A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the sequel to Those That Wake had been sent into my agent, Jason, for a first look and that I would give updates along the way as a glimpse into the editing process. The first round of editing is underway and this is what has been/is going to change, as per Jason's very astute suggestions:
1. The overall story needs to be streamlined so that the emotional relationship at its heart (that between Mal and Laura) stands out as much as possible. I do tend to go off on character and idea tangents.
2. The villain of the piece needs to be better defined, which is to say changed so that he will not confuse everyone who reads the book. My initial conception of him was that he be very abstract, as the more shadowy and less defined evil is, the more menacing I find it. Instead, he will be very solid, though his actions and methods will remain shadowy and menacing.
3. Something crucial that happens to Mal and defines his role for the middle portion of the book needs to be clarified. Again, this is a matter of very conceptual stuff being made more accessible.
So these were the first round of general suggestions. Clearly, I have a problem with making things too complex or conceptual. I'm working on that. Anyway, I will address these issues and turn in a second draft and Jason will return with more specific advice on everything from narrative to style and the next re-write will be far more detail-oriented. We are determined, naturally, to turn in the cleanest, sharpest, most effective manuscript to my editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Incidentally, as I predicted in the previous post linked above, there has been a call to consider changing the title.