It’s been heating up at The Firm lately, which is one of the reasons I haven’t been posting as frequently. People get sued, people need suing (“Why’d you do it?” “He needed suin’.”), one of the senior partners gets hired, and eventually I get a phone call and my blogging dries up for a bit. This is just a quick update to kickstart my blogging muscles.
I’ve also been trying to make some progress on Meet the Larssons, which I put aside a few weeks ago in the push to finish the first draft of “Test Tube Beneficiary” and then get through the revisions. I’m back into it now, though, and I think it’s coming along. I’m going to have to change the name of the family at the center of the book though — I only noticed it recently, but one character, Astrid Larsson, has the same name as one of the main characters in S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse Trilogy. There’s no similarity between MTL and Mr. Stirling’s books, but it’s an easy enough change for me to make (hit REPLACE ALL and we’re done!). As a working title, though, I think I’ll leave it as Meet the Larssons, at least for now. It’s past 65,000 words, and I think I’m on track to meet my goal of finishing the first draft by the end of June. That will depend on how crazy things get at the office.
As for TTB, after three passes through it (two hand markups on paper, then one more set of revisions as I typed in the first two), I managed to cut a whopping 110 words, net — I cut a lot more than that, and but I added enough that it was effectively a wash. Between Passover and other commitments, I haven’t been able to get it into final shape to submit, but I expect to get that done in the next week or two. I accomplished Step One, buy more printer paper, on Monday
That’s enough for now. My blogging muscles are all wobbly. I’ll try to think of something interesting to say for tomorrow.
because I’m starting to HATE Test Tube Beneficiary. I’ve been through it twice since Saturday morning, marking my changes using Pen and Paper v. 1.0. I’ll type them in tonight, then print off a clean copy for Mrs. Unfocused to review. If at all possible, I want to get TTB out the door by next Monday; otherwise, there’s a very real possibility that I’ll feed it to the shredder.
I finished the first draft of Test Tube Beneficiary three weeks ago. I haven’t looked at since, because I wanted to give myself some distance. But it’s time to start editing, revising, and generally hacking away at it to get it into shape for submission. Last night I printed off a hard copy and marked up the first two pages.
Then I fell asleep.
This is going to take awhile.
I’m trying to keep in mind the advice Stephen King (I seem to refer to him a lot, but why not? he’s written a lot of good books) received from an editor who rejected one of his early short story submissions. I can’t find the quote in my copy of On Writing, but 37signals quotes the book the way I remember it:
Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: “Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.”
Enough stalling. Time to get the knife and start cutting. I hope I can use the scalpel, and not the ax.
The first draft of Test Tube Beneficiary is done, done, done. It’s my first complete work of fiction (not counting the flash fic I posted on my Fiction page last month — it’s still there, if you’re interested) in 16 years. Go, me.
I’m going to print it now, and go to bed.
Update (6:10pm): I published this post originally at 1:03am. I’m finally having my celebratory glass of wine. Most importantly, the Mrs. read TTB this morning, and gave it her seal of approval. I was (and am) very excited that she didn’t hate it — by the time I woke up this morning, I had convinced myself that it would need to be largely rewritten — and, despite the facts that she doesn’t particularly like science fiction and that I used to help her fall asleep by telling her about my cases, she really liked it. The only real issue is whether it’s actually science fiction: she thinks that it may be so near-future, and the extrapolation may be so subtle, that it doesn’t actually qualify as sci-fi. It’s not ready to send out yet — I need to take it through the revision process — but when it is, I’ll have to evaluate the potential markets.