<= 2005.06.16

2005.06.20 =>

fifth act

It will break two hundred thousand—that much is clear. Revision can probably cull it back below that limit, but not too far. I believe in the principle of parsimony, is the problem, and I think I've followed it. There isn't much that's extraneous. There are only two stories, and they aren't particularly complicated; they're just so improbable that they take a long time in telling if they are to be believed. Of course I could tell them in half the length, or a third, but then it wouldn't be the same book. It would be much harder to swallow. I don't want to write that.

Of course if it had turned out to be half its projected length, I wouldn't have any doubts about its marketability. Everyone loves intrigue abroad, everyone loves "searching for your heritage," and it seems like at least part of the industry has cozied up to the idea of sci-fi crossover. (By which I suppose I mean sci-fi that the author has bothered to populate with characters—I might just call it "good sci-fi," but that's another debate, isn't it.) Its volume is the major strike against it, and it's also the only thing that makes it any good. Which is a perfectly familiar complaint (replace "volume" with your favorite abstract noun), so I'll stop.

That ETA up there should not be a problem if I keep turning out a thousand words a day. I can do this. I will eat eggs and peanut butter and soy, comfort myself with Cervantes and Kafka, do what I can to stop thinking about the world out there. I do not like that other world. If it doesn't want this book, I will write them a shorter one and bind up a single copy of Approaching Zero in green cloth and call it work well done. At least I know that it's good. I haven't really doubted it since I started this draft two years ago. First time that's happened.

 

<= 2005.06.16

2005.06.20 =>

up (2005.06)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review