Waiting for the Other Shoe…

No, I don’t mean the election, despite the date — if I decide I need to say something about that I’ll probably put it in my LiveJournal. This is about what I’m doing while I wait for word from my editor.

I delivered A Young Man Without Magic to Brian Thomsen, my editor at Tor, in September. Then I worked on the sequel for awhile; I was pretty confident that Brian would be pleased with it, since he’d recommended I write the series in the first place (as opposed to the more traditional fantasy, The Dragon’s Price, which I’d come up with at roughly the same time). Brian was the guy who talked Tor into a two-book deal for the series. He’d read the proposal, which included a hundred pages of the novel. He knew what he was getting. So I was working on the sequel.

Then on September 22, Brian dropped dead of a heart attack. Which sucked in many, many ways, as Brian was a very good guy, but one of the minor results was that it meant I got a new editor.

And the new editor, while by all accounts a nice guy and a good editor, had not read the proposal. He had not read the books that were my inspiration. He had never discussed anything with me. I have no idea at all what he’s going to think of the novel. My agent assumes it’ll all be fine, because after all I’m an established professional with a thirty-year track record, but my agent hasn’t read the novel yet and hasn’t really worked with the new editor much.

I’m not so sure. A Young Man Without Magic is not my usual stuff.

So I found myself unable to concentrate on the sequel. What if he wants major revisions on the first book that would affect the plot of the second?

So I’ve put aside Above His Proper Station until such time as I hear back from Ye Editor. Which I had hoped would be by now, but so far, not a word.

Instead I’m working on other stuff. Of which I have a surfeit; I have literally hundreds of unfinished stories lying around. I added a few pages to The Dragon’s Price. I finished a chapter of Realms of Light, the sequel to Nightside City that I plan to write as an online serial in the not-too-distant future.

Mostly, though, I decided I should finish Vika’s Avenger, a science-fantasy story I’ve had lying around for a couple of years. It was the closest to being complete of anything handy. Wrapping it up will decrease the backlog a little. It’s a sort of detective story. Sort of. But it’s set in a half-deserted city on another planet, thousands of years in the future.

So I’ve been working on that lately, and it’s been coming along, until a couple of nights ago when I ran into massive plot problems because my planned ending isn’t turning out the way I wanted it to. The characters have refused to cooperate, and they’re right to do so — my original plan really didn’t make as much sense as I thought.


But once I get past this next scene, it’s all just wrap-up, and I’ll have a complete first draft, probably 75,000-80,000 words. Now, if I can just figure out how to make it happen…

2 thoughts on “Waiting for the Other Shoe…

  1. I was wondering why you changed to “Above His Proper Station” to “Vika’s Avenger.” I would’ve thought the next book in the series would be best to work on. But I see your point. Talk about a sticky wicket. (Not sure what a sticky wicket is, but it has to be bad) I think it’s great you’re getting “Vika’s Avenger” finished up (that’ll bring you some money) but I hope your new editor gets back with you soon.

    Good luck.

  2. Well, I hope it’ll bring in some money, but I can’t be sure of that. I don’t have a publisher lined up.

    We’ll see.

    (“Sticky wicket” is a cricket term — in cricket, the bowler (pitcher) is trying to knock over the wicket (a crossbar set on uprights) while the batsman defends it. As I understand it (any cricket fans here, feel free to correct me), a sticky wicket is one that doesn’t fall down properly even when the ball hits it, triggering argument over whether the batsman is out or not.)

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