Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Final final

I just put the corrected galleys for Hal Spacejock Second Course in the mail. Just two minor things, neither of them important. I then spent more time writing a new bio than I did reading the galleys - or at least it seemed that way.

After I mailed the parcel I enjoyed the feeling of relief for all of five minutes. Then I opened up the Hal 3 file and continued work. This one is currently 84000 words, which is 4k longer than the first two books in the series. My plan is to trim the excess over the next two revisions, tightening up meandering dialogue by converting four lines into two or removing them altogether. (It's amazing how much better dialogue sounds when you trim it back.)

I have two characters to remove, and a minor character I'm planning to promote to major (hah). Book two features a strong female character (Sonya Polarov) opposing Hal, and while I don't want book three to be a carbon copy, there IS a minor character (Lieutenant-Colonel Ortiz of the Cathuan military) with a similar role. What can I say? I like writing kick-arse female characters prepared to take charge of their own destiny.

In the current revision Ortiz appears halfway through the book, but my plan now is to introduce her in chapter three, where a group of soldiers infiltrate a robot plant. That means dumping the two characters I mentioned, who currently run that mission. They also appear in a later scene, discussing the typical fate of movie henchmen, which will be dropped completely. If you want to read it, scour the web for the Bowman Publishing edition of Hal Spacejock Just Desserts. Good luck, as there are only 90 or so in circulation. ;-)

I also have a scene where Hal dresses up as a stewardess after Clunk mis-reads a contract. I'm wavering over this one - it's a bit of a farce, and I usually avoid making idiots out of my characters. Problem is, there are two events during the flight which are significant later, so dropping the whole scene isn't an option.

Oh well, back to it.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


David Forbes said...

Boy can I relate with cutting back dialog! I'm always overexplaining everything -- "fat" in the dialog is always the first to go in the early rounds of cuts.

I really hope your stuff makes it State side. I'm very curious to read it. If it doesn't, I guess I'll just have to pony up for the shipping charges....

Anne Merril said...

So what is the distribution status for HS? Will it go stateside? I have to admit, I haven't seen it in the bookstores over here yet (Queensland). Any idea how long it takes?

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks for the interest.
About the US - I don't know. I'd like to see the thing all over the planet, but have no say in that particular outcome.
It was a Dymocks group buy in September, so every store had to have copies to support the catalogue entry. A&R were probably store by store, and I don't know about Collins and independants.
According to my spies, Pulp Fiction bookstore in Edward St Brisbane got a bunch of copies in.
I'm sure most will take a few more copies of book one as soon as book two comes out. That's the way these things seem to work.

Anne Merril said...

Yay, Pulp Fiction! I haven't been there in ages :) I'll check it out next time I'm in the city.

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks, Anne. If you get a chance I'm always interested to hear how many copies shops have left, whether it's selling and so on.