come to terms with and accept everything, beginning to feel guilt for the way he's lived his life in the past. I also removed quite a few rather distracting references to pop culture as they had no real purpose beyond the recognition factor. Some of them have been left in, because they are where Gabriel gets the idea for his plan, but they've been toned waaaaay down so as not to make them overly opressive in what is, essentially, a work of fantasy.

I did demonstrate my grasp of complex physics here just to show off. I hope I didn't lose anyone while explaining what a time paradox is ~_^. What annoys me about other stories that deal with time travel is that they keep beating you over the head with the fact that such-n-such an action is bad because it'll create a paradox, but they never actually explain what a paradox is. The best of them is Back to the Future, but they're still a bit vague. Though they do show rather than explain the effects of a paradox pretty well, they ignore certain aspects for their own conveniance. I wanted to sit down and say exactly what a time paradox is, because the creation of a paradox is one of the big events in the climax. If you don't know what it is and how it works, it kind of deflates the danger and suspense of the ending.

I've finally dipped below 150,000 words, which was my goal for this draft. So far i've cut 19,000 words from it, which is the equivilant of 25 single spaced pages in 12 point font size, and I expect that I can cut at least another 10,000 from the rest, which would be great.

If you're wondering how I go about editing, this is how I do it. I made a copy of draft 1 and retitled it as draft 2. I then read through each chapter individually and fix all of the problems that I found while taking notes during a previous read through, and I also fix anything else that jumps out at me. I then copy and paste that chapter into a new file and get the word count and divide it by five to get 20% and proceed to cut unneeded and superfluous text and paraphrase, using that 20% number as my goal. Sometime I cut more, sometimes I'm not able to cut quite so much. After I'm done with that I then read the chapter through again aloud. I don't know why, but when I read something aloud I'm able to find more errors in the way things are worded than I am able to when I read it in my head. So reading it aloud allows me to catch anything I may have missed in the previous two edits, and gives me a chance to make sure that all of the changes i've made still make sense and don't contradict anything i don't plan on changing later. Then I copy and paste the edited chapter back into the manuscript in place of the old one and start with the next in line. Some writers go about writing out of chronological order, but I think that would drive me crazy. I always have to start at the beginning and write out everything in order to the end. I usually have to do that in editing as well.

Anyway, if I keep to my current schedule I'll be done with the second draft a week from wednesday. Then I'm going to take a week off, and come back at it for a final draft. There is not much that will change in this final draft. Basically all i'm going to be doing is reading it. If any spelling, grammar, or continuity errors pop out at me, or if thing are worded confusingly, I'll change them, but for the most part, much of the text will remain unchanged in that draft.

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