Absence, Exposition and Pitching

Pardon my absence dear reader. I have been busy, I promise. It’s what everyone says, I know, but the truth is that I’ve been deep in the revised draft. Day and night! Well, at least when I can and I’m not bingeing on Altered Carbon and it isn’t half term for my little boy and I’m not nearly cutting my finger off on a baked bean can…..

It was the Branstons baked beans. It amazes me that in this day and age there are still cans without ring pulls. Lesson learned – always cut the lid off completely.

So, in honour of my wonky finger, I thought I’d stick Dr. John up there as his”fickle finger of funk” has been on my mind of late (I believe that he had it shot off and surgically reattached.) I’m hoping that it will heal up straight and wont effect my guitar playing too much. Hell, Tony Iommi lost the tips of his middle and ring finger and he did alright…..

But enough of that. I thought I’d get back in the groove with a quick update on how things have been going.

Hunting Down Exposition With An Orbital Laser

So, well into draft v3.1, going through my work with a fine tooth comb, teasing out the snaggled prose and working out those little narrative knots. It’s slow going but I’ve found a great amount of reward so far and I think it’s much richer, and it’s in part thanks to the advice I was sent: how to make exposition my bitch.

I received this under the premise that I would find it interesting and useful. The result so far? I’ve been fascinated by the exposition that I have found, and while it certainly didn’t destroy the story, there is little to lose in cutting it out. It sounds strange but removing sections of exposition did little to really deflate the progression of the narrative, and even better, once you know it you can tease it in with references and flash backs and characters remembering that time when this and that happened. Overall, the process has been a great workout, both educational and satisfying.

The funny thing is that when he says remove the back story, well, that’s what I did and it turned into a whole book, the one that I’ve just written a pitch for…..

Pitchapolooza 2018

So I had a go at writing a pitch for my book as the Book Doctors (in conjunction with Nanowrimo) were running Pitchapolooza 2018. Twenty pitches are randomly selected, critiqued and voted for. The winner gets an introduction to a publisher suitable for their manuscript.

Might as well give it a shot right?

I worked tirelessly on iterations of this and then repeatedly sent them to my partner who was busy at work, asking her thoughts on this version and that. Her response was pretty much always “too wordy?”. Every time.

But it helped me. I tried to boil it down again and again, editing and reducing until it retained the flavour without the bulk.

(I mentioned this in a comment on the Book Doctors video about the pitch – they replied with: “You’re partner is a smart woman. Excellent advice!”)

Anyhow, I just want you to know that I’m thinking of you here! You, the reader, checking a copy on the bookshelf because I know you don’t have much time and you want the nitty gritty in under 200 words or else you might pick something else up.

So here it is!

Welcome to Asclepius, trading hub for more than a hundred worlds…..

When a smuggling operation is busted two petty criminals must find a new way to recoup their lost investment. Shale wants to sign up for a prospectors ‘dive’ but her best friend isn’t so sure. Unimaginable riches might be theirs, or at the least a quick death if they’re lucky.

Meanwhile Harlech Truckle, leader of the Birdeaters, makes plans for another illegal shipment or else face the displeasure of his mysterious benefactor. But just what is it they’re being asked to bring in, and who’s toes might they be stepping on this time?

As the consequences begin to unfold, a street hustler, a possessed automaton and a hapless warehouse technician will be drawn into a spiral of duplicity and revenge while in the shadows of the Shining Spires there are those who’s designs had yet to be fully understood…..

Red Star Rising is the first in a series of exciting, modern pulp fantasy novels set against a backdrop of lost epochs, cosmological improbabilities and strange destinies.

So, what do you think? Needs some work perhaps……? Damned if I know. Hell, it was harder to write than the damn book is!

The Future?

With that all out the way I want to say a little bit about future posts – yes, I actually do have some sort of plan – and while I don’t want to say much more, I should put up a post about Alter Ego’s in response to JA Allen’s post and the comment I made. Hope to see it within a fortnight.

I also have a sketch for a pair of world building posts that I’m rather excited about, but – yes, sigh! – it’ll be consigned to the vagaries of the crystal ball as to when those will appear.

So, for now, I’ll sign out and wish you all well.

DJC

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Author: David Cambridge

Writing modern pulp fantasy from the wild wood of Mogador.

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