Rewrites – Storming Amargosa Edition

Dictation using wax cylinder phonographScience fiction novels are expected to be a certain length. Whereas the average romance or crime novel can get away with word counts of 75,000 words or so, SF editors seem to want longer. Not sure why since it usually involves breaking the conventions of how many points of view you need. The minimum seems to be 90,000 words.

But I originally intended the Amargosa novels to be independent works, so who cares about stinking word counts? Story’s done when it’s done. Right?

Well, sort of… I read an interview with Neal Asher who explained his first novel, Gridlinked, checked in at under the magic 90K, so he added some bits… The history pieces from the Quince Guide (compiled by humans), How It Is, and so on, storylines around Mr. Crane and some of those around Agent Cormac. So did I do that with The Children of Amargosa?

No. Children checked in at 87,000 words. Second Wave was shorter, at 80,000. OK, that’s my Empire Strikes Back story. So how did Storming Amargosa do?

Er… 63,000 words. Hey, Neal. Um… How did you get Gridlinked over the transom?

Before each Amargosa novel is an arc of novellas. As the latest ones have gone back across the keyboard and through the betas, I’ve noticed there are some storylines not getting resolved. Storming in its current form is only 63,000 words and needs something more than mere padding. Storylines unresolved. Hmm…

Spoiler alert: Marcus Leitman is a grade A dick.

There are some other things that need addressed. A couple scenes did not make it over from the screenplay version. Some, in conversion, are dialog heavy with little sense of setting. And there are the montage scenes that were a challenge to convert to prose.

So I’m sort of grafting a whole novella onto an existing novel.

At least I have about a year to finish it.