I’ve been going back and forth with myself (and possibly fretting at other people in my household who were foolish enough to vacate the room after the first sentence).
About what, you ask?
About posting a preview chapter – in this case, the prologue – of War. I haven’t had the revision discussion with my editor yet; I hope to do that after the holiday break. So the fretting is mostly whether or not what I post will survive in the published book.
I mean, it’s not much of a preview if it doesn’t actually serve as a preview of the book itself. It’s kind of a hopeful preview, but uncertainty abounds. Since the book is very very long in its current state, there are words that might not survive to reach print, and words that might not survive even before then, and even if I personally think they work.
It’s not hard to get rid of words that don’t work.
No, let me try that again. It is very hard to get rid of words that don’t work, because a lot of time went into the writing, regardless (think Touch and Grave. But the driving force is practical. It doesn’t matter how much one slaved over them if they don’t work.
If I think the words do work, it’s much harder, because I have to assess what’s there, and then pull a plot strand out of the whole tapestry without destroying the tapestry in the process. It’s not does this work at that point; it’s will the book be a book if this is not in it? Or, conversely, can I make the book work without this?
And some parts of War are up on the whiteboard of things I might be able to do without, but the whiteboard itself is up in the air until my editor and I discuss it. I have an internal editorial voice, and it’s Sheila Gilbert’s. But my internal voice doesn’t have the weight of her actual voice; it prevents me from doing things that she would stop me from doing, but doesn’t always catch things the real editor might catch.
So… that’s the fretting part. Those are the caveats. What I post here, before the book is revised and finalized might not actually be part of the book when it’s published.
But: here’s the War Prologue, if the caveats haven’t discouraged you.