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Ex Tenebris

Posted on 2008.04.19 at 16:10
Ex tenebris, as you probably know, means "out of the darkness," and I'm finally crawling out of the black pit of rewrites. In the words of a noble carpenter with holes in his hands, "It is finished," at least until an editor buys it (I hope) and asks for more changes. My apartment looks like a trash-strewn dump, the cats are feeling neglected, and half my plants died as I went into the writing abyss.  I had hoped to deliver CRUCIFER five weeks ago to a wonderful UK editor who gave me pages of detailed feedback. But once I resolved the problems in the first forty pages, I realized I had learned so much from her advice, that I would be a fool not to rework the rest of the manuscript, applying what she had taught me. 
 
So I spent over 200 hours revising the rest of the manuscript, and it’s a leaner, meaner, and I hope more emotionally resonate book. It is definitely more character driven.   My biggest surprise was the erotic/emotional tension that developed between the protagonist and a biomechanical priestess, creating a bizarre, Gigeresque love triangle.   The most difficult part of the rewrite was redoing much of the dialog, which now has a more natural ring to it.   I’m most pleased with how the main female lead evolved--she lives and breaths, where before she only served as a plot device.   The last step was fixing the military/political elements of the story, which were lousy in the earlier drafts and poorly thought out. I had to work out the uniforms, COC and battlecruiser capabilities, which take on significance in the last third of the book. Those changes came in a rush, a thirteen-hour marathon of revisions. The SF elements are more pronounced, though none of the horror is gone.   Another shift was turning several pornographic scenes into more internalized character experiences. Don’t get me wrong--this is still far from a child-friendly book.
 
Now  I have to write my letters and email it off.   Please wish me luck! I'm emailing the manuscript tonight to the UK editor who asked for the changes, and an editor in NY who had proven to be amazingly patient and enthusiastic.
 
 

Comments:


Melpomene
petitemorte at 2008-04-20 00:03 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck my dear! I can't wait to have an opportunity to have a book with your name on it resting my bookshelf. Sending you much love and encouragement.
rjcrowtherjr
rjcrowtherjr at 2008-04-21 20:22 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much!!! I'm in that anxious, nail-biting stage. It was so good seeing you and your man last week--sorry I didn't make it to the two-year Ascension celebration. I was tied to my computer, frantically trying to finish the rewrite. Hope to see you soon.
Love, Rob
coppervale
coppervale at 2008-04-20 17:41 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck! THAT'S the kind of post I like to read. (Especially from YOU, brother.)
rjcrowtherjr
rjcrowtherjr at 2008-04-21 20:29 (UTC) (Link)
James,

I can't tell you how much your encouragement means to me! The learning curve has been so steep, I felt at times that I would tumble backwards and roll down the hill. I'm going mad now that it's finished, and know the only balm is to dig into the next manuscript, which has a full draft, but needs massive reconstructive surgery. Thank you again so much for that magnificent artist's proof. I've had so much fun trying to tease out its mysteries.
colleen lindsay
lagringa at 2008-04-21 20:51 (UTC) (Link)
this means i can read it?
wicked witch of the west
herkind31 at 2008-04-21 22:09 (UTC) (Link)
good luck, my sweet dark prince!
emperorofdreams
emperorofdreams at 2008-04-28 07:55 (UTC) (Link)
I am happy to hear that the book continues to evolve and more importantly that you are happy with its evolution. Keep the dream alive my friend.
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