Update on The Tyrant Stratagem

August 2, 2011 in General Topics

So I think I’ve finally crossed the imaginary boundary with the comments received back from the Expert Reader, in which I’ve hopefully made enough revisions to satisfy any lingering concerns he or I had about the story as a whole.

As a reminder, this reading and subsequent changes were made to address an agent’s feedback about the story. I would hope that any potential agent out there (are there still potential agents out there?) that might happen upon this post sees that there is at least one writer left in the world who takes feedback seriously and will go back over a draft they’ve hit at least seven times with yet another major revision.

This kind of thing makes me nervous. I don’t like touching manuscripts I consider complete, especially one with all the carefully-layered detail and subtext this one has running throughout its pages. I’ve done things like re-ordered chapters and deleted and inserted big blocks of prose into what I thought was a finished product. That’s fine, but — eep. Still scares me. There’s always a thought in my mind, that what I’m adding risks creating another new problem.

Specifically, I’ve had fiction I’ve edited before to satisfy one set of feedback that then has swung said pendulum completely back in the opposite direction. You want head games you can play with yourself? Imagine rewriting the “too slow, too much detail” story into one that gets “too fast, needed more information” from the next editor that sees it.

There’s an appeal on some levels to pull a Hemingway: write the damn thing once, then never touch it again. But Hemingway is the old man in the sea, and I’m just a relatively-unknown minnow.

Stay tuned.