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31 December 2010 @ 12:34 pm
Writing.  
 Hey guys.

Cutting to the chase: It's taken me nearly two years and a handful of rewrites, but I think Nemesis is finally where it needs to be.  Or, you know, firmly going where it needs to be.  It bears such faint resemblance to the original draft I sent to beta readers, I marvel now that I ever thought that draft "done" and "polished".  Along the way, I've gotten invaluable advice from beta readers, critique partners, industry professionals, and friends.  But at the end of the day, I'm the one that has to decide what makes the story good, and when and how to implement those changes.  I've cut so many pieces that didn't really belong in the old draft, and beefed up and concentrated on others I never thought mattered.  

Mercy as a character has come so far.  I hope it's far enough.  At some point, a writer becomes too close to the work to really know.  I never realized before, that people weren't able to connect to her emotionally as well as they should.  A fault in how I wrote her.  A lack of the reader's ability to know what Mercy was thinking and feeling, because I just didn't put it in there (even though I really thought I did.)  

Now, things are different.  Now, the reader gets to know not only Mercy's innermost thoughts, but also Reaper's.  (Something that has made my beta readers very happy.  His POV did not really exist in the original drafts.)  

I know I've mentioned occasionally here that I'm working on the rewrite(s).  That has had a few starts and stops, as I've struggled with what to get rid of, and what to keep and expand.  But the extra time it took me was worth it, because it allowed me to put some space between the old draft and my connection to it, to look objectively as some things I would never have considered getting rid of before.  

Now, here I am on the fourth (fifth?) rewrite since that old draft, and I'm feeling better about the book than I have since I was so certain that old draft was the draft.  I'm rewriting scenes I never thought needed to be rewritten before, and cutting out whole chapters, and adding new ones.  I think only a handful of scenes from that old draft even resemble themselves anymore, and that's not a bad thing.  It's a better book.  A stronger book.  

So, have a word count meter:



I'm averaging about 8K a day, and hoping to keep that up until school starts on Tuesday this next week.  

Oh, and have a snippet:
   
 
You can’t be serious, Treon said, his astonishment clear.

If I could do it myself, I would, but these are not nulls, Treon.  I cannot risk failure.  Not now, when we’re so close.

So, it’s true?  You’ve really found her?  Asha’s daughter.  Treon paused, and Reaper could feel him marveling, then searching for Mercy’s mind. What’s she like? Powerful?  Beautiful?
 
Reaper’s irritation returned tenfold.
 
Focus Treon.  The frigate.  The Talented on board are getting our people killed.
 
Since when do you care what happens to anyone but yourself?  I was simply—oh.  Oh, I see.  Forgive my trespass, brother.  Now came the sarcasm Reaper had expected earlier.  Does Mercy know you’ve claimed her as your own? 
 
Treon. The name carried a warning with it.  Beside him, Ghost paled at whatever he saw in Reaper’s face.
 
Just a question, my brother. 
 
Enough.  The frigate?
 
There came a pause, and Reaper felt Treon’s attention drawn elsewhere for a fraction of an instant.  
 
Yes, I’ve already been analyzing them.  Talented, yet working for the Commonwealth.  Yes, I see.
 
Reaper frowned at his brother’s tone.  This doesn’t surprise you.
 
Of course not.  Or did you expect we’d be doing nothing in your absence?  We’ve known of the existence of their little underground group for some time.  Years, in fact.  There, I’ve put them all down for a little nap.  Not the most powerful of telepaths, are they? 
 
Reaper felt his jaw clench.  
 
I told you to kill them.
 
Treon’s mental voice hardened.
 
I don’t take orders from you, brother. Our race is near extinction.  I’m afraid I don’t find killing them the most beneficial of ideas.  
 
Leaving enemies alive and at his back wasn’t an option.  
 
Treon—
 
“Reaper,” Ghost said urgently beside him.  “The Zephyr just launched.  We’re running out of time.”
 
Yes, Reaper.  Do run along.  You still have work to do.

Don’t push me, Treon.
 
Good-bye, brother dear.  I’ll pass along your salutations to Dem.  How wonderful to have the whole family back together.  A pause.  My, my.  She is beautiful.  I see why you’re so taken with her. Wolf appears to be having some difficulties.  I think I’ll just give him a little help. With that, Treon vanished from Reaper’s mind, leaving him standing on the deck with his jaw locked, and his hands fisted at his sides.  
 
A faint tremble ran through the floor as the Typhus let loose with her cannons.  A cheer rose up from those around them; a direct hit on the Nemesis.
 
“Not enough to penetrate her armor,” said Ghost beside him, his eyes far away.  “But it’ll weaken the plating.”  He looked at Reaper. “We’ve gotta move, boss.  What do you want to do?”
 
Kill Treon.  With an effort, he unlocked his jaw and let it go.  Killing his brother was a frequent urge he would never indulge.  A fact he occasionally regretted.  
 
**end snippet**

Oh, and just a note that I am looking for a couple of additional beta readers.  If anyone feels up to volunteering.
 
 
 
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on December 31st, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
*snort* That's hilarious. I mean the snippet, not the writing...

Glad Nemesis is on it's way to beta drafting. I can't wait!
rhienelleth: Treonrhienelleth on January 1st, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Yes, it's SUCH a relief to be obsessed with telepathic space pirates again!
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on January 1st, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
I think I have my life rather settled now and would be happy to beta read if you're still looking for more readers.
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 1st, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
That would be lovely! I'm so happy for you with your job. It's sounding like things are really starting in a good place for you this new year. :D

Are you a "read the whole manuscript when it's done" or "read chapters as it goes" preference?
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on January 1st, 2011 06:22 am (UTC)
I'm really looking forward to 2011. I think it holds promise.

I can read either way. Which is better for you?
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 1st, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
Well, right now I have quite a few "read the whole thing" and only a couple of "read as it goes", so if you don't care, it would be handy to have another sounding board as I'm writing.

Why don't you send me your e-mail addy? suliabryon at gmail dot com
Nu: misc-words and songquiet_rebel on January 2nd, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
I'm so proud of you! It's so awesome that you are still working hard on this novel and these characters! Here's to a successful writing year in 2011!
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 2nd, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Back at you! :D
Perverse and Often Bafflingwhiskeypants on January 2nd, 2011 07:40 am (UTC)
Currently unemployed, so totally down to beta. Send me anything you like.
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 2nd, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear about the unemployment, but also selfishly happy about the beta freedom!
Dragonsinger: McKenna/Tristan - original story - Mediedragonsinger on January 3rd, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
I'm so, so glad you're still working on this and that the story is turning out much stronger. That is awesome!