Storming Amargosa – In Which Picard Never Gives Up, Never Surrenders!

Foundation of building under construction
Tiia Monto [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]
Work began in earnest this week on the fourth draft of Storming Amargosa. As always when heavy revisions loom, my fear of rewriting has turned out to be overblown. It’s more rearranging than rewriting. Still, the story does need some new scenes, and a couple of the plotlines might have been neglected. There’s always the next draft.

But there’s also a sense that this story is coming into focus more. The first two-thirds of the novel will be from the “meddling kids” POV, one chapter for each in three cycles, the last of which I shuffle the order for plot’s sake. Davra begins and ends this story as she is the first character we meet in The Children of Amargosa. She also shares the first scene of Second Wave with JT. She should get the final scene.

One thing I realized is, in sending JT, Suicide, and Duffy to Hanar, JT is now in contact with his father. In fact, it happens a scene in Flight Blade (though from two new characters’ POV.) Not only did I have to write new scenes for JT and Quentin Austin to interact, but now readers will be asking, “Where’s his mother?”

Good question. The retroacts at the end of all but maybe three chapters show Germanicus’s history. Two of those reveal the relationship between the enigmatic 500-year-old man and the CEO of the most powerful corporation in the Compact. Both reference JT. So…

I may have to go back and salt the story with more scenes with her in it. Suffice it to say, JT’s not happy mother left him stranded in the middle of an alien invasion. Hey, I wasn’t happy my mom tried to feed me Brussels sprouts. (Only my wife has successfully done that, and it took two attempts.)

Rearranging has made me appreciate Scrivener to some extent. I’ve long since stopped using the app. (Get off my lawn!) My method of rebuilding from the last draft has been to take that Word doc, search for a word I know is in a particular scene, and copy it into the new chapter file. I then read through and strip out references to parts no longer relevant, now in a later part of the story, or flat contradict not only the current draft but even the previous ones. There’s been much less rewriting this time than expected.

The projected release date for this is now April of 2020. That gives me a lot of time to get this into shape. However, long deadlines encourage procrastination, and at some point, I’m going to need to get this over to beta readers. I figure one more draft before I have to set this thing free and let other people read it.