Space Stuff: The Motion Picture

Astronaut on computerAs I sit on the sofa writing this Sunday morning, the SF novel is up to 15,000 words and sixty pages. In those sixty pages, stuff blows up, people die, and the normal pastoral world where my wealthy brat protag hoped to escape has turned into a war zone. And here I was worried the story would never get going. Instead, I now have to worry this might end too soon. Brevity is one of the reasons Road Rules did not sell to a publisher. At 55,000 words, about 5,000 words shorter than the standard minimum for a novel, it was something that did not really pad well. I know. I tried. The version you can now buy is essentially a slightly altered version of the original. When I tried to make it longer, mainly by going back an extra day and adding more lead-in material, every beta told me it felt bogged down, like there was deadweight. Funny how people who never saw the original picked up on that.

So it is with the SF project. I don’t want to add material just for length or even mess with the structure of the story I’ve envisioned. That’s hard enough with a good editor. But for now, the idea that things are moving too fast is a good problem to have. If I can keep the reader off balance for 90,000 words or so, they’re likely to keep turning pages.

And turning pages is what it is all about.