I need to make some more icons for this journal. It's all paid up and everything.
As I'm editing this work for weblication, one of the things I'm noticing is the sentence-and-paragraph-level craft. I mentioned previously that my transitions are unsexy... or, at least, I hope to heck that they're sexier now.
The other thing I'm noticing is that the narrative--especially in the Muire first-POV bits, which were written as long ago as November, 2001--is unconfident, by my current standards. I don' think the writing is bad--certainly I've read published work that's at this level--but it's not what I've learned to do in the past three years.
Here's the real problem, I think: specifically, I didn't have a lot of auctorial trust in myself when I wrote the original drafts of All the Windwracked Stars and The Sea thy Mistress. I felt the need to shore up POV with a lot of scaffolding (He felt, I heard, she saw--) rather than just getting in there, getting into the character's head and showing what he felt, I heard, or she saw. I'm tidying as much of that as I can before posting. Some of it defeats me.
I also didn't trust myself to put a picture in the reader's head through main force of will and muscular language. This especially shows up in the stage directions, which are often over-refined and cluttered with prepositional phrases. Those darn prepositions. Drat them. *Zorch* See, these days, I'd just describe a boy as "a corpselike blond," say, and trust the reader to get that he looks like Richard O'Brien in Rocky Horror. Back in the day, I would have tried to make the reader see that.
I was also still thinking in terms of sentences having specific purposes (this is description, this is narrative, this is dialogue) because I hadn't yet achieved the synthesis where what every sentence does is move the story forward, usually in a few different ways at once. So a sentence of description doesn't really exist anymore, because that same sentence also advances action and maybe characterizes a little--
I couldn't do that when I wrote this book, and it's not the sort of thing I can fix, because the way my storytelling process works. I don't seem to be able to do the sort of white-paper rewriting truepenny manages; once I've told a story, I can *change* it--I can alter it to near-unrecognizability, including adding scenes, changing the plot, cutting charaters, adding POVs--but I can't actually write the same story again from white paper without it turning to dross. So while I can rearrange this thing structurally and polish and tighten and reword, I'm stuck with these monopurpose sentences, because that's how the book is.
Anyway. Real learning experience going on here. Hope it's good for you, too....