Chatting, as usual, brought up the subject of “What Next?” and a reader’s frustration at having it end with so much hanging in the air. Naturally, this is an intended and desired reaction, but there actually is more to it than pure design.
It was always my plan to introduce many new plot threads into the second book of the trilogy. With the characters now familiar and the core theme clear, it was time to add the intrigue. So I plotted and wrote and re-wrote and re-plotted. Days went by. Writing pads were started and filled. Months went by. Stars were born and died. Whole civilizations may have been birthed and evolved into higher beings. People may have even been able to finish one of my blogs! Finally, I began the process of transcribing to the word processor.
The book was long….way long. No worries there, it was a first draft and lots of story gets cut in the re-reading and editing process. I sliced and diced and spliced until I had a lean book. But it was still kind of long. Even after converting it into the publishing format. Oh well, so be it. I felt good about how tight the book was. I really couldn’t take anything more out. Let it be long.
Uh…except…it wasn’t. After all that checking and re-checking, I forgot the simple fact that books are published single-spaced. Talk about your SMH! All that exposition I cut; all that story I trimmed…
…was probably still the right thing to do. Longer doesn’t mean better and upon final read, the book moves quickly and delivers you to the end with excitement and genuine eagerness for what happens next.
It’s comforting to know, should “What Now?”, Book 3 of Jeremy’s adventures, run 500 pages to finish the tale, I don’t have to go crazy cutting it down. I don’t want to space out again!