Between work, wine class, and the wearing of seasonal allergies, I haven't felt as if I've gotten much done on the writing, but I've actually made a good amount of progress on my projects.
In my final editing pass for Journal of the Dead, one of my main goals was adding a series of scenes, expanding on the characters outside the context of the investigation. I went back and forth on one scene in particular. It's a conversation that Iluenn has with Suitha, the wife of one of the victim's political rivals (and a suspect herself). It touches upon Iluenn's romantic relationship and raises a lot of questions about its - and her - future. In the manuscript as it stood, the dialogue occurs off stage.
And did I really need to include it? Iluenn talks about it to the narrator, Vil, which means the reader sees its impact; and Vil is on the run at this point in time, which makes setting her up to eavesdrop logistically eavesdrop. Also, pure laziness: it was going to be a difficult scene to write.
But finally, I decided that on balance, I needed the scene. It was engrossing to write. It almost made me late to work one morning. And in the end, I think it was well worth the writing. It gives the reader a much better understanding of Suitha. Hopefully, it both makes her more sympathetic and more suspicious at the same time.
I also started writing "Reputation Precedes," the short story whose brainstorming process I shared on this blog a few weeks ago, and have been editing "She Loves Me Not," a humorous take on the fairytale The Flower Queen's Daughter. The story does a lot of lampshading and stream of consciousness humor, which takes a lot of verbiage. My primary goal in editing right now is to whittle it below ten thousand words.
Finally, I'm closing in on the end of Surgeburnt. I just finished writing the final flashback scene. The whole novel has been written in two timelines: the present, and the events that led up to the novel's first lines. The latter is out of order, though (to save my sanity and the reader's) smaller arcs within the storyline are shown in sequence. The novel begins with the narrator having sold out her friends to save their lives, and until now - this last past-scene - the reader doesn't know exactly what happened.
You'll have to read it. Some day!