Friday, March 4, 2011

Spires of Infinity Chapters 6-10 Draft 2

So, I'm done with chapters 6-10 of the second draft of Spires of Infinity, and you can download them at the bottom of this page.

Oh, but you just posted five whole chapters the day before yesterday, you might be thinking. Yes I did. The speed with which I finished the next five is due to a couple of things. Mostly it's that the chapter length in Spires is much shorter than in other things I've written. Also, there's the fact that there's really not much editing work that needs to be done. I did so well with the first draft that I don't have to spend so much time editing it as I did with Exile. With Exile about 80% of the entire story had to be completely rewritten. With Spires it's more like 5%. Plus I've been working 8-10 hour days on Spires this whole week after getting home from work. What can I say, I'm just more excited about this story than I was about Exile. It's so much more fun, interesting, and most importantly, ORIGINAL.

Anyway, these chapters kind of set the tone for the rest of the story. You see what you can expect of the characters in their mis/adventures, their personalities develop more, and the worlds they live in start to take on more detail. Some of the things that I worked on in these chapters was changing the wording of things to start off more sentencess with action words, which keeps things moving along quickly even when they're not.

Here's an example:

Before - Gabriel drew a pistol and looked around.
After - Drawing his pistol, Gabriel looked around.

It doesn't seem like much of a change, but when you have a ton of sentances that begin with nouns or pronouns it really gets repetitive, and if there's one thing you REALLY want to avoid, it's repetition. Things feel like they're flowing along much more smoothly when you start as many sentences as possible with action words. Also, if you'll notice, the "after" sentence is also one word shorter than the "before" sentence. Fewer words to say the same thing ALWAYS = better unless you're being paid by the word. One word may not sound like much, but when you consider there's something like 12,000 sentences in this story, take a single word out of each sentence and that's 12,000 words.

I've added a bit more humor, and some foreshadowing of what's to come. I've also put in a few things to illustrate how disgusting and crass Sam is, because she really is, but it didn't really come out much in the first draft. The biggest change you will probably notice between the first and second drafts of these chapters is the removal of a great deal of dialog. I had the characters giving huge rants that went on for paragraphs just to say what could be said in a single sentence or two. So I cleared all of that clutter away in this draft. Other than that, you probably won't notice a huge difference between these chapters in the first and second drafts unless you print them out and look at them side by side.

Word count wise, things are looking really good. I'm now down 3500 words from the first draft, which is puts me exactly on target to finish below 150k where I want it to be. The more I can condence things in this draft the less work I have to do in the final draft. Having come this far into things now I'm pretty certain that this story will only take one more very quick draft to finish it completely. I might actually be able to make the end April deadline that my agent gave me for Exile with Spires instead. He'll be ecstatic to hear that. I get the feeling he's getting a little sick of me not giving him anything he can sell.

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