Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Productivity Update

Brought Chapter Three of Escape from the Wastelands before my Kennesaw writing group today.

This got interesting, as most of the discussion ended up being centered around the larger story and not the specific chapter (much to my initial irritation).  Most relevant was the lack of emotional connection most of the group members felt to the side characters, who die by the barrel in this chapter, as well as to the protagonist himself.

That's a problem.  That's a big problem, particularly since characterization is one of my big weaknesses.

Ergo, it's back to the drawing board.  My plan thus far is to introduce a new chapter between Chapter Two and Chapter Three, in which Carroll Town (the protagonist's hometown) prepares for war with the Flesh-Eating Legion.  This way, I can give the audience more time to get attached to the cannon-fodder before I kill them off and to the protagonist himself, who I intend to keep around for awhile.  I can bring that before the Kennesaw group on 3/20 and the Lawrenceville group on 3/28.

(The next Lawrenceville meeting is 3/14, but the third draft of Chapter Two is slated for that meeting.  I'll finish the revisions on that one and post to to the group's web-site tomorrow.)

I might also expand Chapter One to have someone else hunting alongside Andrew, perhaps his friend Sam Cotton who we meet in Chapter Three, after the Flesh-Eaters destroy the Carroll Town militia.

In the event "new Chapter Three" is not ready by 3/13 (deadline to submit for 3/20), I'll submit "Coil Gun" again.  John Joseph Adams told me he'd like to see more of my writing and Interzone hasn't responded even though I sent it to them in November.  It might be prudent to tinker with "Coil Gun" one last time.

("Picking Up Plans In Palma" is still under consideration by Analog.  That's one of my best stories--the best in terms of characterization--and if it gets picked up by Analog or Asimov's, where I intend to send it if Analog rejects it, that would be so awesome.)

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