Sunday, March 30, 2008

Locked in the Land of Edits

Ahhh... back to the world of edits. Some are more painful than others. I would much rather be writing new content than editing, but there are things that are worse than editing. Such as thinking up book titles. I hate writing book titles. I can be pretty pithy and creative and all that jazz, but my brains just goes into lock-down when it comes to writing titles. I don't have one currently for book 2 and I'm thinking I should probably come up with a few options before I sent my editor the manuscript in a month. However, I do have something for book 3 and book 4, which is a slight relief. I just have to get book 2 and the short story settled first.

So, book 2 is my first book that is technically part of a continuing series. I've written lots of stuff in the past, but this is the first one where the story is continuing with the same characters. As a result, I'm running into a new dilemma. How much backstory is needed in those beginning chapters so that anyone who doesn't read Nightwalker understands what is happening? You don't want to data dump because that just gets boring regardless of whether or not you read Nightwalker. But if you don't give enough data, the new reader is completely lost. So far, in my editing, adding that background information has been the bulk of my notes. I think the information can generally be explained in a line or two, which is a relatively easy fix. The hard part is remembering what hasn't been explained. It can all be a little confusing. Nightwalker will soon be released, Book 2 has been written, and I know a lot of what will go on in Book 3. Keeping it all straight in my head just isn't pretty any longer. I think I'm going to have to start making more notes.

As a side note, I developed a new "favorite phrase" for Book 2. In Nightwalker, I believe it was "out of the corner of my eye." Apparently, Mira had her back to people constantly in the first book. Well, she's facing people more in book 2, but now everything is "for a moment." Ugh. I ripped "for a moment" out of a single page three times. I know. I know. We all do it and I'll have a new phrase with each book. The key is finding it before my editor does.


Rinda Elliott said...

I recently blogged about this same issue. This is my first continuation book, too. It's tricky getting all the necessary info into the next book in a series without info dumping--very tricky.

But I'm the opposite on book titles. Sometimes, I have a title before I even know the plot. In fact, I wrote a romantic suspense years ago and the only thing I plan to salvage is the title. ;)

daydream said...

Jocelynn, titles are tricky little creatures and well they either come to you or don't. It depends on the book/story and I never get them right always, most of the times I wonder whether they can be done better.

I still have to finish book 1 to have these issues with teh sequal. Yeah, I can only imagine here what it all means for you. You know you can only say in brackets (read book one already).

Rachel Vincent said...

I've overused both of those, and knowing my luck, they probably made it into print. ;-)

Chandra Rooney said...

Hmm... I'm not sure how to get around the needed infodumps in a second book. It's been on my mind lately, too, and probably why I haven't started a second book.

Maybe have something happen in book 2 that creates a "natural" need in the narration to explain what happened in the first book?