As I always do when I hit the editing phase, I am here to share some of the editing fun going on with Andromeda’s Fall.
Surprisingly, no repeated bad habits really stood out with this book. (Okay so there was one little one – I overused the words “sassy” and “crouched”. But that’s it.) Wahoo! All that hard work and constant writing have paid off. What this means is that I can concentrate on things like world building, plot, character development, etc. rather than the little distracting things like talking heads.
What we really had to focus on with this one was the world building. It’s the first book in a new series, which means establishing a lot of “rules” that will apply throughout the series. However, this is a little tricky in that I also want to introduce some plot points and characters that will be bigger in later books. It’s a delicate balance. Wendy has been awesome about helping me poke on potential plot holes and develop world-related rules.
Here are a few that we worked through:
Dealing w/ Points Raised in Hannah’s Fate:
A lot of the basics of the world were set when I wrote Hannah’s Fate, my short story in the “Here, Kitty Kitty” anthology. The tricky part was incorporating those main points again but in an organic way. I run across this same issue when I write sequels. The other tricky part is knowing how much detail/back story to include from the previous writing.
Mating vs. mating:
In this world my MCs are cougar shifters. Real mountain lions aren’t naturally monogamous, and I wanted to incorporate that into the world building. So there’s mating – which is basically a casual relationship for a season. And then there’s Mating – which is mating and marrying, creating a monogamous, permanent relationship. Tricky distinguishing that with only one or two words each time the topic comes up. Decided to go with the capitalized vs. lower-case.
Guns vs. Hand to Hand:
Personal preference, I like to write fight scenes as hand to hand combat. Fun to come up with all the moves and describe. Keeping out weapons made a lot more sense in the Svatura series because most of their powers were stronger than guns. But in Shadowcat Nation, their only power is shifting. So the question becomes “why no guns to deal with bad guys?” This means two things to me. First, coming up with some rules that will let me get the hand to hand stuff in there. And second, having to research gun fights. Hmmm… maybe I’ll make a future MC a really good marksmen. I could even go out to a gun range and learn to shoot so I can describe it appropriately. This could be fun.
Introducing Terms & Concepts:
When introducing concepts specific to the world, it’s tricky not to make it sound like a book report. So setting up words like Dare, Kuharte, Timik, Mates, Fated Mates, and even the concept of the Shadowcat Nation itself was challenging. In the end, I wrote up book report definitions for each separately, and then incorporated bits and pieces of those into thoughts, conversations, or quick once sentence descriptions. It helped me get all the info in there but spread out and more natural.