Shunga-Satori: Ducking The Wind

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2022-10-01 17:00:00-04:00 No comments


Excuse my silence, I was avoiding a hurricane. We didn't get anywhere near the worst of it — rain and wind, barely even a few thrown-around branches. The area I'm in tends to not be as vulnerable to storms; we've had a couple that were near-direct hits, and the worst we had of it was some blustery rain. I was more worried about losing power or water pressure, neither of which happened this time around.

Blessings counted. On with the show.

At this point in Shunga-Satori's second draft (well, more like draft-and-a-half, but I'm making it draft 2 for explication's sake), I'm at the point where I have no more older material to repurpose. Everything from here on out, about another 10,000 words or so, is entirely new material. That makes it slower going than before, in terms of total words per day, but I'm not really getting hung up on the production metrics. I suspected this would slip into next year, given all that's been happening in my life, and at this rate I'll be happy with roughly one book a year.

I have always tried to treat each draft of a book as if it were nothing but a repurposing of the previous draft for raw material. I don't always succeed. Sometimes, though, that's due to much of the hashing-out being done earlier in the outline phase. E.g., the outlines for Fall Of The Hammer really didn't look much like the finished book up until the very last iteration or so. Many characters changed roles or became drastically different incarnations of a basic idea — e.g., the role I originally had for the character Rory eventually became occupied by Teryl Heylinde, and Rory took on a whole new role as right-hand-person to Torrina Faziel.

Shunga-Satori was at least that protean, and continues to be right up through to the end. In this case, many characters were dropped entirely as they served no purpose in the story except to mirror other characters. But another major change involved simplifying the mechanics of the universe the main characters found themselves in. I have to constantly remind myself that complexity is not depth, and that enchantment on the reader's part is not the same as befuddlement. I wanted to be spellbinding, not bewildering. I still don't think I'm there yet, and it might take another draft or so to find out how much closer I can cut to the core without actually cutting into the core itself.

I'm also finding I don't yet have the next book fully in hand yet. That book was, tentatively, Charisma, but too much about it remains nebulous and difficult to grasp. Let's chalk that up to this year being stressful and draining, and leaving me too few braincells for the job. Maybe it'll get easier once Shunga-Satori is well and duly put to bed.

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